Highwire Design Studio teams take on trio of challenges

December 2018

Jay Murdock

The Highwire Design Studio capstone class is different from many others in the Farmer School because it brings together students from across Miami University to take on a client’s project. But this fall’s project was also different from previous years.

Kyle Garner is the CEO of Organic India, which had just entered a partnership with CLEAN Program. “We're in the middle of trying to grow this brand and we had three different things we were trying to deal with,” Garner explained. “We had the idea of, instead of having the teams compete on one charge, could we have teams address the three big challenges we were facing. And they were up for the challenge.”

In his second time as a Highwire client, Garner asked the students to:

  • Identify life events that might prompt someone to consider trying a 21-day cleanse diet to identify how the kinds of food they eat affect how they feel.
  • Identify ways to increase demand throughout the calendar year based on seasonal events that might lead someone to want to try a 21-day cleanse diet as a way to improve their health and well-being.
  • Identify ways to get people who are currently purchasing CLEAN products to purchase more of them throughout the year by increasing their brand engagement with CLEAN.

  • “I had heard it was one of the more challenging capstones, which intrigued me,” senior marketing major Elayne Pruckno said. “This was half graphic design students, half marketing students, so I thought the cross function was pretty interesting, to see how graphic design students work and get experience in that area as well, learn how to work in that cross-functional team.”

    The Life Events team, consisting of marketing majors Rachel Cielak, Ellie Dixon, Alyssa Pittore, Justin Sadler, and Katie Wright and design majors Sierra Bailey-Van Kuren, Lauren DeMarks, and Aine Dillon, was named “Best in Show” for their efforts.

    Garner knew what the students would be going through because he used to be sitting in their seats. “I was a student at Miami in the late 1990s and went through the program when it was Laws, Hall & Associates. I loved it, had a great experience as a student,” he recalled.

    “I just knew we'd get stuff we could use right away and that's how we feel today -- we've got things that we can literally take away and start using on the brand in January, right out of the gate without a lot of work,” Garner said. “As a small company with small budgets, to have all this quality content is amazing for us.”

    Kyle Garner talks with Highwire Design Studio students during the final presentations Highwire team group photo Highwire team group photo Highwire team group photo