MIAD students design selfie museum at The Avenue in Milwaukee
From the infinite to the past, to nostalgia for Disco, to alien abductions – the imagination and creativity of MIAD students knows no bounds in another successful project through the MIAD Innovation Center.
In what may be one of their most unique experiences, MIAD students were tapped by Josh Krsnak, CEO of Hempel Real Estate, to design 24 immersive scenarios for the selfie museum at the 3rd Street Market Hall, the project Krsnak is co-developing at Milwaukee’s The Avenue.
The project resulted from the reputation the MIAD Innovation Center and students’ work has gained with clients throughout the greater Milwaukee region.
Lydia Kolinski ’21 (Product Design), one of the eight students selected for the paid summer project, said she was drawn to the project in part by “the story of the Grand Avenue Mall itself,” which she remembered growing up.
“So with this experience … it made me really want to help bring back life to [The Avenue]! It also was a great professional opportunity to get my feet wet in the display/exhibition design industry,” Kolinski said.
Sophomore Paolo Vacala (Communication Design) agreed, adding, “I was very eager to … get a feel for what working for a client is like.”
Kolinski designed the Challenger Deep, Paint Utopia and the Fragmented Universes rooms; Vacala designed the synthwave-inspired room, along with the Green Keys and Checkmate rooms.
“The students were part of this project throughout the entire process – from concepting to sourcing materials for the booths to overseeing installation of the designs,” said Drew Maxwell, executive director of the MIAD Innovation Center.
As is the practice with the center’s real-world projects, client interaction is key. “Students met with the client and toured the space to learn about the client’s needs and vision, brainstormed ideas, designed multiple concepts and then presented them to the client. Students worked with the client to refine their amazing ideas and make them come to life,” said Maxwell. “Not only did the students design the booths, but they also took initiative to pitch ideas for the selfie museum’s name, branding and merchandise.”
According to Krsnak, booth designs in the selfie museum will rotate throughout the year, with MIAD students working as consulting artists.
In addition to Vacala and Kolinski, Colleen Schinler ’21 (Illustration), Michael Garcia-Krapfl ’22 (Illustration), Kayla VanProoyen ’24 (Illustration), Olivia Paul ’21 (Product Design) and Sophie Yufa ’21 (Communication Design) and Griffin McDermott ’22 (Communication Design) designed rooms in the selfie museum. Watch Michael Garcia-Krapfl discuss the design and installation process, and his collaboration with the MIAD Innovation Center.
Three MIAD Communication Design students received 60th anniversary American Graphic Design Awards from Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) magazine. The students were selected from over 8,000 entries, and judged alongside professional design work. Fewer than 10% of entrants received an award.
Interior Architecture and Design (IAD) seniors from MIAD were taken to new heights on November 13 when they toured the construction site of The Couture, a 44-story skyscraper under construction that will be Milwaukee’s tallest residential and mixed-use building. The tour was part of a series of tours their senior thesis “Building Systems” class is taking with instructor Dan Kalkman, AIA.
The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) selected the design of MIAD alum Debbie Sajnani ’16 (Communication Design) for its 2023 annual ornament. The ornaments are recreated each year by artisans using a reserve painting technique, according to MAM.
For decades, Milwaukee has hosted an annual Holiday Lights Festival. To commemorate the festival’s 25th anniversary, Milwaukee Downtown will also host the new Ornament Trail this year. Five Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alumni and one instructor, who teamed up with both students and alumni, produced giant ornaments for the event.
Sarah Eichhorn, Visiting Instructor of Fashion and Apparel Design, received the October 2023 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Eichhorn’s nominations speak to her Kindness, Inclusiveness, Innovation and support of MIAD’s Community.