VenueMiami Design District
|Title||Tomorrow Land||Venue||Miami Design District||Location||
Miami, FLUnited States
After a pandemic-prompted hiatus, Design Miami is back on track for its 17th edition which takes place between December 1 – 5 in tandem with Art Basel Miami Beach (December 2 – 4). Welcoming visitors at this year’s fair is Tomorrow Land, a public installation by Portland and Brooklyn-based Studio Proba that has transformed the Miami Design District into an interactive playground bursting with candy-bright colours, organic shapes and zany patterns. The winning design of the district’s annual competition, the installation consists of 21 large-scale elements that range from totem-like sculptures and festoons, to whimsical seating arrangements.
Designed in studio founder Alex Proba’s signature style, the sculptures marry the dreamlike surrealism of Salvador Dali, the energizing exuberance of Keith Haring and the zany mischievousness of the Memphis Group, filling the streets of the Miami Design District and the entrance of Design Miami with palpable joy and much-needed optimism. Complemented by an interactive, virtual game from Portland-based design practice Enjoy the Weather, Tomorrow Land “harnesses”, in curators Anava Projects’ words, “the power of design to spread a little joy and a sense of community”, a lofty mission matched by a deserving timeframe – the fun-packed installation is on view until May 2022 with a selection of sculptures staying put as permanent fixtures (the rest will be auctioned during Design Miami).
Proba has a keen eye for pattern and colour that enables her to create beautiful, eye-catching compositions no matter the scale or medium. From large-scale murals, to rugs and blankets, to ceramics, candles and even sneakers, her studio’s multidisciplinary creations are designed to positively stimulate the senses, and Tomorrow Land, her most ambitious project to date, is no exception. Responding to a curatorial theme of “Comfort and Joy: A Call to Action”, the designer conceived the installation as a source of delight, amusement and wonder, aiming for an Alice-in-Wonderland sensation as she told Yatzer in a recent conversation.
Part of the “Living Shapes” series, an up to now virtual project which the designer has been working on since 2019, the abstract sculptures burst with vivid colours and graphic patterns, their surreal whimsicality subliminally conveying a sense of glee. “The project is not only huge for us in terms of colour and scale of our art, but especially important as it is interactive and will get people outside, moving around the city, and contributing to a better tomorrow”, Proba says.
Along with Proba’s physical sculptures, 15 artists and designers have created their own virtual sculptures which visitors can experience through Enjoy The Weather’s interactive app. Built around AR technology and proximity beacons, the app also allows visitors to “collect” and digitally customize Proba’s shapes, and place their own custom totems throughout the Miami Design District for other visitors to discover and interact with, or conversely put Tomorrow Land’s sculptures in their own home. “Designed to spark joy while looking towards a brighter future”, Proba’s Dali-esque sculptures do exactly that: you can’t help but smile as you interact with them, both physically and virtually.