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The 11th edition of Design Miami/ opens to the public Wednesday, December 2, with a VIP preview that Tuesday. On view through the 6th, it will offer an array of international design exhibitors, as well as special projects and installations with partners like Fendi, Swarovski, Perrier-Jouët, and airbnb. This year, it will continue its annual Design Visionary Award series, with Panerai presenting the honor to designer Yves Béhar. Whitewaller caught up with the director of the fair, Rodman Primack, to hear about what he’s looking forward to this time around.
On his favorite finds at this year’s fair: “Asking me to select my top picks for the fair is always a challenge. There is simply too much good work at Design Miami/ and the list would be so long! Right off the top of my head, I can say I am thrilled that there will be a group of new works debuting at the fair from Brazilian designers the Campana Brothers. I love their Cangaço cabinet, inspired by the culture of Brazil’s northeast, and made with materials from the region. We have been showing Brazilian design at the fair since the very beginning over ten years ago, but this is the first year we actually have a Brazil-based gallery participating: Firma Casa from São Paulo, with this new Campana Brothers’ project. Another exciting thing for me is when we have something of real historical significance at the fair, like the Giò Ponti bed prototype from 1947 shown by Casati Gallery as part of a re-creation of an apartment designed by Ponti’s protégé architect Attilio Colonello. Without a doubt, a fair highlight is always the Prouvé structures from Galerie Patrick Seguin, and this year is no exception, with the baraque de campagne, a 4 x 4 demountable structure originally used as a military hut in the Second World War, but recently we have seen other galleries start to show contemporary structures and pavilions, and I am really looking forward to the Kengo Kuma structures commissioned by Galerie Philippe Gravier for the fair, one of which is a collapsible tea house made from plastic sheets.”
On his top reasons to attend Design Miami/: “For more than a decade Design Miami/ has been the most important stop for the world’s collectible design aficionados—a moment when the world’s top dealers in 20th- and 21st-century design come together in one place over a few days. I have always found it an intoxicating experience, as the fair is heaving with the things I love—from a masterful 1950s Charlotte Perriand desk to exquisite glass vessels by Ritsue Mishima and contemporary cabinets by South African designers Dokter and Misses, and so many things in between . . . The range of offerings is so international, and it would take weeks of traveling to see all these things. Miami is basically packed with interesting people and friends. What is crazy to me is that so many people that are interested in collecting art have not yet discovered collectible design, an area that is by and large still affordable and brings such immediate pleasure, as it is useful in everyday life. This year’s fair promises to be amazing. We are honoring Yves Béhar as our Design Visionary for his exceptional body of work, and he is also being recognized by Officine Panerai with the first Panerai Design Prize. We also have a Design Talks program with some of the leading figures in contemporary design and architecture, like Mexican architect Fernando Romero, landscape architect Peter Wirtz in conversation with Pilar Viladas, and many others. There is nowhere else to see this breadth of talent, history, and expertise in one place aside from Design Miami/.”