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  • Daniel Rutkowski

    Exhibit Designer and Creative Producer

    Milwaukee, WI

With over 13 years of experience working within the 3D design community, I’ve worked to create imaginative experiences that support some fantastic products, and have a wide breadth of capabilities that expand beyond just conventional industrial design. Working professionally in point-of-purchase has offered a massive variety of work with diverse companies ranging from Microsoft and Sony to FIAT and Mazda (and everything in between). Designing experiential environments for products, showcased in real-time 3-dimensional engines (Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 ) has given unique opportunities to delve into experimental methods of “storytelling” and rapid-development in the design process. I'm also involved heavily with developing my own video game, "The Lost Pisces" with a small team of talented designers from the Milwwaukee area, as it's been a passion project that we've used to hone our skills and talents in an imaginative way.

Work Samples

  • Event Design: Northrup Johnson

  • Exhibit Design: Munchkins

  • Interactive Design: The Lost Pisces

Work History

  • Experiential Producer

    Creative Director, Catalyst Exhibits Pleasant Prairie, WI 2013-Present
    Developing interactive experience concepts while closely working with digital and experiential partners to fulfill the initial journey's vision. Collaborating and providing guidance to internal teams to rapidly generate concepts for trade-show
    booths, synchronize the experiential development with the physical exhibit structure, and align client's marketing goals with the production. Designed both the physical architecture of and the various attractions, digital experiences, and
    events shown within. Clients include high-profile companies such as Mitsubishi, Wargaming, Siemens, CDW, Astellas Healthcare, Unity Game Engine,along with several others at premier shows such as CES, E3, GDC, HIMMS, IMTS, SEEMA, AACC, and many other events.

    Additionally, I’ve worked to bring more tools into the company’s pipelines to expedite the
    ideation and visualization proces. From simple techniques that cleverly blend Autodesk Maya’s
    viewport with hand-sketched enhancements to rapidly produce concept art, to using the Unreal
    Engine 4 (AAA-level video game engine) to produce beautifully crafted imagery that can also
    live as an interactive piece for clients to explore with sales and design staff leading the journey.
    The software also naturally provides the opportunity to generate full-fledged interactive
    experiences or video games, some of which used the Microsoft Hololens, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift headset to immerse tradeshow-audiences into the digital journeys as well. I’ve had the great opportunity to direct the
    production of a few of these digital journeys, acting as an art director for them, and was happy
    to see the technology added to Catalyst’s myriad of offerings to clients.

  • Senior Designer

    • DCI Artform
    • Milwaukee, WI
    • Oct 2010 - Jul 2013 (2 years 9 months)

    Providing a range of creative direction and digital services for a number of high-profile clients,
    DCI has afforded a multitude of interesting projects. Designing traditional in-store displays,
    generating large-scale roll-outs for newly-designed showrooms and supporting elements for
    automotive companies such as MOPAR, Mazda, Hyundai and Cadillac, and working with teams
    to script the development of forward-thinking marketing strategies for Sony’s VITA and Subaru
    have been enlightening experiences that encourage professional development beyond typical
    design positions.

    Apart from the traditional design-pipeline, there has also been a significant amount of
    converting static, rendered designs into 3-dimensional environments that can be traversed and
    explored (like a video-game environment) before going through the costly expenditure of
    producing a physical prototype. Utilizing Unity3D 4.0 (typically used as a game engine), my
    team and I pushed to create AAA-level visuals that allowed clients to explore our designs in a
    virtual environment, that told more of a story than any rendering ever could. This experimental
    process took a lot to finesse into a viable extension of DCI’s available product line, but has since led to also offering a mobile virtual wrap-around, environment product-offering that clients can have setup at their own office.

  • Retail Designer (Freelance)

    This position focused on the final design of FIAT dealership elements and how they would
    become manufacturable pieces living within the car company’s dynamic, signature
    environments. The results of this design work can easily experienced by visiting any US FIAT
    dealership today.

Education

  • Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

    • BFA Industrial Design
    • 2001 - 2005

Specialties

Affiliations

Member of IGDA (international game development association)

Awards

2010 LG Design the Future: 2 Honorable Mentions

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