What We Loved at Design Miami

The fair’s fifteenth edition, which runs Dec. 3–8 during Art Basel, takes on an environmental focus while delivering the latest in cutting-edge collectible design.

Marking its 15th year as a staple during Art Basel, Design Miami/ brings together a selection of the world’s most distinguished collectible design galleries and artist collaborations all under one tent. This year, the fair follows an environmental approach at the hands of Aric Chen, the inaugural curatorial director, who selected “Elements: Water” as the overarching theme. Check out our favorite moments from the fair below. 

Photography courtesy Todd Merrill Studio

Todd Merrill Studio presents brand-new collectible works by the likes of Lionel Jadot, Markus Haase, and Brecht Gander that display cutting-edge proprietary methods of breaking material boundaries. The latter designer debuts the gumdrop-shape Flow Series tables, whose chaotically chromatic appearance is achieved by layering hand-poured iridescent color-shifting pigmented resin that appears to slowly ooze down the fiberglass table’s side. His spiny Archon Lamp, meanwhile, is coated with layers of pearlescent white paint that imparts a subtle, unexpected shimmer. He describes his work as “a culmination of many collisions.”

Image courtesy Lexus

Lexus returns as the fair’s official automotive partner with a multimedia installation curated by Aric Chen and Milan-based Maria Cristina Didero. The duo commissioned Nao Tamura to create an immersive showcase, called Sunshower, that features the brand’s innovative LC Convertible Concept, relaxing stations to recharge, and samples of Ooho, citrusy water capsules made of edible seaweed extract that melt in your mouth. 

Photography by Daniel Kukla

This summer, Daniel Arsham put the finishing touches on perhaps his most ambitious project yet. “This has been my passion project for the past two years,” he says, referring to his own private residence, a secluded cedar-clad beach house designed by the late Norman Jaffe. One of the house’s most curious pieces, a multi-color chaise that clashes with Jaffe’s clean-lined modernism, was custom produced by Arsham, who never intended to show it publicly. It caught the eye of Marc Benda, co-founder of Friedman Benda, who visited his studio and suggested they create a comprehensive view of this different side of his practice. The two teamed up to realize this vision inside a standout booth, clad in minty green frosted glass panels, for Friedman Benda. Read more.

Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton further expands its Objets Nomades series of limited-edition collectible objects with its first-ever collaboration with an American designer. Andrew Kudless reveals a wall-mounted shelving unit that features undulating, smoothly polished oak shelves—flowing forms that resemble eroding rocks—that are supported by leather straps. 

Photography courtesy R & Company

R & Company teamed up with the Corning Museum of Glass to present a series of hanging illuminated sculptures by Jeff Zimmerman and James Mongrain. The resulting collection includes one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces that utilize an Italian caning process that enables the artists to capture the fluidity of molten glass in its final form. In another space, Rogan Gregory unveils hand-sculpted works inspired by extraterrestrial forms and mysterious deep-sea creatures. It marks the first time that Gregory has conceived an entire architectural environment. 

Image courtesy Cristina Grajales Gallery

Also collaborating with the Corning Museum of Glass is Cristina Grajales Gallery and Paula Cooper Gallery, which are presenting a solo exhibition of ethereal glass works by theater director Robert Wilson. Called “A Boy From Texas,” it displays a herd of hand-blown glass deer that are perched alongside large truncated pyramids that represent nature entombed.

Photography by Silvia Ros

Instagram’s @design account emerges from the digital into the physical realm for the first time with an inflatable booth by Studio Swine. Designed entirely in recyclable polyvinyl chloride, the bubbles act as vitrines, curated by Fabienne Stephan, for four inclusive products by ALLELES Design Studio, Deva Pardue, Kano, and Yona Care that embody the theme of #designforall. After the fair, the structure will find a new home at Instagram’s office in Menlo Park, California.

Photography courtesy Swarovski

Swarovski returns to Design Miami/ with a biophilic installation that features two lustrous lighting installations by long-standing creative partner Tord Boontje, Atelier Swarovski home decor, and nature-inspired jewelry. Backdropping the booth is the Austrian crystal purveyor’s debut collaboration with Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope, who created a pattern of oversize banana leaves based on hand-painted artworks.

Photography by Alberto Rojas

Enlivening the collector’s lounge is Cosentino’s state-of-the-art Dekton Liquid Collection designed by London-based studio PATTERNITY. It introduces three new colorways—Liquid Sky, Liquid Shell, and Liquid Embers—that replicate the subtle movements of gravitational pulls, oceanic ebbs and flows, and oozing magma. 

Photography by Joseph Kramm

The Mexico City–based Atra, helmed by Alexander Diaz Andersson, makes a pristine Design Miami/ debut with a series of seemingly floating cloud-like seating units that speak to his Swedish-Mexican heritage. 

Photography courtesy Crosby Studios

As an artistic statement on the circular economy, Crosby Studios founder Harry Nuriev devises a polychromatic sofa stuffed entirely with Balenciaga discards. Bella Hadid dropped by.

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