Miami Design District

Martyn White

Posted on January 10 2020

Highlights, installations and architecture from Miami's vibrant Design District during the city's annual art week.


Miami is world-renowned for its vibrancy, creativity and its impressive art scene. Every year, the city plays host to one of the largest art events in the world, attracting visitors that can reach numbers in their hundreds of thousands, as they descend onto the beaches and exhibition halls to discover must-see artists and their latest contemporary works. What many first time visitors to the city may not know is that Miami also has a dedicated Design District, full to the brim of galleries, restaurants, luxury stores and of course, public displays of art. 

Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Top to bottom: Fernando Laposse 'Pink Beasts', Xavier Veilhan 'Le Corbusier', Buckminster Fuller 'Fly's Eye Dome'.

While works are commissioned to co-inside with the art week, many murals, sculptures and architectural pieces are on display permanently in a growing collection of public works for visitors to admire throughout the year. One of the landmark commissions for the 2019 show is Mexican product and material designer Fernando Laposse's 'Pink Beasts' installation. The commission sees a collection of pink hairy sloths hanging from ropes, tres and arches throughout the design district and as an extension from Design Miami's installation in South Beach. The works aim to showcase the dying processes rendered on natural materials and to recognise the artisan communities who practice the process. 

Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019

Top to bottom: DABSMYLA 'Surrounded by Space', Fernando Laposse 'Pink Beasts', Virgil Abloh 'Dollar a Gallon III', FENDI store exterior. 

Another addition for 2019 is Virgil Abloh's 'Dollar a Gallon III' sculpture, one of three works on display under the concrete architectural arches of Paseo Ponti. Abloh's work presents a window into the artist's study and research on the effect of advertising on the impressionable in the form of a classic 'gasoline' or 'petrol' displaying pricing along with an advertising sponsor, sinking into the ground of the destination.  Opposite, along with one of Fernando Laposse's pink beasts is a beautiful mural by husband-and-wife visual artists, DABSMYLA. The piece is an exploration of their current series of garden-scapes, combining their psychedelic landscapes and surreal flower beds, their shared design language allowing them to blur the boundaries between real life and dreamscape.

Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019Miami Design District Miami Art Week 2019

Top to bottom: Museum Garage Facade: Clavel Arquitectos 'Urban Jam', Museum Garage Facade: J. Mayer 'H Hugs and Kisses', 2X4 'Jungle'.

The district not only hosts art, it becomes art, showcasing impressive architectural facades and building construction methods to create a unified yet very individual collection of buildings. One of the most defining additions to the destination is the Museum Garage Facade at the corner of NE 1st Avenue and NE 41st Street, exhibiting a collaboration of design from several artists and design studios from around the world.  WORKac, J. Mayer H., Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe and Keenen/ Riley were selected to create sections of the garage’s facades. The designs include a psychedelic ant farm by WORKac, giant interlocking puzzle pieces by J. Mayer H., an urban traffic jam by Clavel Arquitectos and a section by Nicolas Buffe inspired by Japanese animation and video games, just to name a few.

For further information on the district, upcoming events and other public artwork, click to view the official Miami Design District website.  

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