If you haven’t yet had the good fortune to attend Design Miami, the discipline-defying modern design extravaganza that follows Art Basel around like an impossibly hip younger sibling, it involves walking very short distances and pausing to allow for intense emotional reactions. There is much gasping, glee, pointing, and the occasional grimace as fairgoers scrutinize objects that they instantly want to own, hug, abscond with, or circle cautiously. Even the coolest collectors, freshly alighted from a VIP SUV, find it impossible to keep their eyebrows level.
For its fifth year, Design Miami was back at its 2008 site in Miami’s burgeoning Design District, which has gained a cultural anchor in the 30,000-square-foot de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space that opened Thursday. Inside a futuristic temporary structure (pictured above) designed by New York-based architectural studio Aranda\Lasch, Design Miami’s international roster of exhibiting galleries (14) was down by more than a third compared to last year, but design fans know that quality trumps quantity every time. Veteran exhibitors (Moss, Galerie Patrick Seguin), fresh faces (Droog, Paul Kasmin Gallery), and top-notch curation mixed with innovative programming that included animated chats with the likes of Christian Louboutin and Gaetano Pesce, an installation dedicated to Designer of the Year Maarten Baas, and a series of mind-blowing concerts by OK Go (we’re working on editing our amateur video footage). After taking it all in, we put on our trendspotting glasses and detected a theme we’ve termed “bio-chaos”: organic shapes and forms, often run beautifully amuck. Below are some of our favorite things.
In addition to masterminding the fabric-wrapped setting of Design Miami, Aranda/Lasch was also the focus of an exhibition by Johnson Trading Gallery. Pictured here are the architectural studio’s undulating aluminum sculpture, which suggests a Mobius Strip reworked by the aforementioned Monsieur Louboutin, and walnut “Quasi” mirror.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg-necklace? Russian-born Sergey Jivetin‘s “Poultry Accumulus Necklace” (2009), exhibited by Ornamentum.
Ornamentum also debuted new sculptural works by Idiots, the Dutch duo who are to thank for this sextet of wall-mounted rabbit heads.
We’ll toast to Tom Dixon‘s “Comete” geodesic lamps, created for Veuve Clicquot from the champagne house’s signature goldenrod packaging. The lamps were given away for free on Saturday, the final day of the fair.