Taking place every year in a lavish tent next door to the behemoth Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami/ is a potent concentration of the best in modern and contemporary design from all over the world. From vintage to cutting-edge, classical to sci-fi, and Basel to Beirut, below is Galerie’s list of essential designers to watch during the fair.
Maison Gerard, the New York–based specialist in vintage French design, is making its Design Miami/ debut with a major work by the late architect Maurice-Claude Vidilli: his 1971 Isolation Sphere, a plush, sound-insulated personal refuge framed by four lacquered-polyester shells.
Every year, Design Miami/ commissions early-career architects to build a designed environment to greet visitors to the doors of the tent. This year, Swiss architecture and design firm Christ & Gantenbein is presenting tables and chairs designed specifically for the Mwabwindo primary school designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf in Zambia. Comprising wooden blocks and cylindrical pegs, the series was designed for simple assembly and adaptable composition.
Renowned for his hanging chairs that emulate the natural forms of his native South Africa—bird’s nests, crocodile jaws, angler fish, and more—Porky Hefer and his Cape Town gallery Southern Guild present a new toucan beak to nestle in.
Also with Southern Guild, and well aware of the inspiration Picasso drew from African art, ceramist Andile Dyalvane sculpts his earthenware vessels with a Cubist sensibility of prismatic surfaces. Vibrant colors and textures are often contemporary references to his Xhosa heritage.
The Lebanese design incubator House of Today makes its U.S. debut with a suite of contemporary Lebanese talents, including Beirut-based Stephanie Sayar and Charbel Garibeh. The duo’s unique tableware evokes household jewelry, with its high-gloss surfaces of glass and metal, and feminine-leaning ornamentation.
With Friedman Benda, the well-known, veteran Brazilian duo presents a brand new look: totemic stacks of animals that form candleholders, or burst out of sofas.
With Jason Jacques Gallery, Polish-born, London-based ceramist Aneta Regel presents vessels meticulously sculpted with the elaborate textures and colors of the natural world, like the roughness of bark or rainbow gradations of petrified wood.
For Curio, what Design Miami/ calls the “cabinet of curiosities” portion of the fair, Patrick Parrish Gallery presents a live demonstration of a robotic, 3D-printing arm at work, thanks to MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Swiss designer Christophe Guberan, whose new seamless rubber bag will be made and sold on-site.
Converso presents a 1949 suite of furniture that the late Swiss modernist architect Albert Frey designed for himself, deeply influenced (and seduced) by the vast desert of his adopted home, Palm Springs.
Outside the Design Miami/ tent at Miami gallery Nina Johnson, design wunderkind Katie Stout presents “Narcissus,” an immersive solo exhibition that subverts the ideals of a young girl’s childhood bedroom. The lamps, stools, tapestry, and vanity remix historical forms into highly textured, color-saturated, subtly empowered new inventions.
Also outside of the fair is a new suite of glassworks with Buddhist inflections by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando in collaboration with venerable Italian glassmakers Venini, presented as part of a Les Ateliers Courbet pop-up at the Surf Club hotel.
Design Miami/ takes place in Miami Beach from December 6–10.