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With Design Miami kicking off Tuesday, its organizers are expecting an even better edition in terms of sales, visitor turnout and compelling exhibitions.

Due to the growing interest in the collectible design market, coupled with the fair’s program of international galleries and brand collaborations, Design Miami’s chief executive officer Jennifer Roberts is forecasting “an increased year-over-year growth of sales for galleries presenting at Design Miami this year. Time and again our galleries experience continued positive sales reporting and we anticipate this year’s edition to succeed the previous $300 million valuation.”

She added that every first week of December, Design Miami attracts 35,000 visitors, a third of which are international, during the six-day period that takes place during Miami Art Week, along with Art Basel in Miami, which commences Friday.

With the preview day for Design Miami scheduled for Tuesday, the 19th edition of the fair will run from Wednesday to Dec. 10 at Miami’s Pride Park. The fair will feature more than 40 exhibitions, presented alongside a program of partnerships and collaborations, with major firms including tequila maker Maestro Dobel. Sandal maker Birkenstock will make its debut with a nature installation, while plumbing products maker Kohler has teamed with Samuel Ross and his industrial design studio SR_A. The exhibit has been named Terminal 01 and aims to express the reinvention of daily engagements with water and hygiene.

Fendi, a returning partner, will present Fendibackfrontals by Bless, a trans-disciplinary studio founded in 1997 by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag in Paris and Berlin that is known for forging connections within the worlds of art and design, fashion and architecture. The booth will feature paravents fabricated by Fendi Casa, interpreting the brand’s designs and ethos.

Fendi at Design Miami

Fendibackfrontals by Bless Ludger Paffrath

Overall, the fair’s new curatorial director Anna Carnick chose “Where We Stand” as the theme to shine a light on design that is inspired by place, community and heritage.

Carnick, an American-born, Berlin-based independent writer, editor and curator, is the cofounder of Anava Projects, a creative agency focused on positive social impact design. She has curated and produced design presentations at events like Milan Design Week (5VIE), Miami Design District and Edit Napoli.

Roberts said among the key trends under the aegis of the Design Miami theme, boundary-pushing materials like sand-cast aluminum have influenced the work of Nigeria-based designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello, whose sculptures will be presented at the event by the Los Angeles-based gallery Marta. Elsewhere, a table created through digital technology and Italian bronze casting from Tel Aviv-based designer Ayala Janus, as presented by New York’s Maison Gerard, is also expected to draw attention. Indian craft will be highlighted with sculptural pieces designed by French designer Florence Louisy, the creative director behind India’s first collectible design gallery, Aequo, a contemporary design gallery based in Mumbai.

Historic Italian porcelain maker Ginori 1735 will make its Design Miami/Miami Beach debut with the fourth edition of its Reborn Project, which was conceived and curated by French design expert Frédéric Chambre. Developed as part of the Ginori Arte, the initiative welcomes artists and designers worldwide to transform and reinterpret white porcelain tableware and iconic objects into unique pieces of art and design. 

Ginori 1735

Ginori 1735 presents Reborn Project, curated by Frédéric Chambre at Design Miami. Courtesy of Design Miami

Design Miami was founded in 2005 and launched a Paris edition in October, bringing together creators, collectors, gallerists and the design curious to view collectible design and museum-quality 20th- and 21st-century furniture, lighting and objets d’art from the world’s top galleries, in addition to showcasing immersive design collaborations with leading brands.

When it comes to sourcing inspiring design, James Zemaitis, director of museum relations of New York-based gallery R & Company, one of Design Miami’s top exhibitors, said the focus this year is very much on diversity, equity and inclusion, which also represents a key institutional shift.  

“The market for the ever-evolving term ‘craft’ has simply exploded, especially with ceramic and fiber artists. The younger generation of curators is far more interested in their artistic peers who engage in social practice, whether it’s someone like the Native American basket maker Geo Soctomah Neptune, who is one of the stars of the current Smithsonian Renwick Invitational, or the renowned ceramic artist Roberto Lugo, who our gallery proudly represents,” he said. In terms of business, he added, the U.S. remains the gallery’s top geographic market due to the high percentage of interior design firms, art advisers and private collectors based there.

“We are always selling to a significant community of design firms in Los Angeles, where we have a small space, while in the summer we have enjoyed considerable success selling to private collectors in Aspen. Although we do have a strong gallery partner in the Hamptons, Aspen is where we meet scores of Midwestern clients and therefore increase our American reach,” he said.

Victoria Yakusha

The Land of Light by Victoria Yakusha will be on show at Design Miami. Courtesy of Victoria Yakusha