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verticalHarleywebMIAD’s new PowerSports course roared into its second semester, thanks in large part to the Harley-Davidson Stylists from the Willie G. Davidson Design Studio, who have given students the opportunity to design the next-generation touring motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson also funded a custom-designed studio, provided motorcycles and supplies for student use and provided expertise and input into the creation and ongoing progress of the course.

“This PowerSports class is the only course of its kind in the world,” said instructor and industry expert Michael Samarzja, a MIAD alumnus. “Existing vehicle design programs focus only on four-wheel design.

 “Though the growing PowerSports industry encompasses a variety of on and off the road two-wheel vehicles, this professional studio class within the college’s Industrial Design program focuses on the processes used in industry for manufacturing a specific consumer product.”

The Stylists provided input throughout all stages of the students’ work, from research to concepting and sketching, 3-D full-scale modeling in foam to complete clay mockups. They dropped in regularly and also attended formal critiques.

 During final team presentations to the Stylists in December, Steve Hyma ’09 said that his team, Team One, “dove into the lifestyle of Harley riders,” starting its research by interviewing a cross-section of riders during Harley’s 105th anniversary celebration.

While concentrating her design component on customizations important to women, such as increased storage and accessibility of personal items, teammate Esse Tarrolly ’09 stressed that “the team members worked to make their bike a coherent whole, and that the project was an excellent experience in moving from concepts to final clay models.”    

Kyle Anderson Willie Gee
Iconic designer, leader and grandson of one of the original founders of Harley-Davidson, “Willie G.” (Davidson) admires the clay work of Kyle Anderson ’09.

Ray Drea, Harley Redirector of Styling, said, “This has been a great experience for my entire staff. The talent of MIAD students is inspiring, and the faculty does a great job of leading the students toward a real-world experience. That is a goal where all truly benefit.”

 “This design experience with an industry leader like Harley exemplifies the outstanding professional partnerships offered to MIAD students across all disciplines,” said President Neil Hoffman. “MIAD is grateful for Harley’s support as we look forward to the innovative ideas and conceptual creativity emanating from this unique course.”