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College of Design

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coughing, Sneezing, & Finals? Oh My!

small.gifBeing sick stinks, especially when you are preparing for finals. The stress of the end of the semester, the onset of flu season, and the cold weather all combine to make this an unfortunately common time to come down with a bug. Fortunately for students, the University of Minnesota provides a variety of services for the under-the-weather student. If you're feeling like death, the Boynton Quick Clinic physicians will be able to prescribe the correct concoction for your ailment. Boynton Health Services also offers free Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates classes to de-stress. These are perfect around finals and Christmas!

Sometimes the common cold or the flu sneaks up on us. In that case, cold medicine can be found at the CVS pharmacy in Dinkytown. Established last year, the CVS pharmacy provides a convenient place for busy students to pick up snacks, buy over-the-counter drugs, and get prescriptions filled just off-campus. Even though it's easy to let things like diet and exercise slide near the end of the semester, these things help keep your immune system strong, which helps keep you healthy. Even if you feel like you don't have enough time for them, remember they could save you lots of stress from being sick during an already-busy time of the year! If you live on-campus while attending, remember to select healthy options like vegetables and fruit from the dining hall.

Pro Tip: Time management is key to a healthy lifestyle. Always remember to get enough sleep, eat right, and have fun!

Holly Engle
Architecture, Bachelor of Science

"Cross-disciplinary research"

Due to some miscommunication with my partner Derek last night, I ended up taking a nap in Rapson Hall while he did some value drawings of the building. It's alright, because it gives me a clever anecdote to introduce my blog this week.

I absolutely LOVE Rapson Hall. I don't get to spend nearly enough time in the building, as I'm a Graphic Design major. If there is one thing I wish McNeal Hall had, though, it's Rapson's courtyard.

It's extremely beneficial to be familiar with Rapson Hall even though most Graphic Design classes are in McNeal Hall. I've spent time in the W.L. Hall Workshop making laser cuts, I've used the computer lab, and now there's even a Digital Fabrication Lab that I'm sure the Graphic Design faculty will find some way for us to take advantage of in the near future.

To top it off, they're working on a virtual reality simulator in the courtyard! How cool is that?

Basically, even though you won't be spending a whole lot of time in Rapson Hall, it's a good idea to go become familiar with it and the services available in it. If you find you really have no reason to go, you could stop by the College of Design Student Services Office and say hi, too.

See you next week!

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design B.F.A.

P.S. The Gophers won last Saturday XD

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Left to right: Rapson Courtyard, January 2011; Models on the second floor Link in the Courtyard; Unrelated snuggle-fest with two of my fraternity brothers and Derek (all marching band members)!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Getting Close to Crunch Time

Getting back into school mode after a break can be very difficult, especially when you have to dive right in. Finals are soon approaching, in about three weeks, and I have so many things to accomplish in those three weeks, it's crazy! I have two research papers due, a magazine editorial project, and not to mention study for finals! I am particularly stressed about my Business Stats final, it's the one class that I have not invested the greatest amount of time in, and it is definitely making me nervous. However, I am feeling super motivated to start studying for my finals now; I will not let procrastination get the best of me!

Getting motivated might be easy but keeping it can be difficult, so here are a few fun ways you can prolong your motivation:

1: Get enough sleep!
I cannot tell you how many times I have lost motivation because of how tired I am! Coffee only solves the problem short term and naps sometimes make you even more tired. My suggestion is to go to bed on time and stop wasting time on facebook!
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2: Exercise!
If you are feeling tired or worn out from studying, go workout! It will get your endorphins pumping and prepare you for a long night of studying!
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3: Have someone hold you accountable!
Grab a friend and hold each other accountable in your studies. There is nothing worse than being called out on your procrastination, so hopefully that will motivate and keep you on track with studying!
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That's all for today! Have a great week!
Sasenka Curic- Retail Merchandising

"Brown Bags" aka Chatting with Professionals!

A very exciting event that takes place every couple weeks called "Brown Bags" is something that the American Society of Landscape Architecture - Minnesota Student Chapter puts together for anyone to attend. brownbag.jpg

Its a very informal chance to meet and network with practicing professionals in the area. The idea is that students are able to bring their lunches (hence the term "brown bag") and listen to whichever speaker is scheduled. This allows for a very informal and comfortable setting. The speaker usually talks for about 2/3's of the session and then opens it up to questions from the audience.

