For the first five years, the Design District hosted Design Miami in its home, an evolving 18-block mass of showrooms, galleries, boutiques and restaurants north of downtown.
In 2010, the pedigreed fair — dedicated to limited-edition furnishings and collectibles — crossed the bay, moving closer to Art Basel Miami Beach, leaving what was then a fully realized platform of culture and commerce.
But the relationship between Design Miami/ and its birthplace endures: The neighborhood will even be the home of a permanent public playground by Design Miami’s Designer of the Year, Acconci Studio.
In addition to the collection of marquee fashion and home brands, and the annual crop of winter pop-ups, here is a sampling of what a stroll through the district during Art Week Miami will yield over the six-day affair beginning Dec. 4.
• Acconci Studio exhibition, Buena Vista Building, 180 NE 39th St., Suite 115. A special exhibition of the boundary-defying works of Brooklyn-based Acconci Studio and the unveiling of plans for the children’s playground, a climbing structure that promises to challenge the imagination.
Ping-Pong Miami, Buena Vista Building, 180 NE 39th St., Suite 211. In its fourth year, Ping-Pong showcases works by Miami-based and sister-city Basel-based artists, a study in parallel creative endeavors. Adding even more flavor: live music and happenings incorporated in this energetic exhibition.
• Kell-Munoz Architecture Firm presents Mestizo City, Outdoors, 81 NE 40th St. Mestizo City re-imagines an unexpected urban location to create a vibrant, highly interactive public space that promotes ideas of Latino Urbanism and the Mestizaje. Munoz employs inflatable playscapes — long a part of the Latino street corner entrepreneurship culture — as a backdrop of the exploration.
• Michael Jon Gallery/Roofless Records present Emerging Artists: Miami-Chicago, Buena Vista Building, 180 NE 39th St., Suite 216 & 226. Artists Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions, (Acre), a Chicago based nonprofit summer residency program, showcases young, accessible art and performance art from more than a dozen artists.
• The Deflation of the Inflatable Villa 2012, 79th NE 41st St. Created by architect and designer Luis Pons as a follow-up to his 2005 Fabulous Floating Inflatable Villa, the 2012 Inflated Villa is an art installation that reflects his observation of society’s reaction to the aftermath of the bursting of the real estate bubble. The work, which symbolizes the deflation of our egos and plummeting home values, will be installed in a vacant lot that was originally intended for development, a casualty of the downturn.
• Glamour Reigns: Warhol and Fendi, Adamar Fine Arts, 4141 NE Second Ave., Suite 107. Adamar Fine Arts will concurrently host a Pop Art exhibition during Art Basel week, featuring works by Lichtenstein, Dine, Katz, Haring, Francis, Arman and featuring a Fendi Casa vignette of signature furniture.
• Soul Manufacturing Corporation, Locust Projects, 155 NE 38th St., Suite 100. Chicago-based Theaster Gates’ installation is equal parts factory and art studio. “Skilled makers” occupy four pavilions in Locust Projects’ main gallery, producing “things” such as pottery and music, as the “makers” and audience alike are tended to by a yoga instructor, a DJ, and a lecturer.
• Out of the Box, The Bus Shelter Project . New York-based artist Nicole Eisenman will create a site-specific work to be featured on over 30 bus shelters around Miami in November and December 2012, part Locusts’ public art initiative.
• Fendi Casa, 90 NE 39th St. FENDI Casa and Adamar Fine Arts present the unveiling of an iconic Andy Warhol exhibit debuting at the Art Basel. The collection will be on display two additional weeks, then move to Adamar Fine Arts Gallery, 4141 NE Second Ave., Suite 107, until Jan. 6. All pieces will be available for purchase.
• Poltrona Frau Group Miami, 3800 NE Miami Ct. Cassina, in collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation, presents the first U.S. exhibition of Le Corbusier: The Interior of the Cabanon, Le Corbusier 1952 — Cassina Reconstruction 2006 at the Cassina Miami showroom running through Jan. 12. The display, an official Design Miami/ satellite exhibition, features the authentic reconstruction of the actual interior of the Cabanon, which the architect and designer Le Corbusier planned and built in 1952 for his holiday in Cap-Martin, France.
Audra D.S. Burch