November 30, 2015

Design Miami Preview: 20 Must-Sees

As it grows up,

Design Miami

is actually getting younger, in terms of the artisans on view, and it is acquiring a more global accent. Yes, mid-century modern French furniture by the likes of Charlotte Perriand and Jean Royère is still a staple at the fair, which opens its 11th glamorous edition on Wednesday in a tent next to the Miami Beach Convention Center with some 36 galleries exhibiting in the main sector.

But the lineup includes six new dealer names, including the first gallery from Brazil to be included in the fair,

Firma Casa

, which will be showing work by the ingenious and ubiquitous

Campana Brothers


And the youth movement—as demonstrated in booths like that of New York’s

R & Company

, showing the intricate glass work of Brooklyn-based 36-year-old

Thaddeus Wolfe

—extends even to the venue itself.

Continuing the theme of creating an entry pavilion with a new design collaborator each year, this time Design Miami partnered with students at

Harvard’s Graduate School of Design

. The roof of the structure, known as the “pink cloud,” is made up of 3D foam models of unbuilt, student-designed projects.

“It shows our commitment to supporting new voices at the fair,” says Rodman Primack, the fair’s director, who also runs the Design Miami edition in Basel, Switzerland in June. “Every year the fair seems to be trending younger and younger.”

The smaller Design Curio section will have its second appearance this year, with an emphasis on quirky storytelling.

ADN Galeria

of Mexico City is showing On Reflection: Smoking Mirrors by

Eduardo Olbés

, a series of objects made of obsidian and black jade that reference the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca.

Brand new this year at the fair is a cash-and-carry section, Design Miami Market, a retail space with ornaments and accessories—also probably more appealing to younger buyers.

Other trends to look for: Ceramics are still hot, as seen by

Jang Jin

’s delicate Still Life Series at

Seomi International

, the Seoul/Los Angeles gallery.

And Primack says that he sees less technology for technology’s sake. “There was a period when it was just an idea from a computer,” he says. “Now it’s more of a mixed practice, combining tech and craft. I like the friction between the two much more than just ‘Hey, I 3-D printed this.’”

The fair runs through Sunday, December 6th and day passes are $25.

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