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College of Design

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Day in the Life: Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

7:00 AM - WAKE UP! Get ready, get coffee.
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8:00 AM - Departure. Catch the campus connector, a shuttle that takes students/professors/etc. to and from different parts of campus.

8:30 AM - Lecture: Interior Design, course number 1601. It entails learning various things we will need for each upcoming project and/or assignment. Today we learned about Codes and Building Guidelines.

9:20 AM - I've got a little break. Today I headed up to the Interior Design studio because I wanted to get some work out of the way. A few other classmates were working in there too-- that's always nice for bouncing ideas off each other.

10:15 AM - Lecture: Intro to Design Thinking, course number 1101W. Love this class! Our lecture today was on Design Theories.

11:30 AM - Another break, this one is tiny. Perfect for a quick a little snack. Vending machine, here I come!

11:45 AM - Studio time! Interior Design studio is a favorite. Class time to work on assignments and a Teaching Assistant is there to help and learn from? Yes please!

1:40 PM - Another break! LUNCH TIME! I've also got a thing for Subway so that's where I'm headed. $5 foot long, hey hey hey!

2:00 PM - Time for work! I head over to 12 McNeal and Lucy and I go over goals for the day. Today we did some prep work for an event on Wednesday.

4:30 PM - Done with work. Back to the studio to finish an assignment! I feel so productive there so I'm really happy we have access to it basically 24/7.

6:30 PM - Done! Now it's back to the East bank to meet friends for dinner! Punch Pizza was calling our names', so that's where we went.

8:00 PM -- Today I tried out Espresso Royale, a café in Dinkytown. I hit the books and got the rest of my homework done.

10:30 PM -- Heading home!

10:50 PM -- Time for bed! I'll be up and at 'em early tomorrow.

From Inspiration to Completion : Part one

As an apparel design student, my all time favorite classes are always my clothing studio classes. You usually have one of these studios each semester and each one revolves around various basic skills and different techniques that are necessary to become a proficient designer and seamstress. A few of these skills and techniques that you will learn include: flat patterning, pattern drafting, fashion illustrating, computer aided design, draping, research, etc. Student services and your individual academic adviser ( will talk you though these different classes and how they relate to each other, semester to semester. You will also get a semester-by-semester schedule of what studio to take when.

The studio I am in right now is "Tailoring and Knitwear". I really love it! We just wrapped up the tailoring portion where I created the fitted jacket/pea-coat pictured below. I used wool and leather as well as matching buttons to create visual interest.


As a class, we have now moved on to knitwear. Inspiration for projects can come from anywhere, but it always involves the "ideation process", with many many sketches, one of which will become your final design. For this particular project my inspiration is coming from my fabrics and the colors combination. Here is a photo I took of my work space as I was sketching different designs inspired by the pictured fabric:


In my next blog I will continue to document my process while completing this project!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homecoming weekend! What a blast!

On Friday, I gave a tour for prospective students and their families. (Hi to anyone who came and found my blog after that!) It was a good time because I always love showing people all of the awesome studios and student work encased in McNeal hall.

After my tour, I came home and power-napped for what would be a fun filled night. After I was well rested, my friends and I headed to the Homecoming pep fest where Atmosphere performed. Somehow I managed to get second row standing space! It was definitely a night to remember since Atmosphere is one of my favorite groups and I had never gotten the opportunity to see them live.


On Saturday I had another busy day filled with the football game against Nebraska. It was my first football game of the year and it was so much fun! I think next year I might get season tickets.


After the game I met up with a few of my cousins and we went to a step show for some of the Fraternities and Sororities on campus. It was definitely very entertaining!

Once the step show was over, my cousins and I went back to my place to get dolled up for a night on the town! Downtown is always a nice change of pace for every once in awhile, and with our bus passes, it was super easy to get there and back!

This weekend with Halloween, I'm sure things will be just as lively as last...

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend to come!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From East to West ...and St. Paul too!

Being a Retail major means that I am everywhere on the UofM campus. I have classes on East Bank, West Bank, and of course on the St. Paul campus as well. The classes that I typically have on East Bank are classes such as science and math, mostly Lib. Eds. (Liberal Education Requirements). I spend the least amount of time on East Bank, because most of my major classes are either on West Bank, for business, or St. Paul, for design.

Being able to transition campus to campus is really simple and more convenient than you would think. The Campus Connector busses really make it easy for us! There is even a special route that the connectors take to St. Paul; it's a road that only they can travel on. So it's a pretty speedy trip, about 20-30 minutes from St. Paul to West bank. The buses stop quite frequently too, essentially about every two blocks or so. This is very convenient because they bring you to locations that are all within walking distance of mostly every class buildings. The time spent on the bus can also be of use. I personally enjoy it most on test days; it gives me a little review time between classes. And on non-test days for listening to music, catching up with classmates, or even making new friends!

Have a great day friends!

(photo credit:
Campus Connector bus

The Trip of a Lifetime

Oftentimes, a trip to Disney World is talked about as the most memorable experience of a person's life. Well, I've been there, and although memorable in its own right, it's no comparison to the seven weeks I spent in the United Kingdom.

