Department of Product Design Courses

Product Design Courses | Sports Product Design Courses


Product Design Courses

PD 101: Introduction to Product Design

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.


PD 223: Beginning Design Drawing

Focuses on perspective, line weight, construction with primary shapes, and shading in the creation of three-dimensional objects. Through the use of pencils, pens, markers and other hand rendering media students will generate forms, solve user needs and think creatively in order to invent designs that are thoughtful, innovative and articulate. In-class studio work is a primary focus of the class, and critiquing your own work and those of your colleagues helps assess the physical work produced.


PD 240: Designers' Tools

Quick model-making and additive, subtractive, and mold-using fabrication methods are applied in the creation of products in three separate projects.Projects will also use multiple fabrication methods such as a chair with a welded steel frame and textile seat and back. In class studio work is a primary focus of the class, and critiquing oneʼs own work as well as the work of the rest of the class helps assess the physical strengths and weaknesses of the designs. Prerequisites: ART 115, ART 116


PD 301: Introduction to Design Studio

Students observe and design solutions for problems on campus in three team-based projects. Sketching, model making and prototyping techniques will be introduced and practiced to display and analyze possible effectiveness of the design solution. In-class studio work is augmented by out-of-class work towards presentations to the group, and will conclude in a final product and solution to a well defined, commonly observed problem. Prerequisite or corequisite: PD 340


PD 323: Design Drawing

Introduces specific techniques in drawing and modeling objects and their spatial context; the demonstration and implementation of various media and types of drawing. Over the course of the term students will acquire skills and learn different methods and drawing techniques including diagramming, sketching in three-dimensions, orthographic drawings and quick modeling techniques. All of these techniques are essential to success in future coursework and in the profession. Prerequisites: ART 115, ART 116, PD 223


PD 340: Design for Use

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. Products and the design of products require ever evolving methods of examination and this course is meant to be an overview such strategies and tactics currently utilized in practice. Prerequisite: PD 350


PD 350: Objects and Impacts

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.Methods of accounting for manufactured parts, including weight, cost and environmental impact are also practiced. The main goal of this course is for you to learn examination, design and production methods for any object. Prerequisite: PD 240


PD 370: Design Process

Introduces design processes, from theoretical to professional, using readings, guest lectures, and experimental new structures. This class will address the diversity of the design process through covering common design problem solving methods and by hearing from a wide variety of guest lecturers about their particular processes. This course will give insight into how different designers practice their work and give students the opportunity to practice some of the more common design process steps.


PD 410: Experimental Course (By Topic)

Example Topic (Portland): Portfolio Development and prep workshop designed to help students be prepared for the application process as they transition from school to the professional world. Class will culminate with an invitationonly critique with leading Portland professionals. Course will cover storytelling, personal brand development, resume creation + portfolio foundation. Please note that success in this course will require commitment outside of class towards creating deliverables.

Example Topic (Portland): Soft Goods Theory - In this course students will learn the essentials of soft goods design theory—general textile science, pattern drafting and fabrication.

Example Topic (Portland): Thesis/Design Research - Students will discover their strengths as design practitioners, and learn how to apply them throughout the design/innovation research process. They will explore product-specific history, market, consumer, environment, materials/manufacturing & trend/color research, including data collection and basic data interpretation. Students will also conduct a user needs assessment, including competitive product and patent landscaping to develop unique product opportunities/product briefs that will lead into new product ideation/development.


