Celebrating its fifth year, Design Miami/ visitor figures were up by 4.5% from 2008 year with a record 23,000 attendees, made up of serious collectors, curators, museum acquisition committees, architects, designers, journalists and celebrities. Gallerists noted a particularly high turn out of young, American collectors in their 30s and 40s, many of whom came from New York, as well as many Latin American collectors, architects and designers.
“Design Miami/ this year was perhaps our most energetic edition since we began,” Design Miami/ Director Ambra Medda said. “It felt as if a younger generation had taken hold of design, with gallerists, our own programming and visitors being prepared to take risks, whether by collaborating with younger, lesser-known designers or investing in them. There was a strong sense of everyone participating and bringing something creative to the table.”
MOSS Gallery sold three of Maarten Baas’ Grandfather clocks, at $100,000 each, and Ornamentum selling Ted Noten’s UZI Suitcase, worth $85,000, within ten minutes of the opening. Many of the galleries reported strong interest and enquiries from museums from the US as well as Europe and China.
This year’s Designer of the Year, 31 year-old Maarten Baas, was a highlight of the fair, expressing the youthful energy which infused this year’s edition. His exhibition presented the first ever opportunity to view work from all his different series, together with entirely new pieces, which were exhibited alongside quirky vignettes of his inspirations. A further two spaces were given to actors who performed Baas’s ‘Real Time Clock’ in both the analog and digital versions, with the actors literally marking time at minute intervals.
Installations such as Tom Dixon’s collaboration with Veuve Cliquot, in which mesmerizing chandeliers made from Veuve Cliquot boxes were given away to visitors at the end of the fair and Max Lamb’s monumental “Shelter” installation located at the fair’s entrance, whose nooks and crannies visitors were quick to hide in and explore, were just some examples of the dynamic interactions that took place between visitors, designers and installations.
“This year’s edition of Design Miami/ really marks a coming of age for collectible design,” Design Miami/ Associate Director Wava Carpenter said. “There was a fear, articulated in many quarters in 2008 that interest in collecting design would disappear as a result of the recession. But our latest edition of Design Miami/ has proved that design collecting is here to stay, and as a result we’ve seen a resurgent confidence among both gallerists and collectors.”