Art Basel’s Cooler Cousin

Sunny Miami isn’t only a refuge for those seeking respite from the winter, it is also the place to be in the month of December for design lovers. This year’s instalment of Design Miami saw a great turnout, and featured imaginative booths that invited visitors in to the worlds of all 34 galleries involved, showcasing work from 14 different countries. 

The US contingent focused on artisanal techniques that define American craft. Lighting designer Lindsey Adelman featured a work hewn of bronze, stoneware, alabaster and porcelain, inspired by the musings of Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. Also worth an honorable mention for their over-the-top booth design is AirBnB.  The American vacation rental marketplace went to great lengths to create Ghent house, a full-scale model vacation rental, down to the views from the faux windows.  “We wanted to share our home,” recalls Belgian designer Hannes Van Severen, whose own home the booth was modeled after, “The objects we live with feel very special to us,” he added.

While American craftsmen were omnipresent at the show, a sizable international contingent lent a sense of exoticism. Cherine Magrabi, a Lebanese curator brought the talents of Beirut-based artists all the way to Miami, while Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai showcased the works of traditional Indian craftsmen in their furniture.

Also hailing from abroad, luxury fashion houses like Fendi and Louis Vuitton were present, with the French powerhouse showcasing its latest Objets Nomades collection featuring a cloud-like sofa from the Campana Brothers. Fendi chose to tap into the talents of Milan-based Chiara Andreatti for a chic collection entitled “Welcome!”

With record attendance numbers, Design Miami, now in its tenth year, more than proved its longevity—expect at least 10 more installations!


Photo © James Harris