Recently, the Miami Design District announced that designer Lara Bohinc, Founder of Bohinc Studio, has been awarded the neighborhood’s highly anticipated 2023 Design Commission. In collaboration with Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab, Miami Design District has commissioned Bohinc’s proposed installation, Utopia, to be unveiled throughout the pedestrian friendly neighborhood now in November 2023–just in time for Miami Art Week. The installation will extend into the new year, and will also greet visitors at the fair entrance of Design Miami.
Utopia spans four installations featuring irregular, bulbous forms reminiscent of growing cellular organisms and life forms. Friendly and dynamic, the sculptures are suggestive of living objects, mushrooming across the neighborhood with their kind yet mysterious forms. Collectively, they imagine a city where nature thrives peacefully and in harmony with our human presence. In dialogue with one another, and with those who interact with them, the sculptures include outdoor seating, tables and oversized light sculptures, placed within proximity to create intimate and comforting resting places.
Nine hundred egg-shaped birdhouses will be dispersed throughout the trees, providing shelter for birdlife. Echoing the function of birdhouses, a giant, centerpiece egg-form will provide a playful refuge for small children. With a focus on sustainability, and in response to the commission’s brief, Bohinc’s pieces are made from cork – a natural and environmentally friendly material, which is also naturally waterproof. At night, solar-powered sculptures will create an atmospheric and inviting glow.
Engage with the natural world
The installations bring elements of playfulness, functionality and comfort to the District’s outdoor areas, enlivening the public spaces as a place to convene, while engaging the native trees and architecture to encourage discussion on sustainability and environmentalism. Clustered together, the thought-provoking sculptures conceptualize a utopian future that questions how we might better engage with the natural world.
“I am honored to be awarded Miami Design District’s Annual Design Commission this year. This is my largest work to date and my first public commission in the U.S.A. It has been a wonderful process creating these organic and colorful forms for this Installation, and truly rewarding to see them come to life in such a sustainable way. I’m proud to be a part of Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab’s esteemed group of commissioned designers, and can’t wait to finally see ‘Utopia’ come to life in the Miami Design District.” – Lara Bohinc, Designer & Founder of Bohinc Studio
The installation was commissioned in collaboration with Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab, a strategic consultancy that was established by Design Miami/ to help businesses harness the power of design to build cultural capital. From permanent architectural structures and seasonal pop-up installations, to buzzworthy campaigns, programming, and events, Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab exists to create high-profile, on-the-pulse activations for businesses operating at the intersection of culture and commerce. Design Miami/ launched the Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab with the neighborhood’s commission as their first project.
“It was a true pleasure to join forces with the Miami Design District and, through Design Miami/Curatorial Lab, invite artists and designers to share their proposals to transform the Design District with an immersive installation during Art Week this December. We received innovative and thought-provoking submissions from around the world and look forward with great anticipation to seeing the wonderfully talented work of this year’s nominated designer, Lara Bohinc, come to life in the Miami Design District and at our flagship fair in Miami Beach.” – Grela Orihuela, Senior Vice President, Fairs, Design Miami/
Injecting a surge of energy into the community
Each winter, the Miami Design District extends a special invitation to an imaginative artist to breathe new life into the neighborhood’s landscape. Intertwining with Miami Design District’s pathways, the intriguing public installations become a living thread, engaging with the local trees, architecture, and walkways to create a unique experience for visitors. This vibrant addition injects a surge of energy into the community precisely when it’s most bustling – premiering amidst Miami Art Week, and living well into the new year.
“Art possesses an extraordinary power to transfigure our surroundings, and this year, in partnership with the exceptional talent of Lara Bohinc, our installation promises to be nothing short of mesmerizing. As we embrace the convergence of creativity, culture, and urban design, by offering a dynamic platform for artists to reshape our landscape, we also continue to elevate our community and strengthen Miami’s ever evolving art scene.” – Craig Robins, President and CEO of DACRA.
The Miami Design District is committed to enriching the community through cultural interventions that in turn support talented artists and creatives. Now in its ninth year, the Miami Design District’s Annual Design Commission is a family-friendly event intended to draw the community together. Past winners include: Germane Barnes’ Rock | Roll (2022); Studio Proba’s and Enjoy the Weather’s Tomorrow Land (2021); gt2P’s Conscious Actions (2020); Fernando Laposse’s Pink Beasts (2019); Dozie Kanu’s Support System (2018); Charlap Hyman & Herrero’s White Rain (2017); Philippe Malouin’s The Speed of Light (2016); and Snarkitecture’s Holiday (2015).