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Alumni Success

Industrial Design: Success


MIAD begins accepting applications for Fall 2015

DEC. 1
Early Application Date

JAN. 1, 2015
FAFSA application process opens for Fall 2015

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Common Industrial Design Job Titles:

  • Industrial Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Display Designer
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Model Maker

Types of Industrial Design Projects and Work:

  • Appliances
  • Clothing accessories
  • Computer equipment
  • Electronics
  • Entertainment products
  • Furniture
  • Housewares
  • Lighting
  • Medical products
  • Models
  • Office products
  • Scientific products
  • Sports products
  • Tools
  • Toys
  • Vehicles

Types of Businesses Hiring:

  • Display/exhibit design firms
  • Furniture
  • Manufacturers:
  • consumer products
  • medical and scientific
  • office products
  • transportation
  • Model making
  • Product (industrial) design firm

MIAD industrial design graduates have worked for the following companies:

Allsteel Inc.; Muscatine, Iowa
manufacturer, contract furniture

Bit 7
industrial design firm

Brooks Stevens Design Associates, Inc.
industrial design firm

Buell Motorcycles
sport motorcycle design

Daewoo Electronics Corporation; South Korea
manufacturer, consumer electronics

DCI Marketing
display, point-of-purchase design; marketing

Derse Exhibits
exhibit design

Discovery World Museum

Fiskars Manufacturer
office products

Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc.
point of purchase, display design

GE Medical Systems
manufacturer, medical equipment

General Motors Design Center; Detroit
manufacturer; automobiles

GM Powertrain Europe; Germany
manufacturer; automobiles

Harley-Davidson Motor Company
manufacturer; motorcycles

Huffy Sports
manufacturer, sporting goods

Johnson Health Tech. NA.
marketing, engineering, industrial design

KI - Krueger International
manufacturer contract furniture

Kohler Company
manufacturer, durable plumbing

Koss Corporation
manufacturer, stereo headphones

LEGO Company; Denmark
manufacturer, toys

Master Lock Company
manufacturer; locks & security products

Maytag Appliances; Newton, Iowa
appliance company

Milsco Manufacturing Company
manufacturer; motorcycle components

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
manufacturer; electric tools

Motorola; Chicago
manufacturer; communication electronics

Patch Products, Inc.
toy development, design

Porsche; Germany
manufacturer, sports car

Renquist Associates, Inc.
industrial, graphic design firm

Rockwell Automation
industrial electronic automation products

S C Johnson & Son Inc.
commercial and home cleaning products

Sram Corporation; Chicago
manufacturer; bicycle specialty

Target Corporation; Minneapolis
corporation; retail

Trek Bicycle Corporation
manufacturer, bicycles

Veterans Administration
government; veterans assistance

Whirlpool Corporation; Benton Harbor, Michigan
manufacturer; appliances

Ziba Design; Portland, Oregon
product design & development firm


Laura Hackbarth
One Designer's Leaps + Bounds.

  • attended Waukesha West High School,Waukesha, WI
  • graduated 2003, BFA Industrial Design
  • currently works as an industrial + point of purchase display designer at DCI Marketing, WI

"My MIAD education got me the job that I currently have. One of my instructors saw potential and talent in me and offered me an internship with the company he worked for. Eventually that internship turned into a full-time job with benefits."

A small child stands in one of the toy aisles at Target, and I stop briefly to watch him. His hands on the controllers, he is intensely focused on the small screen and learning game he's playing. And this is the exact connection that Laura Hackbarth hopes for every time she creates a display. Point-of-purchase displays, like this one holding the Leapster L-MAX, allow a consumer to learn more about the product, and possibly even take it for a 'test drive', before buying. Hackbarth strives to find ways through her designs to get buyers excited about their purchases. And that little boy was definitely excited.

Q. As a child, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. When I was a child, I couldn't decide between being a zookeeper or a pizza maker.

Q. What is your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. In seventh grade I won an art contest. My still life drawing of glass jars drawn with ebony pencil took first place.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. I would have to say that the most valuable thing I leaned at MIAD is that it is important to have a well-rounded education and to learn from the other students and faculty that cross you path while you are there. I know that sounds generic, but having liberal studies classes were a very nice break from the studio courses. You continuing learning about other subjects and are reminded that there is more to life than just art.

