PNCA Announces Design Intensive in Partnership with PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy

May 31, 2017


May 31, 2017

Contact: Lisa Radon,

Pacific Northwest College of Art Announces Design Intensive in Partnership with PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy

Portland, OR—May 31, 2017—Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy. The PNCA/PENSOLE Design Intensive is a new 15-credit, one semester program designed to ready students for careers in the footwear industry. The Intensive offers three areas of focus from which students can choose: Footwear, Apparel and Accessories, and Color and Material Design. Applications are now open, and the program begins September 25th, 2017. A second intensive is planned for the spring 2018.

PENSOLE’s learn-by-doing curriculum teaches students the entire design process: inspiration, concept-development, design process, problem solving, materials, prototyping, marketing, business, networking, and branding.

PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy was founded in 2010 by D’Wayne Edwards, who, at 30, was one of the youngest Design Directors in Nike’s history and is one of only a handful of designers who has designed an AIR JORDAN. Since its founding, PENSOLE has placed more than 200 young designers in industry positions.

“This intensive is one of a number of new design programs we have under development to expand options for our ambitious students,” says PNCA President Don Tuski. “And we couldn’t be happier to partner with D’Wayne and all of the folks at PENSOLE to bring the experience of working professionals to bear on preparing students under a compressed timeline to enter into industry.” The college plans to develop the intensive into a full major by Fall 2018.

The competitive program is open to applicants of various educational backgrounds. 30 students will be admitted. In groups of three, they will be assigned to develop a collection for a top brand.

"We have top brands interested in being a part of this program from Adidas, Under Armour, Nike, Puma, Jordan, and New Balance, to Vans, The Northface, Cole Haan, ECCO, and Vibram," says Edwards. “We look forward to launching this intensive as part of the greater PNCA design curriculum.”

“Oregon has a rich history in the footwear industry, and PENSOLE’s team has been a key part of it with over 100 years of combined experience,” says Edwards. "Nowhere else can an emerging designer get this kind of rigorous training.”


PENSOLE’s “learn by doing” curriculum teaches students the entire footwear design process: inspiration, concept-development, design process, problem solving, materials, business, networking, marketing, and branding. PENSOLE features the most sought after faculty in footwear, comprised of both young professional designers and established footwear design leaders from the top footwear brands, with more than 100 years combined experience to help you with your professional development.

D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 28 years, founded PENSOLE to give talented young design students—regardless of socioeconomic background—an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, without financial barriers, and to provide the industry with a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers.

Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, more than 200 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, Timberland, Converse, AND1, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Ariat, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, Reebok and Nike.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art

Pacific Northwest College of Art empowers artists and designers to reimagine what art and design can do in the world. Founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, PNCA offers ten art and design Bachelor of Fine Art programs, six graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Continuing Education courses for artists and designers of all ages.