In the Mix

The Buzz! —11-5-2021

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!


An Afrofuturist Period Room opens at The Met

Installation view of Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room. Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York debuts Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room. This highly anticipated installation reimagines the very idea of the period room by celebrating the African and African diasporic belief that past, present, and future are all connected. Before We Could Fly takes its narrative from the history of Seneca Village, a community founded by free Black tenants and landowners just a few hundred yards from The Met that flourished between the 1820s and 1850s, until the City of New York seized the land through eminent domain. With that injustice in mind, the new exhibition asks: What if this community had the opportunity to grow and thrive?

Lead curator Hannah Beachler (best known for her work on the film Black Panther and Beyoncé’s video Lemonade) has conceived a speculative future home for Seneca Village residents—a wood-framed, 19th-century home that traverses timelines. The exhibition presents both historical and contemporary works, including new acquisitions by Roberto Lugo, Zizipho Poswa, Ini Archibong, and Tourmaline.


“The untold story of Seneca Village underscores that we walk on hallowed ground right here in New York City. Aspects of our history often fall out of conversation because of the passage of time. In other cases, they have been effectively buried or intentionally silenced. When these significant histories resurface, we ought to show reverence for those who came before whose lives and sacrifices paved the way for our very being.” —Consulting Curator Dr. Michelle Commander


Chris Wolston: Temperature’s Rising at The Future Perfect

Hand Chandelier and Oro Dining Set by Chris Wolston. Photo © The Future Perfect

This week, The Future Perfect’s LA location opened Temperature's Rising, American artist Chris Wolston’s newest body of work, a meditation on escapism and fantasy. This body of work examines the relationships between people and nature; the relevance of place and its effect on the availability of materials; and the topography of mountainous regions. In an act of formal recycling, Wolston repurposes the fundamental contours of bodies and mountains, in order to suggest their interconnectedness. The show is open through the end of the year.


Cristina Grajales: 20th Anniversary & New Gallery

Cristina Grajales portrait and new gallery illustration. Images courtesy of Cristina Grajales

New York gallerist Cristina Grajales celebrates her eponymous gallery’s 20-year anniversary this month with a new show and a move—relocating from Chelsea to the heart of Tribeca. The gallery, which focuses on 20th-century and contemporary design work, will put down roots in a ground-level location set in a former 1925 garage building featuring hand-laid brickwork. Doors open to the new space and anniversary exhibition on November 11th at 50 Vestry Street. On the occasion of this special milestone, the venerated creative tells us:


“In the last 20 years, I’ve had the fortune and happiness of discovering great talents, helping to guide and develop their careers, and creating a place for them in the design world. I’m excited about the future and the new talent still to be discovered as the gallery begins its next chapter here in Tribeca.” —Gallerist Cristina Grajales


Matter at Hand at Hostler Burrows

Implosion by Bjørn Friborg, from the new show: 10 Artists in Denmark at Hostler Burrows. Photo © Joe Kramm; courtesy of Hostler Burrows

Now Showing: Hostler Burrows in New York presents Matter at Hand:10 Artists in Denmark.  The show features new contemporary work celebrating both mastery of craft and a passion for material investigation. Participating artists include Stine Bidstrup, Anne Brandhøj, Yuki Ferdinandsen, Bjørn Friborg, Hanne G, Jakob Jørgensen, Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl, Astrid Krogh, Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen, and Maria Sparre-Petersen. The show is supported in part by the Danish Arts Foundation. On view in NYC through December 9th; the show will travel to the gallery’s Los Angeles location in spring 2022.


Sigve Knutson at Carwan Gallery

Works from Assembly by Sigve Knutson. Photos © Carwan Gallery

Now showing: Carwan Gallery in Athens presents Assembly, an exhibition featuring work by experimental Norwegian designer Sigve Knutson. Assembly is Knutson's first solo show in Greece, and shines a light on his improvisational, hands-on process, featuring work from the past five years—including new pieces inspired directly by the local context of Piraeus and made specially for this exhibition—in wood, metal, and “wood mud,” a mixture of wood dust and glue that Knutson uses like clay to hand-sculpt objects. The final pieces celebrate the mark of the maker and the versatility of the materials with which he engages. On view through January 8, 2022.


Dubai Design Week

Rendering of Nature in Motion, winner of the 2021 Abwab Commission, by Ahmed El-Sharabassy. The installation responds to the theme of regenerative architecture and restorative design. Photo © Dubai Design Week

Dubai Design Week returns this month with its most extensive program to date, featuring over 200 free-to-attend events. Highlights include Downtown Design fair; the MENA Grad Show; sustainably themed, hands-on Making Space workshops; a special Beirut Concept Store celebrating Lebanese design that aims to support the country’s creative community; and the annual Abwab commission, which spotlights outstanding regional talent. This year’s Abwab winner, Dubai-based architect Ahmed El-Sharabassy, has created Nature in Motion, a structure that responds to the theme of regenerative architecture and restorative design, referencing ​​a rolling sand wave in the Dubai desert and evoking the region’s—and the city’s—constant motion and ongoing evolution. Open November 8th - 13th.


A New Home for 1950 Gallery

1950 Gallery’s new home on East 11th Street. Photo © 1950 Gallery

NYC-based 1950 Gallery—a pioneer in midcentury French and American design—has just opened the doors to a new home-sweet-home in Greenwich Village. Relocating from the Upper East Side, its new digs are in the former lobby of the Hotel Albert, which, as gallery owner Alberto Aquilino tells us, “famously hosted a number of rock stars in the 1960s, and was the site where the Mamas and Papas wrote California Dreaming.” The gallery is in good company in the neighborhood, with the likes of Magen H, Maison Gerard, Demisch Danant, and Hostler Burrows all within a few blocks. The opening show features important pieces by Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, Serge Mouille, Jean Prouvé, Alexandre Noll, George Nakashima, and Isamu Noguchi.


Bodo Sperlein at Les Ateliers Courbet

Bronze Contour Side Table by Bodo Sperlein. Photo © Jon Day; courtesy of Bodo Sperlein Studio and Les Ateliers Courbet

Next week, Les Ateliers Courbet in New York debuts new work from London-based artist Bodo Sperlein’s ongoing Contour series. The latest pieces expand on Sperlein’s investigation of curvaceous silhouettes and sensuous lines inspired by the 20th century Art Nouveau movement. In addition to new wood objects, handcrafted by British artisans in the UK and treated using the traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique—a process that involves charring the wood surface—the new series marks Sperlein’s first bronze work, crafted by artisans in Prague—which allows for thinner, even more refined forms and patinated textures.  On view November 9th - January 8th.


JOIN at Colony

Designer Bec Brittain's newest piece, Noo Lit, and the drawing by her 5-year-old son that inspired it. Photos courtesy of Colony

Next week, NYC-based designers’ co-op Colony kicks off its first group show in over two years. The aptly titled JOIN will feature new work by 12 independent American designers—​​furniture, lighting, textiles, and more—all conceived around the theme of “coming together after a long, forced hiatus.” Participating designers include, among others, Hiroko Takeda, Vonnegut/Kraft, A Space, Bec Brittain, Phaedo, and Studio Paolo Ferrari. Open November 11th - December 10th.


"Throughout the course of this ongoing pandemic, fear and uncertainty gave way to a strength and determination to better represent the core ethos that Colony was founded on: To celebrate and support the independent American design community and seek out substantive beauty and the role it plays towards the greater good. JOIN is our first attempt at re-entering this new reality with these enduring values as our guideposts." —Jean Lin, Founder, Colony