Design's modern renaissance: Why this industry could help save our future

Updated 12th May 2017
Design's modern renaissance: Why this industry could help save our future
Written by By Fiona Sinclair ScottMax Fraser, CNNMiami, Florida
Each year the design industry descends on Miami Beach, Florida for Design Miami -- an incubator for ideas, installations and conversations that help shape the world as we know it.
While always far-reaching in scope, the twelfth edition saw a marked focus on materiality, a new discourse between design and fashion and, most significantly, sustainability.
"A couple of years back we saw fashion and art having quite an incredible conversation and . . . design is now having that same conversation with fashion. For the first time we saw Off-White integrated within the fair, but you also have Vuitton and Fendi," said Pamela Golbin, chief curator at Musee de la mode et du Textile.
Underlining the significance of sustainability and green infrastructure as a key theme at this year's fair, was a partnership with the United Nations to launch the new collaborative platform -- Building Legacy: Designing for Sustainability.
UN Global Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Alaa Murabit explained why it is so important to bring leaders in design and architecture together with those in justice and peace:
"The challenge comes when you take two worlds that are seemingly very distant, that haven't had these conversations, and you create new bridges and new ways to collaborate. I think that's the significant strength here. It's so important for this conversation to be happening precisely because nobody would expect it to be."
"Design encompasses everything," said Director of the Pérez Art Museum, Franklin Sirmans, on a visit to the fair and the message that design is everywhere echoed throughout the white walls of Design Miami's temporary tent.
According to Swiss designer Yves Béhar: "Too often people see the role of a designer as a decorator. To me the work of a designer is fundamental to business creation, to the business model. We need to be educators of what are the better decisions to make, what are the better ways in which things can be built and produced so that we create a world that we want to live in."
See more of our coverage from Design Miami here.