December 2015/ Design Miami/, the global forum for design, ends the week on a high note with robust sales complemented by the highest attendance figures yet, with over 36,500 visitors at this year’s edition.
Presenting the world’s leading galleries specializing in collectible design, this year’s edition of Design Miami/ featured galleries from five continents showing works ranging from 1890 to 2015 that run the gamut from delicate jewelry to architectural pavilions.
The fair is a must-attend event for the design world, which was clear from the list of notable attendees that included Elle MacPherson, Sylvester Stallone, Leonardo DiCaprio, William James Adams Jr. (aka will.i.am); collectors Aby Rosen, Ramiro and Gabriela Garza, Walid and Susie Wahab, Alberto Mugrabi, Beth Rudin de Woody, and Dennis Freedman; Stefano Tonchi, Michael Boodro, Margaret Russell, Ambassador Paul and Trudy Cejas, fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, artists Tracy Emin, Juergen Teller and Rirkrit Tiravanija; architects Zaha Hadid, Ben Aranda, Chad Oppenheim, Will Meyer, Gray Davis and David Adjaye; designers Mara Hoffman, Marcel Wanders, Wendell Castle and Yves Béhar; museum directors Thelma Golden from the Studio Museum, Deyan Sudjic of Design Museum in London, Franklin Sirmans of the PAMM and Glenn Lowry of MoMA were all in attendance, to mention but a few.
The world’s leading design galleries gathered in Miami to present the most diverse selection of exhibits to date, with museum-quality collections that included the technologically avant-garde and the historically significant.
The gallery program enjoyed significant sales at Design Miami/ 2015: the Abyss Table by Christopher Duffy at Sarah Myerscough Gallery sold to actor Sylvester Stallone;Friedman Benda had success with works by all five designers represented by the gallery;Victor Hunt sold the edition of the Lumiére series by former Designer of the Future Commonplace Studio; Galerie Patrick Seguin sold the only surviving 4×4 Demountable House from Jean Prouvé, originally designed to house French officers during World War II for $2 million to a private European collector; Cristina Grajales Gallery placed a large Hechizoo rug specially commissioned for the fair; Patrick Parrish sold Brian Thoreen’s Rubber Credenza; LAFFANOUR – Galerie Downtown sold the historically significant Compass Table by Jean Prouvé and Galerie VIVID placed the equally significant Rietveld Desk and Chair.
In addition to the museum-quality displays in the gallery program, other highlights of the fair included a broad range of partner collaborations. For its 10th anniversary with Design Miami/, Audi partnered with design duo Humans since 1982 on the larger-than-life Spotlights installation, which highlighted the characteristics of the Audi e-tron quattro concept; Swarovski showcased a miniature sun scaled to one-billionth the size of the star and made up of 2,880 custom-created crystals designed by Mexico City-based Fernando Romero Enterprise; Perrier-Jouët launched the Champagne House’s year-long collaboration with Japanese glass maker Ritsue Mishima and FENDI presented designs originally created but never realized by Italian designer Guglielmo Ulrich for the 1942 World’s Fair in Rome.
Now in its second year, Design Curio returned to the Miami fair with gusto, featuring six diminutive yet immersive booths with projects that contextualized and at times challenged more familiar design narratives. This latest edition of the program featured Fragments, with its contrasting rough-hewn and polished marble by Lex Pott and scenography by Calico Wallpaper at The Future Perfect; Katie Stout’s psychedelic nod to teeny-bopper culture with Bedroom from Cultured Magazine with the support of Gallery Diet; the powerful aromas of Cheese, an installation from DEAN & DELUCA that harked back to the beginnings of the food emporium as imagined by design studio Charlap Hyman & Herrero; enigmatic polished Obsidian mirrors meant to evoke the spirit of Aztek god Tezcatlipoca with Smoking Mirrors from Eduardo Olbés, presented at the fair by ADN Galería of Mexico; Chamber presented Black Gold by Dutch designer Quintus Kropholler, an exhibition that challenges the materiality of designed objects by creating striking pieces from bitumen, a material used to pave roads; Miami-based Giovanni Beltran offered a humorous take on retail culture with Storefront: a booth so packed with slightly off-beat furniture pieces that you couldn’t actually step inside it.
The fair’s Satellite Program offers a contemporary view onto what’s happening in the design world at large, and included Belong. Here. Now., an interactive installation by Airbnb in collaboration with Design With Company that featured performative activations with emerging artists throughout the week. Inside the fair itself, visitors were offered a unique retail experience with the first iteration of the Design Miami/ Market that included the highly sought-after fashion accessories resulting from the collaboration betweenJ.Crew and Design Miami/ featuring the illustrations of Pierre Le-Tan; LIZWORKS with the Vik Muniz-designed HAPPY VIEW; ARTBOOK returned to the fair with a selection of design and art publications and DEAN & DELUCA offered gourmet items perfect for the holiday season. The Market was designed by Miami-based Emmett Moore, bringing a slice of South Beach to the fair with canopies that resembled sun loungers over the individual kiosks.
Creative Edge Parties, a New York and South Florida based catering company spearheaded by Carla Ruben, launched its presence in Miami with The Egg Café and Coupe Lounge at the fair, offering delectable dishes in collaboration with teenage chef Flynn McGarry. Creative Edge Parties has a permanent location in the Miami Design District and will unveil a new location for The Egg in 2016.
Visitors to the Collectors Lounge marveled at Revolution Pavilions, premiering at the fair with architectural pavilions by Zaha Hadid and Gluckman Tang, two of over 30 pavilions and homes currently in the works with Revolution Prefabricated Properties, the brainchild of design and real estate developer Robbie Antonio, produced in collaboration with ETN Design.
The Design Talks Studio featured an acoustic textile installation from Galerie Maria Wettergren. Draped Nimbostratus, developed by designer Cecilie Bendixen and was born from her PhD on the sound-absorbing qualities of textile used as architecture. Hanging over the area that hosted the talks program, Draped Nimbostratus helped dampen the surrounding noise of the busy fair and kept the sound of the talks contained to the immediate area.
Design Visionary Award presented by Panerai/
Yves Béhar was front and center of the action at the fair this year. As the winner of the2015 Design Visionary Award presented by Panerai, Béhar offered a narrative of his socially focused work at Design Miami/, supported by the Miami Design District, in addition to a glimpse of his personal interests with Surf Shack, an exhibition in the Miami Design District showing one-of-a-kind surf boards and original surf art.
UNBUILT: Design Miami/ Harvard GSD Pavilion/
The entrance to the fair regularly features a pavilion from a young designer or architect, and this year offered the opportunity to students at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) with Design Miami’s first collaboration with an educational institution. The student team – comprised of GSD students Joanne Cheung, Jenny Shen, Steven Meyer, Doug Harsevoort, and Yiliu Shen-Burke – showcased unrealized designs from the Harvard GSD community that illustrated the imaginative process involved in every creative endeavor.
Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. For more information, please visit www.designmiami.com