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Design

The 'Producer' of High-Art, High-End Miami

Craig Robins has helped make Miami's Design District a magnet for cutting-edge architecture and luxury retail.
Craig Robins: "It's a pretty exciting moment for Miami in general."
Craig Robins: "It's a pretty exciting moment for Miami in general."Martien Mulder

You've got to say this much for Craig Robins: He has an admirable sense of composure.

The South Florida real estate developer is sitting in his office in the Miami Design District—the 18-square-block demesne of furniture galleries and retail outlets that has been the main focus of his life and work since the late 1990s—amid a whirl of paperwork and the bustle of assistants. It is middle of the first week in December, the very height of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach fair that's taken over the city every winter since 2001; Design Miami, the architecture- and interiors-oriented sister fair co-founded by Robins himself, is now enjoying its 10th anniversary, and has brought still bigger crowds (the two fairs together attract about 100,000 visitors) and yet more fanfare.