Design Miami, the annual Miami Beach art fair that brings together avant-garde furniture, lighting, and objets d’art, is always full of works that can’t help but inspire adoration. High-end design houses bring with them edgy collaborations with buzzy artists. Art galleries present works from emerging creators or archival pieces from renowned ones.
There is something for every taste at Design Miami, but most of all there is exclusive design that pushes the boundaries of the industry—and sets standards for years to come.
Daniel Arsham Installation (Friedman Benda)
Artist Daniel Arsham created a living room in the middle of Design Miami, complete with rugs, chairs, desks, bookshelves, and even a telephone. Much of it was created with white resin, then eroded—the desk, for example, has a jagged hole on the top, next to which Arsham wrote “Hole Pass-Through.”
Balenciaga Sofa by Harry Nuriev
Right in the middle of Design Miami was an overstuffed couch, filled to the brim with jeans, sweaters, pink lacy gloves and other unsold clothes from the Balenciaga warehouse. The design house collaborated with Crosby Studios founder Harry Nuriev’s to deliver a message of sustainability.
Fendi’s Roman Molds by Kueng Caputo
Fendi commissioned Zurich-based design firm, Kueng Caputo, to make some new pieces for its headquarters, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and showcased them during Design Miami. Just like with Balenciaga, sustainability played a role—the designers used upcycled Selleria Roman leather, the buttery material used in many of their products—and transformed it into a stiff, structural element.
Fernando Laposse Sissal Bench (Ago Projects)
Fernando Laposse’s Sissal bench emits a certain wonderful outrageousness. The fibres are coloured with dye from the cochineal insect, a native species to Mexico that was also used by the Aztecs. Laposse has been shining a light on this rare art form: his installation in the Miami Design District, Pink Beasts, features playful tassel sloths doused of the same hue.
“Swell Wave” by Andrew Kudless for Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades
Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades is a staple of design events around the world. The luxury brand has collaborated with the likes of Campana Brothers, Marcel Wanders, and India Mahdavi. But they’d never included an American artist—until they met Andrew Kudless. At this years’ Design Miami, a standing version of the designer’s creation was on display.
Roberto Lugo’s Stuntin‘ Series (Wexler Gallery)
Born in Philadelphia to Puerto Rican parents, Roberto Lugo is a classically trained ceramicist but in lieu of Rococo swags or idyllic florals, Lugo handprints his wares with the hip-hop iconography of his youth. At Design Miami, bowls feature emblems borrowed from Air Jordans and dripping bubble letters evocative of graffiti. Most eye-catching is a small human-sized urn painted with the likes of Biggie Smalls.
Marcelin Rusak (Sarah Myerscough Gallery)
Based out of Warsaw, Poland, artist and designer Marcelin Rusak has found a clever and delightful way to give discarded flowers new life. He takes the dried blooms and seals them in milky-white and smokey coloured resin, which is then shaped into amorphic chairs, tables, and wall hangings. The end result is both romantic and sleek, dainty and smart.
“Berlin” Chair by Finn Meier (Functional Art Gallery)
Finn Meier made this float-glass, chrome-coated chair with moving neon gas—look closely, and you can see the lava lamp-like lines wiggling around. And it’s not diminutive to say that this would look great at a rave or club: Meyer was inspired by Germany’s electric nightlife, such as techno hotspot Berghain.
“Fine Tuning” Lamps, Claudia Moreira Salles (Espasso)
It’s Salles’s silhouettes you fall in love with during Design Miami: The clean, crisp gold lines, punctuated by a perfectly halved semicircle, or a perfectly symmetrical orb. The structure is simple design at its finest—they don’t even need to be lit to glow.
Designs by Alexander Diaz Andersson (Atra)
Design Miami is all about the avant-garde, which sometimes veers towards over-the-top insanity. Which is fun! But amid all the statement pieces, sometimes it’s nice to see something that errs on the side of minimalism. These cloud-like white couches by Swedish-born, Mexico City-based Alexander Diaz Andresson—an excellent marriage between Scandinavian and Latin American art elements—do the trick.
“Please Be Seated” (Les Ateliers Courbet and Thirlwall Design)
New York design gallery Les Ateliers Courbet and design studio Thirlwall Design have teamed up to present designs from French filmmaker Jacques Tati‘s 1958 film Mon Oncle, which translates as My Uncle. It includes a rocking chair, a seat and a bench produced by design studio Domeau & Pérès and Tati’s estate.
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