A new curatorial director for the global platform of collectible design.
YESTERDAY, DESIGN MIAMI/ announced the appointment of Wava Carpenter as their new curatorial director. Carpenter, a specialist in modern and contemporary design, takes over from Aric Chen, who is taking up the post of General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
From today, Carpenter will oversee the curation of Design Miami/’s expanding digital platform – including the Design Miami/Shop and online magazine – and will shape the vision for December’s live edition of the Design Miami/ fair in Miami (1-5 December 2021). Chen meanwhile, the Shanghai-based architecture and design curator, who has helped to steer the fair through a challenging era, will continue in a curatorial role with Design Miami/ until November 2021, and will oversee the Basel, Switzerland edition of the fair (21-26 September).
Chen will be well remembered for his imaginative thematic exhibitions – Elements: Earth and Water, for Basel and Miami fairs in 2019 – as well as the Podium, America(s), which took place against all odds in Miami in 2020.
Carpenter is no newcomer to Design Miami/. She directed programming, design and commissions from 2006-2010 and more recently served as a Curatorial Advisor. As co-founder, with Anna Carnick, of Anava Projects, a curatorial agency with a strong commitment to design that makes a positive social impact, Carpenter has also led philanthropic initiatives at Design Miami/, including Architects for Beirut an online sale of architectural drawings and artworks by renowned and rising star architects.
Hosted via Design Miami/ Shop, the sale raised over $88,000 for Beirut Urban Lab, an organisation leading on-the ground efforts to restore buildings and public spaces in Beirut following the devastating blast at the city’s port in August last year.
A second project, Design for Global Giving, involved commissioning a collection of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition drawings, prints, and other works, donated by the creative community, which were then sold, raising over $30,000 for GlobalGiving’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.
The choice of Carpenter is an indication of just how far the design world’s perspective has shifted over the last year. Whilst her commercial credentials, as launch curator of design platforms L’ArcoBaleno and Pamono, are unimpeachable, Carpenter brings a commitment to thoughtful and beautiful design that sets out to make the world a better place.