Design on Display: My thoughts on this years Senior Show

Every year, as senior product designers begin to make their final designs before graduation, I am amazed at the innovation and technology that our future holds.

This year was no different.

Though small, the senior showcase for product design, on the University of Oregon campus, did not disappoint.


Perhaps my favorite piece of the night, these hanging planters show the forward thinking that the next few years will bring.

They bring the green element.

Green, sustainable design must be at the root of all new products coming on the market. I say this for a few reasons.

First, with the looming threat of climate change, the US government is facing increasing pressure to regulate sustainability among businesses.

Second, consumers are much more aware and wary of the chemicals that go into manufacturing the products they consume.

Third, green design is simply cooler. It brings you closer to the environment, the process of manufacturing and it’s a product you can feel good about owning.

What’s better than that?


A close second to the planters is this backpack. I really wanted it.

The design is simple yet sharp, and though the lines are clean, you can still make out the small details that tell you this is a handmade product.


The last products of the night that I wanted to feature were these meal trays. Though they may not look like much, these trays represent a real world application of the future of design.

Beautiful while compact, these product designers were able to make something as boring and monotonous as an airline meal tray into something displaying culture, refinement and effort.

Product designers are people we don’t think about often. However, these professionals create the concepts for products we take for granted everyday. They may not be as sexy as a fashion designer but, they shape our lives in more ways than we can imagine.

Therefore, I believe its important to take a break every once in a while, and consider the young professionals who will shape our entire lives.

Cover image courtesy of


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