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. Some projects merely require design input or expertise in the building permit process. Other projects require the full spectrum of services - from feasibility studies and code review to design through construction. We can provide any of these services; our practice has evolved to include lease and purchase consulting in addition to construction services. 

Our approach 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 get built and move beyond a concept or idea.



Design Department follows a modern design perspective, has 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 architecture firms. Recent project work focuses on restaurant, bar & hospitality, office and small building designs. Eric Black has focused on automotive design; view his fantastic work here.

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 our clients. 

Learn more about the team.