This year, Panerai and Design Miami/ presented the Mwabiwindo School project with the 2017 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award. The award honors significant contributions to the field of design, and for the first time, a collaborative project received the award.
The Mwabiwindo School, which is slated to open in 2018, will serve students in rural southern Zambia and will be the second school developed by 14+ Foundation, which partnered for this project with conceived Selldorf Architects (New York), artist Rashid Johnson and architect and design firm Christ & Gantenbein (Basel).
The project includes the design and construction of the Mwabiwindo School (classrooms for 200 students, housing for eight teachers, a vegetable garden, playing fields and more), as well as the creation of a mural by artist Rashid Johnson and the design of a Mwabwindo Series of furniture by Christ & Gantenbein.
At Design Miami/, Christ & Gantenbein installed prototypes of the Mwabwindo Series at the fair’s entrance. Demonstrating the flexibility of the furniture’s tectonic design, the installation featured many different table configurations–– a cross, a square, a single long table and more.
This is the fourth year that Panerai has worked with Design Miami/ to sponsor this award. “Panerai is an object of design,” said Officine Panerai CEO Angelo Bonati. “The watches are very particular and different and also timeless in the way they are designed. Panerai is the sponsor of this award and we support this good cause, it’s fantastic being able to help in Africa for the children and give them support for the school.”
The winner of the Visionary Award is recognized as having a continued, tangible and lasting impact. Past winners are Peter Marino (2014); Yves Béhar (2015), and SHoP Architects, New York (2016).
“The Mwabwindo School is such an exciting aspect of this year’s fair as Design Miami/ seeks to align with projects that truly impact our global community,” said Jen Roberts, CEO, Design Miami/. “The award further promotes our goal of building legacy through design and construction practices that protect people and the planet for future generations.”
The USA is a vital market for Panerai and 2017 was a good year for the brand, according to Bonati. “For us, the American market come with a big potential because the culture of luxury is developing more and more than before,” he said during an interview with Revolution USA’s Jay Gullers at Design Miami/. “Twenty years ago, it was easy to see Clinton wearing a cheap watch on his wrist – that was the mentality, but now it is changing. The USA is the most important market.”