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College of Design

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Beauty of Mistakes

After giving some time to let the emotional wounds
of a failed laser cutting attempt heal, this mistake
turned out looking pretty cool!
Hi again!

It has been a week since finishing my last project and with it, I had quite the experience! Somehow I had yet to laser cut in my career as an interior design student and for this group project, it was on me to laser cut to make our 3D model because I know how to use CAD. Well, it turns out that laser cutting has a few quirks that you should be aware of that I was not.

Mainly, you need to make sure right when it starts that it is actually cutting through your material... it seems obvious, but you can set it to the right settings like I did and sometimes it just doesn't cut through and needs to be set to a thicker material. I also made the mistake of wanting to cut a really intricate pattern. I wasn't aware that it would take so long to cut since whenever I've seen it, it has gone really fast for people! When you're paying by the minute to use the machine, lets just say such an intricate pattern isn't a great idea.

Luckily, there were some greatstaff working in the Rapson Laser Lab who were able to help me out ! In the end, I had to cut everything twice, which left me with some leftover pieces that I couldn't even look at after all the frustration. As I said, it has been a week now, and if you saw my Instagram (pictured above), you saw that I've given some time to let the emotional wounds heal and was able to actually appreciate my mistake!

Photo of the final 3D model
Overall, I'd say this situation is just a good example of how after a little time, you can really appreciate the beauty and value of your mistakes. I'm still not ready to say I'd love to try laser cutting again, but I definitely learned a lot from the experience and I think I produced a pretty great model in the end (pictured right). With laser cutting, you can really do some cool things and it's really a great resource, but if you're a first-timer like me I strongly recommend assistance from the start! If you do mess up, give it a week and maybe you'll be able to turn it into a happy mistake like I did!

Until next time,
Interior Design

Monday, December 5, 2016

On to a New Job!

After six months, I’ve finished my internship at Make-A-Wish Minnesota. I feel a lot more confident about my social media skills now, and I like knowing that the work I did contributed to a good cause. I got to write a lot of stories about incredible wish kids, and I even got to meet some of the kids when we held photo shoots. I enjoyed the work and I liked being busy, but it’ll be nice to start focusing on work that is geared less toward social media and more toward graphic design.

Now I’ll be spending more of my time working as the graphic designer for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy! I’ve been working there for several weeks now, and I really enjoy the work that I’ve been doing. On my first day, I was asked to design banners for the college’s 50th reunion and the turnaround was so quick—I finished the design that day, and the next day made some minor edits and sent the PDF off to the printer. You can see the final banner on the right!

Since then, I’ve been designing logos for some internal programs and creating layouts for brochures and mailers. I’ll have lots of solid pieces to add to my portfolio over the next several months, and I’m already looking forward to what I’ll be doing in the future.

Until next time!


Graphic Design

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sickness in the Air

Hello hello hello!

It's that time of year again when we're all getting sick. No matter what the symptoms are, it's always miserable, and of course it's always at the worst timing. Since I'm currently fighting through my illness, I thought I would take the time to write a list of the 4 things we should all be a bit better at, to ensure we stay healthy.

1. Sleep sleep sleep! This one is so important. I'm positive that my recent lack of sleep is the number one contribution to my illness. Our bodies need those 7-9 hours to keep our immune system thriving, and we all need to be better at not watching that next episode on Netflix at 2 in the morning..

My exercise this weekend was exploring in the Alps of Switzerland!
2. Drink more water. Another thing I admit that I've slacked on the past couple weeks..and I'm paying the price for it now. Keep a water bottle on you at all times so it's available to drink in class, while studying, or in the middle of the night.

3. Exercise. "But Molly, how am I supposed to make time for the gym when I have all these projects and papers?!?!" Exercise doesn't have to be an hour and a half at the gym. It can be as simple as walking to and from class instead of taking the campus circulator, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator to your apartment on the fourth floor.

4. Relax. Another thing I know has been missing from my life. This last week was filled with a ton of papers and projects for me, and I was very stressed. I didn't do anything to relax myself. Don't be like me. Take 15 minutes to meditate, to listen to some calming music, read, or even color. Click here for a meditation I did when taking a Spirituality & Healing class here at the U.

