Germane Barnes Creates a Carnival-Themed, Multipart Installation in Miami
When we last wrote about architect Germane Barnes, it was for his work in the 2020 exhibition “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His star has catapulted skyward since, earning both the Architectural League Prize in 2021 and the Rome Prize last year.
His latest triumph happened right in his own backyard: winning the invitation-only 2022 Miami Design District Annual Neighborhood Commission, the first local talent to be selected in the eight-year-old program (Snarkitecture and Studio Proba are among the past recipients). “The focus of my practice is to draw attention to marginalized communities in a way that celebrates their contributions to the design world,” Barnes says. Rock | Roll, as his multipart installation is called, does just that, its Carnival-themed inspiration deriving from the many Caribbean communities that call Miami home.
Peppered along the pedestrian corridors are kinetic seating capsules festooned with colorful foam noodles to
resemble Carnival’s feathered costumes. Hanging on trees are hundreds of windchimes in the shape of a steel drum, critical to soca music. And topping an arch is an enormous “sliced disco ball,” Barnes notes, that acted as a pavilion for Design Miami programming.
Up next for the 37-year-old Studio Barnes founder, who’s also an assistant professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture, is converting an old UPS truck into a mobile museum and continuing his work with the
nonprofit Thrive to build projects for predominantly Black and brown Caribbean communities in South Florida.
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