In 2016, SHoP received the Design Miami/ Design Visionary Award and was invited to create an environment at the gateway to the fair. Our installation, "Flotsam & Jetsam," exists at the intersection of Miami's celebrated spirit of play, represented by a relocated landscape that mimics the beach, but also seeks to indicate the city's emergent function as a center for technological discovery.
The dual pavilions of "Flotsam & Jetsam" evoke the geometries of sea life from diatoms to jellyfish. Symbols commonly associated with the beach—sand, float toys, and even a hint of nighttime phosphorescence—create a ludic foreground that serves as a locus for social and educational encounter. In its explorations of contour, action, process, and materiality, "Flotsam & Jetsam" also aspires to create a link between Design Miami and the adjacent Art Basel. The installation will have a second life, when it is reconstructed as a semi-permanent public amenity at the Miami Design District's vibrant "Jungle Plaza."
In order to optimize our exploration of the print medium, and to create instruction sets suitable for communicating clearly with the production team (in this case, three industrial robots), SHoP leveraged a longstanding partnership with Dassault Systèmes, using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for all stages of the design process. Branch Technology adapted its proprietary fabrication capabilities to print the 47 miles of carbon-fiber infused ABS used in the pavilions. Oak Ridge National Laboratory provided a second printing technology based on a biodegradable bamboo medium.
Taken together, the installation presents in microcosm a method of making that holds the potential to revolutionize collaborative design in real-world conditions. By evoking a specifically Miami sense of seaside glamour in an environment realized through progressive creative methods, "Flotsam & Jetsam" seeks to be both a celebration of the city, and an evocation of what it can become.