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Design Miami

Design Miami’s biweekly, can't-miss roundup of design world news and inspiration

Welcome to The Buzz, a biweekly roundup of design world news and inspiration for Design Miami’s discerning community of creatives and collectors. Enjoy!


Accidents Will Happen at Friedman Benda

Regal Chair by Tom Dixon (c. 1985), made of welded sheet steel and scrap metal. Photo by Daniel Kukla; Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Tom Dixon

This week, New York gallery Friedman Benda opens Accidents Will Happen: Creative Salvage, 1981-1991. Guest-curated by UK-based art advisor Gareth Williams, the show presents key works from “an often overlooked but highly influential period of British design that exploded out of 1980s London.” Set against the backdrop of a nation facing high unemployment, riots, political polarization, and more, the featured designers—Ron Arad, Mark Brazier-Jones, Tom Dixon, André Dubreuil, Danny Lane, Jon Mills, and Deborah Thomas—harnessed rudimentary equipment and materials (think scrap metal, broken glass, rebar and more) to create audacious work that stood in defiance of the moment. On view through February 5th.


The Year 2121: Futures In-Sight

The Year 2121. Photo by Yoshimura Masaya; Courtesy of 21_21 Design Sight

What will the world look like a century from now? That question is the focus of The Year 2121: Futures In-Sight, on view now at Tokyo’s 21_21 Design Sight museum. Inviting visitors to imagine our future world—and design’s role in creating it—the show features an interactive “Future Compass” designed to trigger forward-facing questions. Organizers have also engaged a number of participants—designers, artists, engineers, and more—to share their own queries and insights, collectively offering up a vision of “the Future in Plural Form.” As exhibition director Michiaki Matsushima observes, “The present is influenced by the way in which we envisage what lies ahead…What kind of thinking about the future now, in 2021, determines our imagination and creativity?”

As the past few years have made clear: The future is unpredictable. This intriguing show provides space to consider how the questions we posit today might shape the world to come—and our potential paths toward it. On view through May 8th.


Gallery All Opens Its New Shanghai Space

Tangled Love Blue Floor Lamp by Hua Wang; Mixed Public-Private Boundary #03 Chair and Side Table by Cometabolism Studio; Photos courtesy of Gallery All

Gallery All has just opened the doors to a new, 6500-square foot space in Shanghai, which will host the core of its program moving forward. The inaugural exhibition, First of All, is curated by Violet Wang and focuses on the work of 13 artists, designers, and art collectives, presenting both artistic and functional collectible design. Featured creatives include the Campana Brothers, Zhoujie Zhang, Cometabolism Studio, and Aranda\Lasch, among others. As founders Yu Wang and Xiao Lu tell us, the debut show “reflects on traditional ways of categorizing and experiencing art versus design, and advocates for a reexamination and liberation from stereotypes.” On view until March 6th.


Private Quarters III at Volume Gallery

Untitled (2019) by Thaddeus Wolfe; Photos © Volume Gallery

Now Showing: Chicago’s Volume Gallery presents Private Quarters III, the latest in a series of group exhibitions spotlighting the gallery’s creative roster. This iteration features reflections on domestic space, presenting work by Ross Hansen, Jennefer Hoffmann, Christy Matson, Jonathan Muecke, and Thaddeus Wolfe. Highlights include, among others: Hoffmann’s new pillar-shaped ceramics, referencing both the rolling hills and steeples of North Carolina, as well as the wasps and bees in her studio; and striking dark glass work by Wolfe. The latter, cast in a crystalline pattern and topped with windows that reveal chromatic insides, call to mind both otherworldly geological formations and, for us, the relationship between one’s interior and exterior worlds. On view through February 22nd.


Fantasy Furniture by Kate Millett at Salon 94

From left: Kate Millet's Bed, (1965); Chair (1965); and Piano & Stool (1965-66). Photos courtesy of Salon 94 Design; © Kate Millet

On January 19th, New York’s Salon 94 Design opens Kate Millett: Fantasy Furniture, 1967, an exhibition of work by the late writer, activist, and Fluxus artist. (Millett also notably authored the 1969 feminist classic Sexual Politics.) The show is derived from Furniture Suite, which was staged at alternative art space The Judson Gallery in New York in 1967. Twelve of Millett’s anthropomorphic sculptures—which draw on the multidisciplinary, avant-garde, and feminist context of that period—will be presented alongside drawings and prints from 1979 and 1980. As William J. Simmons writes in Sculptural Politics, the new show’s catalog essay: “For Millett, sculpture was something more than words, a cabinet of inarticulable curiosities.” Open until March 5th. 


The Circle in Cologne

Visuals by Anna Resei / Dutch Invertuals; Courtesy of Dutch Invertuals

Next week, Cologne Museum of Applied Arts (MAKK) kicks off The Circle, an exhibition featuring new work by designers from the experimental collective Dutch Invertuals. Taking inspiration from “the mother of all forms,” the exhibiting designers—drawn from both The Netherlands and Germany and including Audrey Large x Théophile Blandet, Philipp Weber, and Germans Ermičs x The New Raw, among others—have taken the opportunity to reflect on that which is most essential to them. Open til April 24th.


“The circle is the ultimate symbol of unity, perfection, and infinity. By envisioning and challenging its shape, we offer different personal interpretations of something that is already perfect.” – Wendy Plomp, Founder and Design Director, Dutch Invertuals


New Perspectives in #Ceramic at SWING Gallery

Sepia plate by Studio Berg (2021); Photo © Danilo Donzelli; Photo courtesy of SWING Gallery

Now Open: Benevento, Italy-based SWING Gallery presents an exhibition dedicated to the world of contemporary ceramics. As part of its ongoing New Perspectives series, which explores the multidimensionality of different materials, the exhibition brings together works by a number of intriguing, emerging voices in ceramics, including Ahryun Lee, Hannah Simpson Studio, Daniel Nikolovski, and Studio Berg, among others. The exhibition is curated by Angela da Silva with the support of Antonella Palladino. Open until March 19th.