Product Design

http://pd.uoregon.edu

Kiersten Muenchinger, 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 arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degree in product design on the Eugene campus, and a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in product design in Portland. The BA and BS degrees are four-year liberal arts programs designed to prepare students for the BFA program in product design. Students enrolled in either degree option share a foundation in design, graphics, drawing, and art history with majors in both architecture and art.

Eugene

Students studying for the bachelor’s degree in product design are well-equipped with computer and digital-imaging labs, new digital computer-controlled mill, laser cutter, wood shop, digital loom, metals and ceramics shops, large-format printing facility, and other specialized art studios in Lawrence Hall 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 fifth-year product design BFA degree work at the university’s new facility in Portland’s Old Town Historic District. The White Stag Block houses studio facilities, digital fusion laboratory, classrooms, library, exhibit and research spaces, 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 of other professional disciplines, such as digital arts and architecture. 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, assistant professor. BFA, 2002, Kookmin; MDes, 2006, Design Academy Eindhoven. (2014)

Elizabeth Esponnette, associate professor (product design). BS, 2010, Cornell; MFA, 2015, Stanford. (2015)

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)

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.

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.

Bachelor of Arts in Product Design Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 180 credits, which include general-university requirements for a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree.

Core Courses
ART 115Surface, Space, and Time4
ART 116Core Interdisciplinary Laboratory4
IARC 204Understanding Contemporary Interiors4
PD 223Beginning Design Drawing4
PD 240Designers' Tools4
ARTD 250Print Media Digital Arts4
ARH 358History of Design4
Select one of the following:4
Product design studio course (PD)
Ceramics studio course (ARTC)
Fibers studio course (ARTF)
Metalsmithing and jewelry studio course (ARTM)
Sculpture studio course (ARTS)
Art history course4
Upper-Division Studio Courses
PD 301Introduction to Design Studio4
PD 323Design Drawing4
PD 340Design for Use4
PD 350Objects and Impacts4
PD 370Design Process4
PD 430Computer-Assisted Design and Production4
IARC 447Color Theory and Application for the Built Environment3
or ARTP 281 Introductory Painting I
PD 483Senior Studio I4
PD 484Senior Studio II4
PD 485Senior Studio III4
Select five of the following studio electives: 1, 220
Product design electives (PD)
Art electives (ART)
Ceramics electives (ARTC)
Fibers electives (ARTF)
Interior architecture electives (IARC)
Metalsmithing and jewelry electives (ARTM)
Sculpture electives (ARTS)
Other Requirements
BA 101Introduction to Business4
ANTH 161Introduction to Cultural Anthropology4
BA 317Marketing: Creating Value for Customers4
Total Credits107
1

With product design advisor approval, students may select electives from any studio course taught in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Students are welcome to propose studio courses from outside the school to fulfill product design electives, although they require approval by the advisor.

2

Electives must be 300- or 400-level courses.

Bachelor of Science in Product Design Requirements

Core Courses
ART 115Surface, Space, and Time4
ART 116Core Interdisciplinary Laboratory4
IARC 204Understanding Contemporary Interiors4
PD 223Beginning Design Drawing4
PD 240Designers' Tools4
ARTD 250Print Media Digital Arts4
ARH 358History of Design4
Select one of the following:4
Product design studio course (PD)
Ceramics studio course (ARTC)
Fibers studio course (ARTF)
Metalsmithing and jewelry studio course (ARTM)
Sculpture studio course (ARTS)
Art history course4
Upper-Division Studio Courses
PD 301Introduction to Design Studio4
PD 323Design Drawing4
PD 340Design for Use4
PD 350Objects and Impacts4
PD 370Design Process4
PD 430Computer-Assisted Design and Production4
IARC 447Color Theory and Application for the Built Environment3
or ARTP 281 Introductory Painting I
PD 483Senior Studio I4
PD 484Senior Studio II4
PD 485Senior Studio III4
Select five of the following studio electives: 1, 220
Product design electives (PD)
Art electives (ART)
Ceramics electives (ARTC)
Fibers electives (ARTF)
Interior architecture electives (IARC)
Metalsmithing and jewelry electives (ARTM)
Sculpture electives (ARTS)
Other Requirements
BA 101Introduction to Business4
ANTH 161Introduction to Cultural Anthropology4
BA 317Marketing: Creating Value for Customers4
Total Credits107
1

With product design advisor approval, students may select electives from any studio course taught in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Students are welcome to propose studio courses from outside the school to fulfill product design electives, although they require approval by the advisor.

2

Electives must be 300- or 400-level courses.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 220 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

Courses

Course usage information

PD 101. Introduction to Product Design. 4 Credits.

Examines how designers invent things that help people through lectures from designers, drawing assignments, photo documentation, model-making, storytelling, and computer-aided design; product innovation, creation, and sales; and protfolio creation. Laborabory, lecture.

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.

Quick model-making and additive, subtractive, and mold-using fabrication methods are applied in the creation of products in three separate projects.
Prereq: ART 115, ART 116.

Course usage information

PD 301. Introduction to Design Studio. 4 Credits.

Students observe and design solutions for problems on campus in three team-based projects.
Pre- or coreq: PD 370.

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, 116, PD 223.

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.

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 360. Object Culture. 4 Credits.

Promotes a greater understanding of the material world and how everyday objects define culture.

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 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.

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 440. Advanced Designers’ Tools. 4 Credits.

Designing a production line for twenty identical items.
Prereq: PD 340.

Course usage information

PD 483. Senior 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. Sequence with PD 484, PD 485. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Prereq: PD 240, PD 323, PD 340, PD 350, PD 370, PD 430 and senior standing in Product Design.

Course usage information

PD 484. Senior 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. Only for seniors with declared major status in architecture, art, interior architecture, or product design. Sequence with PD 483, 485. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Pre- or coreq: PD 240, PD 323, PD 340, PD 350, PD 370, PD 430, PD 483; senior standing in product design.

Course usage information

PD 485. Senior 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. Sequence with PD 483, 484. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Pre- or coreq: PD 240, PD 323, PD 340, PD 350, PD 370, PD 430, PD 483, PD 484; senior standing in product design.

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.
Prereq: BFA standing.

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.