For five days in early December, spotlights centered on Design Miami/ 2012, where more than 25,000 art and design works were showcased, and where high-wattage celebrities from Pharrell Williams to Kanye West mingled with design icons including Wendell Castle and Diane von Furstenburg. We sifted through the best installations, designs, displays and talks to bring you eight of our favorites.
2. Working with mixed media on aged paper, Venice, California-based artist Ashley Collins creates layered works with historical texture. She's repped through Oxenberg Art in Miami, but her modern equine theme feels uniquely West Coast.
3. The entrance pavilion wasn’t the only thing we admired from Snarkitecture. Its furniture at Volume Gallery married sharp lines and topographical details in a collection of entirely original functional art. I loved the "Float" bench in cast marble.
4. A surging interest in American design was reflected at the festival, with displays featuring American masters such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof. This gold and black painted wood necklace from Coplan Hurowitz represented one of my favorite American artists, Louise Nevelson (1899- 1988), who was best known for her large-scale industrial sculptures.
5. Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta impose technology onto the delicate frothy forms of dandelions in the "Fragile Future" light sculpture series. Shown by Studio Drift, it's made from actual dandelion puffs (are they seeds? I don’t know, but I love them), LEDs and bronze. The overall effect is beautiful.
6. Pharrel Williams’ DesignTalk, during which he discussed his new book “Pharrell, Places and Spaces I’ve Been,” drew the largest crowd in the history of the lecture series. He discussed design collaborations with Takashi Murakami and took questions from attendees, including one from surprise audience member Kanye West. Photo courtesy of grind365.com.
7. Belgian designer Maarten de Ceulaer created the rubber "Mutation" lounge in appreciation of the practical material, which is child-friendly (she has three children) and lends itself to innately smooth, organic shapes. Spotted at Washington D.C.- and Los Angeles-based Industry Gallery.
8. Milan’s Erastudio Apartment-Gallery presented the patriotic "America Table and Jefferson Chair" by Gaetano Pesce. Created in tribute to the previous American Presidential Election, it commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the signing of the Declaration of Independance.