Spring Term 2019
February 25th – May 17th, 2019

This 15-credit, 12-week intensive is offered through PNCA in partnership with PENSOLE Design Academy. Students work on interdisciplinary teams comprised of a student focusing on one of the following emphases: 3D Materialization, 3D Modeling (footwear), Color & Material Design, Footwear Design, or Functional Apparel & Accessory Design.


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PENSOLE now has an official partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) to offer an interdisciplinary Design Intensive on the following emphases: 3D Materialization, 3D Modeling (MODO/footwear), Color & Material Design, Footwear Design, and Functional Apparel & Accessories Design. We will be accepting 35-40 students from around the world for this session. 

PNCA|PENSOLE Design Intensive will prepare students for what it is like to have an internship at a top footwear brand through our ‘learn-by-doing’ curriculum. This program also allows us to offer classes that are transferable to the college/university that you are currently attending (15 credits transferable). Students interested in transferring credits need to speak with their advisers/Departments Heads at their current educational institution and can start the conversation with the information provided in this PDF: S19_PNCA_PENSOLE 12-week DESIGN INTENSIVE _ COURSE OVERVIEW

The top footwear brands in the industry will be a part of this program and will be offering their guidance and mentorship to students assigned to work on their brand. The program will culminate with presentations to representatives from these brands. This exposure is an unusual opportunity for students to show what they can offer these companies.


Design Intensive students will experience a broad scope of academic topics in a holistic setting: Professional Practices, Communication Practices, Design Process, Research Methods, Prototype Development, Digital Imaging/CAD, Materials+Process, Color Fundamentals/Color Strategy. View “COURSE DESCRIPTIONS/LEARNING OUTCOMES” below for more information on the course descriptions/outcomes.


You must be at least 18 years of age and have graduated high school. You must be able to take on full responsibility of the cost of the program listed in the costs below. Application criteria is posted on PNCA.EDU/PESNOLE. Please note that you must choose a track: 3D Materialization, 3D Modeling (footwear), Color & Material Design, Footwear Design, or Functional Apparel & Accessory Design. Each have their own application requirements.



International Applicants: 
Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 16th,[Applicant to PENSOLE]
Program Acceptance: Friday, January 18th,[PENSOLE to Applicant]
Acceptance Confirmation: Saturday, January 19th,[Applicant to PENSOLE]
*If you fail to return this Acceptance Confirmation by 9am PST on January 19th, 2019, your seat will be given to the next applicant on the waitlist.


Domestic Applicants: 
Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 5th,[Applicant to PENSOLE]
Program Acceptance: Wednesday/Thursday, February 6/7th,[PENSOLE to Applicant]
Acceptance Confirmation: Saturday, February 9th,[Applicant to PENSOLE]
*If you fail to return this Acceptance Confirmation by 9am PST on February 9th, 2019, your seat will be given to the next applicant on the waitlist.


COURSE DATES: February 25th – May 17th, 2019.

First day of class: Monday, February 25th, 2019

Last day of class: Friday, May 17th, 2019 > Do not schedule flights home until after 7pm on Friday the 17th, as we have programming that day until 5pm.



3D is the future. One CMD spot will be dedicated to this course.

If you would like to apply to learn 3D materials, prerequisites include being a taskmaster with strong Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop skills, ability to follow instructions and organizational skills.

PNCA PENSOLE SS ’19 MLab is exclusively launching the X-Rite TAC™ (Total Appearance Capture) 3D Materialization course. Learn, explore, and master this future role.

Your board must have the following:

  • Composition. Contact information must be on the bottom left corner of board; first and last name, email, academic status. Accepted size – 8.5″ x 11″. Accepted formatting – PDF (up to 10MB).
  • Material. Create a Material & Texture-board that utilizes multiple materials from various industries (Examples: automotive, outdoor and equipment). Your board will demonstrate Surface Design knowledge, as well as contain definitions of materials.
  • Video. In your video, please speak to your Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop skills, any 3D modeling if you have some experience with it (it is not required as a prerequisite, we are just interested to know), as well as the requested information for videos listed in the overall application.
  • Supporting documents. You may upload 3 additional PDFs (up to 10MB) of work you have done in Adobe Illustrator or in Adobe Photoshop that show your proficiency in either program.


