Taking Real World Design Challenges to the Classroom

MaCher collaborates with fellow-B Corp Meow Wolf to take real world interactive design challenges to the classroom. 

When MaCher designer, Ben Denzinger, was a design student at Georgia Tech, he loved the studies and examples of real world product design challenges. Ben wanted to give back to students so he began experimenting with ideas to bring his passion for the real-life design world to the classroom.

This project manifested into a wonderfully collaborative, design challenge with MaCher, Meow Wolf, and Santa Monica College’s IxD program.

Connecting physical products to interaction design

 A long-standing client of MaCher, Meow Wolf is an arts and entertainment company that creates large-scale interactive and immersive art installations. As a fellow B Corp, our businesses commit to volunteering time to support and develop partnerships within our local communities.

Santa Monica College’s IxD program is one-of-a-kind. By teaching the essentials of Interaction (IxD) and User Experience (UX) Design, students have the opportunity to earn a fully accredited Bachelor’s degree. The only program of its type across the nation, it fills an equity gap in the emerging field of Interaction Design.

To give students a real insight into the world of design in business, we framed the brief around connecting physical products to interaction design. We particularly wanted to focus on the supplier-to-client relationship and above all, to give students a project that would cover aspects of pricing, manufacturability, materials, sustainability/circularity, as well as brand identity and alignment.

Project brief and final submissions

The project brief to the students was to:

“Develop an interactive experience centered around an object or character from Meow Wolf Denver’s Convergence Station. The installation bridges the physical and digital worlds to drive audience engagement with the brand:

  • Create a product that marries the digital with the physical world.
  • Add value to the products purchased from the stores
  • Create a memento that ties back to the exhibit
  • Drive foot traffic to the exhibits and/or web traffic to the site
  • Drive sales from stores and develop more brand notoriety.”

The students’ final projects were truly inspiring and incredible. Please enjoy the student’s submissions:

Sidereal Connector

Override Guide

Glow in the Drip


Meow Orb & Prototype


This SMC x Meow Wolf x MaCher collaboration was a truly fantastic experience that allowed us to work in a new and innovative way. We believe very much in the SMC IxD program’s mission and look forward to future support and collaboration.

If MaCher can help share or support your design challenges, please get in contact with us.

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