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Product Design students and alumni win national & international awards

Oct 13, 2021

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is proud to announce recent national and international honors earned by Product Design students and alumni.

plastic planter

Work by Szymon Salamon ’22

2021 WinSell Product Design Competition

The goal of the 2021 WinSell Product Design Competition was to design a product that used the rotational molding manufacturing process with granite polyethylene plastics, following the theme of “outdoor living activities designs.” The competition provided an unlimited choice of products for playing, playgrounds for sports, seating, lounging, swimming, snowboarding and more. Four MIAD students received honorable mentions:

  • Szymon Salamon ’22, for a rotationally molded veggie garden, which uses a plastic planter (instead of wood) that won’t rot overtime.
  • Connor Sannito ’22 for an octopus play set for playgrounds.
  • Jason Liang ’23 for a swimming pool buoy design.
  • Emma Moratti ’22 for a fishing pole carrier.

Interaction product for playgrounds

Work by Amanda Evans ’22 (Product Design)

2021 Association of Rotational Molders (ARM) Student Design


The national 2021 ARM Design Competition encourages the use of rotational molding as a tool for design and engineering students. Three MIAD students received top honors:

  • Bryce Lee ’22 won first place for a swamp cruiser, a rotationally molded and pedal-powered buggy.
  • Amanda Evans ’22 won second place for a distanced-children interaction product for playgrounds.
  • Szymon Salamon won third place for a plastic planter that won’t rot over time.

ReFresh grocery carrier and container system

Work by Eve Berndt ’20

2021 International Housewares Association (IHA) Student Design Competition

At the IHA Student Design Competition, Eve Berndt ’20 took home third place and a $1,000 prize for a ReFresh Grocery Carrier and Container System, a multi-level shopping basket. Berndt’s project was created during a 2020 senior thesis capstone class at MIAD. Malini Suri ’20 received an honorable mention for a self-contained breast pump.

Both Berndt and Suri created their projects for the 2020 Senior Exhibition. Their projects were chosen from among 146 entries. The IHA Student Design Competition recognizes excellence in industrial design.

2021 International Design Excellence Awards

At the 41st annual IDEA ceremony MIAD alums David Schwalbach ‘13, Adam Carter ‘16 and Paul Rossetto ‘95 took home the gold as part of the Milwaukee Tool Industrial Design team for their MX Fuel VBL strategy project. The project involved inventing, designing and developing a new battery platform and charging device that provides power to six lightweight equipment products. The results of the team’s work will dramatically reduce the hazards and frustrations (like emissions, noise and vibration) of the existing light equipment market.

This year’s award competition from the Industrial Designers Society of America was the biggest ever, with more than 2,087 entries from 25 countries. The honor is two-fold, as The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., enters the top IDEA-winning designs into its permanent collection.

2020-2021 Zinc Challenge Student Design Competition

Hosted by the International Zinc Association, the Zinc Challenge Student Design Competition celebrated its 20th year. This year’s competition challenged undergraduate design students to recreate, redesign and redevelop an existing product in zinc to take advantage of the superior properties of zinc alloys and the zinc die casting process.

Bryce Lee and Szymon Salamon were awarded $2,000 prizes. Lee designed a fishing lure—the Inchiku Jig—with zinc alloy sinkers and Salamon redesigned a clothes hanger with zinc properties to replace plastic and wooden hangers. As the faculty sponsor of the competition, MIAD Senior Professor & Chair of 3D Design Pascal Malassigné received a $1,000 award for the college. Learn more.



Battle of the Bands: Product Design class showdown

French Renaissance alt rock met space cowboy country from the future in one Product Design class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Students in Storytelling: Compelling Narrative of the Design Process were tasked with creating a band, complete with newly designed instruments, stage plots and lighting, costumes and even a feature on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

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.


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