Lara Bohinc Unveils 2023 Design Miami/ Commission
The Galerie Creative Mind's massive installation in the Miami Design District features biomorphic forms crafted to foster interaction
Already in the midst of a meteoric rise, designer Lara Bohinc marks another major career milestone with the debut of her Design Miami/ commission, “Utopia.” “I wanted it to be about life, and about growth and organisms and something that’s really positive and also about nature, and how nature could spread throughout the city,” says Bohinc, a 2022 Galerie Creative Mind.
For the commission—the artist’s first public work in the US and only second overall following her Friendship Bench installation in London in 2014—Bohinc created 36 large-scale pieces, their globular shapes and circular positioning designed to foster interaction between people of all ages. “Their main functions are for sitting and lighting, but because they’re very bulbous and round, I imagine children are going to crawl on them and dogs are going to go inside,” says Bohinc, of the interactive forms, placed outside the Design Miami/ convention center as well as throughout the Palm Court, including a grouping set in front of the neighborhood’s iconic Buckminster Fuller Fly’s Eye Dome artwork.
Additionally, the artist created 900 brightly colored birdhouses that are suspended throughout the Design District, their palette drawing influence from the surrounding architecture and the Art Deco, “ice creamy” shades seen on buildings throughout the community. “All the furniture pieces are based on the idea of the cell, and the egg, which is where life starts,” says Bohinc.
The title, Utopia, nods to the overall message of the installation, Bohinc’s largest to date. “Because we live in really dark times, to imagine something that’s really positive and living in harmony and peace, is almost utopian,” she says of the pieces, which are made from cork to coincide with the Design District’s efforts around sustainability. “That’s what I like about public art because often pieces are created for only a few people with a certain income or space; this is literally for everybody to enjoy so there’s something very pleasurable about that.”
Utopia is major leap forward for Bohinc, who began her career designing jewelry before shifting to furniture in 2016. “Scale is something that we as people intuitively respond to—the bigger it is the more you’re impressed by it,” she says. “For me to design a ring or a three-meter-tall sculpture usually takes the same amount of time but the effect, the impression on people is so much larger.”
“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,” Craig Robins, President and CEO of DACRA, says in a statement. “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.”