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Senior Exhibition 2023: Jon Demirel

Jon Demirel ’23 (Communication Design) knew he wanted to be a graphic designer ever since he was a kid creating flyers for meme pages on Facebook. Since moving from Istanbul, Turkey to the United States at 15, Demirel has honed his craft far beyond his early start.

“Everybody in my family has a sincere appreciation for cinema as an art form,” says Demirel, who kept in contact with his parents and family in Turkey partly through watching movies together. “We love watching stuff together, we love talking about it after,” he continues.

This love of cinema inspired Demirel’s senior thesis project, an app called Pellicula! Meaning film in New Latin, Pellicula! is a social media app that enhances friend recommendations into a network of cinephiles and exposes users to new movies that they might not have otherwise discovered. “Most people decide what they’re going to watch next based on friend recommendations,” says Demirel. Pellicula! will amplify that sense of kinship into a social network of interconnected friend recommendations all over the world.

Although it takes cues from many established cinematic and social media apps, Pellicula! adds a unique camera-based search engine that allows users to scan a still from a movie or TV show and earn points. Users can message each other, spend points on customizations and post about movies they loved.

During his time at MIAD, Demirel appreciated the Communication Design faculty’s commitment to providing professional experiences. Taking field trips to Milwaukee-area design firms as well as having the opportunity to connect with and learn from industry professionals in the classroom were foundational to Demirel. After several successful internships in Turkey and the United States, Demirel currently works as a freelance graphic designer. After graduation, he hopes to establish himself in Milwaukee’s design community and work with a design firm in the area.

Keep up with Jon on his website and view Pellicula!, along with the thesis projects of his talented Communication Design classmates, at MIAD’s 2023 Senior Exhibition from April 21 – May 6.


IAD seniors tour construction site of The Couture

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.

Ornament Trail features MIAD alumni, faculty, students

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.

MIAD Values Recognition Award: Sarah Eichhorn

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.

Collaborative community: Fine Art faculty live MIAD values

Building community and collaboration through art: this is how two faculty members at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) spent their summer. Kim Miller, Professor and Chair of Fine Arts + New Studio Practice, and Peter Barrickman, Associate Professor in Fine Arts, completed a residency in Concepción, Chile in July.


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