Things to Do in Miami: Design Miami 2020 at the Moore Building

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To Disarm: Ella Fitgerald Teapot (II), 2020, is by Philadelphia-based ceramicist Roberto Lugo, presented by the Kieran Wexler Gallery.

© Kenneth Ek

When it started in 2005, Design Miami was intended as a design fair to accompany the internationally celebrated Art Basel Miami Beach. But since Art Basel has gone virtual this year, the annual design fair and idea by Craig Robins from Dacra, which takes place from November 27th to December 6th as Design Miami / Podium in the Moore Building, will be a focal point of a socially distant Miami Art week.

For starters, there are some fresh faces on this year’s show, including several locals.

Vivian Carbonell from the Carbonell Design Studio in Little River is exhibiting at the fair for the first time in her career – and throughout Miami Art Week.

According to Carbonell, the pandemic has allowed her to focus more on the history of her work than the purpose alone.

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“Having this time now that has made us all slow down is the best scenario for an artist,” says Carbonell. “It’s a break from this frenzy. We had created this pace that we couldn’t even keep up with. For me, being Miami in design is the silver lining. I noticed that we were in a pandemic, but it gave me the opportunity to exhibit at Design Miami. “

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An Akari floor lamp by the Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi by Victor Berga.  - © VICTOR BERGA

An Akari floor lamp by the Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi by Victor Berga.

© Victor Berga

When it comes to the impact of the pandemic on the design world, Carbonell believes it will spark more creativity.

“In general, and from my point of view, there was more time to prioritize and appreciate everything around us in order to live with more intent,” she says. “And when you do that, you create with more intent.”

This intention is likely to have influenced the fair the most.

This year the program is divided into three different parts: spaces that galleries and designers have taken over for their own exhibition; Galleries and designers who provided material for the America (s) exhibition; and the “Curio” presentations – smaller, more focused exhibitions that studio designers participate in – a cabinet of curiosity that explores concepts or specific design perspectives.

Since the fair mostly focuses on objets d’art and furniture, “America (s)” and its current references are somewhat unexpected.

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Power to the People, a collection of ten canes with clenched fists from the 19th and 20th centuries.  - © OLDE HOPE

Power to the People, a collection of ten canes with clenched fists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

© Old hope

“[It’s] the idea of ​​America, be it the United States or the Territories, or how America feels to different people, ”said Jen Roberts, CEO of Design Miami. “Some examples are shaker boxes, Native American materials, American folk art – any material that often conveys a message or represents a group or skill that you would not expect to find in Design Miami.

“[America has] Always meant different things to different people, so we thought it would be a really interesting story to tell through design – and it’s not just American design. It comes from all over the western hemisphere. ”

Visitors can also expect to see more of the traditional pieces of the 20th century and prominent designers – like the Haas Brothers and Katie Stout – traditionally seen at the show but faced with contemporary designers and Americana.

The most unexpected attraction: two rare dinosaurs excavated in Wyoming. (A similar dinosaur recently sold at Christie’s for about $ 30 million.)

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Broom Thing by Stephen Burks in association with Berea College Student Craft.  - © STEPHEN BURKS

Broom Thing by Stephen Burks in association with Berea College Student Craft.

© Stephen Burks

The concept of collector design is not a foreign word. Since its inception, collectors have flocked to the fair to get hold of unique items. But now that Design Miami / Podium is the largest fair of this year’s Miami Art Week with around 50 different exhibitors, the fair wants to set the standard for a safe, socially distant art experience for everyone.

Instead of feeling fabrics and collecting product brochures, visitors can expect a completely contact-free experience. QR codes will be everywhere, and in order to get in, visitors will need to purchase a timed ticket in advance. All participants must wear a face mask and undergo a temperature control before they are allowed to go through all the parts – just walking forward – in a very personal, “boutique-like” experience.

While the Moore Building has a capacity of 4,500, Design Miami has set a limit of 150 people per hour, with no more than 30 per floor – a more stringent parameter than recommended by the University of Miami Health.

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Girls with fans of Jolie Ngo, a ceramic artist and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.  - © JOLIE NGO

Girls with fans of Jolie Ngo, a ceramic artist and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

© Jolie Ngo

But Design Miami had to adapt in several ways. In the last months of planning, with the launch of shop.designmiami.com, it has transformed from a production and marketing team to a full-fledged digital team that provides a space for everyone to browse and shop for all the items available at the show.

During the ten-day event, the fair will also host a Virtual Talk Series with more than 20 scheduled conversations so far, including one with Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh.

“Some are pre-recorded and some in real time. It’s going to be fantastic, ”says Roberts enthusiastically.

“We have to keep adjusting to make sure we are providing the safest environment for visitors,” she adds. “We got along well so far and with the virtual visits and the opportunity to experience the trade fair from your computer, in my opinion we arrived with the perfect mix of real-life and online.”

Design Miami / Podium 2020. Saturday, November 28 through Sunday, December 6, at the Moore Building, 191 NE 40th St., Miami; designmiami.com. Monday through Saturday 12pm to 7pm, Sunday 12pm to 5pm Tickets are $ 22.50 via shop.designmiami.com.

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