Product Design

http://pd.uoregon.edu

Trygve Faste, Department Head
541-346-6891
251E Lawrence Hall
5282 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-5232

The Department of Product Design rigorously explores the invention, production, and use of products. It integrates the theories and applied practices in the design, art, and architecture disciplines, creating collaborative opportunities across campus with the business school and the anthropology and chemistry departments. The critical research and design work produced by students and faculty members has an impact on both the local and international design communities.

The program exposes and expands on the significance of materials in products, helping students develop an understanding of how aspects of sustainability and ergonomics, tactile and visual aesthetics, and structural integrity can influence their choices in materials.

Overview

The department offers a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in product design. The BFA is a four-year program combining liberal arts and intensive product design studies designed to prepare students for a professional career in product design. Students enrolled in the program share a foundation in design, graphics, drawing, and art history with majors in both architecture and art.

Eugene

Students undertake the first three years of the BFA in product design at the university’s main campus in Eugene. This location is well-equipped with computer and digital-imaging labs, a new digital computer-controlled mill, laser cutter, wood shop, digital loom, metals and ceramics shops, large-format printing facility, and other specialized art and design studios in Lawrence Hall, Downtown Eugene and the Northsite studio complex. The Eugene campus has strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in architecture, art, ceramics, digital arts, fibers, interior architecture, metalsmithing and jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. In addition, students have access to other university resources, such as the architecture and allied arts and main libraries, Student Recreation Center, Erb Memorial Union, and Craft Center.

Portland

Students pursuing the BFA degree complete their fourth year of study at the university’s new facility in Portland’s Old Town Historic District. The White Stag Block houses studio facilities, a digital fusion laboratory, classrooms, a library, exhibit and research spaces, the Sports Product Design Master’s Program, and work areas for students and faculty members. An integrated shop and an output center for two- and three-dimensional computer numerical controlled production are available. Product design students benefit by interacting with students from other related professional disciplines, such as architecture and sports product design An internship component of the BFA program gives students access to design professionals and direct experience at leading Northwest design companies.

Preparation

High school and college students interested in product design should prepare themselves by taking courses in the following subjects:

  • Fine arts and design (e.g., drawing, painting, sculpture, two- and three-dimensional design, fiber arts, metal arts, ceramics, drafting, art history, architecture, furniture or interior design)
  • Social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, cultural anthropology)
  • Sciences and mathematics (e.g., physics, algebra, geometry)
  • Humanities (e.g., literature, writing)

To better understand the professional field, prospective students may plan to visit and discuss opportunities with local designers and firms practicing product design.

Product design students are required to own a laptop computer. If students purchase recommended equipment, they are eligible for technical support from our computing staff. Recommended systems are listed on the program’s website. Purchase of a digital camera to record studio work and use for classroom assignments is strongly advised.

Faculty

John Arndt, associate professor (product design). BFA, 1997, Alfred; MDes, 2006, Design Academy Eindhoven. (2008)

Wonhee Jeong Arndt, associate professor. BFA, 2002, Kookmin; MDes, 2006, Design Academy Eindhoven. (2014)

Trygve Faste, associate professor (product design). BA, 1997, Whitman College; MFA, 2004, Cranbrook Academy of Art. (2010)

Kiersten Muenchinger, Tim and Mary Boyle Chair in Material and Product Studies; associate professor (product design). BA, 1993, Dartmouth College; MS, 1998, Stanford. (2008)

Erdem Selek, associate professor (product design). BID, 2004, Middle East Technical; MA, 2007, Ecole Supérieure d'Art et de Design; MS, 2008, Istanbul Technical. (2015)

Hale Selek, associate professor (product design). BID, 2004, Middle East Technical; MA, 2007, Ecole Supérieure d'Art et de Design; MS, 2008, Istanbul Technical. (2015)

Susan Sokolowski, associate professor (sports product design). BFA, 1990, Fashion Institute of Technology; MA, 1997, Cornell; PhD, 1999, Minnesota, Twin Cities. (2015)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.

