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5 of the Most Fascinating Objets d’Art From Design Miami

Including a Kamala Harris teapot and some Virgil Abloh x Vitra creations….

The OrtaMiklos Surfing USA Chair is an ode to the idealized age of 1960s California dreamin’: when Hollywood was the promised land and The Beach Boys served as a soundtrack to the West Coast lifestyle. The Design Miami fair awarded it as one of the best contemporary pieces in this year’s show.

Power to the People, a Collection of 10 Walking Sticks

Power to the People a Collection of Ten Walking Sticks with Clinched Fists from the 19th and 20th Centurynbsp
“Power to the People”: a Collection of Ten Walking Sticks with Clinched Fists from the 19th and 20th Century ©Olde Hope

These canes aren’t avant garde, contemporary, or even of this century—according to Design Miami, they date back to the 1980s. Yet their decorative toppers poignantly resonate with the times: tiny clenched fists, carved in all skin tones. Design Miami positions this collection (also part of the Podium America(s) exhibition) in front of our country’s flag, showing how this one symbol has signified status, power, strength, and so much for so many throughout history. 

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Katie Stout, Paper Pulp Shelf (R & Company)

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Paper Pulp Shelf by Katie Stout, 2020, R & CompanyPhoto: Courtesy of R& Company/By Kris Tamburello

Katie Stout aims to take some of the seriousness out of design, which is perhaps why her most famous works are lamps with colorful, Gumby-like nude women as their base. This year, she presents a pulp paper shelf: multicolored, twisted, and just barely functional, her gallery, R& Company, calls it “deranged.”

Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition

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Virgil Abloh x Vitra Chair.Photo: Courtesy of Vitra/By Marc Eggimann

Virgil Abloh, at this point, is a staple at the world’s design weeks: last year, he had an installation at Paseo Point in Miami, a few months after he had displayed a separate installation at the Venice Biennale. For 2020, he collaborated with Vitra on a three piece pop-up collection called “Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition.” It’s comprised of a ceramic block, a lamp, and reimagined armchair originally designed by Jean Prouvé, all adorned in a baby blue hue. Although not technically part of the official fair—they’re all on display in Miami’s Design District—it’s gathering a ton of buzz this week. You can also shop the collection on Basic Space.

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