In the Mix
Best in Show
Top picks from Design Miami/ 2021
The 17th edition of Design Miami/ opened this week in Miami Beach, marking a long-awaited, welcome reunion for the design community. The latest iteration of the fair, dedicated to the theme Human·Kind, features an array of inspiring creative voices across 22 Gallery and 19 Curio presentations. As the Vetting Committee wrapped up its inspection, jurors selected the Best in Show Winners.
Our sincere thanks to our illustrious jurors: FAIA architect Lee Mindel; collector Al Eiber; art advisor Simon Andrews; Design Miami/ Vice President of Fairs, Grela Orihuela; and Design Miami/ Curatorial Director Wava Carpenter.
Read on for the winners.
Best Gallery: Southern Guild
The esteemed Cape Town-based gallery framed its 2021 presentation as a “Studio Visit,” cleverly depicting a ceramic artist’s working space, and featuring gorgeous work by four incredible contemporary ceramics talents—Andile Dyalvane, Chuma Maweni, Madoda Fani, and Zizipho Poswa, all of whom draw on heritage, personal narrative, and current social contexts. Their work was complemented by exceptional pieces by designers Cheick Diallo and Gregor Jenkin.
Southern Guild’s presentation celebrates the thriving contemporary design scene in South Africa, as well as the continent’s rich indigenous craft traditions, and, in particular, pottery’s historical role in decorative, utilitarian, social, and spiritual roles.
Best Curio: ATRA
Mexico City-based design studio and gallery ATRA takes Best Curio Award this year with their booth “Earth Year 2100.” Inviting visitors to imagine “a near-future when life has drastically changed and the mundane has been taken over by technology,” the presentation features new, elegantly space age-inspired collectible pieces—including sculptural tables and organic, minimalist sofa and chairs, and even a vibrating meditation chair for Resonate.
Best Historical Work: Chest of Drawers (1962) by Wendell Castle, presented by R & Company
R & Co’s presentation this year is full of great surprises, but the 1962 Wendell Castle chest of drawers in oak walnut, birch, and oak plywood is a showstopper. A marriage of both organic and modernist lines, this important, unique historical piece marks a pivotal moment in Castle’s creative career when his focus shifted from sculpture to furniture making. It is beautifully presented alongside artist sketches.
Best Contemporary Work: Large Tabletop Halo Lantern (2021) by Bradley Bowers, presented by The Future Perfect
Last but certainly not least: Bradley Bowers’ Tabletop Halo Lantern. The Future Perfect presented a delightful group show this year, including Bowers’ prize-winning design. Bowers’ avant-garde, unique, pleated and folded paper lanterns blend the worlds of fashion, sculpture, and functional objects—resulting in distinct and engaging objects, whether lit and unlit.
Congratulations to all our esteemed winners! ◆