PD 430: Computer Assisted Design and Production

Meshes virtual design and physical design as students work on projects using shop tools and computer-aided design and manufacturing software and equipment. It should be noted that this course will cover a significant amount of software ranging from 2D to 3D systems and will function as intensive overview. Although this course may not directly utilize all forms of digital prototyping during the various course projects, there will be several discussions related to digital fabrication methods as they pertain to larger topic of product design and visualization. Prerequisites: ART 115, ART 116, PD 223


PD 440: Advanced Designers' Tools

Two projects will be completed in class, working with fellow classmates to optimize production lines for each student’s work. Critique of the produced work is also an important element to the course. Prerequisite: PD 340


PD 483: Senior Studio I

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.These products could range from functional objects and mechanisms, to software, to branded environments. As in existing architecture and art studios faculty organize studio offerings so that each student must engage in a range of studio experiences. Prerequisites: PD 240, PD 323, PD 340, PD 350, PD 370, PD 430, senior standing in product design


PD 484: Senior Studio II

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. These products could range from functional objects and mechanisms, to software, to branded environments. As in existing architecture and art studios faculty organize studio offerings so that each student must engage in a range of studio experiences. Prerequisites: PD 240, PD 323, PD 340, PD 350, PD 370, PD 430, PD 483, senior standing in product design


PD 485: Senior Studio III

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. These products could range from functional objects and mechanisms, to software, to branded environments. As in existing architecture and art studios faculty organize studio offerings so that each student must engage in a range of studio experiences. Prerequisites: PD 240, PD 323, PD 340, PD 350, PD 370, PD 430, PD 484, senior standing in product design


PD 486: BFA Studio I

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. Prerequisite: BFA standing. Sequence with PD 487, PD 488.

Example Studio: Adaptive Products: Enabling Athletes with Disabilities is a user-based studio class, designed to challenge students’ problem solving skills and foster their capacity for empathy.


PD 487: BFA Studio II

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

Example Studio: Adaptive Products: Enabling Athletes with Disabilities is a “real life” user-based studio class, designed to challenge student s problem solving skills and foster their character for empathy.


PD 488: BFA Studio III (Portland)

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

Example Studio: BFA Studio III will concentrate on the full development of a consumer product from ideation through to final model, packaging, and point of purchase (POP) tech card/web interface.

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Sports Product Design Courses

SPD 684: Sports Product Design Research Methodology and Innovation Process Studio

This foundational level course focuses on design theories and methodologies as applied to sports product design. Each student in the course will follow a case study to understand history, manufacturing, trends, environmental and athlete insights, related to the design of a specific product. The studio format allows students the opportunity to translate product design insights into new product ideas.


SPD 650: Sports Product Materials and Manufacturing

This course will introduce students to the foundational theories, factors, and processes necessary to effectively bring new, innovative sports product design ideas to reality. Students will learn about the interconnected issues of material properties, practical use and the market, and learn theories and methods that will allow them to successfully bring innovative ideas from design to production.


SPD 685: Product Design Studio I

This studio is the first of three courses in which students will use theories in ergonomics/fit, materials, physiology/gender, physics/kinetics, electronics/energy sustainability, safety, business and creative problem solving methods to explore and push the boundaries of new design solutions in the field of sports product design. This studio course focuses on soft goods (textiles and other flexible materials).


SPD 686: Product Design Studio II

This studio course is the second in a series of three courses in which students will use theories in biomechanics/mechanics, ergonomics/fit, design, research, business, sustainability, materials science and creative problem solving methods to explore and push the boundaries of footwear design solutions in the field of sports product design.


SPD 687: Product Design Studio III

This studio is the third in a series of three courses in which students will use theories in physics/mechanics/aerodynamics, physiology/thermoregulation, ergonomics/fit, materials science, medical/neurological, sustainability, transportation and creative problem solving methods to explore and push the boundaries of new hard goods design solutions in the field of sports product design.


SPD 688: Sports Product Design Innovative Project Strategy Development Studio

This studio is the first part of a two-term capstone sequence focusing on the alignment of design, materials, science, sustainability, research, and business theories to create an innovative product and expand new knowledge in the field of sports product design. This course focuses on the development of a sports design product innovation opportunity to be developed in SPD 689.


SPD 689: Collaborative Creation and Launch Studio

This studio is the second part of a two-term capstone sequence focusing on further development and execution of the proposal prepared in SPD 688, in collaboration with mentors working in the design and production field, to prepare an actual-size product model, perform usability testing, and develop a packaging and branding design for a final exhibition.

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