Up Next: Design Miami/ 2018
For its 14th edition Design Miami/ 2018 will focus on new and experimental materials, craft-based approaches, Latin American Design and a sense of play
From December 5-9 Design Miami/ will bring 12 countries from across the globe to the beachside to revel in all things design. This year’s design fair will present 34 exhibitions as well as 11 small-scale installations in the Curio program – which, as the name suggests, is inspired by the renaissance tradition of cabinets of curiosities.
By bringing together never-before-seen contemporary works and a range of galleries, designers, collectors, critics and enthusiasts, the fair aims to expand the creativity and commerce of the design industry.
This year will see an emphasis on imaginative materials use with works such as the Four Seat Sofa by Sang Hoon Kim who’s work is heavily influenced by his family’s foam factory that has been running for three-generations. Like a scientist, Kim expands the possibilities of foam by testing out different chemical solutions and layering them to make vivid piece of furniture.
Another designer using materials in an unusual way is Marcin Rusak who will launch his Perma Collection at Design Miami/ with Sarah Myerscough Gallery. Using his signature technique of casting discarded flowers in resin this collection adds a new layer to Rusak’s work through the cutting of the resin to expose frozen cross sections of the petals stems and buds.
Also featuring at this year’s fair is a sense of play that is becoming increasingly common in design. Katie Stout’s Triple Girl Floor Lamp whimsically stacks three women on each other’s shoulders to create a sculptural yet functional light. Also using light and play is the iconic 54 Arm Lamp by Gaetano Pesce which will be presented by Salon 94. This light invites its user to shape it by arranging the colorful arms in whatever way takes their fancy. The sculptural bench entitled Seduction by Najla El Zein, shown by Friedman Benda, will make visitors feel warm inside with the sandstone components sculpted to appear as if in an embrace.
The number of designers using craft techniques is another trend that will be on show at the 2018 fair. Jenny Nordberg takes craft to the extreme in her series 3 to 5 Seconds: Rapid Handmade Production which explores unique, unpredictable design through mirror-making techniques. While Les Ateliers Courbet presents The Masters Editions by Giancarlo Valle and Mauro Mori which are made up of limited edition, handcrafted pieces. Valle worked with revered Parisian upholsterers Domeau and Pérès to produced the Smile chair and Smile bench, while Mori hand-carved wood and cast bronze to create a contemporary visions of traditional sculpture techniques.
Another focal point will be the rising industry of Latin American Design. The selection of Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández for the Design Miami/ Visionary Award reflects the interest in this area and it’s growing strength. Contemporary artist Reyes and fashion designer Fernández, who are married, will present an exhibition in a custom-made curved steel walled space and have also produced the graphic identity for the fair. Works on show will include Reye’s Metate chairs inspired by pre-Columbian artifacts and Disarm – a series of musical instruments made from destroyed firearms. Fernández will display her textile works. Their collaborative projects will also be shown including a map illustrating more than 3000 original settlements of the continent of the Americas before colonization. Reyes says: “The exhibition offers us a chance to present to the attendees at Design Miami/, pieces where design has a social dimension, either by addressing social justice and peacemaking, as well as the importance of handcrafted products in a world where most processes are being automated and millions of people are losing their jobs.”
Furthermore, digging into the history of Latin American design, Didier Ltd will present jewelry designed by Latin American artists from 1960 to 2000 and Mercado Moderno has selected a collection of Brazilian mid-century modern pieces from the 1950s to 1970s. Alongside this, contemporary practitioners will present their works. One such artist and designer is Argentinian Cristián Mohaded who will show his Entrevero furniture collection which merges the world of art and design through the use of both industrial and artisanal techniques.
With many new approaches, techniques, materials and designers on display at Design Miami/ the fair promises to offer something for everyone. “We hope visitors discover and experience each presentation with enthusiasm, for our fourteenth year in Miami Beach,” says Jennifer Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Design Miami/.
Design Miami/ 2018 will run from December 5-9
Cover image: Seduction, Pair 01 by Najla El Zein 2018 at Friedman Benda courtesy of Friedman Benda and Najla El Zein