Nine noteworthy contemporary projects, plus one outstanding vintage rarity, at Design Miami/ 2019
The latest edition of Design Miami wrapped up this weekend. The weather was on the cooler side but the contemporary design was on fire. And rumor has it that sales were too.
There was much to see. So if you missed the show you missed a lot. Here’s our recap of what was new and noteworthy.
Emmett Moore’s Express Shelf for AGO Projects
Based in Mexico City and New York, AGO Projects is a fabulous recent addition to the international collectible design community, representing outstanding talents like Fernando Laposse, Pedro Reyes, Agnes Studio, and Myungjin Kim. Every object on view in AGO’s booth was intriguing, intricate, and beautifully made. But we were particularly drawn to Miamian Emmett Moore’s upcycled-T shirt-covered Express Shelf (mounted on the righthand wall)—a functional, colorful comment on the global flow of consumer goods. Photo © Emmett Moore.
Marcin Rusak’s White Perma Collection for Sarah Myerscough Gallery
Resin and found objects likewise play a starring role in the oh-so gorgeous White Perma Collection designed by Polish multidisciplinary artist Marcin Rusak for London-based Sarah Myerscough Gallery. The son and grandson of flower growers, Rusak regularly incorporates waste from florists into his practice. The result is sculptural, poetic, sensual, and at the top of our wishlist. Photo © James Harris.
Théophile Blandet’s TBT Table for Jason Jacques Gallery
Hidden under an oversized coffee table book in the Jason Jacques Gallery booth was a trash-to-treasure stunner by Strasbourg-born, Eindhoven-based Théophile Blandet. A recent graduate of the Design Academy, Blandet designs for the world to come and has this to say about the discarded plastics he often uses in his one-of-a-kind pieces: “[I am] presenting plastic as the new ivory, a future forbidden matter and an endangered resource… Plastic has been celebrated as the miracle material for modern manufacturing; however due to its environmental impact, I believe we will shortly ban its production. I aim to celebrate the rarity of plastic in the future, subverting the value of the material.” Photo © Jason Jacques Gallery.
Bus Stop Benches by Rooms Studio in collaboration with Max Machaidze
Rising-star Rooms Studio took a Curio space at Design Miami this year, spotlighting the Tbilisi-based duo’s Circulation Collection, which includes the eye-catching Bus Stop Benches created in collaboration with Georgian hip-hop and visual artist Max Machaidze. Blending historic forms with contemporary embellishment, these “tagged” concrete and wood pieces are emblems of the post-Soviet Eastern Europe that the designers remember from their childhoods, conjuring a time when new-found freedom took on the visual form of graffiti. Photo © James Harris.
gt2P’s Remolten Monolita Chairs for Friedman Benda Gallery
Among the highly collectible works presented by New York’s Friedman Benda Gallery were the latest incarnation of gt2P’s Remolten Monolita Collection. We’ve been following the fast-rising trajectory of this Chilean studio for years now. They have an uncanny flair for coaxing the most dramatic results from the simplest tools and materials—clay, a pottery wheel, a ceramic extruder, and a kiln in the case of Remolten Monolita. The new chairs from the collections are deliciously textured and curvaceous. Like all gt2P pieces, they leave us asking, “How did they do that?” Photo © gt2P.
Organic Sculptural Works by Rogan Gregory for R & Company
R&Co reliably delivers top-shelf, wow-inducing collectible design, but the New York gallery’s booth drew a sizable crowd with the vignette created by LA-based luxury-fashion-consultant-turned-sculptor Rogan Gregory. The collection includes an array of handmade, creamy hued, undulating forms—seating, surfaces, lighting, objects, and a show-stopper of a fireplace—apparently inspired by “extraterrestrial forms as well as mysterious creatures of the deep sea.” This marks the first time that Rogan has conceived of a fully immersive space, but, if we’re lucky, it won’t be the last. Photo © James Harris.
Broached Recall by Broached Commissions
“Just as manufacturing companies recall faulty products, Broached Commissions is recalling design periods that have fallen out of favor, correcting them within a contemporary aesthetic.” This was the explanation offered by Broached Commission about the Australian gallery’s latest collection, Broached Recall. Instantly charmed, we just had to dig in and learn more. Turns out the collection is reworked from Victorian era antiques; an effort to reduce the use of new wood. We love how they call to mind both Bauhaus graphic design and Sottsass’s iconic Superboxes. Photo © James Harris.
Jonathan Muecke’s Composite Stack for Tile Blush
Tile Blush is Miami’s hometown design gallery specialized in hard-edged, conceptually-driven works often created in reimagined industrial materials. With Tile’s sophomore presentation at Design Miami, we couldn’t help but inquire after an insouciantly imposing shelf made of carbon fiber tubes and fiberglass racks. Of course, the Composite Stack, as it’s called, comes from the design wizard of America's heartland, Jonathan Muecke. Photo © Kris Tamburello.
The work of Célia Bertrand & Errin Kanal for Galerie Scène Ouverte
A relative newcomer to the Parisian gallery scene, Galerie Scène Ouverte offers a trove of sumtuous, finely crafted furniture and objets that evoke France's formidable decorative arts legacy. The gallery's presentation at Design Miami was full of conversation pieces that prompted us to request more information, but our favorites were Célia Bertrand's striking brass and ceramic Bijou Cabinet and Errin Kancal's elegantly ergonomic Nest Soft Chair. We're going to keep our eyes on these young talents... and the gallery that introduced us to them. Photo © Galerie Scène Ouverte.
Gerrit Rietveld’s 1927 Yellow Beugel Chair, presented by Galerie Vivid
This year Design Miami lauched two new awards: best historical work and best contemporary work. In the former category—and deservedly so—Rotterdam’s Galerie Vivid took the prize for the Yellow Beugel Chair by legendary De Stijl architect-designer Gerrit Rietveld. It was such a treat to see this stunningly rare piece of design history in such wonderful condition. Bravo on such an impressive find, Vivid!
Anna CarnickAnna is Pamono’s Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in several arts and culture publications, and she's edited over 20 books. Anna loves celebrating great artists, and seriously enjoys a good picnic.
Wava CarpenterAfter studying Design History, Wava has worn many hats in support of design culture: teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organizing talks, writing articles—all of which informs her work now as Pamono’s Editor-in-Chief.