Recent "Brown Bags" have been on topics like green roofs, ecological design and sustainable development. Yet another way to connect with professionals while still in school!

- Eric Maass
Bachelor of Environmental Design 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture 2013

Monday, November 28, 2011

The End of an Era - A Tough Blow, but a Lesson Learned


After a busy morning on the St. Paul Campus last week, I grabbed the latest Pioneer Press on my way back to Minneapolis. After hopping aboard the Campus Connector and making myself comfortable, I began to skim the front page headlines and my jaw dropped at what I saw. Rottlund Homes, a longtime Twin Cities homebuilding giant, announced that they were going out of business following completion of their existing projects.

I first heard of Rottlund last year when a housing studies grad, now a project manager for the company, came and spoke to our class. I quickly learned that Rottlund is a common name around the Twin Cities area, with an immense local portfolio of residential developments, consisting almost exclusively of single family and low-density homes in the suburbs. They have been in operation for over 35 years.

Claiming to have succumb to the recent economic recession and housing crisis, Rottlund's fall came as a stark reminder of the uncertainty surrounding today's housing markets. So what can we learn from this? In my personal opinion, it really goes to show the importance of the market versatility that today's housing developers must adapt to in order to remain prosperous.

Catering to the overwhelmingly home-owning suburban markets, Rottlund prospered for several decades tapping the growing cultural trend of homeownership. Following the recent mortgage and foreclosure crisis (which had devastating effects on our economy), the rate of home buyers dropped dramatically. Although the majority of our homes remain owner-occupied, there has been little demand for new home construction in the suburbs.

But the decline in demand in that particular market stood alongside a rise in demand for affordable rental housing, and falling vacancy rates in market rate rentals as well. It may not be wise for me to suggest that Rottlund could have stayed afloat by developing urban apartment complexes, but a change in tide has indeed led to prosperity for several development companies around the Twin Cities. Trying their take at residential development, Doran Companies (native to commercial development) has seemingly struck gold supplying the rental market around the East Bank Campus. Construction is underway on their third apartment complex in the area over a two-year period, following the huge successes of Sydney Hall and 412 Lofts.

The times are a-changin'

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Break!

Jesse LaMaack, Housing Studies B.S.

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On the Horizon...

It's the Monday after Thanksgiving break. Probably one of the hardest Mondays to come back from. It's all good though, because having a few days off to relax and enjoy home has rejuvenated me for the rest of the semester. I feel restored. I feel inspired. And I can't wait to tackle my final projects and get a game plan formulated for the rest of the semester.

For Drawing (1311), we're working on figure drawings and we're wrapping up on a few other projects including our McNeal hall drawing and our still lives.


In Interior Design Studio (1601), we're really making some headway on our yoga studio assignments and things are really coming together. I decided to call my studio Twist, and I'm in the process of prototyping differently layouts.


Design Thinking (1101W) has some interesting things going on. Right now we're getting ready to present our redesigned interior space of an existing building on the St. Paul campus, Ruttan Hall. We're also working on papers that describe a memorable place we've visited.


Retail Merch Ethics (1201)is also winding down. We're working on a few papers, but basically the rest of the semester will be spent preparing for our final exam.


It's gunna be a busy couple of weeks ahead, but I am so ready to kick butt during finals week and finish out the semester strong.

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Week in the Life: Apparel Design Student

For this blog post I thought it would be interesting to write about my day to day activities through out the week. Being a design student, but also pursuing a Bachelor's Degree, means that you take design classes: studios, etc., as well as other general education classes. Your general education credits are completed throughout your four years at the University of Minnesota, unlike other majors where you take only general education credits for the first two years, and then move on to the major requirements. This means that you are constantly juggling many different types of classes and homework, which can be stressful, but also keeps your days interesting and always changing.

Here is a photo of my weekly schedule this semester, color coded for different classes/other obligations:


This semester I am taking four classes, two of which are design related. One is a studio class that I have mentioned before in my posts (From Inspiration to Completion), and one is a trending class where we focus on how trends are determined and communicated through fashion and media.

