Miami Art and Design Week 2021: artisan botanical furniture, electric cars and more


This week the A D The team is in sunny Florida doing a field report at Miami Art and Design Week. Take your marks in our article overview, and be sure to check out what we’re seeing on days 2 and 3.

Fresh whisk

For nearly half a decade, Lexus commissioned designs for installations at Design Miami. In years gone by, these setups involved a shiny new Lexus vehicle showcased on location, ready for the oohs and ahs of auto enthusiasts and design chefs. But for this year’s edition, titled TO/, the brand has become more conceptual, with a wired-contour suspended version of the LF-Z Electrified, a battery-powered electric concept car. Produced at a 1 to 1 scale of reality, the project was imagined by local genius Germane Barnes and her group of design students at the University of Miami, and was produced by Matchless in Portland, Oregon .

TO/ by Germane Barnes and the University of Miami, presented by Lexus for Design Miami 2021.

Photo: Steve Benisty

“We asked them to bring this electrification idea to life,” says Brian Bolain, general manager of global marketing and public relations at Lexus. (Although the annual commission usually involves an emerging designer, working with a school was a new addition and, as Barnes points out, helps reinforce the idea of ​​supporting the future of design.) Next to the car, which Hovering over a shiny, colorful floor, Barnes and his team also installed highly Instagrammable arches on either side of the vehicle, each with a swing inside. (The idea? “Move towards the carbon-neutral future that Lexus is creating,” says Barnes.)

Furniture vignettes consisting of custom tables and chairs also populate the corners, adding an interactive touch to the display. Unified by a repeating arch motif, the series is “a little throwback to our university,” says Barnes, as “the arches refer to the local Miami vernacular – Miami Art Deco and Modernism.”

The AD100 starts up

As designers and artists flocked to town, the question everyone was asking was Are you going to see Troye Sivan? The Australian crooner, whose house designed by Flack Studio was the subject of a recent A D Open House, played poolside around 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Goodtime Hotel as part of a celebration of the launch of the new AD100 roster. Many newbie and veteran members of the roster including Ken Fulk, Rodman Primack, Mandy Cheng and others watched in awe. (For more on the evening and the backstory of Sivan’s set design and his collaboration with Pam Shamshiri, click here.) Welcoming guests to the event, A DAmy Astley, Global Editorial Director and American Editor-in-Chief of Amy Astley, captured a universal sentiment: “I’m so excited to be back in Miami, I missed you desperately last year.

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Talking heads

These are not only the latest in lighting and furniture that Design Miami offers, but also great ideas. To hear some of them ourselves, we joined the Art & Innovation conferences hosted by White wall and Lexus. In a living room setting near Harry Nuriev’s immersive Bedroom installation, and right after a pop-up art and design book (where Peter Marino’s Chanel architecture and Mickalene Thomas d’Assouline’s new volume caught our eye), professionals gathered to hear from some of the show’s most insightful affiliates. On Tuesday afternoon, designers Dror Benshetrit, Archana Menon and Harry Nuriev took the stage with architect Thomas Coldefy and moderator Alessandro Possati to discuss how artists and designers create for a more sustainable future. Nuriev pointed out that material innovation facilitates new design possibilities, while Menon explained how alternative building technologies help shape new work.

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