Q. What's the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you have experienced life after graduation?

A. MIAD is a great school headed in an exciting direction. I know many of the students that I graduated high school with just kind of brushed over MIAD because they wanted to get out of the state. It is truly a unique school with an extremely valuable faculty. It's hard to find a school which brings together so many major in one building like MIAD does.

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. I work at a point-of-purchase and display design company where I do hand sketching, computer modeling, and prototype building, and travel around the world.

Q. What are some of your goals for the future, in design and in life?

A. As of right now, my goal is to gain an industry knowledge of point-of-purchase and display design. Since I initially went to MIAD to be a drawing major, I want to get back into doing mixed media drawing and painting for myself, and possibly some commission work. I also have a lot of interest in traveling, though I haven't gotten to too much of it until I graduated. I want to see all fifty states before I'm fifty years old.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your résumé that you'd like to share? Any notable products or displays that are on the market?

A. I've done some substantial work since starting at DCI. At twenty-four years old, I'm the lead designer on the LeapFrog account (the third largest toy manufacturer in the world).

This Fall, four of my displays for some of their small learning products were launched in stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys-R-Us.


Aaron Holder

  • A Child's Playtime Becomes a Lifetime.
    ttended Monona Grove High School, Monona, WI
  • graduated 2003, BFA Industrial Design
  • currently Head of Design, RCS Retail Interiors

  "My goal for the future is to keep my day job interesting and rewarding Industrial Design was a way for me to use my skills and passions in the real world, and that still holds true today."

  • Aaron Holder

Holder's bookshelves are lined with meticulously built model cars, a sign of his passion for building, products, details, and design. Although Holder has grown up, he effuses the energy and excitement of a young boy when he speaks about Industrial Design. From building car models to designing high-end retail interiors, as well as point-of-purchase displays, Holder's childhood dreams have manifested themselves into an everyday reality.

Q. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an architect. In my junior year of high school I realized that I really do not like math...and I didn't want to go to college for six to eight years.

Q. What is your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. My first memorable experience with art and design is from my childhood. I liked to draw a lot, and I liked to play with Legos which are the greatest toys/ learning tool since the existence of anything. I was very good at constructing a replica (out of Legos) of the helicopter from the television series Air Wolf.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. I learned how to work with other people, a skill that is obviously critical as a designer. The world of design is, in fact, a very small world and you never know when you'll come across a familiar face. Thus, it is better to make friends than foes.

Without the skills I learned at MIAD and the degree I obtained, I would not be working in the design field.

Q. What would you tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you have experienced life after graduation?

A. New students should not fear the world that awaits them after college. Hard work and dedication will definitely pay off.



David Chu
From College to Car Design and Back Again.

  • attended Instituto de Educacao Prof., "Alberto Conti," San Paulo, Brazil
  • graduated 1971, BFA in Industrial Design from Layton School of Art, MIAD's predecessor
    1991, MFA in Design and Studio Arts from University of Illinois at Chicago
  • currently Professor of Advertising Graphic Design at the College of DuPage

"One of the most important decisions to make in life is to choose the right college. Choose one that has a dedicated faculty and successful alumni."

David Chu has had a life well-lived.

As a student at MIAD, he learned fundamental skills which have led him on a diverse path through various art and design careers. "Growing up," Chu said, "I always wanted to be a car designer." And Chu lived that childhood dream not long after his studies, when he took a job with General Motors at a design and manufacturing location in Brazil. From car design to advertising, Chu now spends his time teaching design at the college level.

Q. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. As a child, I wanted to be a car designer.

Q. What was is your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. My first memorable experience was winning first prize in a high school art competition.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. MIAD gave me the foundation I needed to be successful in the fields of art and design. I am fortunate to have chosen MIAD as a part of my education because I learned how to solve problems through traditional techniques and modern technology. When I left my job as a car designer, I was able to get a job in the advertising industry because of the foundations skills I learned at MIAD, such as life drawing, painting, photography, typography, art history, and others. I was able to see the inherent beauty and value of other art and design techniques outside of my major because of foundations.

Q. What are your goals for the future, both in art and design and in life?

A. I plan on writing a book about advertising and design, making video, and participating in community affairs helping minority students.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your résumé that you would like to share? Notable products you've created or job positions you've held?

A. After graduation, I worked as a package designer at Green Bay Packaging. After a year as a graduate student at the University of Illinois-Urbana, I was working as a car designer for General Motors in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

At advertising agencies, I've designed packaging, exhibits, advertisements, and promotional campaigns for companies such as Ford, Kodak, Nestle, and Unilever.