My other two classes this semester are both general education classes. One of these classes is a writing class: Technical and Professional Writing. This class fulfills a requirement that is needed for graduation for my Apparel Design major, but I was able to choose from a variety of different classes. The other class a geology lecture with a lab, this class gives credit for the "environmental science with a lab" requirement. You will learn more about these requirements and classes through your academic adviser.

I also work during the week and have my classes and other obligations scheduled in around my work hours. As you can see, the life of design student is very busy, but very fun!

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As promised...

Hey guys! As promised, I told you I'd give feedback on how the interior design event I went to last week was.

First of all, I had a lot of fun! It was very entertaining as well as insightful hearing from five different professionals in the interior design industry. They talked about specific chapters from the book "The State of the Interior Design Profession".


Overall, it was very interesting to hear the different stances and opinions of professionals who are all in the same industry. We heard about topics regarding licensure, subcategories of interior design, and the many benefits interior designers bring to society.

After the event, I was able to network with three different individuals and get advice and lots of quality information. I was also able to get a business card and/or email addressed from everyone. One even told me we should get lunch sometime (which I am totally going to take her up on)!

In short, I am super glad I went to this networking and professional development event. It was helpful, educational, and a good time all in all. For future, I am totally keeping my eyes peeled for more opportunities.

Oh yeah, and have a good Thanksgiving!! :)

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design


About two weeks ago, AIAS was asked by Paramount to make a clock for the new Martin Scorsese film HUGO. The clock would be displayed in the University of Minnesota Coffman Bookstore to promote the movie premiere. Before we agreed to take on the challenge of designing and building the clock, we requested a small budget to cover the cost of materials, which was approved. Pro Tip: Always ask. Professionals expect you to negotiate.

By the time we finalized the design, we had a week to do all of the assembly and fabrication work. We used the new Digital Fabrication Lab in Rapson Hall to laser-cut the numbers, gears, and swirls around the clock. Then the base was cut in the amazing woodshop in Rapson. If you have toured other schools, you probably realized that the University of Minnesota has great resources for their students. Finally, we spray-painted the clock and assembled it in our third-year studio.

P1030752.JPGAfter we dropped the clock off at the bookstore, we attended an advance screening of the movie! HUGO was the perfect movie to the motivate students through finals. I would suggest seeing it in the 3D because of the remarkable graphic rendering. Pro Tip: When working on a project outside of school, remember to make it fun.

P1030754.jpgFind the time to design and make the clock was difficult with all of the homework we had, but our team and resources made it possible. The College of Design provides a wealth of resources for every student.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holly Engle
Bachelor of Science- Architecture

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Well, it's Thanksgiving week, and that means it's been below freezing at night for the better part of a month here in Minnesota! It dawned on me yesterday as I was talking to my group on the way to our client meeting that this winter has actually been milder in the past. The last two years, I had marched in a sleet or ice storm at rehearsal by now.

The reason why I am telling you this is not to scare you, but rather to share the reality of Minnesota winter. Yes, it's cold. Yes, it snows. Yes, it gets icy. All you need is a good winter coat and a pair of snow boots, and you'll survive the winter just like everyone else in the state has for the last hundred or so years.

You might be used to the concept of snow days. Not so here! Last year when the Snowpocalypse hit and we got about ten inches of snow in five hours, the U ended up canceling a hockey game. Granted, it was a Saturday, and nothing happens on Sunday. Business as usual on Monday! Sometimes, the running joke on campus is that it takes the thumb of God to close the U--but I have had cancelled classes due to snow in my four years of studying here.

Fact of the matter is, the snow is pretty, and campus is gorgeous and a lot of fun seeing it all lay around.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design BFA

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The first snowfall of the season this past Saturday, and the leftover feeble attempt at a snow angel yesterday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Classes and Travels

It's the week of Thanksgiving and everyone on Campus is ready for a little break. I am looking forward to catching up with friends and family, as well as catching up on some schoolwork. Finals are just around the corner, in about three weeks or so, and I need to start studying, the earlier the better! Classes are officially cancelled Thursday and Friday of this week, but many professors also cancel them on Wednesday; they understand that some students live farther away and need that extra day to get home. So many either cancel the class or make it optional. I have two optional classes this Wednesday, November 23, and I am definitely going to attend one of them. Many of you are probably wondering why anyone would go to an optional class; the reason is extra credit. It's always nice to have a little cushion in your grade, so I recommend taking every extra credit opportunity available to you.

