Trygve Faste named Young Educator of the Year in product design

Assistant Professor Trygve Faste named Young Educator of the Year by the Industrial Designers Society of America

What do Hasbro toys, Scandinavian Airlines service trays, John Deere lawnmowers, virtual reality headsets, Eli Lilly medical devices and MGM Las Vegas water features all have in common? 

Trygve Faste worked on their design. 

Faste, assistant professor in UO’s Product Design Program, has created a variety of products for all those companies and more. His designs have been featured in numerous publications and been exhibited internationally. Both students and faculty colleagues give him rave reviews.

Now, the Industrial Designers Society of America has recognized Faste with the 2015 IDSA Young Educator of the Year award, presented in recognition of the contributions of younger faculty members who have dedicated their careers primarily to the education of the next generation of designers. 

“Trygve has impacted this program and our school in profound ways and in short order,” A&AA interim Dean Brook Muller wrote in Faste’s nomination for the award. “He is a gifted educator who brings rigor, powerful conceptual thinking, enthusiasm, and organizational skill to the studio and classroom.”

Student testimonials concur. Chris Lau, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in product design this year, stated in Faste’s nomination that  “there have been times I have been on the brink of tears while watching how easily Trygve can translate his thoughts to paper and how just a few strokes of his pencil can speak volumes.”

Product design undergraduate Sam Selbie wrote that “on the first day of my drawing class with Trygve, he did a sketching demo that had us in awe, glancing at each other mouthing ‘Is this real life?!’ and ‘Can I just be him?’ What sets Trygve apart from the many other talented professors I have had is his humility and selflessness. Never have I met someone more willing to share his talent and passion so freely.”

And from Chase Holenstein, another 2015 product design graduate: “Professor Trygve Faste is Jedi. He's like Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker COMBINED. But instead of wielding a light saber he slashes Copic markers … to guide young designers in their quest to use the force for good.”

Faste joined the UO faculty in 2010 after working as a design consultant, in-house designer and artist, and then teaching at California State University, Long Beach. At the UO he has been a primary force in the development of the Product Design Program, creating and redeveloping design drawing courses and teaching senior studios tied to sponsored projects, such as working with electric car company Arcimoto, and international design competitions.

Kiersten Muenchinger, Product Design Program director, praised Faste for furthering his students’ capabilities for independent success after graduation.

“Our students have developed into entrepreneurs under his studio direction, and because of their success we are now launching an entrepreneurial senior studio initiative,” said Muenchinger, who won the Young Educator award in 2011.

His research at the UO has received grant funding from the university and the Oregon Arts Commission. The award was announced at the society’s international conference in Seattle on Aug. 19.

—By Marti Gerdes, A&AA Communications