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College of Design

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

So the Journey Begins

Hello all,

My name is Sarah and I am a junior currently  a part of the Pre-Product Design program here. I am beyond excited to take you all through the crazy exciting journey that is the new Product Design Major.  If you are interested in learning more about the technicalities of the major, you should check out the website here!

As the school year starts off, many of you I'm sure have found yourself overwhelmed with perfecting your design schoolwork already. Whenever I run out of creative ideas, I always try to take a step back and "smell the roses." Whether that be taking a break to watch the storm with its indigo lightning through the windows of Rapson (as pictured above), or even just going for a run, inspiration and design is everywhere.  By surrounding yourself with the simple aesthetics of everyday life, your eye is simply drawn to new ideas and concepts that you had never thought of before.  So, I want you to always remember, taking even just a 5 minute break to do something fun or exciting, might lead to the best idea you've ever had.

Until next time, I'll see all you designers at home (Rapson).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Senior Year is Here!

Hi everyone!

I'm happy to be back for another, final year of blogging about my experiences in the College of Design's Interior Design Program. It's now my senior year, yahoo!

I spent this summer completing my internship, which allowed me to gain a ton of experience and also get college credit. I worked at Miller Dunwiddie Architecture and got to be involved in an array of different things.

A section of the library at MDA that I helped maintain.

I worked on a variety of project types I haven't had a chance to in school, such as aviation, education, theaters, restaurants, and churches. I got to work on construction drawings, maintaining the library, attending meetings, ordering samples, designing custom graphics, and even assisting marketing with deliverables to try to obtain new projects. It was a very well-rounded experience and I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge in a lot of areas in a relatively short amount of time.

I'm really excited to be continuing the internship throughout the school year so I can continue to learn new things and gain experience.
Examples of finish selections pulled for an office project.

The things learned in an internship experience really are invaluable, and I encourage anyone to go for internships even before they are required for school credit. You learn a lot in a short amount of time and make really important connections with professionals. So even starting your freshman year, there are opportunities out there -- if you search -- that can give you a head start in gaining experience and additional knowledge outside of school. Check out GoldPASS for options or stop into IMS (International Market Square) where you can visit a bunch of places in one stop and find out if anyone is looking to hire. It's never to early to start gaining experience and it will do nothing but benefit you throughout school and even after when you are looking for a job.

I look forward to continuing to post throughout my senior year and sharing my experiences with you as I approach graduation!

Until next time,

Interior Design

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Writing Up My Summer

It’s good to be back on this blog!

I’ve been working hard at my internship, and I’ll still be with Make-A-Wish until mid-November! It’s already been such a valuable experience, just going into an office and working instead of spending all of my time in the classroom. I used to be so worried about making the transition from being a full-time student to a full-time professional once I’ve graduated, mostly because I’d had no office experience. Now I can know what an office environment is like, and it’s much less intimidating than I thought it would be.

I’ve been redesigning a lot of the documents that Make-A-Wish uses for its communication purposes, such as thank you letters for donators and profiles for their wish children. I’ve also been creating images for social media, which is something I’ve never done before! (…well, something I’ve never done for someone else. I’ve definitely designed a header or two for myself.) You can check out their Facebook page if you'd like to see a bit of what I've made.

Not only have I been designing for social media, I’ve been writing as well! One of my main tasks is drafting the copy for their daily Facebook and Twitter posts. The foundation has very strict guidelines for the messages they send to their audience, so I’ve been learning a lot about how to tailor my writing to suit a brand’s image. It’s been a process, but I’m proud of what I’ve learned so far.

Between my internship, my new thesis writing class, and this blog, I’ll be writing a lot this semester. It looks like these next few months are gonna be all write.

(I'm sorry, that was terrible.)


Graphic Design

Monday, September 19, 2016

Starting off Senior Year

Hey Everyone!

This past summer was a great break, but I am very excited to be back at school. I still can’t believe this is my senior year of college. Since I was accepted into the accelerated program, this also is my first year of graduate school in the Masters of Landscape Architecture program. These first two weeks of school have just flown by.  They have been filled with classes, our first studio course, meeting new and old professors and students and more!

Before classes officially started, I had the opportunity to accompany my fellow first year grad students and some of our incredible faculty up to Lake Itasca for a workshop. This 5-day trip allowed us to all get to know each other as well as our professor before we began classes. During this time, we were refreshed on the basic tenants of landscape architecture as a practice in lectures and through exploring the beautiful state park surrounding us. We spent each day out in the field looking at various landscapes and discussed their ecological and aesthetic factors and how this can inform how we create space for humans to interact with. One of my favorite landscapes we explored and analyzed was the Frenchman’s Bluff Scientific and Natural Area. This was a beautiful prairie bluff landscape that overlooked the surrounding area. Overall, this workshop was such an amazing experience and a great way to bond with my fellow classmates that I will be with for the next 3 years! I can’t wait to see what other new experiences I will have in the year coming!

Sketching demo at Frenchman's Bluff
Esker Landscape
End of the workshop bonfire

Landscape Design and Planning

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Looking Forward

Finals week is finally over, and all of my projects have wrapped up nicely. My favorite out of all of them was the Chocolate Cards brand that you can see on the right. The illustrations were a lot of work, but they came together nicely!

This was my fourth and final year as a full time student, but I still have two more classes I need to take before I can graduate. Next year I’ll be taking one class each semester in order to finish off my degree, and to make up for the lack of coursework I’ll hopefully be doing some professional design work.

I’ve just started working as a graphic design and communications intern at the Make-A-Wish Foundation for their Minnesota chapter. It was a little overwhelming at first because their branding guidelines are quite detailed and very strict, but I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of things! I’ll be designing print and web collateral for them, and I’ll be doing some copy writing as well! I think this internship will be a good way to bulk up my writing skills, and I’ll hopefully have a few pieces to add to my portfolio after all is said and done.

This internship lasts six months, so I’ll be working with Make-A-Wish well into the fall—which is great, since I’ll only be a part-time student! Once my internship ends in November, I’ll be dedicating all of my time to polishing my portfolio and getting my thesis together. I have a vague idea of what I might like to do for my final project as a graphic design student, but only time will tell if that idea comes to fruition! Until then, I’ll do my best to enjoy the summer and make the most of my internship.

See you next semester!


Graphic Design

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Back in the USA

Hey everyone!

Wow, this semester abroad just flew by! I arrived back home to Minnesota just a couple of days ago. This semester in Rome, Istanbul, and Madrid has been such a great experience, and I loved every second of it. Since my last blog post, our study abroad trip took an unexpected change of location. Due to recent events, it was decided that we would leave Istanbul and continue our program in Madrid. Although we were all sad to leave Istanbul, Madrid was also an amazing opportunity! Overall, I got to spend my semester traveling to 3 different cities for 5 weeks each!

After leaving Istanbul, we traveled to Madrid, Spain. While in Madrid, when we weren’t working hard on our studio projects, we were lucky enough to travel as a group to many other cities in Spain including Toledo, Cordoba, and Granada. During these weekends away we had time to work on our visual culture assignment, which was sketching the itinerary for each day in our sketchbooks. I think my favorite side trip was our weekend to Granada.  The Alhambra is located in Granada and having learned about it previously in class it was amazing to be able to visit it! The palace, courtyards and gardens were so beautiful, especially with all the flowers in bloom. 


Overall, this semester abroad in Rome, Istanbul and Madrid has been incredible. Although I am sad I had to leave, it has been great to see family and friends back home. I am excited for this summer in the Twin Cities and am looking forward to beginning the accelerated program in the fall!

Have a great summer!

Landscape Design and Planning