Outside the main Design Miami/ tent opposite the Miami Beach Convention Center, cars are the currency. Designers such as Rem Koolhaas and Bjarke Ingels were spotted filtering in and out of the fair, headed off to the Design District or the Pérez Art Museum across the bay, but there’s always the sticky problem of how to get them there. The lucky few have their own drivers; the rest of the world waits for taxis, only to creep through traffic on Collins Avenue.
Inside the tent, a couple themes emerged this year. The first and most ubiquitous is Charlotte Perriand: the 20th-century French designer has at least one piece in no fewer than four different booths, and offsite exhibitions—including a full-size recreation of a Perriand house on the grounds of The Raleigh Hotel—are helping to make 2013 the Year of Charlotte. “It’s no coincidence,” says François Laffanour of Paris’ Galerie Downtown, who was approached by representatives from fashion house Louis Vuitton, whose recent marketing campaign has starred Perriand’s work in a leading role. Laffanour lent his expertise to that effort, and Vuitton (extending their already powerful influence in the Design District) helped make Perriand the talk of Miami. “They liked the image of this very strong woman,” says Laffanour.
Design Miami/ director Marianne Goebl identified a couple other going trends in this year’s fair, including “the convergences of old and new technologies,” evident in pieces like designer Maarten Baas’s “Godfather Clock Corten” at Carpenter’s Workshop: a standing clock topped by a round digital screen, the clock tells times through videos, like that of a man drawing the minute and second hands moving in real time across the face. Time, however, was only too short for the busy visitor—just enough to race through Galerie Patrick Seguin’s stunning, rebuilt Jean Prouvé house before dashing off to the Design District for a night of panels and parties.