opened its doors on Tuesday with a new look and a big announcement. The fair, which has made a perennial home in Miami since 2010—and has since established itself as the leading platform for innovative design, both historic and brand spanking new—will be partnering with the United Nations in 2017. Together they’ve formed an initiative called “Building Legacy: Designing for Sustainability,” which was created to help mobilize the intergovernmental organization’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The result is an unprecedented relationship for a commercial art or design fair.
“This fair is all about how our lives can be improved by thoughtful design and thinking,” said Design Miami/ executive director Rodman Primack in the opening hours of the fair. “It’s not just about making something, it’s about making something better and more beautiful. And right now, that also means sustainably.” Primack was standing in the middle of a round amphitheater—the likes of which ancient Romans used to work out pressing state issues—a “conversation pit” as it’s affectionately called, designed by real estate firm DDG and made of spruce sourced from one of the globe’s most environmentally responsible factories. Fittingly, it will host the first of Design Miami/’s collaborative efforts with the UN, a series of “Building Legacy Talks.”