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Design Miami/ opens to the public today, and is on view through Sunday, December 6 in Miami Beach. Yesterday, Whitewall was at the fair for the VIP vernissage, getting a sneak peak at the gallery presentations, commissions, and special projects.
Developer and co-founder of the fair, Craig Robins welcomed press and guests to the opening, introducing the fair’s executive director, Rodman Primack. He proceeded to note a few things at the fair this year, saying that really, “Everything here is a highlight.” This year there are galleries from five continents present, including several debuts like Orley Shabahang (presenting rugs for the very first time in the fair’s history), Patrick Parrish, Sarah Meyescough, Thomas Fritsch, and Le Collection’Heure showcasing watches. And just in time for holiday shopping—Design Miami/ inaugurated the Marketplace, with lower-price point editions and objects for sale.
Primack went on to introduce the Design Miami/ Design Visionary Award Winner, presented by Panerai, Yves Behar. The designer referenced Le Corbusier and Jean Prouvé as he spoke, saying, “Their efforts we celebrate today, from artists and designers trying to affect the world.” For his special exhibition at the fair, he created a display of the process behind projects like One Laptop Per Child, See Better to Learn Better, and more, in an effort to convey “the artifacts now that would be looked at in 50 years as noble objects.” Behar will also open a site-specific surf shop this week in Miami, with custom and hand-made surfboards, a personal passion of his, alongside artworks of his own by Barry McGee, Robert Longo, and more.
We’d have to agree with Primack, that there are quite a few highlights at this year’s edition. Below and in the slideshow above is a list of 16 things to see—you won’t want to miss out.
1. Design Miami/ commission, an annual installment outside the tent, was done by Harvard and entitled “Unbuilt.” Created by students, former students, and professors, it is an installation of pink models of projects that were never built.
2. You’ll find Yves Behar Design Visionary Award Winner exhibition right inside the tent entrance. Walk around and inside this pyramid-like structure to see sketches, protoypes, and more of his successful commercial and socially-conscious projects.
3. Fendi‘s presentation of L’altra metra del sogno, a presentation of unique pieces inspired by Guglielmo Ulrich.
4. “Cheese,” by designers Adam Charlap Hyman and Andre Herrero, a fragrant homage to the early days of Dean & Deluca (which originally opened in Soho in 1973 as The Cheese Store) presented by Wallpaper projects.
5. The playful installation, All’ombra della luce (In the shadow of the light) by Ritsue Mishima for Perrier-Jouët.
6. An over-stuffed, fluffy, bright, and colorful bedroom by Katie Stout presented by Cultured Magazine and Diet Gallery.
7. Fernando Romero‘s sparkling, trance-inducing El Sol, a sphere of glowing crystals done in collaboration with Swarovski.
8. The art pavilion by Zaha Hadid on view inside the VIP lounge of the fair, part of a new project from Robbie Antonio and the newly founded Revolution Precrafted Properties.
9. Carpenter’s Workshop is presenting a fantastic exhibition of lighting and lamps in its booth, but a new work by Yinka Shonibare—the artist’s first foray into furniture—steals the show for us.
10. At Gallery ALL, Aranda/Lasch presents its first new furniture series in several years, Railing, comprised of structural modular loops, that everyone seemed to be having fun trying out when we stopped by the booth.
11. The Campanas can be found at a few booths in the fair, but their presentation of the Cangaço Collection at Firma Casa struck our eye.
12. Not to be missed is the presentation of surprisingly ceramic work by Eric Serritella at Jason Jacques, which look like miniature birch trees more than anything else, exhibited in an immersive structure by digifabshop.
13. We always love what Seomi International brings each year, being big fans of ceramics ourselves, but the hand-made glazed tub and sink by Lee Hun Chung is like nothing else we’ve seen.
14. Showing at the fair for the first time in seven years is New York’s Friedman Benda gallery, with a booth full of stellar pieces by Paul Cocksedge, Marcel Wanders, Joris Laarman, the Campanas, and the always wonderful Wendell Castle.
15. The Haas Brothers continue to charm, delight, and inspire with “Afreak” a collaboration presented by R & Company with the Haas Sisters.
16. Rome’s Secondome‘s booth may look like a gym, but those palma horse-looking pieces are actually furniture, part of a “Body Building” series by Milan-based Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldessari.