On November 30, most of us, at least in my part of the country, will be dealing with gray skies, cold temperatures, and maybe snow. (Although maybe not – it’s sunny and 70° in Ohio today! I don’t understand, but I won’t complain.) If you’re like me, you may be ready to run away to some more pleasant location by then, and if you’re looking for an excuse, you can always check out Design Miami/, which will be taking place from November 30 to December 4 in the sunny Florida city.
Coinciding with the Art Basel fair, Design Miami/ will draw prominent designers, gallerists, collectors, critics and curators from around the world for exhibitions, trade, networking, panels and lectures. When visitors arrive, they will be greeted by a massive structure that resembles an ancient, gnarled tree with its branches bent to the ground. The 3D printed pavilion, which arches over visitors while at the same time giving them places to sit and rest, is the result of a collaborative project led by SHoP Architects.
The New York City architectural firm was awarded the 2016 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award, which Italian watchmakers Officine Panerai will present to them at the fair. In addition to being honored with the award, which recognizes significant contributions to the field of design, SHoP Architects has been commissioned to design a public plaza at the entrance to the fair. The firm, which has become known for unconventional architectural design and next-generation fabrication techniques, has come up with a giant pavilion, dubbed “Flotsam and Jetsam,” for the fair’s entrance.
“SHoP is a place where people come together without any prescribed idea about what the esthetics of a building or public space should be, then we take complex problems and solve them with both beauty and technical proficiency,” said SHoP Founding Principal Gregg Pasquarelli. “Working with Design Miami has been a great experience and a perfect opportunity to explore the expressive possibilities of tomorrow’s architecture.”
For assistance with the actual construction of the pavilion, SHoP reached out to Branch Technology, whose patented Cellular Fabrication Technology utilizes a giant robotic 3D printer to create freeform walls and other structural components. Additional construction help will come from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), whose Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine is capable of 3D printing components up to 20 x 8 x 6 feet. ORNL will print elements of the pavilion with a biodegradable bamboo/PLA composite material, and will surpass their own record for largest solid 3D printed object.
SHoP has also enlisted partners Dassault Systèmes and Thornton Tomasetti to help manage the project. The installation will encompass all of the elements that make modern design technology like 3D printing so exciting: creative freedom, sustainable materials, large-scale production capabilities and more.
“SHoP represents exactly what the Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award is meant to recognize: innovation, inspiration and an outstanding point-of-view,” said Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Officer of Design Miami/. “For the first time, we will be installing the commission long-term in the Miami Design District and I cannot think of a better practice to conceive this installation. We are thrilled with the pavilion design and delighted to honor SHoP for the 12 th edition of Design Miami.”
Once Design Miami is over, the pavilion will be permanently installed in the Miami Design District’s Jungle Plaza as a space for outdoor cultural events. That space will be officially launched, in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, next year alongside a community program aimed at bringing public sculptural art to the city.