Senior Exhibition 2023: Dominick Streff
Reimagining the possibilities of tabletop gaming, Dominick Streff ’23 (Product Design) is working to revolutionize board game accessibility in his senior thesis, a board game called “Heroes and Hydras.” A tactile and auditory experience designed for people with vision impairment, Streff conducted extensive research and synthesized his findings into a sensory tabletop game.
“Often, we think people who are blind have been blind their whole lives,” explains Streff. In reality, many adults develop vision impairment later in life. “What’s difficult is these people have to adjust to their new life being vision impaired,” he continues. As part of his research, Streff reached out to Milwaukee’s Center for Deaf-Blind Persons to find people to test his game and to speak with a rehabilitation specialist. Streff discovered that learning through games and play is a great way for many people with vision impairment to learn and adapt to their new environment.
After many iterations, including tactile Tic Tac Toe, Streff settled on a Dungeons and Dragons-esque adventure game. “That was where the research went – creating a bunch of different mock-ups and prototypes, trying many different things to see what works and what doesn’t,” says Streff. He cold-called potential users to test his creations and incorporated their feedback to hone “Heroes and Hydras” into its final version.
As a child, Streff loved both drawing comics and inventing things. He was elated to discover product design, a blend of art and engineering, during his high school career. “It was a delight when I was walking through the halls at MIAD,” he says about his first tour of the college. “I really liked that interaction with the students and that positivity of what this major and profession are. I really felt at home.” From extracurricular toy-making competitions to professional and corporate class projects, Streff has honed his interest and skill in product design over his four years at MIAD. After graduation, he will intern with a display and exhibition consultancy to create innovative displays for companies.
“It was quite an experience seeing how MIAD is handling the response to the pandemic, especially with the development of new majors like the Fashion and Apparel Design major and Animation track,” Streff continues. “I’m really excited to see what the new students of MIAD are going to bring.”
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.