The Hypebeast Guide to Design Miami 2023
In town for art week and in the market for some inspiring design? Check out our edit of the things we’ll be heading to inside the Design Miami fair and beyond.
December is becoming as important as April in the design world. What once felt like an exclusive event open only to galleries and collectors with deep pockets, Design Miami seems to be opening up to a wider audience year on year, and as such is beginning to rival Milan Design Week (which takes place four months later).
Design Miami was established in 2005, as the design-focused sibling to Art Basel Miami Beach, and thanks to the quality of galleries taking part, it quickly gained prominence as a premier destination for collectors, designers, and enthusiasts. Now, in 2023, what was once a small satellite show has grown to become a city-wide festival of blockbuster exhibitions and public installations. Each year, the roll call of designers gets more impressive, largely thanks to ambitious commissions coming from the brands looking to get on the radar of design enthusiasts.
“Design can be a powerful tool for storytelling, and stories allow us to access one another’s humanity.”
Undeniably, the fair itself – which takes place in a space opposite its fine art counterpart – has become a pivotal force in shaping the design landscape. This is largely helped by the decision to appoint a curator, who conceptulizes a theme that the galleries are encouraged to work to. The curator for 2023, Anna Carnick, has imagined the concept of “Where We Stand”, which – in a nutshell – aims to illuminate the role of design and how it becomes a dynamic force in response to the ever-changing world.
“I chose the theme, Where We Stand, not only to spotlight the role design plays in reflecting and responding to the world around us, but also as an invitation to consider how it might help us navigate this complex, far too often divided moment,” Carrick says. “Design can be a powerful tool for storytelling—and stories allow us to access one another’s humanity.”
We’ll be bringing you highlights from the week’s events, but if you’re wondering what to check out, take a look through our edited selection of booths to visit and installations to pass by.
Alcova is a must-see at this year’s fair, has made a name for itself on the European design scene ever since it popped up at Milan Design Week. Known for championing the work of independent designers and up-and-comers, it brings the same energy to Miami, and more specifically inside the Selina Gold Dust Motel and the former Emancipator Boatyard – adjacent to one another and connected by the Little River. Expect to see a carefully curated selection works, performances and talks, from emerging talents and renowned artists and designers.
Expression. Service. Essence by Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross is set to have quite the presence during this year’s event. As well as a collaboration with Kohler (which will get you thinking about taps like you never have before), he is behind a permanent installation across the Design District which comprises 12 benches. As with all of Ross’ work, the deeper meaning is present. Not just places to dwell, the concept delves into the significance of public spaces, and the ways in which a bench enables a viewer to transition from being an observer to an active participant.
IKEA Open House Miami
The fact that IKEA is showing up at Miami definitely signifies a step-change. While details of the exhibition are yet to become public knowledge, it’s worth going to check out purely off of the back of the the significance of the Scandi brand making an appearance. Inside an old nightclub in the middle of Lincoln Road, rooms will host experimental installations.
Gustaf Westman x The Standard Spa, Miami Beach
The Standard is teaming up with Swedish designer Gustaf Westman for a pop-up at Cafe Standard in The Standard Spa, Miami Beach. Here, Westman will showcase some of his works, including the ‘Curvy Mirror,’ in the public space. With his unique style focused on color, form, and materials, Westman will bring a playful vibe to the Scandinavian-inspired setting for locals and Art Week visitors. This collaboration marks the start of an ongoing partnership between The Standard and Gustaf Westman, with more plans for 2024.
Utopia by Studio Bohinc
This installation series marks the first public commission in the US for Lara Bohinc and her self-titled studio. Named ‘Utopia’, the series unfolds across four installations showcasing organic, bulbous forms reminiscent of evolving cellular life. These friendly and dynamic sculptures, resembling living organisms, sprawl across the district, and include an egg-shaped sculpture and colorful egg forms nestled among trees.
The Pollination Dance, by Fernando Laposse
Fernando Laposse has become known for his work that looks at the human impact on various ecosystems. For Design Miami, he has been commisioned by Perrier-Jouët to create a vibrant installation that highlights the pivotal role of flowers in the environment, particularly focusing on the intricate process of pollination. The installation, designed to inspire a moment of meditation, observation, and reflection, will be located at the fair.
Curios and Gallery Booths at Design Miami
Take the time to wander around the gallery booths at the Design Miami fair. This year, over 40 gallery and Curio presentations respond to the curatorial theme: Where We Stand. In addition to the independent sections, brand collaborations will include Birkenstock, Kohler and Audi. Make sure to stop by Marta, which will make its debut at Design Miami/ as part of the Curio program, presenting an exhibition by Lagos, Nigeria-based designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello.
New Cassina Store
If you’re in the market for some shopping, head to the new Miami store of Italian design favourite Cassina. Designed to feel like home, pieces by the likes of Michael Anastassiades, Mario Bellini, Antonio Citterio, Rodolfo Dordoni, Formafantasma, Piero Lissoni, Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Linde Freya Tangelder will be in dialogue with those of the masters: Franco Albini, Gerrit T. Rietveld, Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, Vico Magistretti and Gio Ponti.
Again in Miami, Gaetano Pesce
He was a highlight of last year’s Miami design festivties, and he’s set to do it again. Gaeatno Pesce presents “Again in Miami” – an exhibition made up of 28 pieces that embody the renowned designer’s unpredictable, sensual, and ironic aesthetic. Among these works, the Oman Chair and Oman Cabinet stand out as striking, oversized furniture pieces designed for an upcoming show. The pieces Il Pugno (Si e’ dischiuso), Il Guanto, and O’ Sole Mio, originally conceptualized in the ’70s, have been meticulously recreated in 2023, as the designer explores the resilience and expansiveness of his designs using modern techniques.
Gravitas by Vincent van Duysen for ARCA
Last year, ARCA’s exhibition was the talk of the town. This year, the materials brand invites renowned architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen to create an 18-piece furniture collection that is a masterclass in balance. To coincide, the designer will create an immersive installation that will be open to the public at ARCA’s Wynwood showroom.