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BY CATHY LEFF


Nasir and Nargis Kassamali have a mission: to demonstrate design’s power to transform lives. Their platform is Luminaire, which they founded in 1974 with a showroom in Miami—and a reach far beyond. Luminaire has shaped the environments of their discerning


clientele and impacted the careers of the most distinguished designers and design producers. So it’s no surprise the design community joined the Kassamalis in 2006 when they launched their first “Love” auction, PuppyLove, benefitting the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Research Center. “We’ve had a four-decade relationship with the design


community. They’re our family,” says Nasir. “They provided emotional scaffolding during Nargis’ recurring battles against breast cancer. They cried with us, cheered us up and gave us strength. We’re so grateful for their friendship and generosity, as we collectively raise funds to redesign the course of cancer.” This year, the Kassamalis are turning to a new media for their


upcoming fundraising auction, glass. The project has the support of Glas Italia and Oki Sato, designer and founder of Tokyo-based Nendo, who donated 30-plus glass prototypes from the “nendo works 2014-2105” exhibition, held at Milan’s Museo della Permanente. Also being auctioned are pieces by Tadao Ando, Marcel Wanders, the Campana Brothers, Tao Namura, Piero Lissoni, Patricia Urquiola, Omer Arbel, Anna Torfs, Ivan Baj and Todd Bracher, and works produced by Glas Italia, Wonderglass, Venini, Arcade, Lasvit and Bocci, among others.


“When we visited the Lasvit glassworks in Lindava (Czech Republic), we discovered a large number of possibilities to explore. They were working with new techniques and we, coming from a country with little tradition in glass, were able to bring a new and fresh vision. For Candy Collection, we wanted to explore the colorful universe of our Sushi series and express it through glass.” —Humberto and Fernando Campana


“Working with glass means I need to be a


good listener. Glass is a live material. It has its own way of being. If I force glass to do certain things it doesn’t want to do, it doesn’t work. It’s kind of like having a difficult relationship. But if you let the material act in a natural way, it shows its beauty. Thus, my Momento captures the most beautiful ‘moment’ of glass.” —Nao Tamura


“I’m trying to think about the in between. It’s like when you’re looking at the stars, everybody thinks, That’s so beautiful, but what I’m trying to see is the darkness, the sky that is making the stars look nice. I’m trying to design the sky itself. By looking into what’s in between, I’m able to find something that is slightly different— new ideas, very small ideas, but something very interesting.”


—Oki Sato


The online auction runs September 19 through October 11. Concurrently, Luminaire Lab, in the Miami Design District, will display the lots. A juried selection of the prototypes, limited-edition, and one-off pieces will be sold at a gala live auction on October 6. Phillips, the international auction house, is donating its services for both auctions.


138 culturedmag.com


PHOTOS COURTESY OF LASVIT; FERNANDO LAZLO, COURTESY OF ESTUDIO CAMPANA; COURTESY OF NENDO; COURTESY NAO TAMURA STUDIO


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