MIAD: Industrial Design students win international competition with low-cost eco-friendly products

Drum and ice fishing house make eco-friendly and plastic not just an oxymoron, but a stroke of genius

For more info: Vivian Rothschild, Director of Communications; 414.847.3239, vivianrothschild@miad.edu; Additional images available.

MILWAUKEE… Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design Industrial Design students Maxwell Morein and Riley Erickson took top honors in the Association of Rotational Molders’ (ARM) International Student Design Competition with their eco-friendly plastic designs.

Eco-friendly plastic? No, it’s not an oxymoron; it’s a stroke of genius.

Morein and Erickson each designed inexpensive products with minimal environmental impact – a drum that would be more affordable to schools, and an ice fishing house that floats, in case of thin ice.

“My entry is a Djembe, a hand-held percussive drum that traditionally costs about $500,” said Morein, a junior originally from Green Bay, who took first place. “The rotational molding process significantly reduces the cost of manufacture, which lessens the carbon footprint, and it’s way more durable.”

Erickson, a senior from Spicer, Minn., designed an ice fishing house that is cost-effective and ecological. The hollow structure leaves room for foam insulation and allows the house to float, in case of thin ice. Erickson said he wanted the unit to be affordable to the average consumer, and that his design would prevent problems associated with larger icehouses.

“Their size and weight can lead to dangerous conditions if put on thin ice,” said Erickson. “With hefty penalties in place by local officials, losing a house and fishing gear to the bottom of the lake can be a costly ordeal.”

Both projects are the culmination of a semester of hard work as Industrial Design majors at MIAD. The students’ efforts have been rewarded, as their concepts gain attention from the international design community. Morein and Erickson’s designs were recognized at the Association of Rotational Molders’ annual meeting in Montreal, Quebec. They received their awards in October.

“It’s a proud moment, to know that hundreds of people from all over the world have seen and appreciate what we’ve designed as MIAD students,” says Morein.

MIAD is Wisconsin’s only independent, non-profit college of art and design offering the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree the most highly regarded undergraduate degree in the visual arts that is dually accredited at the national level. The college’s graduates are creative thinkers whose leadership skills make them uniquely suited to address our 21st century economic and societal challenges. With its students, graduates and faculty, MIAD plays a transformational role in education, culture and business in Milwaukee and beyond.