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  • Michaell Bakalars

    Industrial Designer / Virtual Developer / Game Creator

    Milwaukee, WI

All work seen here is older work, to see newer projects please message me. A very passionate and robustly skilled designer. Industrial Designer, Content Developer, and Storyteller focused on creating the future through virtualization technology. I am a leading professional in the creation of immersive experiences that have a focus on virtual reality. Professionally trained in industrial design, retail design, product design, interactive design, entertainment design, and game development. My passion is focused on the understanding of people at a core emotional level. In addition a natural leader who has lead teams of designers on many projects. I understand all the techniques, processes, and hardware required to create the experiences of tomorrow. From mobile augmented reality, wearable’s like Hololens, Vive and Rift virtual headsets, to full room CAVE systems. I have focused on the techniques needed to create the virtual experiences of tomorrow. I dream big and deliver on my dreams. My goal is to change the world, through how people communicate and experience one another. Below is more specifics about my experience. Throughout my retail design career I have worked with Fortune 100 Clients all over the world. I have designed and produced countless showrooms and fixtures for the last 10 years. I have launched global multi-million dollar campaigns for some of the largest brands in the world. Ask me about a sector or client and I can give you a list of my experience there. I am very thought driven in my designs and set the bar for my industry on how to look at and value the shopper experience. My ability to understand and educate clients on shopper habits has allowed me to change how they approach retail. I continue to be at the top of my profession because my focus on human interaction. Like any senior designer, I understand how to research shopper habits, understand brand, design out of the box, and engineer to specifications. But above that I am focused on human interaction. I know how to design for Showrooms, Pop Up Stores, and Permanent Displays. In my entertainment and gaming career, I'm helping pave the way for the future of interactive experiences. Investing in new technologies, I push the boundaries of what virtual reality means. On my current projects I provide design direction, asset development, and programming. My pipeline focus is Adobe Creative Cloud, 3DS MAX, Quixel, Zbrush, Unity, and Unreal Engine. My core focus is on concept development, asset creation, and programming. Please ask to learn more about this area of expertise. I also have many years of experience in leading and developing the skills of other team members. Not only have I worked in many different work environments, I also have taught college classes at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. I am a great presenter, worker, and mentor. My strongest ability and favorite strength is to elevate those around me through brainstorming and idea generation. Since I have real world experience as an artist, designer, engineer, programmer, and manager; I understand how to collaborate with complete teams to ensure a vision is achieved. I have worked for startups, private companies, and large corporations on all size team initiatives and have always been a strong team player and leader. If you are looking for a sure thing to invest in, then invest in me. A simple conversation and I can show you why. If you need freelance, consulting, or are looking for a great team member please contact me.

Work Samples

  • Sony PSVita Launch

  • Sony - Internet TV and Camcorder Display

  • Triumph Dealership

Work History

  • Creative Director

    My main role is concept generation for retail design and ensuring high quality of work from the design studio. This encompasses temporary, semi temporary, and permanent displays. This work ranges from small pusher systems, signage, counter displays to kiosks, boutiques, and full store systems. I work in all forms of retail spaces from grocery and convenience to big box, showroom, and boutique. I work with clients all around the world in every sector visualizing creative and forward thinking designs. I also devote time engineering and I understand how to design to a budget. I continually focus on my training and experience of real world manufacturing processes. I also help push our design studio with new technologies in retail and design validation. This includes following new trends around social media and "smart" displays. In addition using real-time technology to digitally prototype. Finally I am deeply involved with marketing strategies and currently helping infuse a new brand image to our own company though webpage development, marketing materials, and new digital presentation methods.

  • Starlord: Art Director + Lead Developer

    I am a lead developer, using Unreal Engine, Unity 3D, 3DS MAX, Zbrush, and Adobe Cloud to create games, interactive experiences, and digital prototypes.

    Our goal is to create amazing stories that have high-end visuals in the indie game industry. Our focus is on story and experience, while our skillsets in design drive us to create visually rich experiences. We have a few titles in development and are open to pairing with other artists that have a great idea or look but need help bridging their work to an interactive experience.

  • Design Manager / Industrial Designer

    My main role was concept generation for retail design. This encompassed temporary, semi temporary, and permanent displays. During my time here I was looked at as a leader, innovator, and educator. With these skillsets I helped advance this company from traditional Retail Display Production to a global leader in Retail Experiential Design. I helped pave the way of their digital interactive offering by working closely with newly acquired talent to create digital showrooms for clients including Scion, Cadillac, Nissan, and Pepsi. I was one of the founders of their CAVE, a four wall room that allowed us to showcase virtual full store environments. Not only was I the key designer and developer for these experiences, I helped raise the bar in the industry on using this technology for retail design evaluation. In charge of the CAVE (Computer Aided Virtual Environment) system I created all virtual builds and environments for this system. Managed software improvements, and lead most key client presentations.

    I was also at the core of their "Retail Science" initiative. Which was the development of a way to communicate to clients how to focus on the shopper experience and ROI. I helped create a set of tools that would enable us to be experts of the shopper experience. Understanding what a shopper thinks and does and how to focus designs that elevate their shopping experience.

    In my role as manager I continued working on design in addition I helped manage the 3D Industrial Design Group. This consisted of 8 Designers ranging from Intern to Senior level positions.

    I helped train the studio in software, techniques, and retail science. My main goal was to create an open and collaborative work atmosphere. By pushing on brainstorming through discussions, pin up sessions, and team working sessions I helped transform the studio into a team setting. I also introduced information sharing and training sessions to promote designer to designer collaboration.

  • Industrial Designer

    Worked on designs for Milwaukee Discovery World. Worked on various product designs. Worked on assets for website.


  • Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

    • Bachelor Industrial Design
    • 2002 - 2006