I went on the Study and Internships in London program offered by the Learning Abroad Center ( this summer, leaving the United States on July 4, and returning on August 21. I didn't experience a lot of culture shock while I was there. The actual shock to me was the reverse culture shock. The program staff in London warned all of us that it might be extremely difficult adjusting to life back in the US. Well, I had one day to go to bed early, the next was my birthday, the next I was moving my boyfriend into our apartment, and the day after that I was at Spat Camp for the marching band. I didn't have much time to readjust to my former life here at home at all.

The experience was truly unique, though. Going to another country and being there for a good amount of time really helps you learn about your own culture from an outsider's perspective; it helps you realize how little Americans know about what's going on in the world compared to our foreign counterparts; and it makes you realize what matters most to you in your life and how to maximize those things.

What's best of all, other people help pay for it. I went abroad this summer using a scholarship from the College of Design, in addition to my federal student aid package to cover my expenses. Check out to learn more about scholarship opportunities in the College of Design. Make sure to find the Learning Abroad Center's scholarship page on their homepage too. I firmly believe my study abroad experience was one of the most important decisions I've made in my undergraduate career, and I believe others should make the choice as well.

Fun fact: There are freshman seminars that travel abroad over spring break now as well.


On the left: Me and the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France; on the right: me and Chris Martin of Coldplay's suit from the Viva La Vida video at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, London.

Life After College

Are you wondering about your future after graduating from the University of Minnesota? No worries; the Career and Internship Services in the College of Design wants to help you find a job! My experience finding an internship was a mess. I didn't know where to look or what to do. Fortunately, my involvement with AIAS helped me land me a position at Cuningham Group on St. Anthony Main (my favorite part of Minneapolis). Even if you're not as lucky as I was, there is hope.

With the rising popularity of Facebook, the College of Design has developed different pages to help you succeed academically. Check out the University of Minnesota College of Design and the Career and Internship services-CDes pages on Facebook. These will give you updates regarding new programs, internships, workshops, etc. while you're busy socializing with your friends!

The University also provides an internet-based service called GoldPASS , which allows companies to post job descriptions and positions. After you create an account, you can upload your résumé, cover letter, and references. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! You will then receive a phone call asking for an interview or an email stating that the position was filled.

Soon you will be on your way to a full-time job, thanks to the people at the Career and Internship Services in the College of Design!

Have a great week!


Check out the Student Services on East Bank and enjoy a great view!

UMore Park - The U's Next Big Project


The University of Minnesota Outreach, Research, and Education (UMore) Park has been a popular topic in several of my housing studies courses so far, and for a very big reason. "UMore Park": is a 5,000-acre piece of land owned by the University, located a little over 20 miles southwest of the Twin Cities bordering the city of Rosemount. The site is mostly undeveloped, except for a few war-time industrial remnants and some university research buildings on the property. It has been used in the past by the University as an agricultural and environmental research site, as well as an aeronautics laboratory. There's an old, very large spherical tank that was used to store anhydrous ammonia during the years of industry at UMore, which was later used by the University as a part of a supersonic wind tunnel facility. Fun fact.

In recent years, the "Board of Regents": (the University's governing body) approved the creation of the UMore Park Development Limited Liability Company (LLC) to manage the development of UMore Park into a revolutionary sustainable community, which upon completion will be home to between 20,000 and 30,000 residents in the next two or three decades. This massive and visionary project is unlike anything our state, and even our nation, has ever seen!

Before I continue with the details, I will put into perspective just how big the UMore Park site is. The total surface area of UMore Park is around 5,000 acres, which is the equivalent to more than 31,000 football fields, about 7.8 square miles - more than double the size of my hometown. So basically, UMore Park is HUGE!

The goal of the UMore Park development project is to create a landmark, University-founded community intricately planned to empower people of all ages and lifestyles through our academic mission of education, health, and sustainability.

A "concept master plan": for the development has been formed in the past few years which outline the framework of UMore Park's mission, largely revolving around eight primary goals. The southern border of UMore Park, known as the "Vermillion Highlands":, is a 2,800-acre undeveloped site which is to be preserved and maintained both for recreational use by UMore residents and to serve as a natural habitat for wildlife.

Divided into "eight separate districts":, UMore Park's land uses will vary geographically, breaking the mold of a typical suburban community in attempt to create a dynamic and empowering atmosphere.

The vision of UMore Park has come a long way since the initial planning and geological assessments just a few years ago, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I feel so honored to be involved in "housing studies": program during such an exciting time in Umore Park's development stages. You should check out the "UMore Park website":, there is so much to learn about this incredible project, I have barely even scratched the surface.

renderings by Michelle Kaufmann

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The poster image above is an example of one of my course projects focused on UMore Park development proposals. Our class spent the semester learning about multi-family housing development and management, using UMore Park as a case study for our final projects of creating a comprehensive housing development proposal. Some of the officers of UMore Park Development LLC attended the poster presentation event where we unveiled our finished proposals, I was very proud I put in the hard work!

- Jesse

Walk Before You Run

Hey everyone,

So this week's blog as you can see i've entitled "walk before you run" and that is because of the way the curriculum is structured for the Bachelor of Environmental Design.

