News Bites: Industrial Design Student Helps to Design the ArtPrize Eight Experience

Posted October 21, 2016 in ArtPrize, Industrial Design, News Bites, Student, Product Design

ArtPrize Eight may be over, but for Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Industrial Design student Raul Ortiz, the open-ended art competition has left a lasting impact.

Industrial Design student Raul OrtizRaul Ortiz (credit: Raul Ortiz)

As an ArtPrize design intern for 2016, Ortiz, who is also pursuing a minor in Graphic Design, had the opportunity to help shape the experience of the event’s hundreds of thousands of visitors. He says he was drawn to the position through his interest in the field of user experience design.

“I feel like [the user experience] is the most important aspect of design. How a design looks is important, but to me it’s really about how that design makes people feel,” he says. “The environment of ArtPrize is so amazing and inspiring because of how attractive it is to people. The chance to work on the event was something I knew I couldn’t pass up.”

STEAM Village design renderingRendering of the exterior of the STEAM Village component of the ArtPrize HUB created by Raul Ortiz (image courtesy of ArtPrize and Raul Ortiz)

As a designer, Ortiz prefers to work across multiple disciplines. “I design graphics, but I also know how to create CAD and 3D models too,” he says. “That’s helped me strengthen my ability to ideate and sketch ideas out very quickly.”

At the onset of his internship, Ortiz met with the ArtPrize team and Conduit Studio, the local design firm headed up by KCAD alumnus John O’Neill (’01, BFA Graphic Design) that created the branding for ArtPrize Eight, to understand the event’s design identity. He then put his versatile skill set to use in ArtPrize’s STEAM Village Learning Lab, a special area of the ArtPrize HUB/HQ providing visitors with a range of immersive hands-on activities exploring the intersection of arts, technology, science, and math.

Working alongside designers and other professionals from STEAM Village partner Switch, Ortiz helped design the interior layout of the space as well as graphics and signage displayed throughout, focusing specifically on how these elements could foster meaningful engagement for visitors. He also used his ideation skills to help flesh out design concepts from his fellow ArtPrize team members.

rendering of STEAM Village  Rendering of the ArtPrize STEAM Village created by Raul Ortiz (image courtesy of ArtPrize and Raul Ortiz)

Outside of STEAM Village, Ortiz also worked with Herman Miller to develop design concepts for the ArtPrize Labs for which the company was a primary sponsor. Located outside of the ArtPrize HUB, these pop-up workstations provided self-directed creative experiences to ArtPrize visitors. 

STEAM Village rendering by Raul OrtizRednering of an ArtPrize Learning Lab station created by Raul Ortiz (image courtesy of ArtPrize and Raul Ortiz) 

Going forward, Ortiz plans to build on this experience as he continues working toward his goal of entering the footwear design industry.

“Footwear design is something I’m very passionate about, and it’s an industry where the user experience is front and center. Working on STEAM Village has been amazing, because it’s helped me see how important it is to understand what you’re designing, why you’re designing it, and the people you’re designing it for.”


Learn more about KCAD’s Industrial Design program at

Learn more about KCAD’s Graphic Design program at