Design Miami’s Inaugural LA Launch Marks a Design Renaissance

05.14.24 | By
Design Miami’s Inaugural LA Launch Marks a Design Renaissance

Milan, Paris, Copenhagen, New York, Miami, and now LA? The Southern California locale has positioned itself as an international arbiter of taste, particularly in the area of collectible design, with a decorated history that boasts the post-war mid-century design boom, American car culture, an iconic entertainment industry, and space age engineering. On the heels of a global rebrand designed by Henrik Purienne, Design Miami proves that good things come to those who wait with their inaugural Los Angeles fair – DESIGN MIAMI.LA – taking place May 16th – 20th, 2024 at a private Holmby Hills estate designed by the late architect Paul R. Williams. Guided by the mantra ‘Living with Design,’ Curatorial Director Ashlee Harrison shares programming inspired by the city’s rich design heritage, distilled through themes of eclecticism, imagination, and nostalgia.

Elegant two-story white house with Design Miami symmetrical design, expansive lawn, and a foreground pool, viewed through an open gate under a blue sky with fluffy clouds.

Holmby Hills Estate Los Angeles \\\ Photo: Walker Bunting

Elegant living room with white sofas, ottomans, classic paneled walls, a Design Miami-inspired chandelier, and large windows overlooking greenery.

Holmby Hills Estate Los Angeles \\\ Photo: Walker Bunting

View through an ornate black iron gate focusing on a white house with a checkerboard floor patio and a small arched structure in the Design Miami garden.

Holmby Hills Estate Los Angeles \\\ Photo: Walker Bunting

The visual narrative begins with brand collateral featuring celebrated LA-based artist Peter Shire as the subject of the campaign – a refreshed marketing strategy employed by the fair moving forward to spotlight Design Miami’s expansive global artisan network. What’s more, print and digital ephemera become conduits for experiencing and connecting with exceptional design and afford those not in attendance the opportunity to live with that season’s keepsake. For those in attendance, the engaging exhibitions in this year’s edition will serve as a fully immersive exploration into LA’s continuing legacy as it inspires and contributes to global conversations on design.

A large, abstract, metallic sculpture resembling interconnected organic shapes, displayed at Design Miami, placed against a white brick wall on a concrete floor.

Rhulani Peace 2024 by Rich Mnisi from Southern Guild \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Southern Guild

A modern sculpture featuring an arrangement of various textured rocks and minerals balanced on a curved metal base, displayed on a white pedestal against a light background at Design Miami.

PIPE AND ROCK STACK RUBBLE 2024 by Dawn Bendick from Charles Burnard Gallery \\\ Photo: Graham Pearson

A modern lamp with an orange shade mounted on an abstract, curved, yellow and brown base, displayed at Design Miami against a white backdrop.

Let me pay my taxes today! 2023 by Carmen DApollonio from Friedman Benda \\\ Photo: Evan Bedford

With an emphasis on LA-based practices, art gallery Friedman Benda (New York/Los Angeles) cuts through the noise to present a curated group exhibition in a nod to Design Miami’s global context while acknowledging local talent and their international echo. Highlighted works will include the likes of Darren Romanelli, Carmen D’Apollonio, Farrell Hundley, Misha Kahn, and Samuel Ross.

A carved stone sculpture resembling a stylized human face with large eyes and a prominent nose, featured at Design Miami, set against a gray background.

Constantino (white) 2021 by Carmen DApollonio from Friedman Benda \\\ Photo: Leonard Faustle

A woman stands beside a large, abstract sculpture at Design Miami, featuring a textured, cylindrical base with a ring adorned with colorful threads on top.

Isacholo 2024 by Zizipho Poswa from Southern Guild \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Southern Guild

For a particularly titillating point of view, Southern Guild (Cape Town/Los Angeles) thoughtfully weaves narratives of hyper-sentimentalism, nostalgia, ecological concerns, craft traditions, and social politics into their striking showcase. The globalized presentation of notable designers includes: ZaneleMuholi, Zizipho Poswa, Porky Hefer, Andile Dyalvane, Rich Mnisi, Cheick Diallo, Nandipha Mntambo, King Houdekpinkhou, Patrick Bongoy, among others.

Sculpture presented at Design Miami, featuring a large metallic hand with oversized, glossy red fingernails, partially reflecting on a white surface.

