Design Department

We design special projects.

Moving from an idea to a built space is hard to do. We have been helping with this process for 20 years, meeting with inspired clients and delivering their vision. Whether you are opening a restaurant, converting a building into an office, or building from the ground up, getting from "here to there" is difficult - we can help.

Design Department's services depend entirely on the client's need. A project may require a small amount of design input; it may require negotiating the building permit process; it may require a full spectrum of services: feasibility studies and code review; design through construction. We can provide any of these services; our practice has evolved to include lease & purchase consulting as well as construction services. 

Our approach to your project is rooted in experience.

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We design spaces and buildings to be used and enjoyed. Giving clients form and function is essential; a successful project includes meeting the budget and schedule. We are pleased that our projects actually get built.



Design Department is rooted in a modern design esthetic, a practical spatial approach, and an outcome-driven methodology when it comes to designing projects. A casual and versatile atmosphere is combined with attention to detail, problem-solving and hands-on experience.

Take a look at our projects here.


Our process begins by listening to your goals and understanding how we can assist. If we determine that our past experience and current services are a match for your needs, we make a plan together to achieve a successful project. By understanding the challenges and how to address them, we create solutions. Our goal is for the creative process to be fun.



Design Department is a Portland, Oregon-based firm started in 2008 by Ben Hufford and Eric Black after years of experience at large design firms. Recent work has concentrated on restaurant, bar & hospitality, and office design. Eric Black has focused on automotive design; view his fantastic work.

Ben Hufford remains the design principal at the firm, joined by Meredith Curran who leads interior design. We are dedicated individuals who feel a responsibility to achieve a successful outcome for clients. 

Learn more about the team.