MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA On Tuesday, the Design Center of the Americas campus in Dania Beach unveiled DesignHouse, and its ongoing designer showcase titled "Film & Design: the Golden Age of Hollywood." The Tinseltown-themed V.I.P. preview gala garnered some 600 attendees, made up of members of the press, designers, architects, art collectors, and design enthusiasts. Tickets to the event were $100, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Wolfsonian FIU, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.
In a 10,000-square-foot showroom turned model house on the venue’s third floor, DesignHouse features 18 room installations inspired by classic cinema from the 1920s to the 1960s, designed by different interior design firms. According to the center’s director of marketing Ashlee Harrison, who handled production for both the preview gala and the ongoing exhibition, “South Florida has an amazing breadth of design talent, so we wanted to make sure we represented all communities that [the center] services—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Naples, and beyond," she said. "We also wanted to feature established firms and introduce emerging talent, those we perceive to be driving forces in the industry.”
Aiming to connect the creative disciplines of film and interior design, each firm used resources from the approximately 100 showrooms inside the 800,000-square-foot design center—things like textured wall coverings, original art, custom furniture and vintage artifacts—to create their respective environments reminiscent of a different era.
Launching simultaneously on Tuesday was the separate "Greg Gorman: A Distinct Vision 1970-2010" exhibition, in a 6,875-square-foot gallery on the design center’s ground floor. “We had to plan and execute two major exhibitions simultaneously, but there is synergy in the themes—celebrity, Hollywood, film stars, and glamour—so they play off of each other well,” said Harrison.
Gorman was present at the private preview gala, as were all of the room installation designers, to speak about their work. Their presence was one of the factors that made the event a success, said Harrison. That, and “having a nice control of the flow,” she said. “Each guest was issued [what looked like] a theater ticket with a [45-minute] viewing time. This helped to keep the flow consistent and the experience comfortable, so there was not a crowded rush in the house. Guests would enjoy the reception and the Greg Gorman retrospective while they waited for their view time.”
Sponsors of the preview gala included Jaguar, Grey Goose, Bacardi, and tech company Ikatu, which set up interactive touch-screen monitors next to each room installation featuring detailed information about each space—including footage from the film that served as inspiration, a designer statement, and a detailed resource list (most of the products used in each room are available for purchase).
DesignHouse will run through July 15. The Greg Gorman retrospective will run until March 18. Regular tickets are $15, with the proceeds benefiting the three cultural institutions behind the event.