Luminaire Lab’s newly expanded, 15,000-square foot showroom in Miami’s Design District sprang to life on December 1 with an exuberant celebration, exhibition and benefit auction attended by nearly 400 people. Further establishing itself as the preeminent location for meaningful events and thoughtfully-curated design installations, Luminaire presented DesignLove, the latest in the company’s philanthropic Love Series with all proceeds benefitting the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami. The series evolved from Nasir and Nargis Kassamali’s personal commitment to support the fight against the disease and this year’s edition, DesignLove, came from the company’s close friendship with Intramuros magazine’s editor-in-chief, Chantal Hamaide. The international design publication donated over 90 original works in DuPont™ Corian® to Luminaire by a roster of the most influential contemporary designers, each of whom have appeared on Intramuros magazine’s covers over the past quarter century.
A definitive highlight of the many events surrounding Design Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach 2011, DesignLove was exhibited within the Lab’s expansive ground floor space, demonstrating the aesthetic point of view and personality of each designer as well as the infinite range of the synthetic resin Corian. Luminaire’s online auction allowed bidders to compete for the works and in the end, DesignLove raised over $50,000 for the Sylvester Center. In addition to the Kassamalis and Hamaide, speaking at the event was Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, the Interim Director of the Sylvester Center and the William J. Harrington Chair in Hematology at the University of Miami. Hamaide and Intramuros’ Head of Communications, Quitterie Amiel, traveled from Paris expressly to support of the benefit. Other attendees included Giulio Cappellini as well as designers Yves Béhar and Stephen Burks, both of whose works were included in DesignLove.
As part of the launch of the Lab’s expansion to the second level, installations by new vendors also animated the design showroom with a range of materials and form. In the front window, handcrafted and cantilevered mobile chandeliers, a cast-brass ball vase and gold-plated stainless steel beauty mirror from Michael Anastassiades created a supremely elegant composition, while in a nearby display cube, four mannequins wore layers of elaborately folded, architectural clothing by new designer Kentaro OSA. Also fresh to the Luminaire collection was African-inspired jewelry by Annerose Muyombano, another novel addition to Luminaire’s collection. The new, permanent location for Outdoor Therapy, which began as a concept store has now also found a home in the expanded space, allowing visitors to understand how design thinking can overlap both indoor and outdoor environments. The expansion of Luminaire Lab marked the maturation of an idea that first took form in 2006. It is a design showroom whose installations are intended to be environments for enlightenment, where one can learn how good design can be integrated into one’s life, and acts a place to spark the transformation of one’s experience of the world.