Designer Lara Bohinc Awarded Miami Design District's 2023 Annual Design Commission
London-based designer, Lara Bohinc, of Bohinc Studio, will be taking over the Miami Design District this year with her winning concept Utopia – an immersive installation of functional sculptures that realise a vision of sustainable urban living, creating public spaces where people and nature harmoniously coexist.
The other-worldly installations are made from cork and will be unveiled in November 2023 throughout the Design District, ahead of Miami Art Week. Commissioned in collaboration with Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab, Bohinc’s sculptures will also greet visitors at the entrance of the international collectible design fair Design Miami/ from 5th December 2023.
Utopia is Bohinc Studio’s first public commission in the US and spans four installations featuring irregular, bulbous forms reminiscent of growing cellular organisms and lifeforms. Friendly and dynamic, the sculptures are suggestive of living objects, mushrooming across the district with their kind yet mysterious presence.
The colourful and tactile sculptures include outdoor seaters, tables, and imposing three-metre tall light sculptures, placed within proximity to create intimate and comforting resting places.
A constellation of nine hundred egg-shaped birdhouses will be interspersed among the tree branches, providing colourful refuge and shade for local wildlife. Echoing the function of the birdhouses, a giant, centrepiece two-metre tall egg-form will provide a playful hideout for small children. At night, the solar-powered sculptures will come to life and create an atmospheric luminous glow.
Painted by hand in vibrant pastel hues of pistachio, aqua, lavender, cherry blossom and eggshell blue, Bohinc’s designs pay homage to Miami’s architectural colour palette and bring elements of playfulness, functionality and comfort to the outdoor areas that the installations inhabit.
With a focus on environmental issues, Bohinc’s pieces are made from cork – a natural, waterproof and environmentally friendly material, native to Portugal, constructed with the assistance of a 5D robotic milling machine and completed by hand.
The thought-provoking sculptures invite passers-by to interact with their functional forms and clustered together, conceptualise a utopian future that questions how we might better engage with the natural world.
Intermingling with the District’s walkways and enlivening the public spaces as a place to convene, the organic objects become a living thread, engaging with the native trees and architecture to create a place of reflection for visitors.
Lara Bohinc says, “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 as well as Design Miami/.”
Grela Orihuela, Senior Vice President, Fairs, Design Miami/ says, “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.”
Craig Robins, President and CEO of DACRA says, "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.”
The Miami Design District Commission--an annual initiative in its 9th year--invites creatives to enliven the neighbourhood at a time of the year where the communities of art and design convene in the city for Miami Art Week. Utopia will remain publicly installed until mid-2024.
About Studio Bohinc
After a decade-long stint with Cartier, exploring sculpture through jewellery, Lara Bohinc embarked upon creating functional pieces for living.
Finding the larger medium so compelling following a series of private commissions, Bohinc launched her own studio in 2016 to dedicate her practice to object and furniture design.
Working with wood, glass, metals, marble, ceramics and textiles, among other materials, the studio creates work of iconic beauty that honors traditional principles of craft and employs expertise in material and manufacturing techniques.
Function fused with modernity forms the genesis of Bohinc’s contemporary design practice, feeding an obsession with the deconstruction and reconfiguration of form, expressed in the finest materials. Bohinc’s signature is a mix of contradictions: bold yet light, graphic yet fluid, angular yet feminine.
To learn more visit www.bohincstudio.com
By ML staff. Images courtesy of Bohinc.