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New MIAD Innovation Center combines technology and creativity to design solutions for Wisconsin companies, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs

Technology meets creativity at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). The college recently launched the MIAD Innovation Center, creating a hub where students apply technology in unrivaled ways on projects for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurs.

Fort Atkinson-based ink360, a 360° bottle printing company, engaged MIAD students to create illustrations demonstrating the company’s unique printing technology. MIAD faculty and ink360 staff mentored students, and students were paid for their work. The students delivered more than 60 bottle designs, and ink360 owners extended offers to hire the students after graduation.

“Our work with students at the MIAD Innovation Center was an incredible experience. Students were … not afraid to venture into new territories that our path took. I was most impressed with …. how diverse the students’ finished products were from one another,” said Mr. Ken Matthews, ink360 owner.

Ms. Emily Verbeten ’19, an illustration major who worked on the project, said the MIAD Innovation Center offers an invaluable opportunity for students to experience what it’s like to work with professional clients. “It serves as a jumping off point for any young artist to work professionally before graduation or to get started on projects of their own outside of coursework.”

The MIAD Innovation Center also serves as an incubator for students in all majors to take ideas to market and engages students and the community in educational programming.

Professional experiences students receive throughout the curriculum and via the MIAD Innovation Center are vital to their education, leading to national accolades for MIAD. MIAD is among the top three art and design colleges nationwide for helping low-income students attain upper-middleclass jobs, according to Money Magazine, and GDUSA has named MIAD a Top Design School for four consecutive years.