An interview with Craig Robins

by Mara Sartore
November 17, 2021
Mara Sartore
Craig Robins

Craig Robins is an entrepreneur, real estate developer, and art collector based in Miami, Florida. As the CEO and President of Dacra, the real estate development company he founded in 1987, Robins focuses on developing creative communities that integrate art, design, and architecture to accelerate asset value creation and enrich urban life.


Explore the city with Craig.

Art and design have always been a part of the city’s DNA and it’s integrated into the neighborhood’s past and present.

The Design District had an already rich history in Miami shaped by interesting and important architecture. Just like South Beach, the most central property was the least valued. I saw an opportunity for renewal, revitalization and innovation and the chance to develop a thriving creative community that could contribute to Miami. From a development perspective, it was an opportunity to juxtapose contemporary design with historic architecture and to create a place like no other.

We have a roster of global artists and designers who have collaborated with us through the years to make the Miami Design District the unique neighborhood that it is today. Weaving together smart architecture and design with world-class public art and programming was an approach we honed on Lincoln Road and in South Beach.

Art, at its very essence, is an expression of our humanity. It’s a conversation, a connective thread that defines and redefines our collective and individual experiences. Great art evokes emotion and intellectual rigor. It delights us, angers us, challenges our thinking, and provokes us to look at the world around us in different ways. I enjoy an inexplicable sense of connection that I get when I look at an interesting work of art.  In my opinion, it is as essential to life as spoken language or mathematics. Even as a collector, Design Miami/ opened my life tremendously, allowing me to combine incredible design and art in the same setting and evoke a sense of community in all my projects. Today, the neighborhood is not only known for its stores by some of the world’s most significant luxury brands, but it’s mainly celebrated and defined as a place where art and creativity flourish.

Craig Robins, portrait. Photo credits Nick Garcia

Miami’s art and design programming is phenomenal year-round with museums like the ICA, PAMM and The Bass to name a few.  The Miami Design District in particular offers an array of art galleries and architecturally rich buildings like the award winning Museum Garage, the Sou Fujimoto building facade, and the Moore Building’s Elastika by Zaha Hadid. This year for Art Basel and Design Miami/ I am looking forward to the programming we have lined up in the Miami Design District. We’re unveiling our annual Design Commission, a physical and virtual site-specific installation called “Tomorrow Land” designed by creative studios Studio Proba and “Enjoy The Weather”. In addition, we’re also pleased to present several exhibitions including, but not limited to, “Shattered Glass” presented by Jeffrey Deitch in the Moore, the “Mitchell-Innes & Nash” exhibit, Goodman Gallery and Galerie Lelong among others. Jeffrey Deitch’s “Shattered Glass” exhibition will be Deitch’s sixth and final project in the Moore Building atrium space before the iconic site comes under the stewardship of WoodHouse. Additionally, Wava Carpenter has been named new Curatorial Director of Design Miami/ and we’re excited to welcome her and her expertise on modern and contemporary design. This year, for the 17th edition of Design Miami/ and the first curated by Wava, the programming will explore the theme of Human Kind, shining a spotlight on design-led visions for a more equitable and interconnected future.

What I love most about Miami is its diversity. Miami’s tropical weather gives way to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. From restaurants to museums, beaches and more, there’s always something to enjoy in the Magic City. During the week, I love to stop by Pura Vida, Mandolin and Mia Market for a healthy lunch. On the weekends, I typically visit COTELe Jardinier or Carbone Miami for a good time with family and friends.

Craig Robins portrait. Photo credits Camilo Ros
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