We all start out in LA 1301 a class dedicated to building the foundation of our graphic skills. All hand drawing it can get a bit tedious but well worth your time and effort because this knowledge will allow you to create more legible and more informed graphics later on in your academic career. LA 1301 Rendered Axon for blog.jpg

The next courses are LA 2301 and LA 2302 where you begin to use different forms of media (colored pencils, water color, marker, etc) and digital rendering using programs like photoshop, illustrator and indesign. You will find that often times the best graphics will be the ones which make use of both hand drawing and digital rendering. You then begin using these skills in the studio courses you will be taking to represent and communicate your design ideas!

Now... before you worry about your current hand drawing ability let me assure you I couldn't have drawn my way out of a paper bag (sorry for the cheesy saying haha) but that did not hinder my ability to succeed in the course work (and it won't to you either) as they really do begin at stage one! Click here to take a look at the entire coursework for the Planning Track or here for the Design Track of the Bachelor of Environmental Design.

Wait... there's two tracks? What are the differences? I'll be sure to cover all of that in the next post!

Till next time....


Working for the Money...and other perks!

Working while going to school may sound like a tough break, having to juggle class schedules with work hours, etc., but it actually is quite rewarding. From my experiences, having held a part time job while going to school since freshman year, working while taking classes really helps you manage your time better.

As an incoming freshman, you may think that focusing on classes and not working is your best option, now I'm not saying that it isn't a good idea, just in my situation it really helped to have a job. Having a more ridged schedule with classes, work hours, etc. made you really make sure you got your homework and projects done in a timely manner.

There are a few different ways to find a job on campus. One is to check out the Job and Work Study Fairs the university holds during the beginning of each semester. If you happen to have work study funds you will be able to have access to more jobs on campus, which is great! The jobs you can hold range from receptionists and elementary school tutors to student office assistants and dining hall attendants. With such a large campus, there is a job for everyone!

I found my current job by searching the University's job website. I suggest checking this site early and often if you are looking for a specific type of job: tons are posted and filled each day so if you keep on top of things you are bound to find something that interests you.

I work as a student assistant and receptionist in the College of Design Dean's Office. Its a great job where I get to know the Dean and other staff members within the College. Finding the right job on campus can mean more than a paycheck, you can make some great connections with staff and professors you interact with daily!

Here is a picture of my office!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tables, Staplers, Boxes, Oh My!

Interior design studio (IDES 1601) is definitely one of the most interesting classes I've ever taken. From the beginning of the semester up until now, we've learned SO MUCH! For instance, we've learned about how to create concept statements about different designs, the elements and principles of design, how to do architectural lettering, and how to present work in front of an audience-- as well as so much more!

Here's a super awesome link to learn more about the interior design program here at the U!:

This past week in interior design studio, we got a pretty cool assignment where we learned how to technically sketch to scale. This is obviously pretty important because when I become an interior designer, sketching to scale will be a necessary skill for me to do my job.

For the sake of the assignment, and considering this was our first time technically sketching, my class was assigned to sketch a studio table, a stapler, and a shoe box. With our handy dandy scale devices, tape measures and trusty mechanical pencils, my classmates and I went to work gathering measurements for each item and then scaling them down to little baby sketches (which I thought were adorable)!

I found this assignment to be very beneficial and helpful in learning how to properly use various tools in our interior design kits. Although challenging at some points, tasks like technical sketching will become second nature with practice, and eventually, less tools are needed too!

I was super impressed with my finished products, and I definitely can't wait to start working on technically sketching rooms with walls, windows, doors and other building features.

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The Life and Times of a Graphic Designer, Episode 1

Things in the Graphic Design program have been a little more relaxed for me over the last week. I've been stressing out a little bit, which can happen quite easily. I've been trying to take a step back and think about myself a little bit more these past few days, as advised by my faculty (to which I say to them...stop assigning homework and then maybe we'll talk).

Next week we're picking up steam again in Graphic Design 4: Integrated Campaign, though. We're turning in our "Define" portion of our rebranding process of a non-profit organization called World Savvy, in which I have to develop a persona or personas, find desired image attributes that fit the personas, and come up with design criteria that show each of the desired image attributes I list. It's really a fascinating process, and one that is different from the one we used in Graphic Design 2: Logo and Identity Design.

In Senior Seminar last week, we talked about a project that's kicking off on University Avenue this Friday. Due to the Central Corridor Light Rail construction, local businesses are going out of business left and right. There's a project being developed called Starling, which is meant to get start-up and small businesses into the empty spaces along University Avenue, and they're trying to design a logo that will represent the whole project. You can check out Ange Wang, one of the adjunct faculty in the Graphic Design program's post about it on our Senior Seminar blog at Please keep in mind that some of the things on that blog won't make sense out of context--so I recommend not exploring too much!

That's it for this week. Happy Homecoming!


Hello again!

On Friday, October 14, I attended Rendezvous with the U, a riveting event held in Rapson (where the School of Architecture is located). The event was co-sponsored by AIA (American Institute of Architects) Minneapolis and the College of Design. If you have the opportunity to become AIAS Vice President, you will serve on the AIA Minneapolis board, which comes with a lot of perks! Pro Tip: AIAS is a great way to network.

IMG_1475.JPGThe event consisted of a lecture, a tour of the awesome new digital fabrication lab, a reception, and an exhibition of student work abroad. Istanbul-based architects Hasan Çalışlar and Kerem Erginoğlu of Erginoğlu & Çalışlar Architects (ECA) presented the lecture. They gave us a virtual tour of their work including an adaptive reuse of a former salt repository turned into an advertising agency.

