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The recipient of the 2016 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award is New York-based architecture firm SHoP, which gained notice in 2000 with its Dunescape installation at MoMA/PS1, and has since gone on to design the Barclays Center, South Street Seaport, and tech projects like the Uber headquarters in San Francisco and the Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone.
The prize will result in an installation at Design Miami/ and at watchmaker Officine Panerai’s Miami Design District location. We spoke with the firm about the expressive possibility in technology, and their work on the Miami Innovation District.
WHITEWALLER: Congratulations on being the recipient of the Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award. What does it mean for you to be named a “visionary” in the field of design?
SHoP: It’s an honor to receive the award, and it’s a great opportunity to explore the expressive possibilities of new materials and technologies in a city that we really love. Everyone at SHoP appreciates the recognition, and we’re already putting that energy right back into our work on other projects.
WW: Part of the award will be a commissioned display at the Officine Panerai boutique in Miami and the entrance at the Design Miami/ fair. Can you share what these special projects focus on?
SHoP: The “Flotsam & Jetsam” pavilions are fabricated using a lot of interesting new technologies, but we wanted the installation itself to focus on experience, not tech. The materials at the Panerai boutique in the Miami Design District will explain a little more about the experimental methods of construction, and how that spirit of curiosity is really at the heart of what SHoP has always been about.
WW: Speaking of Miami, SHoP is currently working on the Miami Innovation District, in the city’s Park West neighborhood, as a site meant for the future growth of creative tech businesses. What are some key elements for creating an environment for a global technology workforce, and specifically in Miami?
SHoP: When you design an innovation district, one thing you’re doing is selecting and refining the attributes of cities that have proven over time to promote that specific use—an appropriate mix of programs and shared spaces that bring together a spirited and supportive community. It’s too often overlooked, but Miami has developed a burgeoning tech scene, and the Miami Innovation District emerges from that scene with the intention of giving it support, and an energy boost
WW: SHoP is behind many projects in New York that have changed or will change the skyline of the city (9 Dekalb Avenue, 111 West 57th Street), the waterfront (Domino Sugar Factory, East River Park, The Seaport), and new icons like Barclays Center. What is it like to design the future landscape of New York City?
SHoP: As New Yorkers, it has been an amazing honor to be able to contribute in so many ways to our home town, and to be a part of what has been one of the great cycles of renewal for New York City. It has also been an incredible education for us. We often find that the lessons we’ve learned working on projects of different types here—from the East River Promenade, to the Fashion Institute of Technology, and even the very New York-inspired skyscrapers themselves—can give us a lot of insight when we’re asked to contribute to the environments of other cities around the world.
To find out more about Miami Art Week 2016, pick up the new issue of Whitewaller Miami.