Ornare Presents Design Talk

Season One


Ralph Choeff
Born in New York and educated at the Pratt Institute, architect Ralph Choeff is very excited about Miami architecture, as we learn in this inaugural presentation of Discussing Design presented by the luxury Brazilian furniture manufacturer, Ornare. Shot on location at one of the showroom kitchen displays in Ornare's Miami Design District showroom, we learned why Choeff agrees that Miami is the world's new and modern city.

"In Miami you have this new movement of modern tropical architecture that you don't see anywhere else in this country," he said. "...making the outdoors feel like the indoors and vise-versa ... Miami has become very sophisticated in architecture and very discriminating, especially to those that know."


Ralph Choeff

Tui Pranich

Tui Pranich is well known and respected in Miami. A Cornell University graduate, Pranich received his degree in architecture and worked at a Boston firm before deciding in 1984 to open his own interior design company.

Though Pranich often travels for work, he considers Miami his home and is very impressed with the city's growth.

"Miami has changed a lot," he said. "It's more international and I feel the city has grown tremendously. If you talk about Miami to anyone around the world, because I travel a lot, people recognize Miami."


Ashlee Harrison and Tui Pranich at Tui's annual holiday party


Rene Gonzalez

Cuban-born architect Rene Gonzalez grew up in Miami before studying architecture at the University California Los Angles (UCLA). While there, he developed a working relationship with his thesis advisor, Michael Palladino, who is Richard Meier's design partner. Upon graduation, Gonzalez was invited by Palladino to work at Richard Meier and Partners. At the time, the firm was working on the Getty Museum and Gonzalez had the opportunity to assist on that famed project.

Following his stay in Los Angles, Gonzalez chose to bring his talents back home to Miami where he has become one of the city's most respected architects. In addition to his work in luxury residential - Gonzalez recently designed a $60 million spec house and is currently working on an exclusive condo project South of Fifth in Miami Beach - he is known for his work with art collectors and museum spaces.


Rene Gonzalez with Cathy Leff at a dinner held in his honor, hosted by Cathy Leff & Micky Wolfson


Charles Allem

South African born and AD 100 interior designer Charles Allem sat down with SocialMiami at Ornare in the Miami Design District. Allem has chosen the Miami Design District as the headquarters of his internationally renowned design company.

“For me,” he said, “design is not really a job; it’s an extension of my being.”

Allem prides himself on providing clients with what they want. According to Allem, clients tend to be a lot more advanced in their knowledge of design than they were 10 to 15 years ago. He attributes this advancement to the internet and surplus of media outlets that essentially educate the consumer.


Charles Allem