Undergraduate Studies

Application for Product Design Major

The major in product design is an intensive, limited-enrollment program. Acceptance is competitive and based on documented evidence of potential to excel in the field. Admission screening takes place once a year and requires review of a portfolio of visual materials submitted by each applicant. These portfolios should display promise and creativity, but need not demonstrate extensive experience in design or product-related projects. Applications that don’t include visual materials are not reviewed.

Students apply directly to the department for admission as majors. The postmark deadline for applications is January 15 for fall term admission. Visit the program website for the application form and instructions.

We are no longer accepting new BA/BS applications because the Department of Product Design now offers a four-year professional Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree in product design.

BFA Application

Admission to the bachelor of fine arts program requires an application that includes a portfolio review of the student’s work, usually in the last term of the fourth year of study. Students who have completed a comparable four-year degree in material and product studies at another institution may be admitted to the fifth-year BFA program. Such BFA candidates must satisfy the university’s 45-credit residence requirement. Students accepted to the BFA program from schools other than the University of Oregon should speak with an advisor to determine how their credits will transfer. Prerequisites may require the student to spend more than one year in the program. For the latest information on the PD BFA requirements, visit Product Design’s BFA webpage.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 180 credits, including requirements for the bachelor or arts or bachelor of science in product design or its equivalent.

Three art history courses (ARH)12
PD 404Internship: [Topic]12
PD 486–488BFA Studio I-III18
Total Credits42

Four-Year Degree Plan

The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in four years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

Bachelor of Arts in Product Design

Degree Map
First Year
FallMilestonesCredits
ART 115 Surface, Space, and Time 4
WR 121 College Composition I 4
IARC 204 Understanding Contemporary Interiors 4
First term of first-year second-language sequence 4
 Credits 16
Winter
Placeholder  
ART 116 Core Interdisciplinary Laboratory 4
BA 101 Introduction to Business 4
WR 122 College Composition II 4
Second term of first-year second-language sequence 4
 Credits 16
Spring
Placeholder  
ARTD 250 Print Media Digital Arts 4
ANTH 161 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 4
General education course in social science 4
Third term of first-year second-language sequence 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Second Year
FallMilestonesCredits
PD 223 Beginning Design Drawing 4
PD 240 Designers' Tools 4
General education course in arts and letters 4
First term of second-year second-language sequence 4
 Credits 16
Winter
PD 430 Computer-Assisted Design and Production 4
PD 323 Design Drawing 4
Second term of second-year second-language sequence 4
General education course in science 4
 Credits 16
Spring
BA 317 Marketing: Creating Value for Customers 4
ARH 358 History of Design 4
General education course in science 4
Third term of second-year second-language sequence 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Third Year
FallMilestonesCredits
PD 340 Design for Use 4
General education course in arts and letters 4
Upper-division elective course with ARH subject code 4
Upper-division PD, ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
PD 350 Objects and Impacts 4
General education course that also satisfies a multicultural requirement 4
General education course in science 4
Upper-division PD, ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
PD 370 Design Process 4
PD 301 Introduction to Design Studio 4
IARC 447 Color Theory and Application for the Built Environment 3
General education course in social science 4
 Credits 15
 Total Credits 47
Degree Map
Fourth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
PD 483 Advanced Studio I 4
General education course in science 4
Upper-division PD, ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 12
Winter
PD 484 Advanced Studio II 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective courses 8
 Credits 12
Spring
PD 485 Advanced Studio III 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 8
 Total Credits 32

