Product Design Courses
PD240: Fabrication for Design Concepts
Fabrication for Design Concepts introduces students to hands-on fabrication methods for different materials and problem-solving challenges. Students learn how manual and digital fabrication skills, when combined with good craft, accelerate the understanding of form, function and aesthetics.
Prerequisite(s): F130 & F113/F115
PD241: Advanced Design Fabrication: Softgoods, Mechanisms & Clay Surfacing
Advanced Design Fabrication: Softgoods, Mechanisms & Clay Surfacing introduces students to complex problem-solving in patternmaking, sewing, mechanism and gearing systems, and surfacing design for hydrodynamic vehicles. Each project encourages independent decision-making as design challenges become more complex.
PD250: Design for Human Interface
Design for Human Interface examines design challenges presented by different users. The course highlights the power of design in society and the responsibility of the designer to their client.
Prerequisite(s): F130 & F113/F115
PD251: Human-Centered Problem-Solving in Product Design
Human-Centered Problem-Solving in Product Design deepens students’ understanding of user research and how this research impacts product design.
PD252: Design Visualization & 3D CAD Modeling
Design Visualization and 3D CAD Modeling introduces students to a variety of manual visualization and digital design documentation skills required to develop ideas, communicate them to others and document designs for next steps in manufacturing.
Prerequisite(s): F130 & F113/F115
PD253: Design Visualization & Presentation
Design Visualization and Presentation moves students to fluency in sketching skills (line, visual hierarchy, perspective, proportion, lettering, and prolificacy). Tablet drawing using Sketchbook Pro and Illustrator is introduced to master the speed and control required in the professional design studio.
PD340: Design Research & Sponsored Design
Design Research and Sponsored Design introduces students to the role of research to achieve design solutions for corporate client. Projects and deliverables range from consumer products to transportation to workstations to wearable technology.
PD341: Collaborative Design – Usability Studies in the Sponsored Context
Collaborative Design – Usability Studies in the Sponsored Context provides the student with sponsored team-based projects solving ergonomic challenges. User feedback provides essential direction for design refinement and resolution.
PD342: Manufacturing Processes & Technologies; Sustainability
Manufacturing Processes and Technologies; Sustainability examines processes and systems used in manufacturing of consumer products. Widely-used technologies in plastics, metals and composites are studied both as industrial processes and as essential design strategies and protocols. Students learn the most appropriate manufacturing strategy with an emphasis on sustainable materials and processes.
PD343: Portfolio & Internship Preparation
Portfolio and Internship Preparation readies students for the process of securing a design internship. Students will develop and present a full portfolio to the department faculty for assessment.
PD344: Digital Modeling & Surfacing
Digital Modeling and Surfacing strengthens students’ CAD modeling skills through a focus on industry expectations. Students learn how to position their design in environmental context and configure lighting schemes for optimal client presentation. Photoshop and Illustrator are used in conjunction with rendering results to deliver an integrated approach modeling and visual presentation.
Prerequisite(s): PD250 & PD252
PD345: Advanced Design Surfacing
Advanced Design Surfacing focuses on 3D CAD modeling protocol. Visualization considerations for product renderings include texture mapping, exploded views and animation.
PD352: Digital Sketching, Visualization & Narrative Systems
Digital Sketching, Visualization and Narrative Systems connects manual drawing skills to designing narrative presentations.
PD359: Human Factors: Designing for the Human Condition
Product Designers play a key role in developing solutions for users and their interaction with man-made objects and environments. Human Factors teaches students to observe and better understand human cognitive, physical and behavioral factors in order to develop solutions that address challenges unseen by the average person.
PD440: Smart Objects in the Home: User Experience/User Interaction (UX/UI)
Smart Objects in the Home focuses on UX/UI learning outcomes to prepare students for the International Housewares Association competition and research and problem finding for the Senior Project. Students engage in independent design thinking and research modules independently and individual reviews with department faculty. Students pursue problem framing and design for their projects.
PD441: Senior Project: Capstone Initiative
Senior Project: Capstone Initiative is a self-directed exploration into a passion and problem of the student’s choosing. Research and user input help guide the student towards a viable and innovative solution. This culminating experience is framed and structured by all prior coursework and learning outcomes.
PD442: Business of Design Practice
Business of Design Practice prepares students for the professional expectations of the design industry. The course focuses on networking, professional conduct, professional communication, portfolio development, business contracts for entrepreneurial or freelance work and intellectual property rights.
PD451: Display & Exhibit Design
Display & Exhibit Design leads students through the processes and outcomes expected in display, exhibit, trade show and point-of-purchase (POP) systems offering a range of opportunities for the graduating student to pursue.
French Renaissance alt rock met space cowboy country from the future in one Product Design class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Students in Storytelling: Compelling Narrative of the Design Process were tasked with creating a band, complete with newly designed instruments, stage plots and lighting, costumes and even a feature on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
In the 50th anniversary year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), the college presents “Growing Resistance: Untold Stories of Milwaukee’s Community Guardians,” an exhibition in the Brooks Stevens Gallery running January 8 – March 2, 2024. Related programs include zine making, a book club, student-guided tours and a story circle with community partners.
Eye-opening and awe-inspiring: this is how Nirmal Raja ’08 (Painting) describes learning to work with liquid metal. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum recently completed the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Residency in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Dale Shidler, Professor of Communication Design, received the January 2024 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Dale’s nominations highlighted his embodiment of MIAD’s Core Values, especially Integrity, Kindness and Community.
Four Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) community members will contribute to the first floor of the new ThriveOn King community hub on North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. They make up part of the 20 Milwaukee artists who will convey the history and heritage of Bronzeville in this collaborative space.