IMG_1479.JPGAfter the lecture, a reception containing work from students that have studied abroad in Istanbul, Haiti, and Mexico was hosted in the Rapson Courtyard. We were also allowed to tour the new digital fabrication lab featuring a 3D printer, laser cutters, and a CNC router. I'm extremely excited to say that I have used everything except the 3D printer for my studio projects.

The evening was full of architectural learning and conversation. It was a great event to network at, especially if you haven't had the opportunity to connect with professionals. Pro Tip: I would highly recommend studying abroad for the benefit of networking with professionals. You may have the chance to tour their work and offices overseas!

Have a great week!


That's a class?

Hello Friends!

Today I'm going to be telling you about my favorite class of the semester! It's called Fashion: Trends and Communication (ADES 3217); I know what most of you are probably thinking, "That's actually a class?" Yes! It is, and it is awesome! It's a lecture type class, like most of my classes this semester, and it focuses on fashion forecasting and how fashion communicates through designers, media, and people. This class is very interactive; instead of having tests and exams we have writing assignments and class projects. I particularly enjoy the projects because I love hands on learning and exercising my creativity.

Our first project for the class just wrapped up. For the project we were assigned a specific market segment within retail, my group's was wedding gowns. Determining and explaining current trends within the bridal market was part of the assignment; however, we also had to predict the fashion trends to come. Doing the work for this project was very enjoyable, so mush so that I wouldn't even call it work. I got to visit wedding boutiques and examine dress to see what styles and trends brides were currently wearing. I also got to do some online and magazine research to determine the up-and coming trends for 2012. This project was such a blast and I'm very excited to start the 2nd!

This class is just one of many interesting classes that is required for the Retail Merchandising major. So I hope that this gave you all an understanding that not all classes are straight from the textbook and that there some very fun and entertaining classes thrown into the mix!

Have a fantastic week!

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This is one of the slides I used in my powerpoint for the market segment project

Field Trip Tomorrow!

010419.jpg Tomorrow will be an exciting day for my classmates and me, as we will be visiting a senior housing complex in the area to conduct a post-occupancy evaluation for our upper-level housing course called Housing and the Social Environment. A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is commonly described as a systematic analysis of existing designed settings to make future buildings better. Put into simpler terms, we will examine how residents interact with the building's design in a variety of ways, ultimately assessing how residents use the structure and the ways they are influenced by its design. Our work will later be compiled into a comprehensive report and given to the building's developer, which can be a useful tool when designing future assisted living communities.

Housing developments such these have been a hot topic lately in the housing field with the rise of the aging baby boom generation (AKA our parents). Two of my housing courses this fall focus largely on the rising need for accessible housing among the aging population, and I'm excited to get a first-hand look at a new development designed to empower those who live there. Assisted living communities are much different than what most would consider a nursing home, and come in a variety of different forms. They are much like any other urban apartment or condominium complex, but cater to the senior population and incorporate accessible design, lots of community space, and available assistance to promote healthy and supportive living. I feel the overall atmosphere will be a bit different than my freshman residence hall, but we have yet to see for sure.

An intuitively designed setup for successful aging was featured last semester in our very own Goldstein Museum of Design, called Smart House, Livable Community, Your Future. The Goldstein is the only design museum in the upper Midwest and it's right inside of our very own McNeal Hall! I walk by it every day on my way to class, very cool!

Have a great week and study hard!

- Jesse

Studying Abroad!

Well I've made it back from Seattle, Washington in one piece and with all of the luggage I left with (which is sometimes a success in itself haha) I wanted to give you an overview of the trip my studio class took last week to Seattle Washington.

On the first day we visited Gas Works park a former industrial area now turned into a public park. Afterwards we walked to the University of Washington and visited their College of Design and Landscape Architecture Department. We went out for a studio wide dinner and then called it a night early as we had a big day ahead of us.

Day two brought design firm visits to both SvR Design and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, each had high quality work to show us and quality information and advice to share but it was most interesting to see how different offices work on a daily basis or the "office culture" if you will. We visited the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation complex which is both a quality example of architecture and landscape architecture as both the complex and the site are LEED Certified. The building/adjacent landscape received a LEED-Platinum certification and the parking structure recieved a LEED-Gold certification.

The third day we were fortunate enough to visit the Olympic Sculpture Park, and Vineland Place. Vineland Place we especially intriguing because it is comprised entirely of a community garden with only a small helping hand from the city in terms of utilities for the site like electricity. We then took the city bus out to "High Point" a community development project that has received numerous sustainability awards.

Our fourth day we took a day long trip out to the Bloedel Reserve Zen Garden.jpgwhich was nothing short of spectacular. We received a guided tour around the facility and to say it was difficult to choose just one picture is an understatement. If you're ever able to make it out to Seattle, I highly suggest you do not miss the chance to view this extraordinary landscape.

While my trip wasn't the standard study abroad trip it still carried the same ideals of seeing new places, meeting new people and experiences new things. The Landscape Architecture Department at the U of M is committed to its students to provide such chances to have these experiences. For the U of M Study abroad center click on the hyper-link where you can find more of the traditional study abroad programs offered.