With the next round of tests and projects coming up for the end of the semester (WHAT), I hope you keep these in mind! None of us want to be sick on top of all the end of the semester responsibilities we have.

Stay Healthy,
Retail Merchandising

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Get Your Shine On at Jesse McCartney

A few weeks ago, Student Unions and Activities hosted a Jesse McCartney concert in the Great Hall in Coffman. Tickets were only $5 for students! Demand was high and the concert sold out in a matter of hours. It’s safe to say that the crowd was most excited for Jesse’s old jams, especially "Beautiful Soul." I overheard a lot of people talking about how they’ve been waiting to see him live for years, and that concert was a pre-teen dream come true. His opening act, Dan Rodriguez, was just as amazing!

It’s so great that the U of M has these kinds of events. It was a great way to relax after a stressful week. Inexpensive events like this are critical for me and my student budget. The fact that the concert was on campus was also a major plus because transportation wasn’t an issue.

Student Unions and Activities has fun, inexpensive events all the time, including free movies, trivia nights and bowling on both campuses. Keep up with all these events here.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Designing on the Mississippi

Hey everyone,

 This past week I have been hard at work in studio. We began our research and analysis for our final project. For this project, we are looking at the redevelopment of a section along the Mississippi River in Northeast Minneapolis. After visiting the site as a class, I am very excited about working in this area of the city. It is beautiful by the river, and the area has a great view of the skyline of downtown Minneapolis. Northeast is the center of the arts district in Minneapolis and is home to many art studios and apartments. It is also home to the Sheridan and Hawthorne neighborhoods, which currently have limited access to the riverfront. 

Currently, my group has been hard at work looking both at these characteristics of the neighborhood and users of the site, as well as the greater ecological context. The Mississippi River is an important corridor for many species. It acts as a migration flyway for many birds. Having connective habitat along the river is important in their successful migration south. The analysis phase of the design process is one of my favorite parts. I love learning all about a site: who interacts with the site, how they use it, and the constraints and opportunities that come with that.

That’s all for know,

Friday, November 25, 2016

Making (re)connections

Thanks to the College of Design mentor program, I’ve been matched with a mentor working in the industry that I will be meeting with throughout the year! We’ll be chatting about her work, my thesis, and the transition from “student” to “professional.” I’ve been looking forward to finding out who my match is, and when I received the email telling me who I was paired with, I actually recognized the name! She graduated from the College of Design last year, and we worked together on a group project for our History of Graphic Design class.

The mentor program kick-off at McNamara Alumni Center
It was really nice to not have to worry about breaking the ice when we first met up. When you’ve collaborated with someone on a presentation that you give to 85 people, you know you’re well past the awkward small talk stage of the relationship. We just got right to talking about how our last year has been, and she told me about her new job working as a web designer. I’m looking forward to getting her advice on my portfolio and my thesis project, and I’m excited to learn more about the projects she’s working on, too!

The mentor program applications are closed for this year, but you can visit their site to learn more about this opportunity. It’s already been helpful to my development as a professional, and I would recommend it to anyone who is able to participate, whether as a student or a mentor.

Until next time!


Graphic Design

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Some real-life experiences as an architecture student

Hi everyone!

My name is Andrew, and I am glad to be here as a new blogger for the College of Design blog. Lately, I am very excited that I have actually been able to apply what I've learned in school in my life. As winter is approaching, my home is unfortunately suffering from water damage between the first and second floors. As an international student and considering that this is only the start of my third year in states, if I had not taken architecture classes like Material Methods, Ecology in Architecture and others, I would not be able to communicate with the contractor so easily. It has also been very interesting to see how the structures shown in the presentations and textbooks are actually applied in projects like this, as well as how we're able to use them to participate throughout the entire process of construction. We went to Menards and Home Depot together to compare, decide on and transport the materials back home. Every conversation I had with the contractors made me grateful for all of those classes and excited to go back to apply that knowledge recently.

Wish me good luck that everything is finished well!