Design Miami preview
L'Eden by Perrier-Jouët is being hosted at Casa Claridge's during Design Miami
By Bethan Ryder
27 NOVEMBER 2016 • 11:07PM
Design Miami is by far the most exuberant of design fairs – the sunshine, expansive sense of space and palm-fringed pastel art deco architecture of Miami South Beach providing an uplifting backdrop often reflected in the bold, expressive works on display. And this global forum for design promises to be just as flamboyant and colourful as ever when it returns, a stone's throw from neighbouring partner fair Art Basel, for its 12th edition this November.
Since its 2005 debut, when just 12 galleries took part, Design Miami has grown in stature and size. Today it's hosting 31 galleries, from longtime regulars such as Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Patrick Parrish to four first-timers: New York’s Chamber, The Future Perfect of New York and San Francisco, Mercado Moderno of Rio and local gallerist Giovanni Beltran.
But it’s not just about the pavilion. A host of events, openings, parties and installations are staged concurrently at the hotels on Collins Avenue and in Miami’s Design District as brands and gallerists capitalise on the thousands of artists, designers and collectors who flock there for a week of creative inspiration. Here’s our preview of what to look out for if you’re heading to Miami.
A sparkling collaboration
Champagne house Maison Perrier-Jouët returns to the fair for a fifth year with two installations. Its immersive art nouveau-inspired urban oasis, L’Eden, featuring Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s iridescent “tree” – the branches of which support champagne flutes – will take up residence at Alan Faena’s intimate 50-room hotel, Casa Claridge’s.
San-Francisco-based architect Andrew Kudless is collaborating with Maison Perrier-Jouët
Meanwhile at the fair, the champagne house, which has partnered in the past at Design Miami with Studio Glithero, Simon Heijdens and mischer’ traxler, is collaborating with San Francisco-based architect and designer Andrew Kudless. His cutting-edge projects – produced by his studio Matsys – explore the cross-pollination between architecture, engineering, biology and computation. Kudless looks to organic forms in nature, investigating how their growth and behaviour might inform and enhance architecture.
His Design Miami installation will be composed of oak-veneer screens, showcase furniture and an ice bucket all inspired by the organic nature of winemaking. Maison Perrier-Jouët's heritage is interwoven with craftsmanship and nature, ever since it commissioned art nouveau pioneer Emile Gallé to design its floral arabesque motif in 1902, so it will be interesting to see how Kudless’s digital craftsmanship and interdisciplinary approach will interpret the philosophy of the house.
The British craft arrival
British craft is having a moment this year, with two installations promoting our artists and designer-makers. British Craft: the Miami Editbuilds on Nature Lab, a collaboration between The Craft Council and The New Craftsmen that was displayed as a Design Curio booth at June’s Design Miami/Basel fair.
Juliette Bigley, Four bowls, patinated base metal, 2015 on show at British Craft: the Miami Edit
For Miami they’ve co-curated a range of work with architect and interior designer Natalia Miyar, whose transatlantic practice is based in London and Miami. On display in a residential setting of a new penthouse residences at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach (102 24th Street, Miami Beach) are pieces by the master of floral resin, Marcin Rusak; sculptural metal vessels by silversmith Juliette Bigley; and colourful glass objets by Edmond Byrne, among others.
Also promoting British art and craft is fashion brand Loewe, with a presentation of the works of Irish artist William McKeown and British potter John Ward at its store in the Miami Design District. Loewe’s creative director and designer J.W. Anderson’s appreciation of craft is well documented and he has created a poetic platform here for work in the form of an 18th-century granary building that he transported from Portugal.
Last year Loewe showcased the vessels of legendary ceramicist Lucy Rie. This year McKeown’s paintings will be presented on a wallpaper featuring a subversive pattern designed by the artist. Meanwhile Ward’s monochromatic pots will populate the ancient stone surfaces.
Argentinian entrepreneur (and Telegraph Luxury visionary) Alan Faena opened his fantastical Faena Hotel during last year’s fair with the promise that the OMA-designed Faena Forum would follow in May 2016. Well guess what, it’s been delayed – conveniently – until this year’s fair. The white rotunda, which takes its cues from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum and is filigreed with 400 windows angled to convey a dynamic facade of curves, will open its doors following a three-hour procession down Collins Avenue.
Faena Tree of Life by Studio Job
Aside from the building itself, other highlights include the unveiling of two new monumental sculptures by Studio Job, who created the graphic signage for the new Faena District which runs along Collins Avenue from 32nd Street to 36th. Tree of Life and the Grandfather Fountain are rich in the symbolism that the studio is renowned for, with references ranging from Vermeer to Jonah and the Whale.
New York visionaries
New York-based SHoP architects are the winners of this year’s Panerai-sponsored Design Visionary award. The 20-year-old firm is being recognised for its bold, evocative architecture, which visitors can experience in the form of a public plaza outside the fair’s entrance. Flotsam & Jetsam will be produced in collaboration with Chattanooga-based fabrication firm Branch Technology and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) using a combination of 3D printing and biodegradable bamboo print medium. Once the fair is over it will be moved to a permanent home at the Miami design district’s jungle plaza.
Flotsam & Jetsam by SHoP Architects at Design Miami
Louis Vuitton is adding two pieces to its Objets Nomades collection of furniture and lighting. First launched in 2012 during Miami Art Basel, the collection was extended most notably during Milan’s 2015 Salone fair with pieces by Raw Edges, the Campana Brothers and Patricia Urquiola. In Miami they will be debuting two new designs: the Fur Cocoon, a shaggy lambskin-clad version of their swinging cocoon chair, and The Clover Stool by Japanese artist and designer Tokujin Yoshioka, which is inspired by the house’s monograms of petals.
Cristina Celestino with some of her Happy Room pieces for Fendi
Destined to be one of the most popular installations at the fair is Fendi’s Happy Room. A travelling salon for the house's VIP customers, it’s a pretty vision of uplifting Fifties ice-cream shades composed of furniture pieces in a variety of glamorous materials such as velvet, bronze, lacquered woods, mixed marbles and travertine. Conceived by Italian architect and designer Cristina Celestino, the pieces draw upon the soft curves of art deco and the Memphis group and also feature her signature motif, an oversized butterfly earring back. Fun and feminine, it’s sure to be a big Instagram hit.
Other highlights to look out for include Ole Scheeren’s new food retail concept, titled Stage, for Dean & DeLuca, the New York gourmet brand that will operate as the fair's restaurant. Plus artist and designer Arik Levy’s ICE installation for Compac, the Spanish surfaces company that specialises in quartz and marble. Levy’s Genesis collection of furniture is inspired by frozen lakes of ice and has been designed to demonstrate the potential ways the material could be used.
CGI of the Compac booth designed by Arik Levy
Last but not least, Virgil Abloh, founder of Milan-based athleisure brand Off-White (and Kanye West’s creative consultant) has joined forces with British interior designer Ben Kelly, creator of the seminal industrial look of Manchester club “FAC51 TheHacienda”, which dominated the thriving UK club scene during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their project Off-White Art Basel will be staged in the Miami Design District.
Abloh, who studied engineering and architecture (as an MA at the Illinois Institute of Technology) may have carved his career in cool streetwear but he has also designed furniture – and this partnership sees his work on display in a space orchestrated by Kelly, whose use of street signage and markings tallies well with the aesthetic of Alboh’s Off-White brand.
Design Miami, Meridian Avenue & 19th Street (adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center) Miami Beach, USA runs from November 30 until December 4; designmiami.com