As the executive director of Design Miami, Rodman Primack is playing a key role in the transformation of a city once more associated with sun-worshippers and senior citizens into an international centre of design and art
As the sun prepares to set over Key Biscayne in Miami, Rodman Primack leads the way towards a local landmark: a nineteenth-century lighthouse which, like many of the Sunshine State’s residents of a certain age, is remarkably well preserved. The Cape Florida Light is an icon of Miami-Dade County, and like the art deco buildings in ice-cream shades that line the tourist-laden Ocean Drive, it has long played a role in how the world views – and visits – Miami.
But Rodman, the executive director of the Design Miami fair, is at the forefront of a movement that is broadening the world’s perception of the Florida city. Founded in 2005, Design Miami is staged twice a year – each June in Switzerland as Design Miami Basel, and in Miami itself each December. For the dealers and designers that take part, it is a chance to sell to a high concentration of the fabulously wealthy. For the latter, it’s an opportunity to add to their collections in a sun-drenched atmosphere fizzing with excitement and Perrier-Jouët. Last year, Design Miami attracted nearly 36,000 visitors and included exhibitions involving the likes of architects Daniel Libeskind and Peter Marino, and French fashion brand Louis Vuitton.