As the curtains lifted on the highly anticipated Design Miami/, a dazzling array of cutting-edge design and innovation took centre stage, activating the senses of design enthusiasts and industry specialists alike. In this article, Inspiration & Ideas unveils the Best of Show Awards. From groundbreaking installations to revolutionary art pieces, join us on a curated journey through the most exceptional and inspiring works that define the pinnacle of this year’s Design Miami/.
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The 19th edition of Design Miami/ opened to the public yesterday, which means it’s time to share the Best of Show winners!
Chosen by the fair’s illustrious Vetting Committee members—architect Lee Mindel, advisor Simon Andrews, collector Al Eiber, and Senior VP of Fairs Grela Orihuela—these awards spotlight exhibitors who have gone above and beyond, curating outstanding collectable designs and showcasing them at their best.
Best Historical Work/ S.A.M. Tropique no. 503 Table from Cameroon by Jean Prouvé, presented by Galerie Patrick Seguin
The award for Best Historical Work has been given to a true rarity represented by Paris’ Galerie Patrick Seguin: the S.A.M. Tropique no. 503 Table from Cameroon by Jean Prouvé. The French modernist design legend originally produced the table in dark African wood for an Air France residence in Brazzaville, Congo Republic, in 1951. Seguin is showing a unique version that was discovered in Cameroon. Embodying the pinnacle of modernist design thinking, this exceptional piece features a streamlined demountable structure, a light, beautifully patinated aluminium top, and four inclined legs that facilitate user comfort and imbue the form with a striking sculptural dimension.
Best Contemporary Work/ One-Seater Concrete Tree by Nacho Carbonell, presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery
The award for Best Contemporary Work has been given to the One-Seater Concrete Tree (2022), designed and fabricated by the inimitable Netherlands-based artist-designer Nacho Carbonell and represented by international design gallery Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Handcrafted in concrete, steel, mesh, and cork, this one-of-a-kind, monumental fantasia approaches 12 feet tall and offers the most enchanting seating experience—a rustic yet regal throne to contemplate life beneath a billowy pink canopy embellished with twinkling lights.
Best Gallery Presentation/ Gallery FUMI
London’s Gallery FUMI has received the Best Gallery Presentation Award for its sophisticated yet warm and welcoming installation of newly unveiled contemporary designs handcrafted by an impressive roster of established and emerging talents. Highlights include the intricately layered Armadillo Collection by Berlin-based Lukas Wegwerth; spirited ceramic illuminated sculptures by NYC artist Jeremy Anderson; the dazzling Light Entanglements Chandelier by Danish glass artist Stine Bidstrup; and a magical collection of cardboard furniture by British master designer-craftsman Max Lamb.
Best Curio Presentation/ Raise the Moral
The Best Curio Presentation Award has been given to Raise the Moral, the LA-based studio of Moral Turgeman, which specialises in sensory and experiential design. For her Design Miami/ debut, Turgeman collaborated with designer Kelsey Falter on Becoming Familiar, an installation that invites reconnection within the human body through sensorially immersive, vibrating design objects to restore life-force energy. Raise the Moral’s installation brings a moment of serenity to the otherwise lively fair atmosphere.
Best Special Project/ Villa Albertine x Mobilier National
The Best Special Project Award belongs to Villa Albertine x Mobilier National, two esteemed French cultural institutions that teamed up to promote contemporary French craftsmanship through the work of five emerging talents: Atelier George, Atelier d’Offard, Chloé Bensahel, Gala Espel, and Dimitry Hlinka. This all-white, organic yet futurist, dreamscape installation showcases fresh approaches to age-old artisanal techniques, resulting in objects that bridge the traditional and the cutting edge.
Curators Choice: Design for Good Award/ Nifemi Marcus-Bello
This year, Design Miami/ is thrilled to announce a special new award inspired by Where We Stand, the curatorial theme chosen by Design Miami/ 2023 Curatorial Director Anna Carnick. Celebrating a rising star designer whose empathy-driven practice uplifts the community and harnesses the power of design to nurture connection, the Design for Good Award has been given to Nifemi Marcus-Bello. The Lagos-based designer is debuting two powerful projects at this year’s fair. The first is Omi Iyọ, a wall structure that invites reflection on the world’s mounting immigration crisis, installed at the entrance next to Carnick’s curatorial statement. The second is Tales by Moonlight, a sand-cast metal furniture collection that engages issues of globalization, sustainability, and more, on view in the Curio presentation of Marta Los Angeles.
Special Mention/ The Book of Love Fundraiser
Design Miami/ 2023 Best of Show can’t end without mentioning The Book of Love, a fundraiser supporting the right to read, organized by Design Miami, Anava Projects, and Miami bookseller Books & Books. In response to reactionary book bans across the US and beyond, this fair invited creatives from around the globe to design limited-edition prints inspired by some of the most beloved yet besieged titles. On sale now through Spring 2024, all proceeds benefit the Books & Books Literary Foundation’s efforts to fight censorship. And stay tuned: new prints will be added to the collection over the life of the sale.