The Space Between Certainty – Archway (detail) 2024 limited edition of three By Bower Studios x Genesis Belanger from The Future Perfect \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Bower Studios

A sculpture of a hand with exaggerated fingers forming the base of a lamp, designed for Design Miami, supporting a simple green lampshade, isolated on a white background.

It’s all over now 2022 by Carmen DApollonio from Friedman Benda \\\ Photo: Stephen Busken

The Future Perfect (New York/Los Angeles) crafts a response to the classical decor within the Paul R. Williams estate through a selection of objects whose design strategy moves in silence. With artifacts quietly in dialogue, each adds to the conversation on contemporary design without pulling focus from the others in service asserting their place within – and with respect to – historical context. The exhibition will present works by Bower Studios x Genesis Belanger, the latest edition of Bower’s evolving series of artist collaborations, as well as spotlight Jane Yang-D’Haene, Chris Wolston, Leena Similu, and Eric Roinestad.

A modern table featured at Design Miami with a black top supported by intricately designed conical black metal legs resembling inverted lampshades.

Convergence 2023 by Miriam Carpenter from Moderne Gallery at Design Miami Los Angeles \\\ Photo: Moderne Gallery

Abstract wall-mounted art piece featured at Design Miami, incorporating black strands and red cables cascading from multiple circular green bases on a white brick wall.

Desert Flower 2023 by Patrick Bongoy from Southern Guild \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Southern Guild

Moderne Gallery (Philadelphia) facilitates a carefully curated presentation of rare and important works by George Nakashima, in conversation with historical and contemporary works by esteemed designers including Miriam Carpenter, Hasimoto Tomonari, and Bobby Silverman. Guests may also access never before seen pieces by Nakashima alongside a masterwork by Miriam Carpenter. Making waves along the west, R & Company (New York) will celebrate current and contemporary works by designers based on the golden coast in search to develop new avenues for growth within the creative industries. Presentations include Hun Chung Lee, Rogan Gregory, and Jolie Ngo. Meanwhile, Gallery FUMI (London) looks inward recreating a domestic setting with pieces that showcase what it means to live beautifully expressed in material play from an array of designers including Kustaa Saksi, Francesco Perini, and Sam Orlando Miller.

A modern wooden armchair with a blue patterned upholstery on one side, positioned on a plain white background at Design Miami.

Pitka Kotka Chair 2023 by Kustaa Saksi from Gallery FUMI \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Gallery FUMI

Round wooden stool featuring concentric black and natural wood circles on top, viewed from a slight angle against a white background, showcased at Design Miami.

Incontro Coffee Table 2024 by Francesco Perini from Gallery FUMI \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Gallery FUMI

Other notable exhibitors include Carpenters Workshop Gallery (London/Paris/New York/Los Angeles), Todd Merrill Studio (New York), Salon 94 Design (New York), Charles Burnand Gallery (London), Galerie Negropontes (Paris), Lebreton (Monaco), Wexler Gallery (Philadelphia), Ornamentum (New York), James de Wulf (Los Angeles), and Nick Thomm (Melbourne/Los Angeles).

A textured, vertical, oval-shaped gray sculpture with multiple elongated cut-out openings, displayed at Design Miami against a white background.

Lampe Atlas 1961 by Andre Aleth Masson from Lebreton \\\ Photo: Lebraton Gallery

A unique, sculptural table with a Design Miami-inspired snake design and textured surface, featuring metallic accents and a smooth top.

Rifuwo Wealth 2023 by Rich Mnisi from Southern Guild \\\ Photo: Courtesy of Southern Guild

A jewel in the crown that is Design Miami’s latest endeavor, Harrison curates an exhibition themed “Master Works of Collectible Design, 1938-Present,” to display a contemporary survey of evocative items from the past through present day in a nod to Hollywood’s golden era – and perhaps current design renaissance. It will tout innovation and craftsmanship in an homage to these artisan predecessors and design pioneers as well as those who shepherd collectible craft into the future.

This event marks a new waypoint for global design convergence within the intimate setting of a residential environment while offering a glimpse into the enduring allure of craftsmanship. From gallery highlights to individual exhibitors, Design Miami has primed Los Angeles to become the next best destination for design and those who dare to dream of it. “A land of thinkers and creators,” Harrison says. “California has always been fertile ground for risk-taking and avant-garde thinking across all realms of design.”

To inquire about attending, visit DESIGN MIAMI.LA here.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.