Whether you’re mad for Midcentury Design or want just to grab of selfie in the new Campana Brothers “fur cocoon” chair at Louis Vuitton, Design Miami/, the sister fair to Art Basel, offers a glimpse of vintage and futuristic. This year, along with design displays and seminars, Design Miami/ is getting a facelift. Director Rodman Primack fills us in.
MIAMI HERALD: What will be different about this year’s Design Miami/ fair?
PRIMACK: There has been a complete redesign of the floor plan. Fairgoers will encounter a much-expanded entrance plaza. Upon entering the fair, visitors will walk directly into the gallery program and be immersed in a broad range of collectible design. The fair opens up to the Talks Theater, the Design Collaborations program featuring leading design-brands collaborating with cutting-edge design talent, and public spaces including the DAP bookshop and Dean & DeLuca café.
MIAMI HERALD: When it comes to historical design pieces, there is only so much available. How do you find the elements to keep the fair fresh?
PRIMACK: Collectors want to see new and special things at Design Miami/, and our job is to make sure that the galleries are bringing their “A” game — truly the best work. The market has long been dominated by mid-century French makers such as Jean Prouvé, Jean Royère and Charlotte Perriand, but as prices for their works have risen substantially. Many [collectors] have moved on to mid-century Scandinavian and Italian as well as the subsequent generation of French designers like Joseph-André Motte and Pierre Paulin. More and more people are buying across genres and periods, collecting the best they can, whether it is a Max Ingrand sconce for FontanaArte, a Prouvé Présidence Desk, a Tenreiro painted glass top dining table or a contemporary piece by Wieki Somers or Max Lamb.
MIAMI HERALD: Tell us about the forum aspects of this year’s fair.
PRIMACK: This year we will have a dedicated Talks Theater designed and supported by the New York-based architect/developers DDG and Arizona State University. Douglas Elliman is supporting the Design Talks program, which is shaping up beautifully with a number of major architects scheduled to participate.
Also we are thrilled to be launching at the fair a new initiative in partnership with the United Nations, called “Building Legacy: Designing for Sustainability,” in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The program will bring together architects, designers and producers to promote concrete solutions to protect the planet for future generations.
MIAMI HERALD: What project has won this year’s pavilion-entrance competition?
PRIMACK: We have been presented with more than double the outdoor space at the entry of the fair from previous years. This has allowed us to team up with the Miami Design District and the Institute of Contemporary Art to commission a project from this year’s Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award recipient, SHoP Architects, that will suit all of our needs. The project, titled “Flotsam & Jetsam” is the largest 3-D printed structure of its kind, and will provide a compelling animation/organization to our visitors from the moment they arrive at Design Miami/ 2016. After the fair, the installation will be reinstalled for two years at the Jungle Plaza in the Miami Design District.
MIAMI HERALD: What else should we know about this year’s fair?
PRIMACK: For the 12th edition of Design Miami/, we were heavily inspired by the iconic work of John Alcorn, a distinguished illustrator and commercial artist/designer who created some of the most memorable illustration work of the 20th century, including visual identity for the likes of Pepsi and Campbell’s soup. We were so lucky to be given access to Alcorn’s immense archive, which [resulted in] a new capsule collection we’ve created in partnership with Parisian brand Maison Kitsuné. It will be available at the fair this December and The Webster Miami as well as Maison Kitsuné stores in New York, Paris and Hong Kong.
WHERE TO SEE DESIGN-FOCUSED EXHIBITS
Design Miami/: November 30-Dececember 4 at the tent at Meridian Avenue and 19th Street (adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center), Miami Beach. One-day tickets $25 online, $30 onsite. Combo ticket with Art Basel, $60 online, $65 onsite. 305-572-0866; designmiami.com.
Along with exhibits at the Institute of Contemporary Art and the de la Cruz Collection (see pages 172-174), boutiques and venues throughout the Miami Design District will showcase special exhibits and events. District highlights include:
Art&Art Collection: Privately funded cultural initiative presents a survey of artwork focused on Latin American geometric abstraction. 3841 Northeast Second Avenue, Suite 201.
“Desire”: Works centered on concepts of the erotic, presented by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian and curated by Diana Widmaier Picasso. November 30-December 4. Moore Elastika, 191 Northeast 40th Street.
Dior boutique: Pop-up installation/collaboration of artists Mat Collishaw, Ian Davenport, Daniel Gordon, Chris Martin, Jason Martin, Matthew Port and Marc Quinn. 162 Northeast 39th Street; 305-576-4632.
Dior Homme: Short film directed by Larry Clark inspired by skate culture. 161 Northeast 40th Street, Suite 102; 305-571-3576.
Janus Et Cie: Showcase and auction of artwork by special needs students of South Florida Jewish Academy. Silent auction 5-8 p.m. November 30. 3930 Northeast Second Avenue, Suite 106; 305-438-0005.
Locust Projects: Huffer Collective (artists Ahol Sniffs Glue, Jason Handelsman and Swampdog) presents “sculptural tumbleweeds,” a collection of works shaped by being shipped via the mail; Alexis Gideon’s multimedia installation “The Comet & The Glacier,” melding music, video, performance and animation occurs December 1 at 10 a.m., and 8 p.m., December 2-4 at 11 a.m. and also at 6 p.m. December 3 . 3852 North Miami Avenue; 305-576-8570.
Loewe Foundation: Exhibition of works by Irish artist William McKeown (1962-2011) and British potter John Ward (b. 1938). November 30-March 31. 110 Northeast 39th Street; 305-576-7601.
Luminaire Lab: Exhibit of design from Brazil, in partnership with Vogue Casa Brazil. Exhibition: December 1-31; 3901 Northeast Second Avenue; 305-576-5788.
Markowicz Fine Art: Photographs reflecting love and longing by BJ & Richeille Formento. November 28-January 2. 110 Northeast 40th Street; 786-615-8158.
Swampspace: “DaBombDiggity” exhibit of the 1980s art scene of New York’s East Village. 3040 North Miami Avenue; 305-710-8631.