Until next week..!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Studio Life

The College of Design is one of the smallest colleges within the University of Minnesota, and each apparel design graduating class ranges from 10-18 students. Because of this small size, you really get to know not only your classmates, but also your professors, on a personal level. The professors all know your name and really care about you as a student, and as an aspiring designer. The relationships you build with your classmates is also extremely helpful as a designer, because having people to bounce ideas off of in the development process is vital to the design as a whole.

As an apparel design pre-major/major, you will spend a lot of time outside of class working on your projects in studio. The University of Minnesota has two wonderful clothing design studios, these rooms house sewing machines, sergers, mannequins, large cutting tables, etc. Bonding with your classmates early is a great way to make your studio time more enjoyable. Having "studio parties" is a common activity for me on the weekends, where a group of my friends and I all go into studio to work on our projects together. Building close professional and personal relationships with your classmates and professors is something that is unique to the University of Minnesota's College of Design, and is a huge asset.

Here is a photo of my entire class, celebrating after spending a lot of time in studio to create all the pants/shorts we are wearing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rapson Hall... What a building!

mn-school-of-architecture-e1.jpg While the University of Minnesota is a large and extensive campus if you are a landscape design and planning or masters of landscape architecture student the vast majority of your classes will take place here in Rapson Hall.
The time spent in this building includes dedicated class time, time spent working in your studio space (more to come on these in future blogs!), fully furnished wood shop, computer labs, digital fabrication workshop(cutting with laser?!) or the central courtyard where a great deal of interaction takes place.

Your probably thinking, "So wait I have to spend all my time in one building?". No, this is certainly not the case as many of your general education courses will take place else where. However all of your College of Design related needs will be under one roof. Talk about convenient! Even your personal academic advisers are located in Rapson Hall and have weekly drop in hours in addition to their scheduled meeting times.

So what's so great about this?
1. Its convenient!
2. It allows for a design community to develop. You will begin to recognize faces and make many new friends with similar interests! This allows for a very large university to seem much smaller. Aka all the benefits of a top 100 research institution at a much more personal scale!
3. Networking! Your professors begin to know you not only by face but by name. They bring in practicing professionals (many of whom are U of M Alumni!) to speak to us and help us with our various projects.

...but for when you do need to get out of the building, the always scenic knoll area of campus is a short walk to the west of rapson as is the Mall area of the University which is considered one of the best campus malls in the nation! (Thank you Clint Hewitt and other faculty from the Department of Landscape Architecture Faculty for your work on this!)

My topic next week: Studying Abroad! (Inspired because I wrote the above blog post while on a flight to Seattle, Washington for my studio course! Hope that gets you excited!

Have a good week everyone!
... Eric

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To and Fro

Living off-campus can sometimes be a challenge, especially when trying to get to certain destinations like class, Gophers After Dark events, sports games, the grocery store, etc. Good thing the Twin Cities has an awesome bus and light rail transportation system along with extensive bike paths and a bike service, Nice Ride! I've lived in the Marcy-Holmes and Como neighborhoods in my time here at the University.

photo.jpgMy main transportation during the fall is biking because of the weather. On rainy days, I use my Go-To pass. The Go-To pass allows me to put money on a card instead of using exact change all the time. Since I don't use the bus all the time, using a Go-To pass is more economical. During the spring semester, I purchase a U-Pass, because the weather is a bit too harsh to bike in. If you're a dedicated biker, you can invest in snow bike tires.

When riding a bike around the metropolitan area, you have to be safety-smart. Always be cautious of motor vehicles because sometimes they can't see you, even if you are in the bike lane. The U of M provides cheap lights and helmets through Parking and Transportation Services. Erik's Bike Shop and Varsity Bike & Transit are located on Fourth Street SE in Dinkytown and the Hub Bike Co-op on West Bank.

Pro Tip: Wear a helmet and tune up your bike frequently because you'll have to miss class and work if something happens.

Going carless can be as easy as taking a bus or riding your bike. It saves you a lot of money, even if you buy a U-Pass or a Go-To pass. You won't have to worry about gas prices, parking, insurance, tickets, or getting towed. The best reason to bike or take the bus is the fact that you will be helping the environment!

That's it for now. See you next week!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's Get Physical!

I remember when I was getting brochures from schools in the mail as a high school student, and I always thought it was pretty cool when the school showed me their recreation center.

Our recreation center here on campus (fondly known as "The Rec") is currently undergoing a major expansion project. It's still open and ready to use; it's just that the racquetball courts and the south gymnasium will be closed for a while. You might have caught on, but I'm a sucker for digital mockups of architectural space: check out to see the Rec expansion, which will be completed in Fall 2013.

There are a lot of options available to you in order to be physically active on campus. In the past, there's always been a campus-wide running club, there are intramural sports (visit for a list of sports and schedules--I play volleyball!), and there are a variety of club teams too. I have two friends that play on both the men's and women's club rugby teams, and my roommate freshman year played on the men's club volleyball team for a semester.

My experience with the Rec has always been good. The one time I decided to go swimming on campus, though, I actually went to the St. Paul Gym on the St. Paul campus. For one, I was living in St. Paul at the time, and for another, the pool is only five feet deep at its deepest--now that's my kind of pool.

Just for fun, I'll include the "team pic" from last spring's edition of Balls Boys (and Heidi). I, of course, created our t-shirts!

