Mastermind 2012 Finalist: Laz Ojalde of LMNOQ Design Studio

Categories: MasterMinds
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. As we approach Artopia, our annual arts soiree where we'll announce the three Mastermind winners March 8, we're profiling each of our nine 2012 finalists. For tickets and more information about Artopia, visit the website.

Laz Ojalde's Bale Bench
Laz Ojalde

Laz Ojalde is a furniture designer, studio owner, and a native son of Miami's Carol City. His sustainable, minimalist design aesthetic is aimed at making Miami's discarded items into thought-provoking and artistic, highly-functional furnishings.

Take his colorful bale benches from his Stormy Weather collection, for example. They're the result of saving Salvation Army discards from the landfill and turning them into vibrant rectangular places to park your art-loving ass.

"That's something that other parts of the country don't have because we do export a lot to the Caribbean," said Laz of the donation discards that become his furniture. "It's one of those things I take pride in -- I look for these aspects of our culture that are not necessarily common in the rest of the United States."

Then there are his Stormy Weather lamps, in which vegetable cans collected from Miami restaurants are reborn into light fixtures that resemble stick-figure representations of Medusa.

Stormy Weather lamp sm800.jpg
Laz Ojalde's Stormy Weather lamp
Both concepts originated as his response to a commission that came from a former restaurant owner whose largely vegetarian eatery, art gallery, and comedy club (Zona Verde) was located in Little Havana. The business closed, but it was far from the end of Ojalde's line.

He developed his ideas further, and his output has since been featured in Design Miami and design blogs like MOCO. His cool "floating" coat rack was even written up in The New York Times.

"My work is grounded in the now, meaning modern, contemporary lines," said Ojalde. "I find inspiration in older, more traditional work, and classical art as well. But I like to take all those ideas and sort of minimize them into what I feel is the simplest form that still communicates what is functional and needed," he said.

Ojalde will be a featured artist in Inventory's Objects of Desire show, on view at the Buena Vista Building in the Design District from February 12 to March 12. His design studio, called LMNOQ, is located on Miami's east side.

Audio Junkie
Agustina Woodgate

Honorable Mentions:
The Project [theatre]
Funner Projects
Robert Chumbley
Charo Oquet
Team Danger
Luis Pinto
John Adkins
Jolt Radio
Regina Jestrow
Yovani Bauta
Kevin Arrow
Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova
Hialeah Haikus
Jonathan David Kane
Eddy "Earthtone" Vegas
Bannavis Andrew Sribyata
Sarah Kontoff Baker
Jason Snyder
Valeria Yamamoto
Jayme Gershen

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Alain filiz
Alain filiz

have i not seen this a trillon times before..good that it is salvaged from salvation army...but lets encourage artist to be a bit more soul searching and original

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