Kobi Karp: “Architecture is Arts, Culture, and Science Intermingling”

Published on December 13, 2019

The Grit Daily Live! Miami Art Summit was a success that featured some major players in the international art scenes sharing their insights. One of the featured panelists who offered some wise words was Miami-based architect and designer, Kobi Karp.

The Israeli-born Karp brought to light some of the philosophical gems that drive his design and architecture work. These ideals draw from his environmental studies at the University of Minnesota as well as from his artist’s mentality.

An Earned Reputation
Kobi Karp by Carl Juste

Since starting his work as an architect in 1988, Karp has worked on some of the largest projects in the American and Caribbean regions. He developed his stellar reputation early in his career through his work on all inclusive resort projects, and now spearheads projects spanning in size from boutiques to luxury condominiums.

The portfolio of work listed on KobiKarp.com truly shows off the scale of the fingerprint Karp and his firm — Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design — have left on the city of Miami.

It is astonishing how much of an influence he has had on the visuals of modern Miami with his work on major landmarks like the Hyatt Centric Hotel, the Wynwood 25 project, and the restoration of the Surfside Surf Club.

Wynwood 25

His work in restoration design is what sets him apart from other high profile architects and is where his design philosophies become more apparent. 

Fighting the Homogenization of Trends

It is surprising that with so many of his projects across the city, each site feels unique.

During his discussion panel, Karp addressed his thoughts on the homogenization of trends with his belief that all designs have to be different regardless of style.

He stressed the importance of each design having its own sense of individuality, emphasizing that a great design can only happen when the function and purpose is prioritized.

Part of the reason why Kobi Karp is so successful is because he has a very good understanding of the ethos of a location. During his panel, Karp noted that Rome has had many ups and downs in its history, but the spirit attached to the city maintains its status as a global destination.

This enigmatic energy is something that is hard to grasp, but it is something that drives Karp’s design work. 

A Fingerprint on the Miami Landscape
Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design HQ

Two of Miami’s biggest destinations have been directly influenced by Karp and his work. His restoration design work lead to the renaissance of the Miami Beach Art Deco district and his projects in Wynwood helped transform the area into the international landmark that it is today. 

Unlike other forms of art, architecture must have impeccable functionality; The buildings need to serve their purpose and they need to do so well. Balancing this need with the logistical and financial aspects of such large scale projects is no easy task. It is only when all of these needs are met that creativity and artistry can enter into the equation and make a project truly shine.

In order to be a successful architect, you need to understand what the intended experience will be and fulfill the building’s purpose. Understanding the culture surrounding the project is what makes the end product better and stronger. Kobi Karp’s work in Miami shows that he has a masterful understanding of all the variables in the architectural equation. 

A Leader in His Field

Art Basel this year has emphasized the importance of technology in artistic innovation. The technological advances over the past quarter century will surely allow Karp to continue to be a leader in his field.

A field which he flawlessly defined as such, “architecture is arts, culture, and science intermingling.”

As he has shown throughout his career, when all three aspects are balanced harmoniously, the results can be astonishing. 

Justin Shamlou is a Senior Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Miami, he covers international news, consumer brands, tech, art/entertainment, and events. Justin started his career covering the electronic music industry, working as the Miami correspondent for Magnetic Mag and US Editor for Data Transmission.

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