5 Design Trends We Spotted During Miami Art Week

Matthew Gordon

The frenetic week known as Art Basel Miami is a bit of a misnomer. True, the U.S. edition of the famed Swiss art fair—held at Miami Beach’s striking Arquitectonica-designed convention center—was the show that started it all. But Miami Art Week is now a constellation of events, including several devoted to design. For a global snapshot of what’s happening in furniture, collectible objects, and even cars and jewelry, the annual Design Miami exhibition (across from the convention center) is a harbinger of what’s new and what’s next. At this year’s iteration, ELLE DECOR editors pinpointed several new trends—from high-shine surfaces (perfect in an age of selfies and TikTok backdrops) to design’s next It material, resin. Here are the five trends we predict will only get bigger in the year ahead. Hop on board while they’re still fresh.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

With sustainability at the forefront of design conversations, it is no surprise that reusing excess was a common theme at Design Miami this year. Designer Paola Lenti tapped the Campana Brothers to create a limited edition furniture collection using fabric waste (shown), while Kohler asked Nada Debs to create tiles with the remnants from their tubs and sinks. —Parker Bowie Larson
Reflective surfaces continue to trend as designers and artists take the myriad qualities of light for inspiration. From the disco dazzle of Mark Grattan’s high-shine chrome pieces at Cristina Grajales to the artful mirrors commissioned by Emma Scully Gallery, Design Miami encouraged visitors to revel in their own reflections. Outside the fair, artist Phillip K. Smith III created a site-specific installation for American Express and Resy, aptly titled Garden of Reflections (shown), designed to complement a suite of dining experiences prepared by Michelin and James Beard Award–winning chefs, including Massimo Bottura and Mashama Bailey. Smith, who’s exhibited previously during Salone del Mobile, is no stranger to unique commissions and took into consideration everything from the movement of the waitstaff to the colors of diners’ outfits. “The vertical ‘samplings’ of the surrounding environment create a dancing collage of changing light and movement within the space,” Smith said. “Catching a cropped reflection of yourself within that collage reminds us that we are part of the artwork as well.” —Sean Santiago
Try as we might, it’s hard to rival Mother Nature for beauty and ingenuity in design. Furniture that makes innovative use of organic materials is the next best thing. At Design Miami, London’s Sarah Myerscough Gallery tied for Best Gallery Presentation for its booth “Material Shores” with striking pieces featuring sustainable materials ranging from sisal to rice straw, willow, grasses, and salvaged and forage wood. The booth’s showstopper was a chandelier by Angela Damman, handmade in Mexico’s Yucatan with sansevieria plant fiber for a decidedly Cousin It vibe. Other standouts were a seven-foot sculpture of rice straw by artist Mami Kato and Christopher Kurtz’s Skipping Stone table made of stacked slices of oval tulipwood and poplar. Over at the Future Perfect, new lighting by Providence, Rhode Island–based duo Ben and Aja Blanc—handmade from horsehair and clay—also leaned into the shaggy side of life. —Ingrid Abramovitch
For Khaled El Mays’ newest collection with Nilufar Gallery, what started out as a look at the lotus flower turned into a deep dive in ancient Egypt, and the resulting winglike motifs embody the new hybrid of animal features that appeared to be popping up all throughout the Design Miami show. —P.L.
The endless possibilities of resin—translucency, malleability, color saturation—were on full display at Design Miami this year. At Tuleste Factory, Ian Alistair Cochran’s curvaceous Plump furniture played with the transparency of the material, with light reflected through curvaceous tables, shelves, and stools that can be ordered in any Pantone hue. Marcin Rusak’s white resin coffee table turned the material into a vehicle for inclusion—in this case a potpourri of real flowers embedded into its surface at Twenty First Gallery’s booth. Meanwhile, the king of collectible resin, Italian architect Gaetano Pesce, now in his 80s, showed the kids how it’s done with a display of 400 color-drenched, Crayola-esque resin chairs originally designed for Bottega Veneta’s spring/summer 2023 fashion show in Milan. The collectible chairs—called Come Stai? or “How are you?”—were available for purchase in Miami along with a new limited-edition book about the chair project. The book’s cover? Dipped in resin, of course. —I.A.

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