My intramural volleyball team, Balls Boys (and Heidi).

A Couple of Interviews

Hello friends!

Last week I had my two interviews with Kohl's and I am pleased to say that they went really well! I felt both composed and quick on my feet; and I have to thank Career and Internship Services for that. The day before my actual interviews, I went into Career Services for a mock interview. There, I met with a career service advisor who helped refine my interviewing skills. I was put in a similar situational environment and was taped during the process. It was a little nerve-wracking I'll admit, but very necessary; it allowed me to experience the nerves I would feel during the actual meeting with Kohl's. After the faux interview, I conversed with the advisor about my strengths and weaknesses. I was given some wonderful tips on how to improve and be better prepared in answering questions. One tip that I found helpful was to research the company, to look up articles, and explore all that the company has to offer. Having this knowledge is very beneficial, especially during interviews, it showcases your interest in the company and that you are serious about the position at hand. I experienced the usefulness of this tip the following day. One of the first questions both interviewers asked was why I wanted to work for Kohl's? Why I preferred their company over other retailers? I knew exactly how to answer this question, all thanks to the preparation done at career services. I am just so thankful for this resource and all that it offers!

Have a great week!

"For interviews always dress for success."

A Busy Week in the CDes Office!

IMG_1708[1].JPG As I've mentioned before, I have a work-study job in the Student Services office of the College of Design. I am the assistant of the College to Career Coordinator, Lucy Reile. The College to Career program is way awesome because it allows students to connect with design professionals in their industry of choice. Connections like that go a long, long way because you get first hand advice from people who were once in your shoes.

IMG_1704[1].JPGThese past few weeks, Lucy and I have been busy putting together all of the necessary things for the CDes Mentor Program. Basically, this program matches juniors and seniors in the College of Design with design professionals who they will be able to relate with, get advice from, and even hang out with. As of now, we're putting the finishing touches together and getting all of the Mentors and Mentees paired. November 2nd is the Mentor Program Kick-Off is and I am beyond excited to see all of the pairs meet for the first time and start getting to know each other! I can't wait to be a junior so I can participate in this program!

The Housing Alumni Gathering

Hello again! It has been a busy past few weeks for both me and the rest of the HOUS (Housing Organization for University Students) student group as we prepared for the annual alumni gathering. The gathering is a great opportunity to network and get to know those who have graduated from the housing program before us, and now enjoying a wide variety of different careers. Those who came to the gathering enjoyed catering from Kafé 421, friendly and insightful conversation, and an engaging speech/discussion lead by Professor Crump regarding the foreclosure and sub-prime mortgage debacle.

After all of the planning and poster-making I worked on for the event, an unforeseen obligation came up and I wasn't able to attend, such a bummer! Regardless, the gathering went on without me and everyone had a great time!

Throughout the year, the HOUS group hosts a few different events involving past housing graduates who are still in the area, and it's always so interesting to see the wide variety of careers our alumni pursue. Some of the titles include project managers, property/asset managers, commercial bankers and many more. This goes to show that the different areas of concentration can lead a number of directions when deciding on a career. Career and Internship Services on the St. Paul Campus are always so helpful, they're such a great resource!

As far as things that aren't school related, I've mostly been enjoying the beautiful fall weather and attempting to improve my drawing skills. Maybe I can come up with something good enough to post before the snow starts flying. Thanks for reading and have a good week!



Monday, October 10, 2011

Fashion and Business (FAB) Career Fair!

Last Friday I attended the Career and Internship Fair put on by the University club FAB, Fashion And Business. ( The College of Design puts on quite a few of these career based events and they are a great resource, and fun to attend! There are speakers, an occasional fashion show, presentations and lots of booths with employers and companies offering internships in the near future. While there I spoke with quite a few companies about their internship opportunities and what they look for in a candidate. While at the Career Fair I picked up a lot of info about a few companies that interested me, as well as business cards, etc. Here is a picture of everything I grabbed at the career fair!

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I have been working with Heidi Perman from the CDes Career Center ( on my resume and cover letter for a few different internships next summer. The career center is great! They really help you pinpoint what is important based on your interests and what company you are applying to intern with. I have already had one internship with a local design company, last fall/spring, and am currently interning with another local designer. Internships are very important to your college experience as a design student, and the Career and Internship Services is a great place to start in your search, the earlier the better! The current application I am working on with Heidi is for a large corporation based out of the Twin Cities. This particular application is due in two weeks, wish me luck!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Getting involved... Always worth it!

Being a student (especially a College of Design) one often means hectic schedules and trying to squeeze every last hour out of your work day. Believe it or not it's possible to fit even more into that schedule and I would highly recommend it. I myself was a part of the University of Minnesota Men's Soccer Club Funny Team Pic for blog.jpg (
team for the past three years, took part in various College of Design Events ( and am a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects Student Chapter (

These various involvements I've had have served as simply as a way of relaxing and getting my mind off of classes or as networking opportunities. More than once my involvement in extracurricular activities has led to some sort of employment (hello blogging!). This brings me to my next thought that goes hand in hand with being involved... Time Management!

