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Product Design students visualize unique toys

Juniors in the Compelling Narratives and Visualizations Product Design class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) were challenged with understanding brand momentum and partnerships.

As part of a class project in collaboration with Komatsu, a company that designs and produces mining equipment, MIAD juniors explored products and brand philosophy through an extensive tour and presentation at the company’s headquarters near campus.

Drawing from that experience, the juniors were challenged to create two sets of theoretical visuals and stories: the first, an advanced concept for mining equipment in the year 2034. The second, visualizing toys based on a partnership between Komatsu, the Williams F1 racing team and the Playforever toy company.

Students in Compelling Narratives and Visualizations learn key skills for clearly presenting and captivating audiences with their design work. “Convincing both client and users of a design’s value requires use of classic narrative structure and fluent visualization skills,” reads the course description. Based on a foundation of traditional drawing and sketching skills developed during sophomore and junior year, the course’s learning outcomes culminate in compelling storytelling techniques.

After the tour, students went back to Komatsu headquarters to present their sketches and narratives for both the mining equipment and toy concepts to rave reviews. The work will be on display at Komatsu during summer 2024.

“One thing I love about Product Design is that it encompasses everything that we interact with on a daily basis,” says Desharr Saddler ’25, a product design junior in the class. “The phones in our pockets, the cars we drive in, all those things are a part of Product Design, and a lot of people just don’t know that. Being able to be a part of all that is something that I really appreciate.”

Learn more about MIAD’s Product Design major!

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