This month’s Art Basel Miami was anything but ordinary, as people flocked from all over the world to experience the buzzy arts fair in person after last year’s exposition was cancelled due to the pandemic. Always a highlight of the week, Design Miami/ Basel once again drew visitors to Pride Park to explore how design can play a role in shaping the world for the better. Now in its 17th year, Design Miami featured more than 35 gallery exhibitions centered around this year’s theme, Human Kind.
Representing an exciting lineup of the world’s leading voices in design, this year’s exhibitors showed off everything from pastel-meets-Bauhaus furniture to coral reef–inspired ceramics to a look at the future of 3D-printed sinks. Walking up and down each row of the sprawling tent space, it was hard not to be mesmerized by the immersive experiences each booth created. Here, we’ve rounded up our five favorite galleries and designers who truly embraced the philosophy of making the world a better place through beautiful design.
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Lara Bohinc’s “Afternoon Tea” is a whimsical oasis defined by playful pastels and bauhaus shapes.Photo Courtesy of Design Miami
“Afternoon Tea” by Bohinc Studio
Laura Bohinc developed her latest (and largest) collection while isolating in London where she is based. Like its name suggests, she found inspiration in the concept of a decadent afternoon tea, giving the pieces names like the Profiterole Table and Kipferl Desk—with a distinctly Bauhaus twist. Furnishings were accompanied by her Moonrise sconces (part of her colleciton with Roll and Hill) and South Pole wall hanging (via a collaboration with Kasthall). Bohinc’s design language in this space certainly communicated her commitment towards iconic beauty and expertise in material and manufacturing techniques.“The pandemic forced us all to spend more time at home, and I realized that I wanted my pieces to make you feel loved, cocooned and happy. I also wanted to create pieces that look like they are good enough to eat,” Bohinc said in a statement.
Furniture available upon request at bohincstudio.com.
Sandra Davolio’s “A Coral Garden” created an underwater atmosphere.Photo Courtesy of Design Miami
“A Coral Garden” by J. Lohmann Gallery x Sandra Davolio
It was like taking a dazzling trip under the sea (minus the hassle of renting scuba gear) at “A Coral Garden,” an exhibit featuring the work of Italian-born Danish ceramist Sandra Davolio. Each one-of-a-kind, handmade vessel exhibited its own unique sense of organic movement, communicating the beauty and fragility inherent in a real-life reef. Considering how many major coral reefs are under the threat of possible extinction, Davolio’s work helped serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting these underwater ecosystems.
Find more information at jlohmanngallery.com.
Tuleste Factory’s use of gradient color on the wall art in conjunction the monochromatic furnishings made the room itself feel like a work of art.Photo Courtesy of Design Miami
“Material Block” by Tuleste Factory
Tuleste Factory’s booth, “Material Block,” made for a soothingly harmonious viewing experience. The mix of materials (New Zealand wool, silk, birch plywood, resin) and monochromatic color palette made for a playful environment representative of Tuleste co-founders Satu and Celeste Greenberg’s modernist style. The New York gallerists showed off a collection of birch plywood stools created with digital fabrication studio Timbur; a boldly geometric New Zealand wool-and-silk rug designed with Jt. Pfeiffer, which was used as a wall hanging; and a seemingly lit-from-within grouping of resin pieces by Facture. The juxtaposition of the various materials certainly made them pop when experiencing the room in person.
Furniture available upon request at tulestefactory.com.
Khaled El Mays’s fantastical pieces transport viewers to the height of the Surrealist art movement in Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s.Photo Courtesy of Design Miami
“New Nature” by House of Today x Khaled El Mays
Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a Surrealist painting? If so, look no further than Beirut-based artist Khaled El Mays’s latest, “New Nature.” Sponsored by House of Today, a non-profit organization committed to cultivating a sustainable design culture in Lebanon, the collection began with trip to Mexico City, where El Mays learned about traditional local craftsmanship; the resulting work marries Mexican high craft with design practices from El Mays’s native Lebanon. We were enthralled by the color and whimsy of the collection, its organic multi-colored shapes and forms intersecting and blending together that make the environment truly feel like some sort of “new” reality of nature.
Learn more at houseoftoday.com.
The 3D-printed sink Rock.01 brings together creative innovation and expert craftsmanship.Photo Courtesy of Design Miami
“Stone Flow” by Kohler x Daniel Arsham
Kohler collaborated with multidisciplinary artist Daniel Arsham to create the 3D-printed sculpture installation “Stone Flow” and Rock.01, a limited-edition (and already sold-out) sink made from vitreous china and solid brass. This collaboration was particularly captivating in how it blended nature and technology, setting a benchmark for the future of sustainable design practices in the plumbing industry. It was particularly moving to see how Arsham, a Miami native who experienced the devastation of Hurricane Andrew as a child, thoughtfully re-conceived the relationship between waterflow and nature to art, using it as his inspiration.
Learn more at kohlercollective.com.