Marianne and David Russell – arango, the Art of Design


According to arango’s website: Good design is attainable and sustainable through minimalism, a design aesthetic that clearly expresses function through form. arango is a design forum focusing on new materials and technologies in emerging concepts of minimalism.

Followers of arango’s functional contemporary design aesthetic fondly recall the Dadeland Mall store where collectible home furnishings and functional furniture were sold for decades. In November 2014, arango opened in the South Miami Town Center retail and restaurant district.

Owners David and Marianne Russell are pleased that they have been able to reconnect with established customers and to introduce their innovative products to new patrons. According to David, the siting of the new shop, once the Sunset Gallery, “spoke to them.”

The build-out is as elegantly sparse as the products exhibited. Everything works together and is all of a piece. How can anyone walk by the display windows without giving in to the temptation to stop and enjoy? Enter and you will find a world of simple elegance in serviceable goods such as cutlery, dishes, clocks, and Chilewich rugs and placemats.

arango, originally founded by Judith Arango (1928-2003), opened on Biscayne Boulevard in 1959. The shop was moved to Dadeland in 1964 and closed in January 2014. Now, arango has returned to its roots, as an aesthetic element on Main Street.

“Here we can celebrate design in a broader sense. We are back on the street,” said Marianne.

The Russells are dedicated to the art of industrial design to such an extent that all is woven together. Their shop, their home, and their volunteer activities are anchored in design and the dissemination of knowledge about it. In addition to retail, they sponsor educational workshops, lectures and exhibitions for young designers and those interested in contemporary design via the Arango Design Foundation (founded by Judith Arango in 1977).

The Arango Design Foundation and arango have established a partnership with Miami Dade College (MDC) Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) for the purpose of forming a design collecting initiative that will instruct the public about modern and contemporary industrial design. Slated to open in early 2016, MDC MOAD has created gallery space in the museum in which to display a variety of design objects from 1950 to the present. The museum is actively acquiring objects for the collection; those interested in donating should contact MOAD at 305-237-7710.

“The college and museum could not ask for better partners in establishing a design collection and exhibitions program than David and Marianne Russell. Their history in Miami and stewardship of the Arango Design Foundation is a testament to their commitment as design educators and expertise in the field,” said MOAD’s Executive Director and Chief Curator Jeremy Mikolajczak.

Currently Marianne is curating two important large-scale exhibitions for MOAD’s main gallery: Design by Women, Pathways of Creativity to open in September 2016 and Alessi opening December 2017. The September exhibit is the first devoted to the women who were the trailblazers in the industrial design movement. The December exhibit recognizes the 100th year of the Italian design company, the dream factory.

“We will be including prototypes and one-off designs by Alessi. First and foremost, it is about the idea, not the economics,”
said Marianne.

arango is the perfect place to soak in art, buy that special holiday gift or place your wedding registry. The shop is located at 5864 Sunset Drive in South Miami. Contact them at 305-661-4229 or .


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