Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Design MMoCA 2016 Breaks the Pattern


Design MMoCA 2016 Breaks the Pattern

Signature Event Soon to Transform MMoCA

April 30-May 8, 2016

Exclusive Preview Gala: April 29, 2016

 MADISON, WI— Design MMoCA is an unparalleled design challenge and opportunity, presented biannually by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). For its fifth occurrence, this unique art and design event will offer the fourteen participating designers from varied disciplines, the chance to break the pattern of their day-to-day design work and to harness the power of art from the museum’s permanent collection.

The projects created by Design MMoCA participants will be exhibited in the museum’s galleries and lobby. This year’s projects will include fantasy product design, inspired interiors, inventive textiles, wall-blanketing graphics, imaginative architectural structures, and interactive media installations. During the event, the museum will also host a variety of related activities, including opportunities to meet-and-greet with the designers, gallery talks, panel discussions, and more.  Design MMoCA 2016 will open with a Preview Gala, to be held on Friday, April 29, 2016.

The Design MMoCA Process

Each participating designer begins by selecting a work of art from the museum’s permanent collection to use as inspiration for their design installation. The museum’s collection of more than 5,000 works includes paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, and three-dimensional works by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Among the pieces chosen by this year’s Design MMoCA participants are works by Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Ernest Tino Trova, and James Rosenquist, among others.

Visitors to Design MMoCA will be able to view all of the chosen artworks, as well as the projects they have inspired. Installations will include rooms, interactive media displays, innovative product designs, and more.

Design MMoCA Background

In 2008, Design MMoCA began as a showcase of projects by interior designers and architects.  As the event grew, designers from other fields began inquiring about the possibility of joining this unique event.  Eager to partner with so many creative professionals, and to see what these inspired minds would dream up, MMoCA opened the event to designers of all fields for the third iteration in 2012.  We are now happy to feature partnerships between unique individual designers as well as collaborations between celebrated design firms in the area.  This year, Design MMoCA has continued to expand into ever more diverse design fields, by including furniture design and textile design. Additionally, for the first time all the installations will be connected to the common theme, “Break the Pattern.”


Participants and Projects

Participants in Design MMoCA 2016 are:

Ayres Associates

The Century House

Chapa Design + Theory Three Interactive


Cricket Design Works

Design Concepts, Inc.


Jordan D. Gehman

Karina Cutler-Lake

Mali Winfield Mrozinski

OPN Architects

Strang, Inc.

Wei Dong

Yeonhee Cheong

Yifei Zha and Kyle Neuser

Initial project descriptions reflect a wide variety of concepts, scale, and interests:

  • Chapa Design and TheoryThree Interactive team up to create an interactive installation that splashes visual interpretations of attendee-produced sounds across the gallery walls.
  • Industrial designers Yifei Zha and Kyle Neuser, inspired by the woodcuts of Jennifer Bartlett, are creating crisp, geometric designs by folding raw, steel sheets into functional artwork.
  • Professor of Art and Design at UW Madison, Wei Dong is exploring a dynamic balance in which opposite elements of light and dark, man-made and the natural, all harmoniously coexist in a single environment.
  • With the use of levers, pulleys, and switches, Strang, Inc.’s installation will allow viewers to become performer, audience, and stagehand as they move different parts of the interior of a life-size stage-in-a-box.
  • Heibing’s installation will allow visitors to become a part of the event’s “Break the Pattern” theme. Attendees can disrupt a constantly evolving pattern on the MMoCA Lobby wall through their own movements.


Gala Opening, Related Events and Activities

Design MMoCA 2016 also features a robust event schedule, including:

Design MMoCA Exclusive Preview Gala – Friday, April 29 6:30-10 pm

Break free from the routine of a typical Friday night by joining fellow art and design enthusiasts for the Design MMoCA Exclusive Preview.  This fun and fabulous night will feature a strolling supper with five small plates, tasting pours of three paired beverages, a debut performance by the Madison Flute Club of a composition inspired by an MMoCA artwork, inspired treats by Roots Chocolates, and the chance to win $2,500 cash in the Design MMoCA raffle.  This event will also be an exclusive opportunity to meet and mingle with the participating design professionals.  Attendees will be the first to see the galleries brimming with the one-of-a-kind design installations.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 608.257.0158 x230. Tickets are $75 for MMoCA members, $85 for non-members. ($45 of each ticket is tax deductible.) Reservations will be held at the door.

Schedule of Related Events

Saturday, April 30, 12:30 pm               Tour will start in the Lobby

Docent-led Tour: On the Art

The Design MMoCA installations were inspired by unique works of art.  But what inspired the artists?  Join docent David Griffeath to learn about some of the artists and artworks included in the show.


Gallery Night - Friday, May 6, 5-9 pm

Designers on their Design

Learn more about some of the Design MMoCA installations as their creators disclose what drew them to their selected artwork and describe their design process.

6 pm                                          State Street Gallery

Karina Culter-Lake; Chapa Design + TheoryThree Interactive; Ayres Associates

7 pm                                          Henry Street Gallery

Credo; Wei Dong

8 pm                                          State Street Gallery

Strang, Inc.; Jordan D. Gehman; Cricket Design Works


Hiebing, the Madison-based integrated marketing and brand management firm that created marketing campaigns for every Design MMoCA since its inception in 2008, has again branded the event on the museum’s behalf. Hiebing’s earlier campaigns for Design MMoCA earned national awards, including a first-place prize in the annual design competition of the National Association of Museums. The graphic design for this year’s campaign was inspired by a work from the museum’s permanent collection: Imperfect Circle #2, a screenprint by Robert Mangold.

Generous sponsorships, to date, for Design MMoCA 2016 have also been provided by The Century House; Hiebing; Kramer; and Ben Marcus and Katie Dowling-Marcus. Media support has been provided by Madison Magazine. Additional support has been provided by Faith Technologies; Robert Leschke; Kathie Nichols; Woodman’s Food Markets, Inc.; Jim and Jessica Yehle; and Theodora Zehner.


Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open Tuesday-Thursday, noon–5pm; Friday, noon–8pm; Saturday, 10am–8pm; Sunday, noon–5pm; and is closed on Mondays.    

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