Employers + Clients:

  • General Motors
  • Frigidaire
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Nestle
  • College of DuPage
  • Kodak
  • Unilever

Notable Awards:

  • St. Regis Packaging Award
  • Premio Colunista, Festival Brasileiro Promocao Embalagem
  • Faculty Award at the University of Illinois in Chicago
  • Best Instruction video "3-D Design Techniques with Plastic Models" for the College of DuPage at AECT Annual Conference + International Exposition sponsored by 3M + PBS.



Jeremy Shamrowicz
An Urban Innovator.

  • graduated 1998, BFA double-major, Industrial Design + Sculpture, minored in Illustration
  • currently President + Co-Owner of Flux Design www.thinkflux.com

"Everybody comes to MIAD for the same reason, they've got a passion for creativity. We've simply found a way to keep that experience alive."

"When I was a child, all I wanted to do was grow up; now that I'm an adult, all I want to do is be a child." An avid Star Wars and Lord of the Rings collector and outdoorsman, Jeremy Shamrowicz completed his MIAD degree with a double-major in Industrial Design and Sculpture. When asked how his MIAD education affected where he is today, Shamrowicz replied, "What I've gleaned from MIAD has been invaluable: the teachers, the students, the challenge and the competition."

After graduation, "I committed myself to becoming self-employed. I was determined to spend night and day building my own life -- my living, my business, my family and friends."

Shamrowicz signed a lease on a gallery space on North Water Street in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee. Jesse Meyer, a MIAD graduate and good friend of Shamrowicz, left his special-effects job in California, returning to Milwaukee to work with Shamrowicz on Gallery 326. For several months, they built an entirely new interior for the space while creating artwork and furniture for the gallery's opening. Shamrowicz says, "In fact, the very first table we made used materials left over from some of my MIAD sculpture projects." From this, Flux Design was born, and the company has continued to grow, gaining notoriety around the world.

Flux Design concepts, designs, fabricates, and installs interior and exterior elements for commercial and residential clients. In the five years since the company began, it has grown to over fifteen employees, with over half who are MIAD graduates. The company also employs several MIAD student interns on a regular basis. Recently, Flux moved into a 20,000 square-foot fabrication facility in the Riverworks Business Park in Milwaukee, WI.

When asked how he would like to change culture, Shamrowicz responded, "I would love to get people to understand that art is not something on a wall or on a pedestal. Art is everywhere. I would like to get everyone to take five minutes per day to recognize it; to see it all around them; to appreciate the little things."

Places to see the work of Flux Design:

  • Vucciria Restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
  • Terrace Bar, Milwaukee, WI
  • Vivo Urban Grill, Milwaukee, WI
  • Velvet Room, Milwaukee, WI
  • Roots, restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
  • Sauce, restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
  • Crave, restaurant, Madison, WI
  • Pizza Shuttle, Milwaukee, WI
  • Ducati Cafe, Saukville, WI
  • Twisted Fork, restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
  • Eve, restaurant/nightclub, Milwaukee, WI
  • The Social, restaurant, Milwaukee, WI

Select businesses that Flux Design has worked or collaborated with:

  • Starbucks
  • Masterlock
  • Laughlin-Constable marketing firm
  • Zimmerman Design Group
  • Ducati Motorcycles
  • Boelter & Lincoln marketing firm
  • BOP clothing store
  • Cramer-Krasselt advertising/marketing firm


Margaux Butzen
Designs that Move.

  • attended Divine Savior Holy Angels, Wauwatosa, WI
  • graduated 2003, BFA Industrial Design
  • currently works as a designer at JR286 Inc., a California based company that holds the global licensing for FILA accessories, Under Armour and Hustler clothing.

"While growing up I knew I wanted to work for an athletic company designing shoes and women's accessories, and at the time my dream job was to work for NIKE."

Not a far stretch from NIKE, Margaux Butzen spends her days designing apparel and accessories for some of the world's largest and most successful clothing and athletic companies, such as FILA and Under Armour. Eventually hoping to create her own apparel accessory line, Butzen is happy with the foundation of skills she learned in the Industrial Design program at MIAD. She says, "I now know that I learned more about my field and career in school than I ever realized." And that career, like the designs she creates, is on the move.

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