3D MODELING (MODO/footwear)

3D is the future. Six seats will be dedicated to this course.

Students will learn MODO design software. Students will work with at least one and potentially two teams to 3D model/render their final footwear designs. They will also be working with the 3D Materialization student for materials for these rendered designs.

Your submission must have the following:

-Create a 3D model based (in any program you choose to use) on your own original footwear design. Please note that if your files are not submitted using the requested naming convention, you will not be considered for the class.

– ONE Page – PDF that tells us the following:

  • Your name.
  • Your age.
  • Your goals for learning/using 3D modeling in your career.
  • The current 3D software you used for this submission.
  • ONE PNG of 3/4 view rendered image of the model.
  • File naming convention: LastName_FirstName_S19_3D_ Applicant.PDF

– ONE file of the 3D mesh in OBJ format.

  • File naming convention: LastName_FirstName_S19_3D_ Applicant.OBJ


MLab, the material resource for PENSOLE, offers a program that brings footwear design to life. Submit an original mood board (ONE page). Your board must have the following:

  1. Composition: Contact information – placed on the bottom left corner of the board; First & Last name, email, academic status. Accepted size – 8.5 x 11 inches. Accepted formatting – PDF or JPG. Your board visually communicates a mood through choice of colors and composition. You demonstrate you can follow instructions and guidelines.
  2. Material: Your board communicates unique & innovative material choices from various industries. You express tactility and utilize descriptions of materials used.
  3. Originality: Showcase your board through creative storytelling & inspiration. Show you are able to present a relevant and original point of view. Example:



Submit ONE HAND-SKETCH of an original design in black and white or color. NO COMPUTER SKETCHING. Multiple views optional. Example:



    • Head-To-Toe Outfit (male or female) in black/white or color; hand sketch or digital sketch
    • Layout must include call outs of the innovative design features, materials, and construction details
    • Note how the design features enhance or protect the athlete or consumer.
    • Applicant’s contact info (name + email + phone)


  • 8.5” x 11” layout


  • Be Original.
  • See examples of sketch & layouts in link below:





Tuition: $10,479 USD.

This cost is the same for US and International students. *Due to the program existing at the pilot level of courses offered from PNCA, it is not eligible for financial aid from FAFSA.


Fees: $300 USD. 

These fees go towards basic studio supplies. Additional supplies, if needed, will be the responsibility of the student.


Health Insurance: $1,500 USD.

  • It is required by the Federal Government that you are insured while in school. This fee is waived if you provide proof of current health insurance. Please follow this link to find out more information. . 


Travel to PDX and travel HOME: prices vary.

  • Please note that PENSOLE has programming before and after this course. Students will not be admitted into our facilities after the course has ended.


Housing: prices vary. ($3,500 – $5,500 USD)

  • Housing varies and is the responsibility of the student to secure and pay for this. Here is a list of places close to PENSOLE that we recommend for students. All of these places have worked with us in the past. Depending on availability, some will offer a student rate: please let them know you are here for a PENSOLE program.  These are listed in order of price (low to high). Please reserve between $3,500 and $5,500 for rent depending on special deals when you factor the cost of living for this program. )
  1. University Pointe Apartments
  2. Residence Inn – Lloyd Center
  3. Oakwood Apartments


Transportation while in PDX: prices vary. 

  1. Lift or other services
  2. TriMet (PDX mass transit) / HOP PASS, one-way $2.50 / daily $5 / monthly $100. Good for the Max, Bus, and Street Car.

This 12-week program is structured similarly to a full-time job (40+ hours a week): 12 hours of lecture, 12 hours of lab (collaboration/workshop), 16 hours of personal work time.


