Product Design: Success
MIAD graduates are individuals whose lifelong passions have become lifelong careers. Many MIAD alumni have pursued directly related to their academic program, while others have taken their culmination of skills in many areas and them to interdisciplinary projects and professional opportunities. For many of our graduates, their degree has led them to places they never expected, and they have redefined the role of artist or designer to contemporary society.
Explore this small sampling of the many paths our graduates have followed.
Alumni Profile: Youa Yang ’14
BFA Industrial Design | 2014
Industrial Designer, Rapid Displays
“MIAD is a very self-driven college and taught me to be more independent, to think outside the box. I learned that if you don’t push yourself and work hard to reach your goals you’ll never get there.”
See the work of Rapid Displays at:
Alumni Profile: Kyle Nesbitt ’09
KYLE NESBITT, 2009
BFA Industrial Design
Designer, Albéa, Paris, France
Kyle Nesbitt is a designer at Albéa where he works across multiple design concentrations in the field of cosmetics and personal care. His work includes product design for new concepts, communication design and illustration for promotional materials, time-based media, and market/trend research. Much of Nesbitt’s work involves design projects for the largest cosmetics companies in the world.
“MIAD prepared me well for my design career by emphasizing the importance of having a diverse skill set. I’ve taken on many projects that would have been difficult to complete without the wide variety of subjects I studied at MIAD, including figure drawing, color theory, graphic design, and more. My experience at MIAD gave me the drive and problem-solving abilities to take on any type of design project, and I continue to discover new benefits of my education.”
See the work of Albéa at ALBEA-GROUP.COM.
Bottanuco posters. 2015. Promotional work for the Bottanuco, Italy office describing Albéa’s innovation process. Digital.
O2 Wall Tube artwork for product samples. 2015. Digital
WED logo. 2015. Digital.
Albea Connect prototype. 2015. Digital.
Alumni Success: Laura Hackbarth ’03
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.
Alumni Profile: Bill Roozée ’93
“The most important thing MIAD taught me was the business side of creativity…”
Bill Roozée’s first job after graduating from MIAD was as a toy designer in Chicago. In 2000, he started Billy Raygun Design, Inc. a trade show agency, named appropriately after his nickname while a student. In 2010, Roozée started a second business, Listo Tax Solutions which provides tax and accounting services to the Hispanic community.
Since founding Billy Raygun Design, Bill has designed for industry providers and for Fortune 100 and 500 companies directly. Throughout his career, Roozée sat on the Board of Directors for the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) local chapter as President. He has spoken multiple times about exhibit design at the Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas (The World Conference and Exhibition for Trade Show and Corporate Event Marketing) and has won multiple awards for his designs.
“During my four years at MIAD, I benefitted from knowledge of some of the best professors in Industrial Design such as Brooks Stevens, Pascal Malassigné, and Frank Lukasavitz whose experience combined, contributed to my actionable approach to design and business. The most important thing MIAD taught me was the business side of creativity. There is no point in being creative if the creativity can’t be applied to business imperatives. That statement alone has been the underlying drive to my success as a designer and businessman.”
Alumni Profile: Jean-Marc Bastien ’16
BFA Industrial Design | 2016
Footwear Design Intern, Weyco Group, Inc.
"My degree in Industrial Design along with my personal drive and acquired skill set helped me get my foot in the door of the footwear industry. After graduating from MIAD, I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Pensole Academy, a prestigious footwear design academy where 18 designers across the world are selected for a special master class. I worked with the ASICS shoe brand at the academy and currently design dress shoes for Stacy Adams."
See more of Jean-Marc’s work at:
Alumni Profile: Casey Dougherty ’10
Casey Dougherty is an advocate of functional and smartly designed product experiences. He started his career path in industrial design after watching a show about the Harley Davidson design team, discovering how functionality drives styling. Since then he has attended The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and expanded his knowledge in the field of product design immensely working with several fortune 500 companies. He believes in research and solving problems with elegant solutions. Casey uses a variety of methods to communicate his design intent to internal and external clients: strong sketching skills, verbal/written communication and 3D modeling.
Casey is currently responsible for day to day industrial design activities (product design, CAD, prototyping, working with external vendors and internal teams). My role also includes the development of long term product design strategies and working cross functionally with large teams for product and brand launches.
“MIAD has allowed me to hit the ground running in my career. The experiences and knowledge I gained while in school have helped me immensely specifically; creativity, business knowledge, teamwork, core design skills and know when not to take things to seriously. My experience at MIAD put everything in place for me to become a future leader in innovation and design.”
Alumni Profile: Tien Nguyen ’10
After graduating from MIAD, Tien Nguyen moved to Chicago for an Industrial Design position at CHOi Design, a design consultancy. At CHOi Design, he worked on numerous projects and products from electrical consumer products to home and outdoor appliances. CHOi’s most notable client is Weber Grills. At CHOi Design, Nguyen and his design team put a great number of products on the market, and more to come, for Weber Grills. More recently, Nguyen was offered an opportunity with another design firm and now holds the position of Structural Packaging Designer at Studio One Eleven, a division of Berlin Packaging. Since then, Nguyen has worked on projects for many well-known companies in the beverage industry.
