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“I’ve visited many art and design schools around the world and found an atmosphere and confidence at MIAD that are unique… Students have a clear and well-deserved sense of themselves and their work, and that is a rare thing.”

Mark Rios, FAIA, FASLA, founding principal of Rios Clementi Hale Studio, concluded with these thoughts during his visit to MIAD, which culminated in a Community Presentation attended by more than 200 members of the MIAD and Milwaukee communities.

During his visit to MIAD’s Third Ward campus from November 13 – 16 for the first MIAD Creativity Series, Rios engaged with students in classes, critiques and projects spanning the fine arts and design disciplines, and the GEHC + MIAD Compassion Project, and said, “There is diversity, passion, curiosity, confidence, nurturing and rigor here. Cherish your culture!”

Selected photos from Rios’ visit are available on flickr.

rios-lubars-web“Mark Rios is internationally renowned for redefining the boundaries of design innovation,” said newly elected Board of Trustees Chair Madeleine Lubar. “Words such as ‘culture,’ ‘the storytelling of place,’ ‘community,’ ‘urban responsibility,’ ‘joy’ and ‘iconic form making’ help describe him and his multidisciplinary talents, which will create a one-of-a-kind experience for the college and community.”

rios-collage-webAward-winning faculty joined Rios for the community event:

  • Jill Sebastian, installation, interdisciplinary and public artist, Professor of Sculpture at MIAD;
  • Eric Vogel, architect, designer and Layton Art Collection president, MIAD Chair of 3D Design and Professor of Interior Architecture and Design; and
  • Bonnie North, arts producer and co-host of Lake Effect, WUWM 89.7, moderated.

Members of both the Milwaukee and MIAD communities were intrigued and engaged, valuing Rios’ perspectives on design issues and solutions related to every community, including how to incorporate and represent community views and culture into design.

One student asked the panel about advice for a freshman, and a recent alum in the audience answered that the student already had 18 years of experience and all the tools needed to succeed, to which Rios added, “Be fearless.”

Throughout the visit, Rios drew on his and his studio’s award-winning reputation for collaboration across an unprecedented range of design disciplines: architecture, landscape, interiors, urban design, graphics, branding, planning and product design.

Clients include entertainment studios and venues, cultural institutions, schools and universities, city agencies and departments, retail and restaurant establishments and individuals. Commissions have ranged from the design of public parks – such as the new Grand Park in Los Angeles – plazas and streets, to private gardens, furniture and products. Get to know Mark Rios.


“The entire college community is deeply grateful to Madeleine and David Lubar for founding the MIAD Creativity Series, which will bring in annually up to four internationally preeminent artists, designers and scholars/educators like Mark Rios to celebrate creative excellence with the MIAD and Milwaukee communities” said Hoffman.

Read the news release to discover why Madeleine Lubar and her husband, David Lubar, provided a grant to found the MIAD Creativity Series.


First image: Mark Rios, FAIA, FASLA; photo credit: Jim Simmons
Second image: Rios with Madeleine and David Lubar
Third image: Rios with Eric Vogel’s Senior Design Studio class; Rios with students in Will Pergl’s Senior Thesis Seminar; MIAD Creativity Series signage

Click here to read the news release on MIAD’s newly elected Board of Trustees Chair Madeleine Lubar.
Click here to read the news release for the MIAD Creativity Series.
Click here to view a selection of Rios’ work on flickr.
Click here to for more information on Rios Clementi Hale Studios’ award-winning reputation.
Click here to read about Grand Park in the New York Times.
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