Bachelor of Science in Product Design

Degree Map
First Year
FallMilestonesCredits
ART 115 Surface, Space, and Time 4
IARC 204 Understanding Contemporary Interiors 4
WR 121 College Composition I 4
Mathematics course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
ART 116 Core Interdisciplinary Laboratory 4
BA 101 Introduction to Business 4
WR 122 College Composition II 4
Mathematics course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
ARTD 250 Print Media Digital Arts 4
ANTH 161 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 4
Mathematics course 4
General education course in social science 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Second Year
FallMilestonesCredits
PD 223 Beginning Design Drawing 4
PD 240 Designers' Tools 4
General education course in arts and letters 4
Upper-division elective course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
PD 323 Design Drawing 4
PD 430 Computer-Assisted Design and Production 4
General education course in science 4
Upper-division elective course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
BA 317 Marketing: Creating Value for Customers 4
ARH 358 History of Design 4
General education course in science 4
Upper-division elective course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Third Year
FallMilestonesCredits
PD 340 Design for Use 4
General education course in arts and letters 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
Upper-division elective course with ARH subject code 4
 Credits 16
Winter
PD 350 Objects and Impacts 4
General education course in science 4
General education course that also satisfies a multicultural requirement 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
PD 370 Design Process 4
PD 301 Introduction to Design Studio 4
IARC 447 Color Theory and Application for the Built Environment 3
General education course in social science 4
 Credits 15
 Total Credits 47
Degree Map
Fourth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
PD 483 Advanced Studio I 4
General education course in science 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 12
Winter
PD 484 Advanced Studio II 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective courses 8
 Credits 12
Spring
PD 485 Advanced Studio III 4
Upper-division PD/ART, AAA, or IARC elective course 4
 Credits 8
 Total Credits 32

Graduate Studies

The Department of Product Design offers a master’s degree in Sports Product Design, a two-year program based in Portland, Oregon.

The Master of Sports Product Design prepares designers to be key members and leaders of multidisciplinary development teams within the more than 800 sports product companies located in Oregon and beyond. The program focuses on research and innovation methods, design tailored for the athlete, product materials and sustainability, marketing and branding through the study of sports-specific design techniques, along with human physiology and biomechanics.

Students who graduate from this program will be capable of making strong contributions to the sports design culture of Oregon and the world at large.

Master of Science in Sports Product Design

The Master of Sports Product Design is a two-year program intended for students already equipped with conceptual problem-solving abilities, knowledge of materials and production, strategies for emotional product resonance and relevance, and entrepreneurial skills (typically, but not always, acquired in an undergraduate program in product design or its equivalent).

Degree Requirements

The curriculum is divided into three categories, per NASAD requirements for terminal graduate degrees:

  1. A minimum of 65% of the total credits for the degree in studio studies.
  2. A minimum of 15% of the total credits for the degree should include academic studies concerned with visual media.
  3. At least 10% of the total program should be reserved for elective credits.

Studio Studies. A minimum of 65% of the total credits for the degree shall be in studio. As part of this requirement, institutions are responsible for maintaining title/content consistency.

SPD 684Research Methodology and Innovation Process Studio6
SPD 645Sports Product Design and Business (SPD and Business)4
SPD 650Sports Product Materials and Manufacturing4
SPD 685Sports Product Design Studio I6
SPD 686Sports Product Design Studio II6
SPD 687Sports Product Design Studio III6
SPD 601Research: [Topic]1-6
SPD 688Innovative Project Strategy Development Studio9
SPD 689Collaborative Creation and Launch Studio9
J 616Introduction to Strategic Communication Marketing4
HPHY 631Human Performance and Sports Products3
HPHY 632Human Biomechanics and Sports Product Design2

Academic Studies. A minimum of 15% of the total credits for the degree should be in academic studies concerned with visual media. Course assignments should be made with careful consideration of (1) the scope and objectives of the student’s program, and (2) the content of studies completed at the undergraduate level.

SPD 415Soft Goods Technologies (Soft Goods Tech for SPD)4
SPD 425Digital Creation Technologies (Digital Tech for SPD)4
SPD 503Thesis (Thesis)1-6
SPD 602Supervised College Teaching (Supervised Teaching)1-6
SPD 604Internship: [Topic]1-6
SPD 605Reading and Conference: [Topic]1-6

Elective Studies. Elective studies are important, since they provide opportunities for students to follow specific areas of interest related to their areas of specialization or their prospective careers. It is strongly recommended that at least 10% of the total program be reserved for electives.

