The Miami Design District Names Germane Barnes Winner of the 2022 Annual Neighborhood Commission
Barnes’ winning installation, Rock | Roll, is designed to celebrate the communities who shape Miami’s vibrant, one-of-a-kind culture
Today the Miami Design District is pleased to announce that Germane Barnes has been awarded the 2022 Miami Design District Annual Neighborhood Commission. Following a competitive, invitation-only proposal process directed by curators Anava Projects, Miami Design District has selected the Miami-based architect’s concept, Rock | Roll, to be realized across the neighborhood’s public spaces, debuting in November for Miami Art Week and extending into the new year.
The curatorial brief for the year, Something to Talk About, called for neighborhood-wide site-specific design interventions that spotlight Miami-centric stories while also enlivening visitors’ experience of the Miami Design District during its busiest season. In response, Barnes conceived Rock | Roll as a multifaceted, multi-scale installation that draws on the vibrant visual language of Miami Carnival to honor the BIPOC communities that have substantially contributed to Miami’s one-of-a-kind, polyethnic culture, from the city’s earliest foundations to today.
For the neighborhood’s central pedestrian corridors, Barnes designed a series of whimsical, larger-than-life seating capsules that rock back-and-forth when activated by users and feature colorful, shaggy surfaces reminiscent of Carnival’s hallmark feathered costumes. With a nod to steel drums and the infectious joy of Soca music, Barnes has also designed brightly hued wind chimes, hundreds of which will be hung like melody-making ornaments in the lush native trees and palms planted throughout the neighborhood.
Fabricated by ALT BLD, Rock | Roll includes an architectural-scale, free-floating dome that recalls a giant disco ball in both form and function. Suspended far overhead and animated by light and sound, the shiny, faceted structure will serve as a programmatic marker to an outdoor gathering space dedicated to sharing and enjoying community-driven storytelling. For the duration of the Rock | Roll installation, the space will host Carnival-inspired playlists as well as a talks series developed in collaboration with University of Miami’s Center for Global Black Studies and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Program to be announced.
Barnes notes: “I saw this project as an opportunity to celebrate the unique character of the city that has become my adopted home and the subject of much of my most prominent research. Rock | Roll is an ode to the joyful spirit that persists in Miami’s Black communities—a spirit of self-care that is so perfectly embodied in Miami Carnival culture. This city would not be what it is today without significant contributions from people who, on the one hand, look like me, and on the other reflect deep ties to places beyond Miami, especially the Caribbean and Latin America. The moral to the story is that there is space for everyone here.”
“We are proud to welcome Germane Barnes’ Rock|Roll to the neighborhood and spotlight this tremendous Miami talent making international waves,” says Craig Robins, President and CEO of Dacra. “Each year, our Annual Neighborhood Commission invites creative visionaries to harness the power of art, design, and culture to provide original, engaging experiences for all our guests. The imaginative, local focus of this year’s site-specific installation is going to be a lot of fun.”
According to curators Anava Projects, “One of the things we admire most about Germane and his practice—and there are many—is his community-engaged approach, which exemplifies the most exciting directions in the field at this moment. His work is at once accessible and poetic, critical and uplifting. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with him.”
The first Miami-based talent to be selected for the Miami Design District Neighborhood Commission since its launch in 2015, Barnes is a Chicago-born, University of Illinois- and Woodbury University-trained architect regarded for his propositional practice dedicated to mining the ways that race and architecture entwine, implicitly and explicitly, historically and today. Barnes’ recent prestigious honors include the Rome Prize in Architecture, the Harvard Wheelwright Prize, the Architectural League Prize, and an inaugural grant from Theaster Gates and Prada’s Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab. In addition to running his independent eponymous studio, Barnes is an Assistant Professor and the Director of The Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL) at the University of Miami School of Architecture.
The Miami Design District is committed to enriching the neighborhood through cultural interventions that in turn support talented artists and creatives. Now in its eighth year, the Miami Design District’s Annual Design Commission is a family-friendly event intended to draw the community together. Past winners include: Studio Proba and Enjoy the Weather’s Tomorrow Land (2021); gt2P’s Conscious Actions (2020); Fernando Laposse’s Pink Beasts (2019); Dozie Kanu’s Support System (2018); Charlap Hyman & Herrero’s White Rain (2017); Philippe Malouin’s The Speed of Light (2016); and Snarkitecture’s Holiday (2015).
ABOUT STUDIO BARNES
Germane Barnes’ award-winning research and design practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Mining architecture’s social and political agency, he examines how the built environment influences Black domesticity.
In addition to his eponymous practice, Barnes is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of The Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL) at the University of Miami School of Architecture, a testing ground for the physical and theoretical investigations of architecture’s social and political resiliency. Barnes’ work has been presented and supported by several illustrious institutions and organizations, including The Museum of Modern Art NY, San Francisco MoMA, LACMA, Chicago Architecture Biennial, MAS Context, The Graham Foundation, Design Miami/, and The National Museum of African American History. He is winner of the 2021 Rome Prize in Architecture, the 2021 Harvard Wheelwright Prize, the 2021 Architectural League Prize, and an inaugural grant from Theaster Gates and Prada’s Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab.
To learn more about Studio Barnes, visit germanebarnes.com / Instagram: @gmane16
ABOUT MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT
The Miami Design District is a one-of-a-kind neighborhood that combines luxury shopping, galleries, museums, design stores, restaurants, and major art and design installations all within an architecturally significant context. The Miami Design District is owned and operated by Miami Design District Associates, a partnership between Dacra, founded and owned by visionary entrepreneur Craig Robins, and L Catterton Real Estate, a global real estate development and investment fund, specializing in creating luxury shopping destinations. As Miami becomes increasingly known for its own rich culture, the growth of the Miami Design District further reflects how the city is deserving of its place on the global stage.
For more information, visit miamidesigndistrict.net
Facebook: MiamiDesignDistrict / Instagram: @miamidesigndistrict/ Twitter: @designdistrict
ABOUT THE CURATORS: ANAVA PROJECTS
Anava Projects is a creative agency founded by longtime collaborators Anna Carnick and Wava Carpenter. Together and individually, they have spent the last 15+ years bringing design to life for international audiences. From exhibitions to events, special projects, programming and editorial for some of today’s most respected creative outlets, the pair is dedicated to nurturing the global design community. The duo’s work is informed by a strong belief that good design can and should make a positive social impact. Recent clients and collaborators include Design Miami/, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, the Miami Design District, Studio Proba, 5VIE Milano, Berlin University of the Arts, and others. The pair also currently hold positions with Design Miami, overseeing the prestigious fair’s editorial and philanthropic efforts.
To learn more about Anava Projects, visit anavaprojects.com / Instagram:@anavaprojects
ABOUT ALT BLD:
Based in Atlanta and directed by owner Taylor Kienholz, ALT BLD is a national creative design and fabrication company, servicing brands and organizations across the worlds of art, fashion, lifestyle, and hospitality, executing ideas big or small from concept to completion. To learn more about ALT BLD, visit https://altbld.com/