The Art, Music and Design that Shapes Miami's Culture
When it comes to shaping culture worldwide – art (as an umbrella term) and design are some of the most powerful forces
Throughout my travels across the United States, I have explored plenty of beautiful cultural centers, Miami, New York and Sedona being between my favorites from the ones I’ve seen – and the most rich in art and design (in my opinion).
In United States culture is being driven a lot by technology and entertainment factor. Dictated by a fast-paced lifestyle, events and entertainment must follow the same cadence – therefore a lot of art is characterized by high contrast, saturated colors, dynamicity, and magnanimity.
In here we can find that art is a lot about capturing the eye and keeping the audience hooked and impressed.
The first time I visited was in 2019 during Miami Music Week, and later on during Ultra Music Festival. These are two of the biggest music events in the entire United States, making Miami an international hub for electronic music and club culture during that time of the year.
Being the enormous music fan that I am, and music being such an integral part of my work and existence, participating in events of such magnitude was one of the highlights of my entire life.
Both sound and visuals play a very important role in creating a memorable cultural experience, and I found Miami to be a prolific breeding ground for a melange of modern musical styles and artistic vibrancy, with an emphasis on American latin.
The Wynwood Walls is a unique outdoor museum consisting of colorful street murals that has brought the world’s greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art genre to Miami. Wynwood is home to a diverse range of small boutiques, art galleries and eating venues nested in between the huge painted walls and containers.
Miami Design District
The Miami Design District is a creative neighborhood and shopping destination dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining.
The Design District is known for its modern architecture, sleek interior design stores and art galleries. Here you can find luxury fashion and jewelry boutiques, local cafes and celebrity-chef restaurants. Public art dotting the area includes the Fly’s Eye Dome, a geodesic dome designed by inventor Buckminster Fuller. The Institute of Contemporary Art shows cutting-edge work in an ultra-modern building.
I found art galleries to be very pop-culture centered – the equivalent of noise, but in visual form.
Art Deco District in Miami Beach
South Miami Beach is another area always full of life and tourists, where people of all cultures gather to enjoy the sand, the waves, the restaurants, the vintage automobiles, and the colorful buildings.
Found to the south of South Beach, the Miami Art Deco District is composed of 800 hundred different buildings with this particular architectural style all concentrated within one square mile.
Three architectural styles are predominant in Miami Beach — Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and MiMo (Miami Modernism.) More information about the district and its preservation efforts can be found at this link.
Since I always prefer discovering a new city by foot, because in my opinion it gives the viewer a more organic chance to take in the scenery and the information, I ventured through all the streets and took a short stop on the beach, where a lot of colorful lifeguard posts overlook the Atlantic ocean.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
By far my favorite place in Miami, the Vizcaya estate has instantaneously captured my heart with its irresistible European charm.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – formerly known as Villa Vizcaya – is a breathtaking Gilded Age estate on Biscayne Bay surrounded by ten acres of formal gardens, a mangrove shoreline and rockland hammock.
Vizcaya was conceived as a modern and subtropical interpretation of an eighteenth-century Italian villa, in particular the country estates of the Veneto region of northern Italy. Its designers adapted traditional Mediterranean architectural elements to the subtropical climate with a remarkable sensibility for environmental issues.
I was utterly fascinated with the outstanding amount of artistic mastery on every antique and detail available both inside the villa, as well as in the gardens. The foliage covered gazebos have especially made me dream of a forgotten magical time of elves and dragons.
Although mainly inspired by the Renaissance architectural style, the home was very innovative in its incorporation of the modern technology available at the time of its construction (1914), including everything from details on how the structure itself was built to the incorporation of modern touches such as a telephone switching system and a central vacuum system.
More about the art collections, the furniture, and the eclectic architecture and design of Vizacaya can be read here.
Other notable mention is Club Space, which beyond being a legendary venue for dance and electronic music lovers, is also a beautiful interior design piece by its use of plants and decor on the terrace to create a magical urban oasis.
Its counterpart – Space Park – is also on a mission to create enriching experiences of unique cuisine and mixology, live music, fitness and mindfulness, all for the purpose of facilitating people to be closer to nature. Space Park has come alive through the joint efforts of Space Invaders, Bar Lab, Insomniac, and Live Nation.
Miami is a young and vibrant city defined by bold art and a tumultuous past, a clash of architectural styles and cultures. Would I visit again? Absolutely. If not for anything else, for Vizcaya which is definitely my favorite place.
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