Examples of student projects I developed, initiated and taught.


Student Megan Mills presents the end-user isights to DAP innovation team: Heather Sarkissian and Cara Daniel.

Graduate level courses

Sustainability and Social Responsibility course
with Design Leadership (dual MA/MBA degrees) Program at MICA/JH. Read more about this program here.

MAMBA/DAP collaboration was focused on the end-user research and conceptual design for the new DIY product.

Lille Design for Change/Lille, France/international student competition in collaboration with GDMFA, MICA.
more about Lille Design for Change and student works here and here.



I feel privileged to maintain a professional relationship with designers at Dewalt especially Jim Watson and Lauren Wenchel (my former students from Towson University). Almost every semester over the last 10 years I get to take students on a tour or engage them in projects with Dewalt. It has been invaluable for students to get assess to professional product designers working near Baltimore. Unfortunately I can’t show any projects we collaborated on here, but it has been a wide range of exiting projects.


Hard hat is a must when visiting construction site for an research with Jim Watson of Dewalt.


In collaboration with Bloomberg School for Public Health/JHU.

At the number of small bodegas and markets in Baltimore, food choices are often limited to unhealthy snacks, sodas and similar foods. Located only two miles from MICA campus, these stores feels like another world. My students from MICA ENV department collaborated with JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health to implement designs that would make help make these stores healthier. Read more about project here



In collaboration with Port Discovery Children Museum.

Every semester since 2003, I organize a project where students co-desigin toys with kids.
There are an overwhelming number of toys and games available on the market, and very few of them are educational. Traditionally, some Scandinavian countries have put more value on traditional educational toys rather than on entertainment. Should desingers try to incorporate educational value in all products for kids? I asked students to think of the categories of learning (math, problem-solving, language skills, music, art, health) and areas of activity (dressing, grooming, eating, playing, riding in the car, sharing, keeping the room tidy, being safe). But instead of just creating a an object that encourages creativity and growth in their chosen areas, students facilitate an experiment to learn which initial concepts are engaging to kids and how. Students ask these questions:
Will it work for a wide age group rather than a narrow one? Is it safe (materials, sharp edges, small pieces)? Can it grow with child? What about parents? Will it make their life easier? During multiple visits to PD students get “critique” by having kids react to their designs.


Numbers Wall Game. Surface made of Velcro loops side material with numbers printed. Small bean bags with hook side Velcro and arithmetic operations printed on them. Throw the bag and make your calculation.Students: Paul Capetola, Antoine Heath, and Amira Rasayon.



Greener groceries is a collaboration between students in environmental design program and GDMFA at MICA.

Metropolis Magazine named MICA’s booth “editor’s pick” at ICFF 2009.

The project, which provides solutions that range from digital delivery networks to reusable packaging, innovative shopping bags, underground food storage, mobile farmers’ markets, and print-on-demand labeling, is a collaboration between undergraduate environmental design students led by Inna Alesina and Graphic Design MFA students led by Ellen Lupton.


Greener Groceries/ MICA booth at ICFF.


Canvas Shopping Bag by C.J Love and Haiji Park. This bag was designed to eliminate the waste of thin plastic produce bags. Each compartment fits varies shapes and sizes of fruits and vegetables.


MICA ENV receives the ICFF 2010 Editors Award for Best Design School. Read more at MICA, Core77 and Metropolis Magazine.

MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) presents MICA (Material Inspired Concepts & Artifacts), an exploration of good old materials and how they can be used in the future. Materials that have been around for a long time have been able to evolve and prove themselves to be safe, sustainable, and pleasant to use and work with. Humans have slowly perfected craft techniques for using traditional materials in smart, minimal, and safe ways. It is time for a new generation of designers to dig into the rich history of ancient materials and re-discover jute, bamboo, wool, cotton, terracota, banana leaves, cork and even earth itself. Let’s carefully craft our future.


Best Design School Booth


After award ceremony with students


Close up view of MICA installation


MICA/University of Washington collaboration and joined installation at ICFF 2011.

Before globalization moved manufacturing overseas, before every American skyline was punctuated by factory smokestacks, even before the industrial revolution changed the meaning of “manufacturing” forever, American communities made products.
Everything from clothing to tools, furniture to vehicles were all produced. This production was done by local communities for local communities, using local materials. The 100 Mile Design Challenge dares designers to reclaim this local flavor without taking us back to the stone age.
In the installation at ICFF we juxtapose objects developed by students from Baltimore’s MICA Environmental Design department, lead by faculty Inna Alesina and Gavin Stewart, and students from The University of Washington in Seattle Industrial Design, lead by UW faculty Dominic Muren. This was a semester–long collaboration resulting in collection that we hope will answer some question that we asked in the beginning including: How similar will the end results be? See much more about this project and students works here and in media


Works of some MICA students


MICA students on a foraging trip to collect materials


MICA/UW booth

Other recents collaborations:
DAP — home improvement product
Zero Chroma — consumer product
Big City Farm — redesign of greenhouse
Whole Foods/MICA MASDI — rethinking vinyl banners