Product Design

Trygve Faste, Department Head
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Major - Bachelor's Degree


Major - Master's Degree