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The 18th edition of Design Miami/ takes place November 30–December 4, 2022, just across from the Miami Beach Convention Center. This year’s fair brings together 50 gallery and Curio booths, under the theme “The Golden Age: Looking to the Future.” Imagined by curatorial director Maria Cristina Didero, the focus follows Design Miami/ Basel’s investigation of the past last June.
Whitewaller spoke with Didero about how an optimistic vision of the future will play out across programming, panels, and presentations.
WHITEWALLER: How did you arrive at the curatorial theme for this year’s fair, “The Golden Age”?
MARIA CRISTINA DIDERO: I wanted to select a theme that would demonstrate the significant power of design to make change. We’re at a pivotal point in human history, with people across the world facing great challenges—social, political, and ecological—but I chose the theme out of a feeling of optimism. “The Golden Age” refers to a metaphorical concept shared across cultures through time and space, whether applied to idealized histories or utopian futures. My hope was for the theme to serve as a platform to explore human resilience, creativity, and innovation— from the distant past to our imagined, collective futures—all through the lens of design, a unique force for change.
WW: Faced with and knowledgeable of the challenges that await us, how do you see designers approaching the future with optimism?
MCD: There is no denying that humanity currently faces great challenges. However, historians will observe that periods of crisis are often followed by moments of great revival and innovation. “The Golden Age” theme is designed to ignite hope that innovation and genius in the arts, design, and technology could lead us to a better, more harmonious, and more sustainable world. I have great faith in the designers of today to apply their creative talents to unlock the solutions we so urgently need—the exciting part is waiting to see how. Design Miami/ has always acted as a platform for creative and cultural exchange, and a center to discover the very best of contemporary design.
WW: Can you share some highlights of the Curios section and its engagement with an inspiring, aspirational future?
MCD: Sitting in amongst the gallery booths, the Curio platform offers immersive environments curated around specific themes—acting as “cabinets of curiosity” that infuse the fair’s exhibition program with inventive and thought-provoking design ideas. We have a particularly poignant line-up of Curio exhibits planned for the Miami fair that will serve to inspire audiences to think about alternative perspectives and futures. To take a particularly good example, J. Lohmann Gallery (New York) will present “Curious Creatures” by Ahryun Lee and Toni Losey, inviting visitors on a fantastical voyage to a surreal and imaginative world, composed of creative assemblage and biomorphic forms that offer new perspectives for working with clay. The exhibition space will conjure an otherworldly, experiential wonderland in which viewers are suspended between the familiar and the otherworldly, causing us to question our perception of, and place within, the natural world. It is exhibits like these that cause us to pause, reconsider, and reimagine what alternative futures might look like.