As great and rewarding as being involved can be its also important to keep a good schedule. I find it helpful to write out my schedule by full months. That way I can map out due dates for projects and know when I have tough weeks ahead so that I can try to work ahead of time to make that week more bearable. This is also what makes it possible to get involved in some of the activities I mentioned above. I also like to think that just one hour of getting involved in any way will save me two hours in the future. An example of this would be applying for jobs. First you have to look for one, find a few your interested in, apply, wait for a response, interview, wait again for a response, and then hopefully you get the position. If not you start the process all over again. Whereas, maybe an hour spent volunteering somewhere allows you to make a contact with an organization that in a few months ends up having an opening and they remember that guy or girl they had volunteer and what a great candidate they think that person might be.

So take it from me, getting involved is always worth it (not to mention you usually get free food!)

...till next time,

- Eric Maass

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Busy as a bee this week!

It started with working over in Uptown on Sunday morning. Usually I use my UPass
and take the bus to and from work, but I ended up having a free cab fare coupon so I
tried that out and it went well!

After I got home, I had a couple different homework assignments to work on. I did
some sketches for interior design studio collage I was working on, then I did some
different style drawings for another one of my classes. I also wrote a rough draft for
a short essay I was assigned. I felt SO accomplished after getting all that done and
I decided to reward myself by going to the Coffman Student Union to catch a movie
and snag some free food with a couple of friends.

On Tuesday, a girl from my interior design studio and I hopped on the bus to go
downtown so we could check out an art supply store. We got what we needed for
our collage assignments and stopped at a cute little coffee shop for some sweets and
caffeine before heading back home on the bus.

IMG_0704.jpg On Thursday, I had a meeting with an advisor in the Career & Internship Services
office in between classes. It's nice that the office is right in McNeal Hall, so I didn't
even have to leave the building to go to my appointment.

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At my meeting, Heidi and
I discussed some steps I should take to help me decide on different career goals
as well as good minors I could pair with a degree in interior design. It was a very
helpful session and I plan on going in sometime next week to chat more.

Also on Thursday, I went to a Rogue Valley and Jeremy Messersmith concert
put on by Student Unions & Activities and it was free! I love live music and the
performances were great, so it made for a really good time!

Today is Friday, and luckily I was able to sleep in! Catching those extra Z's was a
real treat. So far I've done some tidying around the apartment and a little bit of
homework. I'll probably go over to Dinkytown for some coffee before returning
to my drawings. I'll plow through some assignments this afternoon before finding
some sort of adventure for the night!

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apparel Design-Blogged!

Hello! My name is Lucie Mulligan and I am a junior in the Apparel Design program here at the University of Minnesota. I am originally from Iowa City, IA, which is in southeast Iowa, about 5 hours away from the Cities.

I have been interested in apparel and clothing design from about age 13. In high school, when I started looking at colleges I knew I wanted three things:
1) A big ten, "real college" experience.
2) A great school with a great program
3) A community in which to get involved and have fun

First, the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities was perfect for me because it had all three of the criteria listed above. When I thought of "college", I wanted to be able to go to football games in a big stadium, meet new and different people, join clubs that interested me and basically feel like there was always something new for me to try. The "U", has about 50, 000 students, nationally ranked sports teams, hundreds of student groups, a strong Greek community, a diverse student body, and many other things that make it a "real college" experience.

Secondly, the University of Minnesota's College of Design is a great hands-on program. The program is small enough that you really get to know your classmates, and professors. Your professors know your name and care about you, which makes you excited about apparel design! The college also has wonderful studios with high tech equipment and a variety of computer based programs that give apparel design a new edge.

Finally, living in the Twin Cities while attending the U is a great place to be as an aspiring designer. The fashion industry in the Cities is young and thriving and it's easy to get involved: working at fashion shows, interning and even just attending local events! There is always something going on, and going out and experiencing the fashion world in the Cities doubles as a great way to network with professionals.
Check out

I will be posting on this blog weekly and will talk about the ins and outs of the apparel design program here at the U, as well as other relevant experiences I've had while studying here.

I hope you enjoy my blog!

Checking Out the Career Fair

Hello Friends!
So, two weeks ago I attended the St. Paul Job and Internship Fair in hopes of finding a potential internship. An internship is required for all Retail Merchandising majors in order to graduate; I think that it is a fantastic requirement because it requires us to gain work experience in our particular field of study. And internships can also lead to job offers within the company! Meaning that we could have a job waiting for us before we even graduate! How awesome!

Printing out my resume and picking out my 'professional' outfit, I was prepared for the event that took place Wednesday, September 21st. I was nervous; there were going to be many big name companies to talk to. I've heard these companies talk in my classes before but speaking with them one on one was going to be intimidating, I thought. As I walked into the room where the event was taking place, I gathered my thoughts and proceeded to approach the recruiters for the company Kohl's. I introduced myself and expressed intrigue in the internship positions available. They told me about their internships, a store management internship that takes place here in Minneapolis over a 10-week period in the summer and a merchandising analyst internship that is in Milwaukee over a 10-week period in the summer also. They informed me that when placed in either position you are treated as a part of a team, nothing less, and that if you successfully complete the internship full-time job opportunities are available! I told them that I was very interested in both the internship programs and handed them my resume. They then told me that they were holding interviews on campus sometime in the near future and that I should apply online; I told them I would and then thanked them for their time. I was very happy with the conversation I had with the Kohl's recruiters because Kohl's was the company that I was most excited to talk to. I spoke with the other great companies like Express, Gordman's, and Target; those conversations went well also! However, I was still most intrigued by Kohl's. So the following day I applied for both positions online and I now have two interviews with them on October 6th! Wish me luck and I will update you all next week!

