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Industrial Design senior wins international award for design inspired by her injured dog


Dog with sling

Emmie with grocery bag sling

March 3, 2020Megan Piunti ’20 (Industrial Design) struggled to care for her dog, Emmie, last April when Emmie had a painful Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) injury that left her temporarily paralyzed. “We used plastic bins and a sling [made] from a grocery bag to help her recover.”

Megan’s experience inspired her to design a portable crate with multi-use elements to help other injured dogs on crate rest. Her design recently won third place at the International Housewares Association (IHA) Student Design Competition. Megan’s design was chosen among 265 entries from 29 colleges.

“There are different kinds of crates that already exist but not really for this specific purpose,” Megan said. “I think this product … would help make the process of keeping [dogs] secure and comfortable a lot easier… and that would promote better healing processes and the outlook for the dogs’ lives.” 

Crate prototype design (left) and Emmie in crate (right)

The walls of the crate can be zipped down for better access when feeding or giving medicine. They also can be taken apart to create a playpen or block entry ways to stairs. The secure carry-strap that wraps around the base can also be used as a supportive sling. 

Megan designed her project, which she plans to patent, as part of an Industrial Design class project where students designed products to solve problems in the home

Every year MIAD participates in the IHA Student Design Competition. Megan presents her project at IHA’s Inspired Home Show March 14 – 16, 2020 in Chicago.


Ordinary people doing extraordinary work: Growing Resistance

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.

Metalwork and molds: MIAD alum on Kohler Residency

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.

MIAD Values Recognition Award: Dale Shidler

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.

MIAD students, alumni, faculty create work for ThriveOn King

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.

MIAD Board of Trustees welcomes new members

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) Board of Trustees welcomed two new members at their January 2024 meeting. Dr. Daniel A. Schroeder, co-founder and president/CEO of Organization Development Consultants, Inc. (ODC), and Noah Stone, reference librarian and circulation assistant at North Shore Public Library, joined MIAD’s Board.


Accepting applications for Fall 2024
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December 31, 2023
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April 27, 2024
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June 1, 2024
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