Best bets at Design Miami 2012

Best bets at Design Miami 2012
Drift by Snarkitecture. Photo courtesy of Design Miami.

The global art-design extravaganza kicks off officially on December 5 with exhibits, installations and cocktail parties happening over five days. Here’s what not to miss.

1 Drift by Snarkitecture

In partnership with the inflatable structure manufacturer Inflate, Snarkitecture of New York will install massive air-filled tubes that form a mountainous range at the festival pavilion entrance. The vertical cylinders are arranged in a descending formation with several light wells creating a cavernous feel as showgoers enter and exit the big top.

2 Parhelia by Asif Khan and Swarovski

This is Swarovski‘s seventh year at the show and this time the Austrian company is teaming up with Asif Khan who garnered acclaim as co-designer of the Coca-Cola Beatbox pavilion at the London Olympics. Inspired by the arctic sky, the London designer has created an indoor ice halo that reaches six metres high and uses 1.3 million Swarovski crystals. The halos will appear to follow showgoers through the exhibition space and a skylight within allows natural light to interact with the design.

3 Surface Tension Lamp by Front

The newly minted Dutch lighting brand Booo (launched during Milan Design Week this spring) makes its North American debut with an experimental light by Front. The Swedish studio took the ubiquitous light bulb and replaced it with a soap bubble. Every few seconds, the lamp blows a bubble to form a lampshade around an LED. Over the course of 50,000 hours – the lifespan of the light source – three million bubbles will be created.

Best Bets at Design Miami 2012 05

4 Klein-Bottle Playground by Acconci Studio

Vito Acconci’s Acconci Studio has been named Designer of the Year, joining the ranks of Konstantin Grcic and David Adjaye. The Brooklyn artist-designer has conceived of a children’s climbing structure that will be permanently installed in the Miami Design District by 2014. The ear-shaped playground is defined by three long necks that squeeze against each other and cross through the sphere. Inside, children can slide along its polycarbonate surface, while outside they can climb the beast by holding onto textured knobs.

5 Design+World at Luminaire

The Miami-Chicago showroom is hosting a survey of new works by rising stars and superstars, including the prolific Japanese studio Nendo, Belgian ceramicist Piet Stockmans and New York’s studio RUX. Innovations by notable lighting brands Flos, Wastberg and Luceplan are also in the mix.

Design Miami runs December 5 to 9 in Miami Beach. 

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