Alumni Stories & Careers

Our graduates have received national and international recognition of their work, and have established a variety of successful creative practices, all linked by an investment in making.

Featured Alumni

Bukola Koiki '15

Fountainhead Fellow for the Craft and Materials Studies department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Featured in Art Practical , Art:21 Materialities: Contemporary Textile Arts, c3:initiative + Pulp & Deckle Papermaking Residency & Exhibition. Received 2016 RACC Professional Development Grant and AICAD Teaching Fellowship at Maine College of Art.

Kyla Mucci '13

Sole recipient, Surface Design Association's Graduate Creative Promise Award 2012. Designer/weaver, Pendleton. Founder, Pastoral Textiles.

Andreas Kindler von Knobloch '16

Awarded MFA AC+D Post Graduate Fellowship. Solo show at Mermaid Arts Center in Dublin, Ireland, and upcoming group show at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

Eric Trine '13

Sight Unseen's American Design Hot List. Exhibited in Design Milk's East, Meet West Showcase, NY, West Coast Craft , San Francisco.Featured in Apartment Therapy, Dwell, Gray Magazine.

Laura Allcorn '11

Nominated for Design To Improve Life Index Award. Senior content strategist, Second Story. Featured in Portland Mercury, GOOD, Wired UK, The Oregonian, Design 360.

Caitlin Sweet '14

Featured in Paper Magazine, Posture Magazine & Feminine Moments. Exhibited in Queer Prophecies, San Francisco, & Heels on Wheels, Brooklyn.

“You don’t feel you’re contributing anonymously. We’re doing something real. Not just for us, but for someone else too”

Ryan Newsom, '15


Design Build


Designers in education and industry routinely and assuredly assert that design thinking strategies can deliver the “game-changing” ideas needed to address the critical and complex problems of our times. Frequently, however, it seems we’re seduced by and fall in love with the promise(s) of these ideas and are less committed to following through with their actual realization with the same degree of passion.

In an effort to provide an alternative model of design and craft education and practice, first-year MFA AC+D students begin the program with a pre-semester, 10-day collaborative design-build intensive. During the project, students meet with the community and clients to identify goals and needs for the project, collaboratively brainstorm possible solutions and consider material and budget limitations. The project culminates with the collective fabrication and installation of a finalized product.

High Desert Field Trips

AC+D puts its curriculum into practice with short immersive trips into the field for communal, unmediated, radical and unplugged experiences. Most years we take students to the High Desert of California where the main attraction is visiting and touring Andrea Zittel's outpost, A-Z West, which includes her studio, home, and wagon station encampment. Other engagements, workshops and studio visits in the desert include All Roads Design Studio, Yucca Valley Material Lab, High Desert Observatory, Dan Anderson formerly of VonTundra, High Desert Test Sites, Noah Purifoy Foundation, Joshua Tree National Park, and sound bathing at the Integretron.

On occasion, we also make a trip to the Judd Foundation in Marfa, TX during spring break. While in Marfa, the students have stayed at El Cosmico an 18-acre trailer, tent hotel, and campground and engaged Judd Foundation properties such as Donald Judd's formerly private living and working spaces La Mansana de Chinati / The Block and The Studios: Architecture Studio, Art Studio, Cobb House & Whyte Building. Day trips include Judd's permanent installation in the Chihuahuan Desert, Prada Marfa, Ballroom Marfa, Chinati, and many galleries and designer/maker studios.

Both trips feature projects that are built in response to the surrounding landscapes and result in aesthetics that are influenced by nomadic cultures vs. modern. These experiences expand and build upon students’ knowledge and connect them to people and places outside of Oregon to provide bursts of inspiration to inject into their studio practice.

​2018 National Art Educators Association (NAEA) National Convention

AC+D facilitated a workshop at the 2018 NAEA National Convention in Seattle, WA, called “The Generative Potential of the Everyday.” Heidi Schwegler was joined by two alumni, Aaron DeLanty (MFA 2017) and Lauren Sinner (MFA 2016), to lead a workshop on how to be sensitive to the subtleties that surround us in order to generate a creative act.

​West Coast Craft Fair

In November 2017, Mel McKinley (MFA 2018) was awarded an Emerging Artist Booth at the West Coast Craft Fair in San Francisco. She was joined by Amy Santoferraro (Program Manager) at West Coast Craft Fair.

a fiber sculpture by Caroline Borucki, MFA in Applied Craft + Design

Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago

Special Exhibition and Panel Discussion at SOFA

Thinking Through Making was a SOFA Special Exhibition and panel presenting four pillars of the ACD program: Mentor-Based Relationships in Higher Ed, the AC+D Design Build, Creative Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking with the Hand, and Material Exploration with Wild Abandon and the Hybrid Potential of a Studio Practice with ACD alum Eric Trine, former instructor of Entrepreneurial Studies Randy Higgins (designer at Felt Hat), Norman Teague, Lead Craftsman at the University of Chicago - Washington Park Arts Incubator, and Sara Black, member of Project Fielding (teaches girls, women and nonbinary folks to use power tools).

Design Week Portland AC+D Open Studios

City-wide design event

A celebration of the confluence of art, design and craft, our Open House for Design Week Portland welcomed members of the city's design community into our creative laboratory in the Bison Building for an exhibition, open house, and sale of products including ceramics, lighting, wearables, innovative devices, handmade books, domestic items, sculpture, and more in addition to conversation, snacks, free drinks, and music.

Summer Scholarships

Each summer the MFA AC+D program offers scholarships to attend workshops at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass Village, CO. Anderson Ranch is an internationally renowned hub and educational resource for artists working in all mediums! These awards allow a handful of AC+D students to take workshops with some of the nation’s leading artists, network with makers from around the world, and explore new skills and methods in their studio practice!

Get in touch

Get in touch with MFA in Applied Craft + Design Program Head, Sara Huston, to schedule a tour or to learn more.