Converging on Miami: A Short Week with a Long Afterlife…
UNDER THE BIG TOP
Housed in a vast and highly architectonic tent with an adjoining open-air pavilion designed by Jonathan Muecke (see p. 54 in print), Design Miami is just across a parking lot from the Miami Beach Convention Center and the Art Basel art fair. It opens on a Tuesday (this year, December 2) and by the following Sunday, the collectors are heading home and the dealers are packing their unclaimed wares. Yet there is an afterlife, and in many cases, a long one. Design Miami itself is larger than ever this year and features new dealers (among them Miami’s own Gallery Diet and Casati Gallery from Chicago) and, in its programming, a long and learned look at the show’s first ten years. Some of the initial innovations from new director Rodman Primack will be apparent, including the new Design Visionary award, which is being bestowed on designer and collector Peter Marino. The show itself is remarkable, of course, a mecca for collectors and connoisseurs and lovers of design, but almost as important are the commissions that then go on to longer lives and the projects that are launched during this short week.
Inside the tent that houses Design Miami are the annual installations from Perrier-Jouët (which also flows freely as the official imbibement of the fair) and Swarovski. In its third year of supporting the work of young designers, Perrier-Jouët will unveil a work entitled Ephemera (that was, at press time, still super-secret) by the Austrian design team of Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler and which launches a yearlong artistic residency for the duo underwritten by Perrier-Jouët.
Swarovski’s Design Miami commissions over the past eleven years have often carried potent and topical messages that speak to the human condition or the state of the environment. This year’s work—which will debut in Miami and then travel to other venues around the world—is no exception. It is a collaboration between the Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, who is also a MacArthur Fellow, and the photographer and filmmaker James Balog. Using “frozen” Swarovski crystals and glacier-like forms, their installation focuses attention on the critical issue of the melting polar ice cap by imparting the idea of thinning ice in a space for both contemplation and conversation. designmiami.com