Design Miami Pitches a Better Tent

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With Design Miami, Art Basel, and a myriad of satellite events mere weeks away, we’ve got details on Design Miami’s new home, a 43,000-square-foot temporary structure (it sounds much too cool to be called a tent) designed by New York architectural studio Aranda\Lasch. For Design Miami, the new venue highlights the inseparable relationship between design and architecture. “We’ve always staged Design Miami in wonderful historical buildings, such as the Moore Building in Miami and the Markthalle in Basel, but this year we decided to use our venue to make a bold architectural statement reflecting the future of design rather than the past,” said Design Miami director Ambra Medda in a press release. “We see this project as the embodiment of today’s spirit, in which traditional boundaries are becoming meaningless and creatives are working across the disciplines of art, architecture, and design. These ideas are also echoed inside the show, where we are seeing more limited edition design work created by architects and more gallerists carrying architectural drawings and maquettes.”


Founded in 2003 by Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch, Aranda\Lasch was a natural choice for the Design Miami venue commission: the duo recently teamed up with artist Matthew Ritchie and arts institution T-BA21 on the first “anti-pavilion,” which they describe as “a large and ruined, three-dimensional drawing of the universe,” first partially installed at the 2008 Venice Biennale and fully realized at last month’s Seville Biennale. So what have they got in the works for Miami? Think tall, spacious, and light-filled. “We are using a standard tent system but making modifications to accommodate the design show’s needs, and bringing in light in a way which is not normally done in these structures,” says Aranda. “When you’re exhibiting furniture and design objects, you need a taller, more spacious exhibition area than when you’re hanging things on a wall.” A breezeway incorporated into the structure’s perimeter will provide a subtle transition from the tent to the surrounding Design District and valuable hang-out space for fairgoers. And they’re not sparing the design flourishes. The breezeway will feature a cut pattern of translucent vinyl that will create shadow patterns reminiscent of light coming through trees.