“Oh MIAD…if I could do it again, I would in a heart beat! From the first Industrial Design class to the very last, all helped get me to where I am now. MIAD and its devoted faculty taught me the fundamental skills I needed to be successful in the design industry. As part of my education, I learned to identify, approach, and solve through traditional techniques, as well as technologically based design programs. MIAD’s Industrial Design program is well rounded, and provided me hands-on experience to work with companies such as Fiskars and Harley-Davidson while in school. Being able to work with well-respected designers, engineers, and even marketing teams was a very valuable experience. MIAD builds strong designers every day.”
Alumni Profile: David Chu ’71
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
- Ford Motor Company
- College of DuPage
- 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.
Alumni Profile: Emily Siira ’17
BFA Industrial Design | 2017
Industrial Designer, GE Healthcare
Independent Design Consultant
Greater Milwaukee Area, Wisconsin
“In my opinion, a hands-on approach is the most effective way to learn, and the MIAD ID program engages that on all cylinders. The unique opportunity to be involved in client-sponsored projects within studio courses offered a foundation for how to apply the variety of learned skills to real-world problems.”
See more of Emily’s work at:
Alumni Profile: Peggy Brown ’88
Peggy Brown is full of it. Creativity, that is. She’s been overflowing with ideas all of her life. Her passion for playful silliness combined with her artistic perspective, natural curiosity, wealth of quirky knowledge, delight in pop-culture, and desire to share ideas with as many people as possible make a rare and winning combination. She’s certainly got that left brain-right brain combo thing happening, and she puts it to good use.
She’s created hundreds of products that have been mass-produced and marketed all over the world, written a couple of books, taught a few classes, and instigated countless people to chuck their inhibitions and unleash their creative spirits in a great variety of situations.
Backed by a Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design and an impressive resume, Peggy has worked for many of the world’s biggest toy companies in a number of capacities: as an inventor, a designer, writer, creative director, consultant, or executive. She has done development work on all kinds of products, including some with brands such as Barbie, Warner Brothers, Disney, Sesame Street, McDonald’s and Nickelodeon, just to name a few. She’s worked inside companies as a creative director and VP, and on her own as a product developer, creative thinker, designer, brainstorming leader, creative writer and author.
“As I recall there was a divide – there were Fine artists and designers. I think everybody is an artist. If you think about the ways you can apply fine art techniques to design and vice-versa, you really come up with some interesting stuff. I work on all different kinds of aspects of games and it’s all design work, because it’s problem-solving, and it’s all just pieces of this puzzle that creates a product. I like designing things that are intangible like the way that people interact with one another. It’s funny that these different things that I’m interested in have sort of been able to be melded into this career.”
Alumni Profile: Aaron Holder ’03
A Child’s Playtime Becomes a Lifetime.
- Attended 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.”
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.
Alumni Profile: Jeremy Shamrowicz ’98
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 renown 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:
- Laughlin-Constable marketing firm
- Zimmerman Design Group
- Ducati Motorcycles
- Boelter & Lincoln marketing firm
- BOP clothing store
- Cramer-Krasselt advertising/marketing firm
PRODUCT DESIGN CAREER PATHS
Common Product Design Job Titles:
- Product Designer
- Industrial Designer
- Display Designer
- Exhibit Designer
- Model Maker
Types of Product Design Projects and Work:
- Clothing accessories
- Computer equipment
- Entertainment products
- Medical products
- Office products
- Scientific products
- Sports products
Types of Businesses Hiring:
- Display/exhibit design firms
- consumer products
- medical and scientific
- office products
- Model making
- Product (industrial) design firm
MIAD product & industrial design graduates have worked for the following companies:
Allsteel Inc.; Muscatine, Iowa
manufacturer, contract furniture
industrial design firm
Brooks Stevens Design Associates, Inc.
industrial design firm
sport motorcycle design
Daewoo Electronics Corporation; South Korea
manufacturer, consumer electronics
display, point-of-purchase design; marketing
Discovery World Museum
Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc.
point of purchase, display design
GE Medical Systems
manufacturer, medical equipment
General Motors Design Center; Detroit
GM Powertrain Europe; Germany
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
manufacturer, sporting goods
Johnson Health Tech. NA.
marketing, engineering, industrial design
KI – Krueger International
manufacturer contract furniture
manufacturer, durable plumbing
manufacturer, stereo headphones
LEGO Company; Denmark
Master Lock Company
manufacturer; locks & security products
Maytag Appliances; Newton, Iowa
Milsco Manufacturing Company
manufacturer; motorcycle components
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
manufacturer; electric tools
manufacturer; communication electronics
Patch Products, Inc.
toy development, design
manufacturer, sports car
Renquist Associates, Inc.
industrial, graphic design firm
industrial electronic automation products
S C Johnson & Son Inc.
commercial and home cleaning products
Sram Corporation; Chicago
manufacturer; bicycle specialty
Target Corporation; Minneapolis
Trek Bicycle Corporation
government; veterans assistance
Whirlpool Corporation; Benton Harbor, Michigan
Ziba Design; Portland, Oregon
product design & development firm
- MIAD students and Milwaukee teacher develop game to broaden cultural representation
- MIAD students celebrate and honor women in Product Design
- Milkowski named MIAD VP for Development and Communications
- MIAD students design apps, customizable face masks to solve pandemic challenges
- Illustration students design posters for Johnsonville company headquarters