Milwaukee Tool to host UW-Stout’s third annual Design Wisconsin event

Product designs by 20-plus major Wisconsin brands to be featured May 18 at company headquarters
​Jerry Poling | May 7, 2024

UW-Stout, the Industrial Designers Society of America-Milwaukee chapter and an iconic Wisconsin company, Milwaukee Tool, are set to host the third annual Design Wisconsin event Saturday, May 18.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Milwaukee Tool headquarters, 551 N. 5th St. in Milwaukee. Admission is free, but organizers request that attendees register in advance.

Milwaukee Tool and more than 20 other Wisconsin companies will have displays highlighting their designs and products. Leading sponsors and exhibitors include Ashley, Brooks Stevens, Colony Brands, Fiskars, Kohler, Mercury, Oshkosh, Polaris, Presto and Trek.

Attendees at the 2023 Design Wisconsin event, at Trek headquarters, stop at the Milwaukee Tool display. This year’s event May 18 is being hosted by Milwaukee Tool.
Attendees at the 2023 Design Wisconsin event, at Trek headquarters, stop at the Milwaukee Tool display. This year’s event May 18 is being hosted by Milwaukee Tool. / UW-Stout

The event has expanded to include soft goods and wearables, including DSG Outerwear of Madison. DSG founder and CEO Wendy Gavinski will be one of the keynote speakers, along with Tim Albrecht, a group president with Milwaukee Tool. 

Also speaking will be David Richter-O’Connell, UW-Stout assistant professor in the School of Art and Design and a former designer at Kohler; and Katherine Frank, UW-Stout chancellor. One of UW-Stout’s Bachelor of Fine Arts majors is industrial and product design.

“Design Wisconsin showcases the impact of industrial design and industrial designers on Wisconsin’s culture, commerce, community and brand — past, present and future,” Richter-O’Connell said. “Wisconsin is an important hub of global new product innovation and development, across many diverse product categories, and we want to keep showcasing that key leadership with our events.”

Design Wisconsin includes exhibits from leading Wisconsin manufacturers and UW-Stout, which founded the event and has a School of Art and Design.
Design Wisconsin includes exhibits from leading Wisconsin manufacturers and UW-Stout, which founded the event and has a School of Art and Design. / UW-Stout

New this year will be Gulfstream Aerospace of Appleton, featuring studio designer Toni Kallies, a 2012 UW-Stout fashion design and development graduate.

Attendees can enjoy several Wisconsin-made products: waffle cones from FeLion Studios of Waunakee, ice cream from Cedar Crest of Manitowoc, Jolly Good soda from Random Lake and yo-yos from Flambeau Plastics/Duncan of Baraboo.

The day will include displays of student designs and Student Merit awards from the IDSA Milwaukee chapter. One of the honorees will be UW-Stout’s Amelia Dobbratz, of Waupun, an industrial and product design major.

A post-event gathering will be hosted by the UW-Stout Alumni Association, Loft Creative Studios and IDSA Milwaukee.

The first two Design Wisconsin events were held in 2022 at DELVE in Madison and 2023 at Trek in Waterloo, east of Madison.

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