During each annual Miami Art Week—this year from December 5 to 10—the ever-evolving Miami Design District is brought to life with a number of commissioned installations and ephemeral showcases. For this short period and beyond, the tightly curated 12-block neighbourhood takes on a diverse range of activations. While some of the groundbreaking projects remain permanent—Santiago de Chile-based collective gt2P’s especially popular kinetic swing set among them—others filter through at different intervals. Flare Studio’s temporary Stardust Pavilion was a highlight of this year’s abundant programming.
Developed by the experimental practice and joint creative force of Italian architect Alessandra Cianchetta and Brazilian talent Veruska Vasconez, the modular edifice was developed as part of a pavilion series based on the reinterpretation of the architectural tradition of follies from the 17th to the 19th century. Such structures implemented architectural elements as decoration—outdoor sculptures meant as an extension of the visual presence of an existing building or as a stand-alone annex.
“These spaces are crafted in Europe with precision and designed to serve a variety of purposes, from intimate art galleries to retreats set in natural landscapes, pop-up dining pavilions, and more,” Cianchetta says. “They are constructed using high-end materials and can be easily assembled on-site, offering flexibility and seasonality in their use.” As the first in the series, the easily mountable Stardust Pavilion served as a work of art on its own. “It wasn’t just an installation. It was a transformative experience that blurs the boundaries between art and architecture,” Vasconez notes.
Folding open as a series of mirror and transparent surfaces, the 710-square-foot edifice played host to a work by up-and-coming American “crushed metal” sculptor Kennedy Yanko. Stardust’s emphatically industrial geometry—rendered in an interplay of light and reflection, glass and steel—served as the perfect contrasting backdrop for her amorphous works. The showcase was staged in partnership with New York powerhouse gallery Salon 94.
“The installation creates an illusion of shimmering particles suspended in space, blurring the lines between reality and imagination,” Cianchetta says. Nearly 10 feet tall, the pavilion incorporates four openings that provide perfectly framed views of the outside world. At night, it lights up like a lantern. The design was developed with European producer ArtWorks. Otiima supplied the high-quality windows and doors.
Cianchetta and Vasconez also developed a capsule furniture collection with Portuguese manufacturer Iduna to complement the main design. For these limited-edition collectible pieces, the duo drew inspiration from the theme of this year’s Design Miami/: Where We Stand, fostering an inspiring sense of belonging, connection, community, and purpose. While the sinuously curved Amaranta Bench prompts people to sit together, the Ana & Chiara Lounge Chairs cheekily evoke different dualities: the chair cast in concrete draws back to nature, and the aluminum version suggests the importance of memory. Together, the organic forms embody Cianchetta and Vasconez’s shared belief in the power of feminine strength and beauty.