While plenty of artful pieces were on display at Design Miami 2016, it was the designer chairs and sofas that caught our attention. Capping of a year full of cool seating designs, the Miami fair still managed to enthrall us with attractive pieces. Any of these modern chairs and sofas would be a stunning addition to your living space.
Israeli-born designer Ron Arad amazes with his prolific archive of works. His unique studio pieces, such as this “2 R Not” 1992/2012 are in addition to his architectural work and design for international powerhouses such as Kartell, Vitra, Moroso, Fiam, Alessi, Cappellini and Cassina just to name just a few. The contrast of the highly polished interior again the dark, matte exterior is stunning.
The “Sleipnir” bench by Sebastian Brajkovic is intriguing on many levels. The irregular seat, supports by an uneven area of various leg styles makes for a very clever piece. The upholstery is intricately beaded in a diamond pattern. The seat is a limited edition of eight, with four artist’s proofs. The Dutch-born designer, who works in Paris, creates furnishings that investigate perspective and distortion of form.
Vladimir Kagan’s Annency Sofa, also presented by the Carpenters Workshop Gallery, was one of his last works. The German-born designer died in April of 2016, ending a 70-yerar career. Kagan’s sofas all have a sensuous profile, from his Serpentine Sofa to his modern chaises and sculpted coffee table.
Charles Hollis Jones “Wisteria Chair” is a classic acrylic piece that was commissioned by famous American writer Tennessee Williams, who wanted a comfortable and modern writing chair. Jones is noted by the Smithsonian Institution “for his pioneering use of acrylic and lucite,” says the designer’s website.
This fun chair is by Pedro Barrail, a Paraguayan artist who’s pieces meld the traditional crafts of South America with modern concepts. This is his “El Casto” tattoo stool, which features tattoo-like graphics burned into the surface by members of the indigenous Pai Tavytera tribe or Paraguay. Not only is the surface design enchanting, but we love the whimsical bend of the legs.
This wood and plywood chair by Riccardo Dalisi in 1978 is still as fresh today. The architect/designer was one of the founders of Global Tools movement. Dales always used design folklore, craftsmanship, ancient materials in his works. The chair was offered by the ERAStudio Apartment Gallery.
As big fans of Brazil’s Campagna Brothers, we were happy to see the Friedman Benda gallery present this chair from the designing duo. It is upholstered in the skin from the giant leather made from the Pirarucu fish, which is bred on Amazonian fish farms. The texture of the skin gives the chair a totally different look from the typical leather chair.
Friedman Benda also offered this carved seat entitled “Within” by American design legend and father of art furniture Wendell Castle. The chair is part of his block series.
Colorful and funky chairs by Chris Schank are part of his “ALUfoil” series. Schank uses industrial or reclaimed materials, covers them in aluminum foil and then paints them. The work is then sealed with resin.
Deon Rubi created this Short Bench from Polished Aluminum tubes. The Argentine-American artist, now living in Miami, is best known for her jewelry creations. She has begun to collaborate with other designers and is producing installations and objects as well as jewelry.
For the first time, Louis Vuitton was an exhibitor at Design Miami, showing their Objets Nomades, which consists of furniture inspired by travel and features leather. The Campagna Brothers of Brazil designed this suspended Cocoon chair, crafted from luxurious leather. The cutout vessel evokes a feeling of being cocooned without being entirely enclosed.
The Laffanour / Galerie Downtown, Paris, had a number of pieces by iconic designers, including this Jean Prouvé Day Bed c 1954. Its clean lines and minimal profile are modern and elegant.
Jim Cole’s Sculptural Bench, shown by the Mage n H gallery, Cole, who is on the faculty of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, creates pieces that bridge “the gap between sculpture and furniture.”
Trained as an industrial designer, Brazilian artist Hugo França makes his furniture from pieces left from the enormous paqui trees, which were destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s. Just looking at his pieces, it is apparent that Franca lets the wood pieces lead him in shaping the furnishings.
This great modern chair is by Jonathan Nesci and has only three main components. Presented by the Patrick Parish Gallery, The Rolled Chair is “made of aluminum sheet which is cut flat, mechanically rolled into shape and continuously welded to what appears to be a simple extrusion,” writes the gallery’s website.
The Soffietta is an remarkable rolling chair in steel and rose gold by Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari. Soffietta, 2016Leather, aluminum and copper-plated brass. The Milanese designers work following the concept of “the home as a domestic theatre,” says Artsy.
Salon 94 showed this colorful and angular acrylic chair in a bold shade of red.
One of our favorites from last year — South Africa’s Porky Hefer — was back in 2016 with this lighthearted suspended seat. “ eather, sheepskin and steel. The Southern Guild Gallery presented the chair, which is artful and whimsical.
Ania Jaworski designed this Unit 6 (Armchair), in 2016 from lacquered fiberglass and wood. The unstructured cushion is plush and loose like a big blanket.