SPD 606Special Problems: [Topic]1-6
PD 510Experimental Course: [Topic]1-6
J 621Foundations of Strategic Communication4
J 624Strategic Communication: [Topic]2
MGMT 625New Venture Planning3

Professional Connections

Industry partners for Sports Product Design provide special opportunities for students, fulfilling a number of critical roles as part of the learning environment of this program: instructors, advisors, guest reviewers, lecturers, mentors. Some examples of recent partners include Intel, Leatherman, Logitech, Nike, and Under Armour.

Admission

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree and demonstrate a combination of education and relevant experience to begin work immediately designing products manually and digitally. This is typically demonstrated through formal transcripts, but applicants are also required to submit the following:

  • Resume/CV.
  • A 300-word statement regarding applicant work, internship or personal experience related to sports product design.
  • A 300-word personal statement describing interest in the sports product design program and how the applicant sees themselves influencing the industry through their work.
  • A portfolio of creative work (a maximum of 20 pages and 5 megabytes) showcasing problem-solving in the design process, drawing and prototyping skills, and storytelling, serving as a demonstration of the candidate’s design abilities.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members outside of the UO Department of Product Design.
  • GRE is optional.
  • TOEFL score.

Applications are reviewed beginning on January 15 of each year and undergo rolling review for admission until the cohort is complete (up to 20 students). Incoming students begin the fall term immediately after acceptance.

Product Design Courses

Course usage information

PD 101. Introduction to Product Design. 4 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the Product Design profession and its cultural relevance. Lectures, reading and projects convey theory (critical thinking), designers (history), design methods (CAD, drawing, building), and storytelling (documentation / presentation) to give a foundation in product innovation, creation, and portfolio generation.

Course usage information

PD 198. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

PD 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

PD 223. Beginning Design Drawing. 4 Credits.

Focuses on perspective, line weight, construction with primary shapes, and shading in the creation of three-dimensional objects.

Course usage information

PD 240. Designers' Tools. 4 Credits.

Fundamental construction methods for design. Develop and understanding material properties and the use of specific tools through the design, development and construction of two projects.

Course usage information

PD 301. Introduction to Design Studio. 4 Credits.

Introduction to a studio based design course that combines theory and practice with a series of assignments and projects.
Prereq: PD 223, PD 240, PD 330.

Course usage information

PD 302. Introduction to Design Studio II. 4 Credits.

Integrate 2D and 3D communication and presentation skills to develop project-based design solutions.
Prereq: PD 301; coreq: PD 323.

Course usage information

PD 323. Design Drawing. 4 Credits.

Introduces specific techniques in drawing and modeling objects and their spatial context; the demonstration and implementation of various media and types of drawing. Repeatable once for a maximum of 8 credits.
Prereq: ART 115, PD 223.

Course usage information

PD 330. Introduction to Computer Aided Design. 4 Credits.

Introduction to computer-assisted design (CAD) in which students learn virtual design and physical manufacturing relationships and techniques.

Course usage information

PD 340. Design for Use. 4 Credits.

Provides the basic theoretical underpinnings for considering the socio-cultural background and design of products. Lectures and readings present main issues; discussions complete conceptual principals.
Prereq: PD 350.

Course usage information

PD 350. Objects and Impacts. 4 Credits.

Explores how design influences and is influenced by materials and manufacturing processes. Lectures, readings, and discussions present sustainability, aesthetic, and functional aspects of product design.
Prereq: PD 370.

Course usage information

PD 370. Design Process. 4 Credits.

Introduces design processes, from theoretical to professional, using readings, guest lectures, and experimental new structures.

Course usage information

PD 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

PD 400M. Temporary Multilisted Course. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

PD 401. Research: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable with change of topic.

Course usage information

PD 404. Internship: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits with change of topic.

Course usage information

PD 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable with change of topic.
Prereq: instructor's permission.

Course usage information

PD 406. Special Problems: [Topic]. 1-8 Credits.

Repeatable with change of topic.
Prereq: instructor's permission.

Course usage information

PD 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

PD 408. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable with change of topic.

Course usage information

PD 410. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

PD 430. Computer-Assisted Design and Production. 4 Credits.

Meshes virtual design and physical design as students work on projects using shop tools and computer-aided design and manufacturing software and equipment.
Prereq: ART 115, ART 116, PD 223.

