Product design students win IDSA scholarship, merit award

“Breath Buddies,” by Hana Hiratsuka, is a home medical device for Angie, a 3-year-old user who has cystic fibrosis.

Two Product Design Program Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates were honored recently for their work by the Industrial Designers Society of America, earning invitations to the Western District Conference April 10-11 in San Jose, California.

Product design undergraduate student Hana Hiratsuka is this year's UO Student Merit Award representative. She'll represent the UO at the designers society’s Western District Conference, which encompasses professionals and students in Oregon, Arizona, California, Colorado and Washington.

In addition, product design undergraduate Liz Zarro received a scholarship to attend the conference. Zarro is one of just four recipients of the scholarship, which is new this year.

“I am very pleased to have Hana representing the UO Product Design Program this year in the student merit competition,” said assistant professor Trygve Faste, the UO’s designers society faculty adviser. “She is a thoughtful and talented designer who presents her work clearly and professionally. I'm also not the least bit surprised that Liz won an IDSA scholarship to attend the Western District Conference — she is a very deserving candidate.”

The award “is a great opportunity to travel and meet professionals and other students who have the same passion for design,” Hiratsuka said. “When I joined (the) Product Design (Program) I didn't understand how great this program is or even what design was. Through guidance from teachers and collaboration and help from other students, I've learned what … great things (design) can do.”

All of the UO Product Design Program BFA projects can be viewed at their final review Friday, March 13, beginning at 5 p.m. at the White Stag building in Portland.  

—By Architecture & Allied Arts Communications