university of oregon's specialized sports product design program

university of oregon's specialized sports product design program



located in the athlete-affluent city of portland, the university of oregon’s sports product design master of science program is the only such graduate course in the united states. the degree develops and prepares designers to become founders and leaders within the more than 800 sports product companies located in the state and beyond. alumni and industry partners, who serve as guest reviewers, lecturers and mentors for the course, includes brands such as; columbia sportswear company, gerber, logitech, NIKE and wilsonart.

a key part of the course is that students learn from each other



with a focus on innovation methods, design for the athlete, product sustainability, and sports product marketing and branding, the program strives to design products that challenge the current playing field of sport. key issues that are tested and solved are usability, material and manufacturing concerns. in doing so, the course and their designers help reduce injuries and extend athletes’ careers, improve sporting performance, address issues related to gender and diverse body types, and generate new materials and technologies to better different aspects of games.


adaptive products – enabling athletes with disabilities
video courtesy of UOregon



prior to this program, graduate study in this field required students to obtain multiple degrees in diverse disciplines. however now, the university of oregon’s sports product design course includes specialized subjects in human physiology, journalism, and business and management with the product design core. the master’s degree is most suited for; post-graduate pupils with a bachelor’s in design- or engineering-related fields, individuals working in the sports product industry who want to pursue a master’s, and those working in the design trade who want to shift direction to focus on a sports specialization.


the curriculum of the course includes 42 credit in product design, 10 credits from business and management, human physiology, and journalism and communication, and a minimum of six credits of electives from accounting, journalism and management.

graduates have gone on to work at many of the world’s leading sports companies



as part of the university of oregon’s program, leading sports product design and innovation experts run the course, and act as invaluable advisors, lecturers and mentors. program director and associate professor susan sokolowski, PhD, is committed to inspiring students in product design, development and business. she has over 25 years of performance sporting goods experience, working cross-functionally between footwear, apparel and equipment in creative and strategic roles. furthermore, her achievements in product design and innovation has been internationally recognized with exhibitions at the design museum london, 35 utility patents, and awards from the US olympic committee.

a university of oregon sports product designer in action



similarly, the members of the master of sports design faculty have all had their work globally praised both on playing fields and in museum collections. they have all worked in sports companies, design consultancies, and have licensed their own inventions. as a result, they play a critical role in aiding and developing the graduate designers through the program.


interview with product design department head, kiersten muenchinger
video courtesy of the register-guard eugene, oregon



the sports product design program thrives on the diversity of our students and their diverse interests in sports product design. our students have degrees in industrial, product and apparel design, engineering, art and social sciences; some even come from the design industry, wanting to learn more and specialize in sport product design. they also can focus on specific consumer topics, such as adaptive athletes, or they may focus on specific sport products, such as soccer cleats or hydrodynamic swimsuits.said professor susan sokolowski

testing prototypes is imperative to the program



with its renowned location, rich alumni connections, and vastly knowledgeable faculty, the university of oregon’s sports product design master of science program provides an individual with the best opportunity to develop their sports design career. applications for the upcoming academic year are due january 15. For more information or to apply, please visit the sports product design website.

creations aim to improve athletic performance and reduce athlete injuries


product sustainability is a key focus of the course


students andre brown, stefan cristobal, katie lee, and scott warneke created the ‘AD16’ for the adaptive athletes studio in the product design BFA program. this handcycle was built specifically for athlete anthony davis, who was unable to use his legs after a car accident. at the time, he was training for the paralympics and needed a cycle he could use to compete with at a championship racing level


the white stag building in portland, oregon, where the course is situated


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