ART SCHOOL

Highlights From Design Miami 2019

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Courtesy the designer’s instagram.

Even before Design Miami 2019 opened its doors on Tuesday, Harry Nuriev’s Balenciaga Sofa—a sectional stuffed in old designer clothing provided by the brand—had already gone viral. Fair-goers lined up to get a chance to sit on the (surprisingly comfortable) work and of course to snap a selfie. Though, as one of the foremost gatherings of contemporary design galleries on the globe, the fair is as full of highly covetable and Instagram-able pieces as the sofa was of Demna Gvasalia’s designs. R and Company presented an other-worldly installation from Roman Gregory, Louis Vuitton welcomed the latest addition to its Objets Nomades collection, and hometown hero Daniel Arsham presented a minty fresh office space worthy of a Sci-Fi mogul. Here, some of the best offerings from this year’s fair.

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Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com

San Francisco-based designer Andrew Kudless’s Swell Wave Shelf was the latest addition to Louis Vuitton’s limited-edition Objets Nomades collection. Featuring smoothly polished oak shelves bound together by Vuitton leather, the piece is meant to represent “powerful forces and the delicate balance of the natural world.”

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Raised in Miami, hometown hero Daniel Arsham turned Friedman Benda’s booth into an office. Complete with minty frosted glass walls, a desk that mixed raw geological edges with strict form, furniture upholstered in schematics, and a rug featuring the office’s blueprint, it carried the vibe of a secret lair out of Sci-Fi movie. Whether it belonged to the hero or villain remains open to interpretation, but the inclusion of a telephone made out of Lego bricks likely tipped it toward the light side.

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Capetown’s Souther Guild Gallery showcased it’s roster of African designers, with a particular highlight being Porky Hefer’s Molecules series. Essentially hanging chairs designed to resemble the chemical models you might remember form chemistry class, they proved to be a hit with anyone looking for a quick selfie. Dokter and Misses’s spikey cabinets form their “Practically Everwhere” series also proved eye catching.

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Photo by Lucia Tolosa / Courtesy of Design Miami/

Designer Jay Sae Jung Oh’s Savage Chair, on display at the Salon 94 booth, was named Best in Show by Design Miami/’s first ever juried awards. The eye-catching shape is the result of a hodgepodge of thrifted items being invitingly arranged and wrapped in leather cord.

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Photo Courtesy of The Future Perfect’s Instagram.

The Future Perfect displayed Eric Roinestad’s facial vases atop Chen Chen & Kai Williams’s Vascular shelves.

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Photo by Lucia Tolosa (Design Miami).

R and Company presented an installation by designer and sculpture Roman Gregory that was meant to evoke both forms found at the depths of the ocean and in outer space. Every piece was created by hand, and the resulting inviting curves and calming color palette made for an intriguing by ultimately calming space.

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Courtesy the designer’s instagram.

Crosby Studio’s Harry Nuriev and Balenciaga teamed-up for the Balenciaga Sofa. Meant to evoke a familiar, La-Z-Boy-esque shape, the piece is stuffed in cast-off Balenciaga clothing deemed unfit for sale. If design is ultimately referential, recycling old ideas into something new, why shouldn’t the materials objects are made from be recycled as well?

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Photo by Lucia Tolosa (Design Miami).

Brussels’ Pierre Marie Giraud specializes in young designers in the decorative arts. The standout piece at the center is an untitled piece by Japanese designer Takuro Kuwata. He takes the flaws inherent in the production of ceramics (explosions in the kiln, bubbles in the clay, the drip of too much glaze) and uses them as the building blocks of his mystifying mounds.

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New York’s Todd Merrill Studio brought the best of their all-star roster. Standout’s included Berlin-based Hannes Grebin’s own take on familiar commercial family room sofas (cubist and yellow) and Brech Wright Gander’s Flow Series Center Table (it’s candy colored drip was a marriage of mechanical planning and the free will of moving resin).