Footwear Design Business

Majors open to

Product Design


Graduate Industrial Design

Interaction Design

Transportation Design

Host Department

Product Design

Faculty Lead

Kevin A. Beard


15 units of ArtCenter credit
(6 H&S + 9 Studio)

How To Apply

Applications for this program were due by Friday, February 22 (Week 6) at 1pm.


  1. Must have completed at least four terms of undergraduate study or two terms of graduate study prior to Summer 2019
  2. Product students must have passed 3rd Term Review
  3. Must have at least one term remaining upon return to ArtCenter
  4. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  5. Must not be on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of application

* If you do not meet the minimum eligibility requirements you still may be able to apply. Please contact


Tuition: Students are responsible for ArtCenter tuition for the Summer 2019 term.

Program Fee: At present, the program fee is pending. Students can expect the fee to be $3,000 or less. The fee will cover the following costs: housing in Portland and travel/medical insurance.

Additional: Costs that you will be responsible for that are NOT included in the program fee are: transportation to Portland (~$300) and daily personal expenses—food, souvenirs, etc. (~$30/day).


Term: Summer 2019
Tentative Dates Away: June 9 – August 3, 2019*

*Final dates in Portland are pending. The program will begin in Pasadena during Week 1 of the Summer term. It will also conclude in Pasadena with a presentation to ArtCenter students and faculty.

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Calling all shoe dogs! Are you interested in a deep dive into the athletic footwear industry?

This summer, we are offering an eight-week experience in Portland, Oregon, for a selected group of students. During this study away program you will work with recent ArtCenter alumni from three major brands on three two-week projects, as well as participate in a one-week footwear business class with students from Portland State University’s School of Business Administration and get hands-on experience in a biomechanics lab.

The term will start and conclude in Pasadena, where you will present your projects to students and faculty upon your return.

This athletic footwear industry study away intensive has three main components:

  1. Three 2-week footwear design assignments targeting athletic brands. Each of these projects will have recent ACCD alumni from these brands reviewing the students’ work, culminating with final presentations for each brand.
  2. One 1-week business course at Portland State University’s Business School alongside PSU students. This business course is part of PSU’s summer Athletic & Outdoor program that will expose students to footwear business practices and interaction with footwear business students and guest lecturers from the footwear business outside of design. The course will cover product briefing, which will have students from PSU and ArtCenter cooperate on a footwear product brief and product ideation.
  3. A one-week biomechanics intensive at BioMechanica ( led by Simon Luthi, Ph.D.  Dr. Luthi has had decades of influence on human performance and biomechanics.  Students will participate in hands-on experience in BioMechanica’s lab.

Through this program, students will gain direct footwear brand experience through interaction and design direction from current practicing professionals. They will also gain footwear business knowledge and interdisciplinary business education, experience, and interaction connected to the footwear industry.

You can read more about the program in this Featured Project piece.

About Portland
Dynamic yet mellow, Oregon’s largest metropolis boasts a vibrant downtown across the Willamette River from charming neighborhoods full of friendly — and often zany — people. It hums with a youthful vitality and is home to a landslide of liberal idealists, but it’s located in a state where back roads brim with Republican red. Here Gore-Tex rain jackets in fine restaurants are as common as sideburns on a hipster. A haven for eco-activists, cyclists, outdoor nuts, vegans, gardener and dog-lovers. This vibrant city offers something for everyone with its countless brewpubs, coffeehouses, knitting circles, lesbian potlucks and book clubs. Portland is a livable metropolis with pretty neighborhoods and a friendly, small-town atmosphere. It’s an up-and-coming destination that has finally found itself but keeps redefining its ethos with every controversy (fluoride, anyone?). Racially progressive, culturally diverse and politically charged, the city is also — as many folks from out of state have discovered — an awesome spot to plant roots, settle in and chill out for while.

Information Sessions
• Tuesday, January 22 (Week 2) at 1 pm in Room 225, Hillside
• Monday, January 28 (Week 3) at 1 pm in Room 225, Hillside

Selection Timeline
• Applications Due: DEADLINE EXTENDED to Friday, February 22 at 1pm  (Week 6)
• Decisions Announced: Friday, March 1 (Week 7)
• Program Commitment & $200 Deposit Due: Friday, March 8 at 1 pm (Week 8)