University of Oregon

Department of Product Design


Centennial: 2010s look forward to new A&AA home

A&AA is wrapping up its 100th anniversary this month after a full year of events, exhibitions, and celebrations. The school is now embarking on a capital campaign to imagine the future of art and design education and facilities for the next 100 years. In envisioning the school’s future, the A&AA Building Project Work Group in January issued a request for proposals (RFP) from student teams for a competition to design a transformative learning environment for A&AA. In May, the finalists were announced.

Towards a Collaborative Future


New grad creates products to improve people’s lives

Liz Zarro, a 2015 Product Design Program BFA graduate, wants to develop "products that are more than just products" and use design to improve people's lives. She designed an exoskeletal back support, called Origin, for Portland's wheelchair basketball team. The product reduces athletes' dependence on their hands for core stability and body repositioning. For her honors thesis project, Zarro designed a biomimetric shelving unit that she has titled Pinicola Shelves.

Liz Zarro


Centennial: 2000s expand A&AA to White Stag Block

In fall 2008, the University of Oregon completed its move into the White Stag Block (WSB), a refurbished facility that merges parts of three historic buildings in downtown Portland. The move culminated efforts—compressed into just two years—to adapt three vacant historic buildings into the interconnected high-tech complex that today comprises the School of Architecture and Allied Arts’ most urban presence.

White Stag renovation


2015 Product Design Graduation Exhibition

On June 15 a group of Product Design graduate students will be hosting a collaborative exhibition, to be displayed in the Romania building.  The exhibition will include free catering from Cafe Yumm, as well as a limited amount of free growler souvenirs.  The exhibition is currently accepting applications, which can be submitted through the exhbition website.

Product Design Graduation Exhibition, June 15, 2015


Muenchinger wins Fulbright to China

Product Design Program Director Kiersten Muenchinger will spend the 2015-16 academic year researching sustainable design innovation at Hong Kong Polytechnic as a Fulbright Fellow in Teaching and Research. 

Kiersten Muenchinger


Sonja Ellicott named Ray Hawk Award winner

Product Design Program undergraduate Sonja Ellicott will be awarded the Ray Hawk Award at the University Awards Presentation on Saturday, May 16, in the EMU Ballroom. The Ray Hawk award is presented to a senior member of Friars Honorary Society “who best exemplifies the essential qualities of: leadership in university life and promise of later leadership as a citizen; high scholastic achievement; service to others and the university; and contributions to improving the quality of undergraduate life at the university,” according to the website about the award.

Sonja Ellicott


Product Design Senior Project wins Groovystuff top prize

A Product design senior Sarah Goldner, majoring in product and material studies, has won the top prize in the Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge.  Sarah Goldner is also a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and was featured in an IDSA news article.  Read the full story on the IDSA site.

Sarah Goldner


Product Design students competing in North Carolina exhibition

The University of Oregon’s Product Design Program has teamed up with furniture company Groovystuff, of Dallas, Texas, on an education-to-industry cross-cooperative partnership in “The Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge.” Groovystuff is cosponsoring thirteen UO students for the challenge, which takes place in High Point, North Carolina, from April 18-23. The winning design will receive a royalty for life as a licensed product in the Groovystuff catalog, in addition to a $250 cash prize.

PD postcard


Faste, Swanson collaboration opens April 16 at Bellevue Arts Museum

Collaborative works by Assistant Professor Trygve Faste, in the UO Product Design Program, and Instructor Jessica Swanson, in the Department of Art, are featured in an upcoming exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum featuring young designers in the Pacific Northwest. Faste and Swanson’s studio, "Something Like This Design," is an experimental studio that creates thoughtful, functional designs and ceramic work. A free preview party at the museum, in Bellevue, Washington, on April 16 from 6-9 p.m., will feature artists, curators, and collectors. The show runs through August 16. 

BAM invitation


Product design students win IDSA scholarship, merit award

Product Design Program bachelor of fine art candidates Hana Hiratsuka and Liz Zarro were honored recently for their work by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), earning invitations to the Western District Conference April 10-11 in San Jose, California. “I am thrilled that we have such great students in general and that we will have a strong presence in San Jose this year,” says Assistant Professor Trygve Faste, UO’s IDSA faculty adviser.

breath buddies