Have a great day!

Some of the information packets I received from different companies at the Job and Internship Fair.

Welcome to the World of Housing

Greetings! My name is Jesse LaMaack and I am currently a junior in the College of Design majoring in housing studies/housing technology with a minor in architecture. Aside from school and work, I enjoy spending my free time with friends, playing in the snow, and people watching. I am also the vice president of the HOUS (Housing Organization for University Students) student group, and serve as the undergraduate representative for the College of Design's academic technology committee. I will be blogging weekly, sharing my experiences and creative endeavors with you all.

I originally chose the housing studies program because it enabled me to apply my problem solving skills in a way to benefit others. My coursework so far has opened my eyes to the complex framework of housing, something nearly everyone considers to be a necessity. Housing is an interesting field of study, especially at a time when the housing market plays such a vital role in our nation's economy.

Originally from a small farming community in southern Minnesota, I chose the U of M because it feels like a city within a city, with so much to do both on and off campus. Being in the College of Design is great because of the small and personal atmosphere, it makes me feel personally obligated to do my very best on every assignment! Being on the St. Paul Campus is also great, it's a great getaway from where most of my life is centered around the bustling Minneapolis Campus. If you are in the area, check out our design facilities at McNeal Hall in St. Paul.

After graduation, I plan to work in the field of residential development or accessible design. I am also considering the prospect of continuing my education to attain a master's degree in industrial design or historic preservation. There are so many things to learn in the housing program and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all this year!

Jesse LaMaack


Game Day

If you're into sports, you've noticed the Gopher football team isn't having the best season. It's really easy for people to be fair-weather friends, leave the games early, or stop coming at all. As a member of the marching band, though, I back the team no matter what.

When I think about game day, I don't think about the football team winning or losing. I think of how much fun it is to be at the stadium, performing for the fans, and keeping people's hearts in the game as much as possible. Of course, the average student doesn't have the same experience I do, but it's still a lot of fun!

The Student Section at TCF Bank Stadium

First of all, we have the brand new TCF Bank Stadium here on campus, the only college football stadium built since 1960. Our scoreboard is the third largest outdoor video board in the country. Check out the stadium website at to get a better idea--some of the information is a little outdated, but if you go to the multimedia tab, they have video tours that I find super interesting.

We also have the Minnesota Spirit Initiative on campus, which is a student group that organizes the most spirited Gopher fans into an exclusive seating section at football, men's basketball, and men's hockey games. It's really awesome to be a part of this section from what I can tell, because you get into all of the games early and no one thinks you're weird for wearing TOO MUCH maroon and gold (is that even a thing?). More info about the Minnesota Spirit Initiative is on their website at

My good friend Erin and I enjoying our post-halftime-show apples.

Fall is a really exciting time on campus with all of the men's and women's sporting events that are available to attend. Fun fact: student tickets are free to volleyball games, and we have one of the best teams in the nation! Head over to to find all of the information you could want about Golden Gopher Athletics.

See you next week!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Harry's Flight Against Hunger

It all began about four months ago on a hot June day, the 6th annual CANstruction competition commenced with a kick-off meeting in downtown Minneapolis. CANstuction is an international design competition based on feeding hungry people and displaying public art.

Our team, American Institute of Architecture Students - MN Chapter, was the only student group participating in this year's competition. Unlike architecture firms that had donations and sponsors, we were a non-profit trying to raise money for another non-profit so we considered partnering with a great Minnesota based company, Target. After numerous emails and phone calls, we succeeded and agreed to partner with us! This began a long process of design discussion, can selection, and funding. Pro Tip: Great professional connections are created on projects outside of the classroom.

Thumbnail image for IMG_1339.JPGOur design was based on Harry Potter, hence the title of this blog. Target donated more than 2,793 cans! The majority of the cans were tuna. We had a splendiferous experience visiting sixteen different Targets in three days to acquire all of the cans. The competition was held at the Mall of America on September 24th. We were given all day to construct our design. Being smart architecture students, we had practiced assembling our design in the architecture building prior to the big day. We hadn't taken into consideration that the Mall of America shakes due to the Nickelodeon Universe. No worries: our model stood for three days!

Here is a little blurb about our design selection:

Thumbnail image for IMG_1347.JPG"In 2011 many of us said goodbye to some long time friends, the characters of the Harry Potter film series. In the same way that Harry defeated Voldemort in the final film of the series, we wish to defeat hunger by collecting donations for the Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf. Harry brought hope to his friends and family in the wizarding community. We want to do the same for our friends and family in the Twin Cities community. One way we can do this is by fighting hunger, a real-life enemy as bad as Voldemort. Help us obliviate hunger."

We won a ribbon for best use of labels! The cans were then donated to the Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf. Harry's Flight Against Hunger gave back to the community by providing meals and public art. We also had a great time assembling the design while meeting other architects and mall patrons.

Remember to get involved in a student group. The benefits of being an active member in a group are far greater than just being in a group so you have something to put on your resume. Pro Tip: Get involved earlier so you can experience being a member and a leader.