Assistant Professor of Design
Beth Ferguson is Assistant Professor of Design at the University of California Davis. In addition to teaching Sustainable Design, Industrial Design, and MFA Graduate Design. Beth is the co-founder of the UC Davis Product Design Lab. She is an affiliated faculty member of the Energy Graduate Group at the UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute and at the Transportation Technology and Policy Graduate Group at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.
Beth is the director of Sol Design Lab, a design/build studio that specializes in solar charging stations for micro-mobility and everyday convenience as well as emergency power in civic spaces. She has collaborated with public utilities, festivals, public parks, and universities to provide elegant solar energy street furniture as a free public resource. Recently, she participated in the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, partnering with the award-winning team Public Sediment on their Unlocking Alameda Creek project. She has presented her work internationally at venues like the New Zealand International Science Festival, the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces, Reframing Urban Resilience Implementation in Barcelona, and the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. She has received grants for her research from the National Center for Sustainable Transportation, the Green Initiative Fund, Senate Bill 1, the City of Austin, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the US Department of State. Beth has engaged thousands of participants in the development of projects such as solar charging stations, climate resiliency planning, up-cycled public furniture, and community Green Maps. An everyday cyclist and multi-modal traveler, Beth has engaged thousands of participants in the development of projects such as solar charging stations, climate resiliency planning, up-cycled public furniture, and community Green Maps.
Currently, her design research focuses on charging stations for electric scooters and open source data logging for renewables and climate monitoring. Pairing theory and practice, her collaborative work on adaptation and urban resiliency planning includes the design of mobile emergency solar charging units and development of civic emoji symbols and 3D digital map topography tables for citizen climate change monitoring.
Publications and Work
She has received commissions from SXSW, Austin Energy, ZER01 San Jose Biennial, TEDxPresidio, Galvanize, Coachella, The ZERO1 American Arts Incubator, the U.S. Department of the State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, and the Bay Area Maker Faire. Beth’s projects have been featured in the New York Times, Pop Tech, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Radio New Zealand, Austin Business Journal, World Landscape Architecture, The Otago Museum in New Zealand, and the Sustainable City Network.
As a visiting research scholar at the University of Texas at Austin she was awarded the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology and multiple Office of Sustainability Green Fee grants for her campus solar charging station installations. She has an MFA in design from the University of Texas at Austin and BA in industrial design and ecology from Hampshire College. She has taught solar design courses and workshops at Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin, Art Institute of Chicago, Hampshire College, and UC Santa Cruz.