Pink Beasts/ Fernando Laposse, 2019/ Courtesy of Miami Design District/
Photo: Pepe Molina

Miami Design District presents Pink Beasts by Fernando Laposse

The Miami Design District has chosen the London-based Mexican designer Fernando Laposse for their 2019 Design Commission. For his Miami Design District installation Pink Beasts, Fernando has continued his exploration of materials and techniques native to Mexico and has collaborated with likeminded textile designer Angela Damman as well as local artisans in Sahcabá, Yucatán.

Pink Beasts showcases the versatility of Laposse’s work. Thousands of long, pink sisal tassels are suspended through the trees, guiding visitors to discover an extended family of oversize hairy pink sloths hung from trees and arches throughout the neighborhood. Sculptural hammocks hanging between palm trees, created in collaboration with Damman, feature long, unbraided sisal manes, updating an otherwise traditional Mayan design, and invite visitors to slow down, like the sloths themselves!

The pink landscape of Pink Beasts has been achieved by dying the sisal fi bers with the natural dye made from cochineals, a tiny parasitic insect that is native to central Mexico and grows on the Opuntia cactus, commonly known as the prickly pear. Cochineals produce the world’s brightest natural red dye and were used by the Aztecs to color everything from textiles to buildings. The cochineals used in Pink Beasts are from an organic farm in the mountains of Oaxaca and the dyed sisal fi bers have been harvested from agave plants in the Yucatán. The entire installation was handmade by a community of Mayan weavers of Sahcabá.

At Design Miami/, the Miami Design District is presenting an opportunity to get up close and personal with some members of the sloth family. Additionally, fairgoers can gain a deeper understanding of the incredible history of cochineal dye. By interacting with Pink Beasts at Design Miami/ and in the Miami Design District, visitors are reminded that contemporary design and traditional craft and techniques are not mutually exclusive—there are sustainable and organic ways to produce contemporary design.