Studio Life

Life in the Product Design Studio is not just about classes and assignments. There are many activities that go on throughout the year, both in person and online. Below are a few of the events and workshops that have happened in the past. More are to come in the future.

Guest Workshops and Lectures


Pattie Moore (Fall 2017 and Spring 2020)

Pattie Moore, recipient of the Smithsonian Institutions Cooper Hewitt Design Mind Award in 2019 ran a week-long workshop with students in the Fall of 2017 called Medication Management by Design. Students from Product Design, Graphic Design, General Fine Arts, Illustration, and Painting engaged in a multidisciplinary team collaboration and at the end of the week presented creative concepts and solutions via mural type stories and performances. In Spring 2020, Pattie again came to MICA and was an expert advisor and collaborator on the Dignity and Delight: Design for Death project done in the Junior Design Lab II studio. Students worked in person and remotely with Pattie and generated concepts that included caskets from mycelium, new ways of sending messages from a loved one through food at a funeral, wearable devices that help diabetics be more active, an indoor/outdoor slipper that provides stability and adjustability, a learning and tracking puzzle system for dementia patients and their caregivers, and a sound instrument that heals survivors with an interpretive sound of a voice of a loved one.


Joey Zeladon (Spring 2019)

Joey came to MICA and spent a morning with the Product Design students and faculty and ran an action packed workshop called Touchy Feely. Based on his book of the same name, the workshop focused on human centered design and emotional ergonomics. 







Procter & Gamble (Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020)

Every spring, P&G comes into the Sophomore studies (Universal Design, Desith Ethics and Sustainability, and Design Studio: Materials and Production) and spends a half-day with the students presenting and engaging and short workshops about subjects specific to those course. Each year in the fall semester, Procter & Gamble returns and has sponsored the Junior Core Studio, Design Lab I. Partnering with one of P&G’s key brands, students engage in deep user centered research and design throughout the semester, practicing an intensive lean startup based methodology. P&G supports this effort with visits to the studio by multiple experts, collaboration with local research sites and recruiters for doing deep user research, and a highly structured yet creative design brief that is a real project at the selected brand. Students learn about the deeply human centered design process that is followed at P&G, while learning the importance of confidentiality and the value of their ideas in the marketplace. P&G has supported the studio in the past by supplying all prototyping materials, weekly meet ups with the brand directors, attendance at critiques, and working with students as they apply to internships at P&G.

Permaculture Workshop (Fall 2019)

Tony Guido and Jeannie Gerth Guido, of the Urban Permaculture Lab in Philadelphia, along with students in the Design Ethics and Sustainability course, spent a weekend on a small rural property in Northern Baltimore County. Spending time outdoors with all that nature has to offer, listening to lectures under the sun and stars, building hugel beds, making Jun (a green tea and local honey version of kombucha), setting up three different types of mushroom beds, learning about foraging for food, and about how nature works to regenerate. Students were then asked to apply this practice to designing a product or service or experience.








Moonshot Talks (Fall 2020)

In the Senior Thesis Seminar course, in the middle of the COVID19 Pandemic, students asked to be inspired. Seventeen (17) diverse and globally located designers from around the world were invited into the Zoom Classroom to share their own personal “moonshot”. Inspired by JFK’s moon landing speech from 1962, the designers were asked to share something that they had achieved that had required great risk, and was their own personal moonshot. The following designers spent time with students each week, sharing, discussing, and helping students to see that the situation they were in at the time was a perfect time to take their own moonshot. Amit Mirchandani (India), Pichaya Puttorngul (Thailand), Eric Bergman (California), Karson Shadley (Sweden), Ana Reza-Hadden and Page Hadden (California), Tirsh Hunter (California), Carla Diana (India), Winston Frazer (Baltimore), Jannat Saxena (California), Taylor Lane (California), Shujan Bertrand (California), Lin Ayetut (Vancouver, BC), Nick Cronan (California), Alex Lobos (New York), Alexander Matthews (Detroit), and Brian Goldenberg (California).

Industry Field Trips

(Emeco, Key Tech, Harbor Designs, Stanley Black and Decker, DAP Products Inc, WDI Works, Danae Inc, OpenWorks, Philtone, and more) Each year faculty that teach in the product design department reach out to a variety of design and manufacturing sites in the region. Students have visited a diversity of places and seen everything from furniture, medical equipment, and hand tools being designed, engineered, tested, and manufactured. These immersions into the workplace help students to envision both what they do and do not want to do as they move towards internships and a career.

Faculty led workshops