Miami, January 27, 2022 – Museum of Art and Design (MOAD) to Miami Dade College (MDC) launches a new multi-purpose Education Lab on the third floor of the College Freedom Tower, National Historic Landmark. Adjacent to the Museum Galleries and designed and executed by the Miami studio AMLgMATD, the lab will host educational programs for all ages, from children to adults. The Education Lab opens at the end of February 2022.
As part of a multi-year project, MOAD commissioned the designers of AMLgMATD to reinvent its existing education room and make it adaptable to the variety of educational programs offered by the Museum, ranging from lectures and workshops for adults and students to hands-on art-making activities with children. They created a dynamic array of bespoke cabinetry, furniture, and wall and floor coverings that can be reconfigured for multiple uses. Monochromatic wooden surfaces alternate with strategically deployed moments of strong, vivid colors. AMLgMATD used sustainable, healthy and recycled materials, and invented a unique and engaging hybrid style called “Tropical Cubism”.
AMLgMATD’s design includes storage cabinets with carved designs on their doors, shelves that reveal colorful abstractions between shelves, work tables that can be arranged in a multitude of configurations, and geometric floor decals in hues bold designs that echo the optical designs wrapped around the low stools. Materials used include birch plywood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard, recycled from previous MOAD exhibits), aluminum tubing (60% recycled), vinyl laminate flooring, polypropylene webbing ( old unused stock) and environmentally friendly non-toxic coatings. The furniture was designed and built for the bedroom in small modules and assembled on site. The innovative design makes it easy to reconfigure the room and easily disassemble and reassemble furniture when needed. The furniture was custom made by master cabinetmaker Rudi Repenning. Moonlighter FabLab provided all CNC (Computer Numerical Control) services for the custom machine cutting and routing of the project.
According to AMLgMATD founders Laz Ojalde and Natalie Zlamalova, the designers’ approach to designing the space was to create “a fictional historical narrative for the room by developing a new style called Tropical Cubism.” This new style is inspired by the mixture of Czech cubism/functionalism and the whimsy of tropical American art deco. The resulting look highlights the most important features and processes of both influences and reuses them in contemporary ways.
Czech Cubism was defined by its use of sharp angles, crystalline forms and repetitive forms, as well as the use of avant-garde and modern materials of the time, such as aluminum and plywood, and exploration of new synthetic materials. Tropical Art Deco, a colorful take on the French and American Art Deco styles, combines the bold geometric shapes of Cubism and Viennese Secession with additional whimsical thematic elements.
“In creating this pseudo-style,” says AMLgMATD, “we deliberately chose to use economical material processes that were newly developed and perfected during the source styles period, such as plywood construction, bending of metal tubes, quick fixing and mechanical weaving. On top of that, we use modern conveniences in technology and decorative application: CNC routing, vinyl wraps, latex paints and non-toxic coatings. Our goal for this room is to create a space where the past artistically inspires the present, while creating an environment that pays homage to our personal historical influences.
The redesign of the Education Lab is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Council of Cultural Affairs, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and County Board of Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
About the designers
AMLgMATD, a Miami-based collaborative studio established by Laz Ojalde and Natalie Zlamalova in 2014, experiments with artwork, design objects and environments that reflect their love of unusual and neglected materials. AMLgMATD’s modus operandi is to integrate historical and geographical research into their visual language, to play with the sense of nostalgia, to apply familiar materials to new shapes and unexplored materials to familiar surroundings, and to redefine their environment. . AMLgMATD’s works are collected by private and corporate clients in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, and their WEBSTR stools are available across the United States in boutiques and museums.
AMLgMATD has shown works in museums and galleries across South Florida. For five seasons, they have been invited to participate in the creation of public seating and installations at Untitled Art in Miami Beach during Art Basel. They were also selected by the jury for the City of Miami’s Art in Public Places program to complete a large-scale mural and handmade cinder block security wall at the new ASPCA Community Veterinary Center in Liberty City, Florida. This project, in collaboration with TSAO Design Group, received the AIA Miami Honor Award of Excellence for Divine Detail (2020), the 2020 IIDA South Florida Chapter BRAGG Award (2020) and an Honorable Mention in the 2020 Contract Magazine Inspirations Awards (2020 ) . Additionally, AMLgMATD showcased its public seating installation throughout the 2020 and 2021 Design Miami seasons in the Design District.
Miami-born Ojalde’s background includes interior and product design, as well as running a local artist center called studioLMNOQ, which was featured in the 2013 annual Louis Vuitton City Guide and 2014 as a place of interest to visit in Miami. Zlamalova, born and raised in the Czech Republic, earned a BFA with Honors in Graphic Design from the Otis College of Art and Design. His personal works have been featured in museum and gallery exhibitions in Los Angeles and South Florida. The designers met during their residency at ArtCenter/South Florida.
Located inside the Freedom Tower of the MDC National Historic Landmark, MOAD at the MDC features groundbreaking exhibits and programs that aim to foster a reimagined Miami. Exploring the challenges and opportunities we face locally and globally, MOAD brings together artists, designers and thinkers to address the pressing questions of our time. As the College’s flagship museum, MOAD strives to be a catalyst for action and a place for people to remake their city. MOAD is following the College’s lead in operating across Miami with its Museum Without Boundaries initiative, which takes place in neighborhoods across the city and invites everyone to be part of the conversation.
WHAT: MOAD’s new education lab
WHEN: End of February 2022
OR: MDC Museum of Art and Design, MDC Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Boulevard, second floor
Hours: Wednesday: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Thursday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday–Sunday: 1 p.m.–6 p.m.
Admission to the museum: $12 adults; $8 seniors and military; $5 students (13-17) and college students (with valid ID); free for MOAD members, MDC students, faculty and staff, and children 12 and under; free on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; free every Sunday.
Accessibility Challenges: Please call 305-237-7710 for details.
The Museum of Art and Design is open normal hours. As part of the MDC, MOAD and MDC Special Collections will continue to closely monitor COVID-19. The MDC coordinates efforts with appropriate state and local authorities. We recommend you to visit MDC information and resources page and come back frequently.
For more information, please visit http://moadmdc.org and check our Facebook and Instagram channels for regular updates.
For updates and a full calendar of eventsplease visit https://moadmdc.org/programs-events.