Design of the dead

March 05, 2018

As a design team, we are constantly in search of ways to stay involved with the design community and shine light on upcoming talent

Toward the end of last year, we were approached by Advanced Design Sketching (ADS) to collaborate on an event for the industrial design students at Milwaukee Institute of Design (MIAD). ADS is a group that focuses on design sketching, skill building and connecting students with industry professionals.

These events are great ways for us to both inspire and be inspired.

We worked together with ADS to create a design challenge for the students. The idea was to present them with a problem and give them one week to design a solution. After some back and forth, we finally agreed on a topic: the students were to imagine that they were entering an apocalyptic period of undead.

They were told to approach the problem as though they were hired by either zombies or humans to design a solution that supported their clients’ survival. With the topic’s eccentric nature, we felt that it would be a fun way for the students to stretch their design thinking and apply their skills in an unconventional way. Even though was a challenge about zombies, it still called for a solid design process just like any other problem. 

One of the biggest challenges before starting any project is defining the problem and diving into the mind of the user.

Throughout the week, our design team led workshops and gave demos to the students — showing them our process at Design Concepts and how we might approach the problem. At the end of the week, they presented their solutions to our team and we chose winners.

One of the biggest challenges before starting any project is defining the problem and diving into the mind of the user. We found that the designs that stood out were the solutions that demonstrated a deep understanding of the problem — products that acknowledged the simplicity of a mindless zombie and the complexity of a distressed human. We also appreciated the element of humor. The students embraced the unusualness of the topic and tackled it as though it were a real client/consultant relationship.

In the end, they went above and beyond our expectations. Shout-outs to the talented students at MIAD for their impressive work and thank you to ADS for including us in this event! Enjoy the video below!