Course usage information

PD 483. Advanced Studio I. 4 Credits.

Design studio focuses on personal questions that are explored through active design development. Questions may relate to issues of user interface, sustainability, or societal problems. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Prereq: PD 302, PD 340.

Course usage information

PD 484. Advanced Studio II. 4 Credits.

Design studio focuses on global questions explored through active development. Questions may relate to issues of user interface, sustainability, or societal problems. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Prereq: PD 302, PD 340.

Course usage information

PD 485. Advanced Studio III. 4 Credits.

Design studio focuses on corporate questions that are explored through active design development. Questions may relate to issues of user interface, sustainability, or societal problems. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Prereq: PD 302, PD 340.

Course usage information

PD 486. BFA Studio I. 6 Credits.

Explores problems that stress design development through innovation and the responsibility to solve complex societal, functional, and aesthetic issues. Seminar component fosters theoretical, professional, and creative discussion.

Course usage information

PD 487. BFA Studio II. 6 Credits.

Second course in series of interactive studios in which students engage in independent project-based learning. Sequence with PD 486, PD 488.
Prereq: PD 486, BFA standing.

Course usage information

PD 488. BFA Studio III. 6 Credits.

Third course in series of interactive studio in which students engage in independent project-based learning. Sequence with PD 486, PD 487.
Prereq: PD 487, BFA standing.

Course usage information

PD 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Sports Product Design Courses

Course usage information

SPD 415. Soft Goods Technologies. 4 Credits.

An intensive, hands-on exploration of the technologies required to innovate soft good products in the sports product design industry.

Course usage information

SPD 425. Digital Creation Technologies. 4 Credits.

A fundamental course to learn the technologies used to define digital blueprints of sports products.

Course usage information

SPD 503. Thesis. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 515. Soft Goods Technologies. 4 Credits.

An intensive, hands-on exploration of the technologies required to innovate soft good products in the sports product design industry.

Course usage information

SPD 525. Digital Creation Technologies. 4 Credits.

A fundamental course to learn the technologies used to define digital blueprints of sports products.

Course usage information

SPD 601. Research: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 602. Supervised College Teaching. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 604. Internship: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 605. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 606. Special Problems: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 608. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-9 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 610. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

SPD 645. Sports Product Design and Business. 4 Credits.

SPD 645 focuses on the fundamental business theories used to create, market, and sell sports products.

Course usage information

SPD 650. Sports Product Materials and Manufacturing. 3 Credits.

Explores the materials science, manufacturing, and sustainability theories applied in sports product design.
Prereq: SPD 684.

Course usage information

SPD 684. Research Methodology and Innovation Process Studio. 6 Credits.

Focuses on the design theories and methodologies used to design innovative sports products.

Course usage information

SPD 685. Sports Product Design Studio I. 6 Credits.

Explores the theories and creative problem-solving methods used to design solutions for sports soft goods. Theories of human thermoregulation, hydroprotection, support, aerodynamics, wearable technology, and kinematics.
Prereq: SPD 684.

Course usage information

SPD 686. Sports Product Design Studio II. 6 Credits.

Explores the theories and creative problem-solving methods used to design solutions for sports footwear. Mechanical theories of cushioning, stability, support, traction, and slipping-sliding.
Prereq: SPD 650, SPD 685.

Course usage information

SPD 687. Sports Product Design Studio III. 6 Credits.

Explores the theories and creative problem-solving methods used to design solutions for sports hard goods. Performance theories are considered to generate creative solutions.
Prereq: SPD 650, SPD 686.

Course usage information

SPD 688. Innovative Project Strategy Development Studio. 6 Credits.

First of a two-term capstone studio that critically examines the alignment of design, materials, science, sustainability, research, and business theories to create an innovative sports product design opportunity.
Prereq: SPD 650, SPD 687.

Course usage information

SPD 689. Collaborative Creation and Launch Studio. 9 Credits.

Second of a two-term capstone studio that critically examines the alignment of design, materials, science, research, and business theories to create an innovative sports product design opportunity.
Prereq: SPD 688.