MIAD Student Union

Reimagining where Passion finds Purpose





Interior Design, Remodel

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Milwaukee, Wisconsin​


Once a cobble pit for the boiler that used to heat the building, the MIAD Student Union project expanded the cafeteria space, seeking to create a space for students to gather. The prior student union, located across the street from the school burnt down prior, leaving few spaces for students to gather, share ideas, and work.


The former cafeteria, a cramped, and somewhat childish space, was decorated with paintings of monsters and under-utilized. Revitalized, the new union brings a mature approach, with a mix of lounge and cafeteria furniture to provide ample space to hang out with friends. Through the construction of a stage, people are able to exit the union and access the riverwalk, connecting the union back to the third ward, and the nature of the Milwaukee River.

Beyond the Union

A component of the larger project, the MIAD student union was planned along with four other areas: the second floor community space, first floor elevator seating, a patio area on the riverwalk, and a patio adjacent the front steps. While the patios have not been realized, the second and first floor seating has.


Both the second floor and the first floor utilize the campfire lounge chairs and tables from turnstone.

erin burkard

Seattle, Washington


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