What We Loved at Design Miami/ 2021

Returning with amped-up presentations by today’s foremost creative talents, the collectible design fair shines a spotlight on the global challenges currently gripping humanity.

After the initial outbreak of Covid-19 put the kibosh on last year’s fair, Design Miami/ has returned and is again welcoming design studios, collectors, and enthusiasts from around the world who have descended in Miami for Art Basel festivities. Held over four whirlwind days across the street from Miami Beach’s Convention Center, the beloved forum for collectible design’s 17th edition will focus on curatorial director Wava Carpenter’s theme of Human-Kind, articulating “visions for a more equitable and interconnected future”—a clear response to the hard lessons learned over the past two years. Below, we’ve assembled a quick-hit list of the fair’s standout exhibitors.

Lexus: ON/ by Germane Barnes

A four-time partner of the fair, Lexus tasked architect and University of Miami professor Germane Barnes, as well as his students, to design an immersive installation that can both situate viewers in Lexus’ present as a company focused on luxury and get them thinking about the brand’s carbon-neutral-but-still-luxurious future. The result is ON/, a deconstructed representation of the LF-Z, the latest all-electric concept car by the Japanese automotive brand, rendered in steel and embedded LED lighting within a moodily lit gallery.


Lara Bohinc

The Slovenian designer Lara Bohinc’s latest series of furniture and lighting dials into our collective pandemic-induced loneliness, imparting comfort through sleek materials and cocooning forms while resembling confections that look good enough to eat. 



The Mexico City-based design studio ATRA asked attendees to imagine a future in which humanity has “reached a point where our mundane lifestyle has been taken over by technology” at their booth, called “Earth Year 2100.” In addition to this and other equally probing questions, the showcase features new, collectible furnishings such as ergonomic chairs and sofas, a vibrating meditation chair for Resonate, and sculptural tables.


Twenty First Gallery

In the spirit of Josef Frank’s famed Flora Cabinets of the 1930s and ‘50s, Marcin Rusak showcases four limited-edition cabinets that serve as modern-day interpretations of his forebears. The four-piece collection explores ideas of ephemerality, decay, and preservation, and forms a captivating color gradient when viewed all at once.


Tom Dixon 

After ten long years, Tom Dixon makes his grant return to the fair—and he arrives with gifts. In partnership with Design Research Studio, the British designer will present new collections of solid brass tables, coat racks, and book stands created during the height of the pandemic.


Mischer’Traxler: Embodied Nature

Consider the bacteria in the subsoil. That’s what Austrian design studio mischer’traxler and Maison Perrier-Jouët ask of viewers who visit Embodied Nature, a half-interactive installation, half-overstuffed menagerie that emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life on Planet Earth. Visitors view themselves in a mirror that, instead of showing a reflection, displays human-like figures made of extinct plant and animal life in a comment on the importance of biodiversity.


Bradley Bowers

The Future Perfect

The contemporary design gallery and tastemakers The Future Perfect are showcasing 15 artists and designers from their roster, including many showing at Design Miami/ for the first time: Bradley Bowers, Ian Collings, Piet Hein Eek, John Hogan, Cody Hoyt, Eric Roinestad, Reinaldo Sanguino, Rachel Shillander, Wilkinson & Rivera, Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Chris Wolston, Floris Wubben, Seungjin Yang, Karl Zahn, and Bari Ziperstein.


The Maestro Dobel Artpothecary: The Fruit Chemist

This year, attendees will get a taste of Mexican art and hospitality thanks to Maestro Dobel, which has announced a multi-year partnership as the design fair’s official tequila. The Maestro Dobel Artpothecary, a creative platform and series of immersive experiences, will come to life at the fair through “The Fruit Chemist,” an epicurean and design-centric experience in which rare Mexican fruits are paired to complement the brand’s smooth range of tequilas. Anónimo Colectivo creative director Alejandra Martinez curated the experience, in which guests can enjoy an exclusive menu by globally renowned chef Jorge Vallejo while lounging on minimalist furnishings by Mexico City–based studio ATRA.


Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Proving once again that his prowess ventures far beyond the wardrobe, Rick Owens debuts a monumental monochrome daybed in plywood and doeskin that makes nods to Brutalism.


House of Today: Khaled El Mays

Khaled El Mays debuts his latest series, called New Nature, a vibrant furniture collection marked by colorful volumes that shit, interact, and weave together before taking solid shape. Consisting of two mirrors, a cabinet, a coffee tables, and the designer’s first-ever chair, the series spotlights high craft particular to Mexico City and his native Lebanon.


The Bedroom by Harry Nuriev

The latest in the Crosby Studios founder’s series of transitory spaces, The Bedroom presents a silver, Ryokan-style mattress situated within an ethereal cubic lightbox as a dazzling respite for weary fairgoers.


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