In the Mix

Top 10 Contemporary

Design Miami

Our stellar award jury selects standout contemporary designs on view at Design Miami/ 2020

Just before Design Miami/ opened its doors on Friday, a jury convened to review every piece in the show and select the “Top Ten” designs in two categories, historical and contemporary. Our stellar jury included Miami design collector and connoisseur Al Eiber, Wolfsonian–FIU Chief Curator Silvia Barisione, Design Miami/ Director of Exhibitions Jillian Choi, and New York architect and design expert Lee Mindel, who served as Jury Chair. With so much exceptional material to choose from, the task wasn’t easy. But after some spirited deliberations, here are the pieces that came out on top in the category of contemporary design.


#1: Pratt Chairs by Gaetano Pesce (2020), presented by Salon 94

Best in Show in the contemporary category was awarded to architect-designer Gaetano Pesce’s latest take on his classic Pratt Chairs, which were produced this year as the legend turned 80. According to the jury, these works exemplify the distinct capacity of Pesce’s work to maintain value and relevance across generations. And the colors are fantastic too!


#2 Tin Laying Bubble Table Lamp by Nacho Carbonell (2019), presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Created by Design Miami/ Designer of the Future 2009 Nacho Carbonell, this lamp takes the #2 spot. The Spanish-born, Netherlands-based designer specializes in strikingly intricate, sculptural lighting designs. But this recent example impressed the jury as next-level. According to juror Mindell, “It’s the Tiffany of today.”


#3 Palmea Wall Unit by Khaled El Mays (2020), presented by House of Today and R & Company

At #3, Lebanese designer Khaled El Mays’s Palmea Wall Shelf was cited for its particularly well resolved form and well considered treatment of color and texture. The jury was also proud to recognize the achievements of House of Today, the Beirut-based nonprofit organization that mentors young Lebanese designers and connects them with opportunities. Beirut needs all the support we can give right now.

And the list continues with...


#4 Wall Platter by Jaydan Moore (2020), presented by Ornamentum


#5 Ritual Calendar by Ini Archibong (2017), presented by Friedman Benda


#6 Nest 1 Chair by hettler.tüllmann (2015), presented by Mindy Solomon Gallery


#7 Island by Stuart Haygarth (2016), presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery


#8 Ethereal Low Table by Marc Fish (2020), presented by Todd Merrill Studio


#9 Centerpiece by Iris Eichenberg (2020), presented by Ornamentum


#10 Surfing USA Chair by OrtaMiklos (2020), presented by Friedman Benda


The jury also recognized two Honorable Mentions:

Basin by Donté Hayes (2020), presented by Mindy Solomon Gallery


The Party's Over by Michelle Erickson (2018), presented by the artist


Mindel summed up the jurors' thought process like this: “We start with a veteran in contemporary and end our list with the younger talents making the treasures of the future.” Congratulations to all of the winners—and to all of the Design Miami/ 2020 exhibitors—for making this year’s show such a success. ◆


Photos © Kris Tamburello for Design Miami, © World Red Eye, or courtesy of the exhibitor