December 12, 2023

SixtySix: From Milan to Miami, a 1950s Motel Gets Reimagined as a Global Design Gallery

In the height of the great-American-road-trip era, Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard became the epicenter of motor courts and motels. One of those was the Gold Dust Motel, designed by Maurice S. Weintraub and described as “an interpretation of Subtropical Modernism” by the Miami Herald when it opened in 1957.

The boulevard is now packed with operators aiming to leverage America’s neon-clad, pink Cadillac history into modern-day customers looking for an alternative to the glossy globalization of South Beach.  Surprisingly, one of those operators now includes two Italian design curators, Valentina Ciuffi (Studio Vedèt) and Joseph Grima (Space Caviar) who for the first time have brought their wildly popular Alcova exhibition from Milan to Miami.

“Our core mission remains unchanged: to transform unique spaces into immersive platforms for groundbreaking design,” the founders said in a release. Alcova Miami 2023’s lineup includes design institutions, established brands, and emerging studios each contributing to the ever-expanding language of contemporary design.

The first international edition of Alcova presents over 300 participants from six continents. Here are a few of the displays not to be missed.

Jialun Xiong joins Alcova’s interiors-focused offerings with two new light fixtures inspired by the night sky, Void Wall Sconce and Stellar Ceiling Lamps, alongside the LA designer’s other furnishings. The display is inspired by the inexplicable, vast silence of the galaxy and our perceived place among the floating stars and planets—or in this case, among black and white gradient light fixtures that seem to hover.

“When you don’t have colors or other distractions, you see everything else that goes into making a product. There’s more room for texture and material to shine … The exhibition space is also an expansion of the pieces themselves. I want people to lower their voices and be curious about what’s happening, let them question why it’s so dark,” Jialun says.

Jialun leaves room for viewers’ emotions to determine how they experience her works against a dark backdrop. Calico Wallpaper’s Aurora Collection in the Eclipse colorway covers the walls.

Jialun Xiong’s Before the Eclipse is her debut solo exhibition. Photo by Paul Barbera


Featured Collection: Aurora in Colorway Eclipse

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Photography by Paul Barbera