Student Highlight

Student Highlight: Grant Holmberg-Baugher

Grant Holmberg-Baugher is a junior studying Product Design at the University of Oregon.  He started his college career at Minnesoata State University, Mankato, where he took two classes, Product Design 101 and Introduction to Automotive Engineering Technology, that piqued his interest in product design.  He then transferred to HAN University in the Netherlands to delve more deeply into engineering.  Now a student at University of Oregon, he's pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Product Design.  Grant is also a member of the Autodesk Student Expert program.

What inspired you to study design?
I found my passion for CAD and Design at HAN where I studied Automotive Engineering for a year before moving back to the United States. Back in my hometown of Portland, OR, I completed a 9 month program in CAD and Drafting at Portland Community College. While in the program I participated in a Fusion 360 introduction over spring break and I was hooked (I created the snake computer mouse below). A year later, the crossroads of CAD and Product Design led me to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science degree at the University of Oregon where I started this past fall. That was my round-about path to studying design.  

Snake computer mouse designed in Fusion 360.


Where do you get inspiration for your creative projects?
I get my inspiration from the blank digital canvas for a lot of the cars I create, letting the initial shapes direct the design. Breaking away from cultural norms is tough in design, so looking back at pictures from my travels is one way to try and break away from those. I am always trying to find a unique perspective. Not always succeeding, but trying. 

Concept design for a car.

Who is your design idol and why?
I grew up admiring exotic cars. I have a memory of a bright orange lotus out for delivery branded in my mind, or the purple hot rod that my Grandpa’s neighbor had. I remember driving a lap around the block, sitting in my Grandfather’s lap. I have always enjoyed the sculpture of cars, and in the past, Ferraris and Lamborghinis piqued my interest. Nowadays, I’m drawn in by the work of Pagani and Koenigsegg. I really admire what they are doing in the realm of engineering, technology, and design. They are pushing the limits, and showing their view of the best cars today. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Randy Grubb at his workshop down in Grants Pass, OR. Randy started with a 1000 Cubic Inch engine from a tank and one goal: make a car that Jay Leno will buy. I think we know the rest. He has a great shop, tools, and passion. He is one of many people I look to for inspiration.

Describe one of your favorite projects. What is it about? Who is it for? What was the design process like?
Trying to choose one favorite from my past projects usually turns into an afternoon at a local coffee shop spending time bringing old practice projects up to date with what I have learned so far. For me, the next project is my favorite—sitting down with a blank screen. Otherwise, recently I got the chance to work with Siva Praneeth and Tran Pham on a lunchbox redesign for college students with the Autodesk Student Expert network. We had 2 days to design a lunchbox and what we created was quite cool in my opinion. We prototyped as a distributed team, and traveled to Las Vegas for Autodesk University to show our work. That was quite a great experience, and there will be more to come in the future. 

Lunchbox design created by Grant and his fellow Autodesk Student Experts.

What is your dream job and why?
My dream job revolves around what can be created. That is what entices me. I have recently started designing household items and furniture and I’m looking to turn the designs to reality soon. I like working at Autodesk, and getting into the flow of creating cars in my spare time. Designing, surfacing, and rendering automotive exteriors, drivetrain concepts and components is relaxing for me.  

Chair design created in Fusion 360.


Check out Grant's Design Academy portfolio here