Classes will meet MWF from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, and TuTh from 8:30 am – 11 am and 6 pm – 8:30 pm. Flex time in the afternoons and evenings will consist of the following: individual work time, team meetings, group work, guest lectures, and 1-on-1 tutorials if needed. PENSOLE studios will close at 7 pm sharp every evening.


First day of class: Monday, February 25th, 2019.

Last day of class: Friday, May 17th, 2019. 



Students are exposed to the expectations of the professional environment in the design industry. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ presentation skills, resumes, preparation for job interviews, development of professional portfolios, websites and networking.

Learning Outcomes:

  • strong presentation skills
  • tailored resume
  • professional portfolio
  • website
  • network(ing)




Students will develop skills to strengthen communication practices in the design industry. This will include time management, story telling, research, presentations, interaction and relationship skills, as well as, physical and social networking.

Learning Outcomes:

  • interaction skills
  • relationship skills
  • preparation skills
  • presentation skills
  • writing skills
  • story telling
  • consumer research




Students are introduced to the design process and how it applies to various design fields. With a focus in two-dimensional work, students will be taught through lecture, demos, individual assignments, and critiques. Guest lectures from individuals who are active in the industry, one-on-one mentorship, and case studies will help students gain an understanding of the industry. Team work will also be explored to further the exposure students have to real world work environments. Students will learn to balance the importance of individual work as it pertains to teamwork; finding creative solutions to effectively solve problems in multiple facets.

Learning Outcomes:

  • complete understanding of a design brief and how to use it as a guide for your work
  • 2D sketching
  • critique practices
  • individual work
  • team work




Students will develop best practices for factually supporting their design development by defining the following: brand history, defining the consumer, defining the competition, identifying the intended use, selecting inspiration, and identifying the performance/innovation of the design. Introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods, user-centered observation and assessment, modeling for research, and case studies, will all be informative in establishing the content behind designs. They will use the tools that best pertain to the design challenges for each given project.

Learning Outcomes:

  • qualitative research
  • quantitative research
  • user centered observation
  • data collection and assessment
  • presentation of findings




Students are introduced to the techniques and materials for translating 2D designs into physical 3D models. Implementing tech packs and best materials practices & processes to quickly turn out prototypes to help refine the design/manufacturing process. Students gain a depth of knowledge into the making of product both on a small and large scale. Workshop safety and etiquette will be covered.

Learning Outcomes:

  • creating a tech pack
  • reading a tech pack
  • material properties
  • material exploration
  • prototyping / making
  • prototyping vs. mass production




In this course students develop digital visualization techniques as it applies to their specific track of study. Foundations of Adobe Illustrator are taught across the board. Advanced Illustrator, CAD and Autodesk Fusion 360 are explored when tracks branch into advanced tech pack work for their specific discipline.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Adobe Illustrator/Adobe Photoshop
  • CAD
  • Autodesk Fusion 360




Deep dive into raw materials for footwear and soft goods industries. Identification and manufacturing processes for multiple types of materials introduced and how they influence the design process. Emphasis on material characteristics for intended performance, functional qualities of materials, vendor relationships, sustainability, manufacturing and best practices. Materials covered: Textiles, Synthetics, Leather, Natural, and Polymers. Students will build a personal catalog of all materials covered in this course as a reference for future use.

Learning Outcomes:

  • material differences
  • material qualities
  • understanding of material manufacturing
  • understanding of material testing
  • vendor relationships
  • personal catalog/reference tool




Students will explore the basic principles of design as it relates to color. This class will be lecture/lab based; teaching through demonstration and workshop formats. Key points as they relate to design principles: components of color, color psychology, color application, color proportion, the influence of color on materials and the relationship between color and the material it is applied to. In conjunction with Strategy, students will learn to mix color from pigment to create a color scale based on hues and tints. The second part of the class will be more digital in nature. Focus will be on creating color palettes to support product story and applying color to line art of individual projects as well as collections.

Learning Outcomes:

  • color strategy
  • color application
  • mood boards
  • storytelling
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