For the 2019 Design Miami fair, R & Company created a fair within a fair experience. This meta-design fair installation consisted of five distinct vignettes showcasing solo exhibitions of R & Company’s distinguished cadre of contemporary designers alongside a curated selection of furniture masterpieces by design legends including Wendell Castle.

Two of the designers that caught my attention at this edition of Design Miami were Jeff Zimmerman (a longtime favorite in the glass artistry genre) and Rogan Gregory.

Jeff Zimmerman at R & Company

Design Miami visitors were visibly captivated by Zimmerman’s dramatic installation of glowing suspended glass sculptures set against an inky background. The effect was one of luminescent heavenly bodies descending from the night skies to delight visitors as they weaved around the floating glass orbs for a truly immersive experience.

Zimmerman collaborated with friend and fellow glass artist James Mongrain to create the illuminated sculptures at the Corning Museum of Glass‘ state of the art glass-making studio. The master glassblowers used traditional glass-making and experimental techniques to form the organic shapes and visually dynamic forms that emulate the flow of molten glass. According to R & Company, in order to “capture fluidity of the molten glass in the final designs” the designers utilized “a unique Italian caning process.”

Rogan Gregory at R & Company

Rogan Gregory – the 2007 Vogue/CFDA fashion fund award recipient and renowned fashion designer, painter and sculptor – designed a surreal interior architecture composed of furniture and objects inspired by evolutionary biology, prehistoric sea-dwelling creatures, and extraterrestrial forms.

At a glance, Gregory’s sculptural installation would read as if the room decor and furnishings were chiseled from stone in line with the luxe caveman style the vignette evokes. However, the interior architecture and furniture are crafted from bronze, marble composite and gypsum.

Gregory’s sculptural furnishings and decor embody a natural, organic form and flow that seem to have been shaped over thousands, possibly millions, of years as the winds and waters defined each contoured canyon and hollowed valley. This ode to nature as the master sculptor is evident in Gregory’s rendering of the sculpted space elements including the central piece of the installation the fireplace with its integral wood bin as well as the corner shelves that resemble cliff ledges.

R & Company: Design on Film

R & Company captured Gregory’s artistic process for the pieces he exhibited at the 15th edition of Design Miami in their film “Rogan Gregory: Road to Miami 2019.”

Rogan Gregory’s Solo Exhibition in R & Company Space at Design Miami