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7 Standout Pieces at Design Miami 2023

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Heritage, spirituality, and innovation merged beautifully at this year’s Design Miami, all under the overarching theme of Where We Stand, “a celebration of design inspired by place, community, and heritage.”

A stroll through the floor revealed an array of fiber art, earthy tones, stone, and clay—an eloquent fusion that blends modernity with nature’s rugged beauty. Amid the sci-fi influences, there was an homage to ancient civilizations, blurring the boundaries of time and space.

For your enjoyment, we have selected seven captivating pieces, each serving as a collaboration between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.

Sarah Myerscough Gallery: Cotton fiber thread sculpture by Lin Fanglu

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Lin Fanglu‘s sculptural fiber fabric piece, She’s Landscape, is steeped in the Bai ethnic women’s traditional tie-dyeing technique. Inspired by the rich craftsmanship of China’s Yunnan Province, Fanglu seamlessly merges ancient customs with contemporary expression, situating women’s culture and craft at the heart of her work.

She’s Landscape places Fanglu’s innovative exploration of traditional Bai methods and materials at the forefront, resulting in a contemporary piece with a poetic allure. The artist’s adept use of flexible mediums allows her to sculpt in three dimensions, creating tactile pieces that beckon the audience’s touch.

Central to Fanglu’s artistic philosophy is the use of natural materials. She meticulously adheres to the Bai women’s dyeing process, using only pure cotton, linen, or natural fibers. For Fanglu, this dedication to natural elements not only preserves tradition but also engages in a dialogue with nature itself.

Maison Gerard: Contemporary center table by Laura Kirar

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Laura Kirar‘s exploration of art and design shatters boundaries with her groundbreaking creation, Glyph. Venturing into large-scale raku ceramic works, Kirar merges traditional techniques to sculpt mesmerizing sculptural pieces.

As a round table, Glyph symbolizes communication and camaraderie. Crafted using the intricate raku glaze technique from 16th-century Japan, each ceramic piece carries unique patterns and colors forged during an intense firing process and controlled exposure to oxygen.

Composed of 29 distinct ceramic elements mounted on a custom metal structure, the table spans two meters in diameter. Hand-carved, fired, and meticulously assembled, it also testifies to Kirar’s year-long dedication.

Adrian Sassoon: Gold leaf inlaid glass by Chiemi Watanabe


Adrian Sassoon unveils Chiemi Watanabe‘s gold leaf inlaid glass marvels. The sculptures enthrall with their delicate gold inlay technique, blending lacquer craftsmanship and techniques on transparent glass.

Each piece embodies a stunning fusion of creeping vines, revealing ethereal dragonflies in flight. Watanabe’s mastery, however, lies in playing with planes and solids, skillfully navigating her art to evoke a multidimensional aesthetic. The interaction between drawn motifs and the thickness of the glass creates a shift from lines to three-dimensional depth.

Sevan Bicakci: Inverse-carved-gemstone jewelry


Sevan Bicakci, the mastermind behind Istanbul’s renowned “slow luxury” carved gemstone jewelry, captivates with his meticulous craftsmanship. What truly astonishes, however, is his use of the inverse intaglio technique—a painstaking process involving delicate carving into the underside of translucent gemstones (i.e. aquamarines, citrines, and emeralds) using fine dental tools.

The complexity of gemstone carving is heightened when done from this angle, as this detailed process often risks gemstone breakage or inconsistent execution. Each showcased piece, guided by Sevan Bicakci’s creative director Emre Dilaver, not only demonstrates exceptional carving techniques but also weaves captivating myths and ancient tales into modern designs.

Raise the Moral: Multi-sensory Caterpillar Chair 



The multi-sensory Caterpillar Chair by Raise the Moral studio is an immersive sensory piece that bridges art and wellness. Crafted with meticulous precision by the studio’s founder Moral Turgeman and her creative partner Kelsey Falter, the chair’s sinuous form merges with electronic vibrations to offer a uniquely soothing experience.

The studio used tactile vibrations that communicate with the brain and nervous system as part of a mohair felt piece designed to follow the human form. Drawing inspiration from the body’s intrinsic vibrations, the Caterpillar Chair mirrors the spinal pathways to the core of the brain. The chair becomes a self-powered masterpiece, guiding us through a cocoon-like metamorphosis.

Here, Raise the Moral redefines vibration’s role in functional art, inviting a profound reconnection with oneself.

Les Ateliers Courbet: Balthazar Armoire by Hamza Kadiri


Les Ateliers Courbet’s awe-inspiring Balthazar Armoire, crafted by Moroccan woodworker Hamza Kadiri, is a masterpiece that marries classical art and mythology. The piece showcases Kadiri’s signature hand-carved technique on ash wood using the traditional Japanese Shou-Sugi-Ban method, in which charring creates a distinctive visual and textural depth.

Kadiri, a sought-after artist among global collectors, reveals his mastery in marquetry and cabinetry through his sculptural contemporary pieces. His work elevates the grains and patterns of wood through time-honored crafting techniques. Each piece of wood is meticulously chosen for its inherent qualities and natural beauty, which shape Kadiri’s deeply personal artistic language.

Hailing from a lineage of woodcraft experts, Kadiri first refined his artistry in Casablanca and later enriched it through apprenticeships in Japan and through his global travels. Kadiri’s use of rare wood species reflects his profound reverence for their intrinsic properties, resulting in a body of work that celebrates and showcases the distinctive characteristics of the material.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery: Contain Nature Cabinet by Nacho Carbonell


Nacho Carbonell‘s creation is an enigmatic fusion of metal, sand, and wood that challenges the conventional design of a wardrobe. Crafted from materials like metal body, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, metal mesh, and spray varnish finish, this captivating piece has an intriguing allure.

While Carbonell left his native Spain in 2005 to pursue industrial engineering at Design Academy Eindhoven, he keeps his creations anchored in the evocative memories of his homeland. Each piece embodies an intimate narrative woven with echoes of Spain’s sun-soaked landscapes, beautifully imprinted within the rough textures of his artwork.

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Inspired for a Beautiful Life

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