Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Design Legend Luminaire Teams with Major Artists and UM/Sylvester to Fight Cancer


Contemporary home design leader Luminaire is combining art and fashion to support cancer research in Miami. Nasir and Nargis Kassamali, the founders of Luminaire, have sent 3-dimensional puppy “canvases” to more than two dozen designers and artists for them to design as they see fit. (Participating artists are named below.) The finished pieces will be sold at a live charity auction led by Christie’s Auction House during Art Basel, Friday, December 8th, at the Luminaire studio in the Miami Design District.

This is the first charity function of its kind ever held during Art Basel. Art Basel Miami Beach grew out of Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland – the world’s premiere fair for contemporary art. The chairman of Art Basel Miami Beach is philanthropist and businessman, Norman Braman, namesake of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at UM/Sylvester, which will benefit from the auction.

The money raised through “Puppy Love” will benefit hormone-related cancer research at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, impacting such diseases as breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. Christie’s, recognizing the importance of this cause, has agreed to host the auction.

Nargis Kassamali has a personal history fighting cancer and she wanted to do something more to help. She and her husband, Nasir, settled on this project – an opportunity to combine two of their passions; creating unique design and fighting cancer.

The artists and designers who have agreed to craft a puppy include: architects Piero Lissoni, Antonio Citterio and Herzog & de Meuron; handbag designers Corto Moltedo, Ingo Maurer, Guilio Cappellini, Konstantin Grcic, the Campana brothers, the Bouroullec brothers, Richard Snapper, Jasper Morrison, Marcel Wanders, Ron Arad, Tokujin Yoshioka, Massimo Vignelli; and internationally acclaimed artists Michele Oka Doner and Federico Uribe.

The auction will be held in Luminaire’s newest design studio, at 3901 NE 2nd Avenue in the heart of the Design District, the evening of Friday December 8th. The “puppies” will be on display at the studio in advance of the auction and throughout Art Basel, from Wednesday, December 6th through Sunday, December 10th and viewing is open to the public. Bid forms and more details about the action are available from Christie’s web site:

Nargis and Nasir Kassamali, the cancer researchers who will benefit from their philanthropy, and some of the participating artists, are all available immediately for interviews.

Images of the completed puppies will be made available as they become available and a photo of the blank “canvas” is enclosed. A complete list of the participating artists appears below.

Participating designers/artists:

  • Antonio Citterio
  • Arne Quinze
  • Corto Moltedo
  • Elke Walters
  • Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec
  • Federico Uribe
  • Giulio Cappellini
  • Gunter Wermekes
  • Herzog & de Meuron
  • Ingo Maurer
  • Jasper Morrison
  • Jean-Marie Massaud
  • Jeffrey Bernett
  • Jose Parla
  • Konstantin Grcic
  • Lynne Gelfman
  • Marcel Wanders
  • Massimo & Lela Vignelli
  • Michele Oka Doner
  • Neil Barrett
  • Patricia Urquiola
  • Piero Lissoni
  • Piet Stockmans
  • Richard Sapper
  • Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt
  • Ron Arad
  • Ross Lovegrove
  • Shigeru Uchida
  • Tokujin Yoshioka
  • William Sawaya

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