Made in Miami

A Conversation with Luis Pons

To correspond with our Backstage extravaganza this June, we've been asking Miami influencers and tastemakers about their favorite places to shop, dine and unwind in this electric city. Next up in our Made in Miami series is designer Luis Pons, founder of Miami-based design firm Luis Pons D-LAB.

Luis Pons has made a name for himself as a multi-talented master of design. As an architect, he has designed and renovated hotels, commercial properties and private residences for an impressive list of clients around the world. As an artist, he has created series of art installations, including the well-known Fabulous Floating Villa for Miami Art Basel 2005, which reflect and reinterpret the world around us. In interior design, Luis has concepted award-winning furniture and lighting collections that are both sophisticated and playful in form. And as an accessories designer, Luis has combined functionality with sleek and intelligent design resulting in user-friendly fashion. The Venezuela-born designer, who has called Miami home for 11 years, still has more up his creative sleeve.

What is your design philosophy?
I am interested in design that really speaks to people who want to engage in a conversation with it卍esign whose ultimate purpose is revealed by the user卍esign that allows for the possibility of change卍esign that touches the senses.

Environmentally friendly, sustainable design has been instrumental in your success as an architect and interior designer. How do you incorporate eco-friendly practices into your everyday life?
I integrate the practices that are available梱oga, meditation, exercise, spiritual guidance and breathing techniques梚nto my daily life. As a result, I have become more aware and present, have learned to observe and recognize what is real and important to me, and become more cohesive, compassionate and balanced.

How has your career as an architect and interior designer influenced your accessories line, Uno Magnetic?
I have been very lucky to be trained as an architect. It has given me the structure and methodology to think in systems and act as a programmer. As an architect and designer, I create systems that allow the user to interact with them. From a piece of jewelry to a hotel, I provide a space or an object that allows users to express themselves and to touch their senses. I strive to design spaces and objects that are always interactive and whimsical.

Miami has really diverse architecture, from the Art Deco District to modern high-rise hotels and the new Design District. What are some of your favorite buildings in Miami?
The architecture of Morris Lapidus, specifically Eden Roc and the Fontainebleau hotel卋efore the vandalizing that has happened in the last few years.


Where would people find your favorite public parks or gardens in Miami?
Ocean Drive, South Point Miami Beach, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Lincoln Road and the
Design District抯 new master plan. I also love driving through Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and Morning Side.

What are some of your Miami musts?
My favorite restaurants are Buena Vista Bistro in the Design District and Indomania in Miami Beach. The best shopping street is Miami Design District and 125th Street in front of MOCA.

What current projects are you working on?
I抦 working on Hotel Guanahani and Spa in St Barths and several residential projects in Miami Beach. This summer during Design Week in New York, we will be launching three new collections under my new furniture and lighting brand, LPDL. For Uno Magnetic, we are in the process of debuting a new collection for colleges and luxury jewel charm magnets, as well as launching a reversible interactive magnetic belt as part of the collection. It is a busy and exciting time.

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