rogress in the world of design is important for a reason: It makes our lives better. Innovative thinking leads to smarter resources, greater sustainability, and hopefully, more beautiful surroundings. At the Design Miami Fair, New York-based SHoP Architects were recipients of the Panerai Design Miami/Visionary Award.
To mark the occasion, they unveiled a commission of the world’s largest 3D-printed object, an outdoor pavilion entitled “Flotsam & Jetsam,” which graced the Design Miami entrance.
Now in its third year, the Visionary Award is sponsored by watchmaker Officine Panerai and celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to the world of design. “SHoP represents exactly what the Panerai Design Miami/Visionary Award is meant to recognize: innovation, inspiration, and an outstanding point of view,” said Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Officer of Design Miami. “Designed for both the entrance and an extended stay at the Miami Design District after the fair, the pavilion is going to be re-installed at Jungle Plaza. Part of a new public art performance space to be programmed by the ICA [Institute of Contemporary Art], the pavilion will be able to live on here in the city of Miami.”
Presenting the award was the CEO of Panerai, Angelo Bonati. “Panerai’s DNA is forged in design and functionality. This is why we honor an exceptional recipient with the Visionary Award every year and will continue to align ourselves with these trailblazing artists. This year’s innovative team from SHoP Architects is no exception. “After the award presentation he added, “Panerai has three elements to our DNA: history, technology, and design. Of course, our history of sailing, this is our link to the sea. The connection to art and design is through our Italian heritage from Florence, and to Switzerland for watchmaking technology.”
He continued, further explaining the exchange: “To do watches, it’s not very simple. You have a long history going back 150 to 300 years. Watches have changed from the beginning until now, and it always has to do with the materials.”
To help illustrate his point further, Mr. Bonati brings out the “Lo Scienziato” Luminor 1950 Tourbillon launched in January 2016. “Take this watch, for example, it is similar to other Panerai watches but what is different is what is inside. It makes us very aggressive—the way to find new materials and new solutions creates a difference between other brands and us. This is a tourbillon, a skeleton watch made of titanium with a ceramic case made with specific techniques; it allows us to empty to the case and create a watch that is very light and very comfortable to wear.”
The airy, chain-like Flotsam & Jetsam pavilion by SHoP coincidentally exhibited very similar traits. Not only did the structure provide welcome shade under the hot Florida sun, but it also helped illustrate the possibilities of using 3D printing as a futuristic means of construction.
The Panerai Design Miami/Visionary Award recipient, Gregg Pasquarelli from SHoP Architects, explained: “It’s fun to come to the office. We are very fortunate to work with 180 incredibly brilliant and hard-working designers every day. It is because of the incredible dedication to design and making beautiful things, exploring new technologies, and an actual commitment [to the idea] that design is not just for the privileged but is something that affects every person every single day to make their lives truly better.”
While not many of us will be able to afford the most expensive titanium and ceramic tourbillon watch produced by Panerai in our lifetime, the advancements created for this timepiece help promise a bright future for the traditional craft of watchmaking.
Does good design still get Angelo Bonati excited? “I was just visiting the recently renovated Panerai store in Florence only three days ago, and every time I go there, my heart starts to run fast,” he says. “It’s fantastic.”