The 19th edition of Design Miami entitled Where we stand opens on December 5th. Here is our selection of exhibitions not to be missed

The 19th edition of Design Miami opens on December 5 with an important theme: Where we stand, where we are. The idea is to show the narrative capacity of design, its storytelling dimension, both as a witness and as a possible interlocutor of a highly polarized world - the current one.

A certainly ambitious idea, launched by the curator director of the event, Anna Carnick, with these words: «I chose the theme "Where We Stand" not only to underline the role that design plays in reflecting and respond to the world around us, but also as an invitation to consider how it might help us navigate this complex and too often divided moment.

Design can be a powerful tool for telling stories, and stories give us access to the humanity of others. By celebrating objects from around the world and inspired by narratives of place, community and heritage – sources we all turn to for strength, clarity and purpose – I hope this year's Design Miami sparks conversations reflective on the ties that unite us and how they can inform our future paths."

In a continuous dialogue between historical pieces, even rare ones, and contemporary projects, international galleries try to give their own response to the theme. Or perhaps, to raise more questions. Design Miami 2023 is a journey into the future with a suitcase full of wonderful ideas from the past. Here's what to see.

Human Connection

Human connections are at the center of this exhibition which narrates them through works by artists from the most diverse places on the planet.

Victoria Yakusha, Ukrainian artist previously guest at Design Miami, this time presents The Land of Light, a collection of objects made with the ancient Ztista technique which involves the superposition of layers of an amalgam of clay, hay and recycled materials that are normally used for finishing the walls of houses. A living compound, capable of absorbing energy but also of returning it in a natural way, which takes shape in this series of objects to reflect on the earth to which they belong.

The artistNifemi Marcus-Bellot from Lagos, Nigeria, presents at the gallery of Los Angeles Marta the second act ofTales by Moonlight, a work begun in the same gallery in early 2023, based on sculptures made in an auto parts foundry in Lagos, built in sand-cast aluminium.

We question ourselves on the issues of the world of work, production chains and the dynamics of supply and demand, together with the life cycle of materials in global society, with particular attention to the artisan industry that has arisen in Africa to make spare parts for used cars, which arrived in the region from America and Europe. The project takes its name from the beloved children's television series of the same name,Tales by Moonlight, which aired from 1984 to 2002 on Nigerian TV.

Hostler Burrows (New York/Los Angeles) presents the connections human beings seen by female artists from Northern Europe in a series of works whose common theme is the use of fragile materials. The ceramic chair with beads handmade by Marianne Huotari, finalist of the Loewe Craft Prize, is interesting, but also the new glass sculptures by Hanna Hansdotter and the recent sculptures by Kristina Riska.

Shared environment

To know where we are, we must also take care of the environment, an essential theme of contemporary life.

The Sarah Myerscough Gallery (London) presents a series of functional objects made with innovative practices, in particular Echo, a collection of 3D printed vases by Gareth Neil that uses natural sand to create miniature and monumental forms. The peculiarity lies in the fluid but at the same time solid material which allows infinite configurations.

Craftsmanship and tradition

Yet another possible declination of the theme Where we are is to respond with an identity discussion with respect to the place and the traditions that characterize it. But not without looking at the present, continually evolving and updating.

æquō (Mumbai), India's first gallery, debuts at Design Miami with a selection of pieces from the Panna collection by its creative director Florence Louisy. Sculptural pieces, made through the art of folding different materials - from oxidized copper in Jaipur, to burnt and enameled pieces in Alibag, to soft Kashmiri felt. A tribute to the rich Indian artisan heritage that merges with contemporary design that will be presented together with the works of CédricCourtinWendy Andreu, Valeriane Lazard, Frédéric Imbert and Boris Brucher, linked together by the common exploration of matter.

Ateliers Courbet (New York) returns to Design Miami to enhance the circular economy and local craftsmanship. To do this, it created a collection of pieces made by eight designers who sourced local raw materials, used ancient techniques to sculpt, shape and mold organic matter and create an object that tells and respects its origins. The result is a harmonious display that activates different sensorial aspects, from the Meridiennesofa sofa by Pieter Maes, handmade , inspired by the organic folds and curves of wood, by Ethan Stebbins's Wabi Sabibed, which uses Japanese techniques of interlocking joints with local materials cut and chiseled by hand.

Diletante42 (San Paolo) works on the hyper local with a series of Brazilian design icons. Lina Bo Bardi certainly couldn't be missing with a prototype of her Bowl Chair, created thanks to meticulous research into the technical drawings and personal sketches of the designer. by the architect and completed with the padding and original materials from the 1950s.

Special projects

Don't miss Utopia, the project by Lara Bohinc, 2023 winner of the Annual Design Commission: a sculptural installation of irregular shapes made of ecological cork and naturally waterproof, which imagines a city in which man and nature thrive in harmony. You can sit on it, play (there is also a large egg house for children) and gather - the installation in fact includes outdoor seating, tables and large solar-powered light sculptures. Alongside facilities for humans, 900 egg-shaped birdhouses are scattered among the trees of the Miami Design District (home to Utopia), providing shelter for wildlife wild.

Ginori 1735 presents Reborn Project curated by Frédéric Chambre: international artists and designers are invited to transform and reinterpret white porcelain tableware and iconic objects Ginori to make unique, non-replicable pieces.

Who is Anna Carnick

Curator of many international events, Berlin-based writer and editor, Carnick, as well as serving as co-editor-in-chief of The Forum/ of Design Miami, strong> is also co-founder of Anava Projects, a creative agency committed to bringing international design events to life, with the aim of cultivating emerging talents, in the belief that good design must also have a positive social impact.