Ball State’s iMADE student projects are building The Future of Work

Ball State’s iMADE student projects are building The Future of Work

Kevin Klinger and John Smith lead a group of Ball Students in an immersive learning experience partnering with businesses and nonprofits at the Madjax building

By: Andrea McDermott, Future of Work Program Associate

Ball State’s iMADE projects are forging solutions to workforce needs through collaborations and community networking. By working with more than 10 local organizations and using multi-disciplinary approaches, iMADE exemplifies the dynamic partnerships of the Future of Work Muncie that create a unique opportunity for economic growth and cultural enhancement. 

 From benches and entryways to farmers market improvements, courtyard redesign, and mobile libraries, students create digital design ideas with partners including Midwest Metals, Indiana Hardwood, Madjax, Minnetrista, and several others. The partnerships helped facilitate turning the digital concepts into reality by providing professional expertise and sourcing materials. 

Building partnerships between educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses, as iMADE has done, is key to help stimulate job creation, boost economic development, and build community capacity and leadership. Not only do students gain practical experience in design, fabrication, construction, and community networking, but industry partners also benefit from the opportunity to provide knowledge, materials and workforce innovation.  

Associate Professor of Architecture, Kevin R. Klinger who led the immersive learning group stated, “Networking is the key to success. Without our partnerships, none of this would be possible and what’s great about it is that everyone benefits from this type of exchange.” 

John Smith, President of the Industrial Division at Midwest Metal Products was thrilled to be a part of the project. According to Smith, “The partnership with iMADE has been exciting. We are proud to be teaming up with the community to continue doing good things for Muncie.” The Future of Work Muncie initiative is a network of citizens, businesses, nonprofits, and educational organizations working together to link existing assets and co-create solutions to 21st-century workforce needs. To find community partners and learn more about the Future of Work visit  

Find the PDF version of “iMADE: Connecting Globally, Making Locally” here.

 iMADE Community Partners: Minnetrista, MADJAX, Mid-west Metal Products, Ecovantage, Fuller Architectural Hardwoods, Indiana Hardwood and Lumbermen’s Association, Beckett Bronze Company, Pike Lumber, The Marilyn K. Click Center for Glass, Tribune Showprint, T-Max Graphics Inc.