After I go to my "extra credit" Business Stats class, I will head home to North Dakota. It's about a five-hour drive from Minneapolis; it's the perfect distance away, not too close yet not too far. I typically don't drive when I go visit home; I usually take the Amtrak train. I really enjoy taking the train because it's very spacious and because the route to North Dakota takes place during the nighttime, which means I get to sleep through the travel time, and before I know it, I'm home!

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Have a great Thanksgiving!
Sasenka Curic: Retail Merchandising

Acer Rubrum... What is that? Answer: Red Maple! Planting Design!

Currently a class i'm really enjoying is Plants in Design. We've worked with a number of sites in the twin cities. Specifically a plaza space outside of the Guthrie Theater and Lily Plaza on the U of M Campus just steps away from Rapson Hall. Here's a picture of the model I built for that project! Lily Plaza Model.jpg \We've been learning about how different plants can create space and how to take into account seasonality, site conditions, and different moisture requirements.

We've then taken these ideas and created construction documents. These construction documents (if we were out in the real world and not students) would be legally binding documents meaning no little detail can go overlooked. These documents cover everything from overall site plan/design to specifics about the way a tree should be planted or a slab of pervious pavers should be installed.

Explored with our Guthrie Street project was the inclusion of on-site urban water management. We were required to include street scaled rain gardens to capture run off and allow that water to infiltrate into the water table rather than sending that water into the storm sewer. It was nice to have this included in a project because it applied so well to my summer internship at the Ramsey Conservation District. You'll often find that a lot of the coursework completed in the Bachelor of Environmental Design and the Masters of Landscape Architecture applies very well to real world issues in our profession. The skills you learn in these classes will in fact be used out in the "real world".

Hope you all have a happy thanksgiving!

- Eric Maass
Bachelor of Environmental Design 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture 2013

People, Place, Policy

hsg.jpgFrom the very beginnings of housing studies coursework, a large degree of importance is emphasized on the the three Ps of housing; people, place, and policy. These three fundemental terms integrally connect the broad range of theories and practices related to the study of housing and its multiple dimensions. The three Ps not only relate directly to the core housing coursework, but are also rooted in the various concentrations offered by the program - the processes of creating housing and how it impacts economic issues, health and safety, psychosocial well-being, technological innovations, and sustainability.
For example, take into consideration the complex processes of an average multifamily housing development project. The most basic existence of the three Ps can be found when examining the finished structure as a whole - designed to fit the needs of the people who choose to live in that particular place within the community, and adhering to specific policies enacted to maximize the site's relationship to the surrounding community and built environment. But that barely scratches the surface. People, place, and policy play a guiding role in every stage of real estate development, from site selection and project financing to building materials and design aesthetics. This goes to show that the three Ps can be applied to housing studies at almost any scale, whether it be the placement of your home on its lot or the layout of the streets in your community.

Hope you all have a great week!

- Jesse LaMaack, Housing Studies

Monday, November 21, 2011

From Inspiration to Completion : Final installment!

Its done! My knitwear project you have been following me through is finally completed! This past weekend I spent a lot of time in studio finishing up the actual garment, as well as samples, test garments and final patterns to turn in.

An important part of a final project is the final pattern. The patterns you use during the construction process usually get marked on, cut up, added on to, etc. and aren't the best looking when the garment is finished. The final thing you have to do when turning in a finished project is finalize and draft out your final pattern. You will learn about this process in your first studio class. The pattern is usually color coded with labels and names for each piece, to keep everything organized and easy to understand.

The main point of a final pattern is that a person proficient in sewing would be able to create the same garment as you did, using the final pattern you created and turned in. Precision and neatness is very important.

A final illustration is also often needed when finishing up a project. The professionalism of each sketch needed will vary from class to class. Sometimes a very technical type of illustration is required, while other times a simple sketch showing the garment is acceptable. Below is my final sketch for this project.


The final garment! Undeniably the most important part of the project! I am very pelased with how my design turned out. I got a lot of good feedback in critique, which is a kind of professional review of your work with the professor and classmates. These kinds of critiques prepare you as a designer for more important events like portfolio review, which happens at the end of your freshman year.

--Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

Final look!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Framing our Future

Thumbnail image for Framing our future.jpgLast week, the annual American Institute of Architects- MN Convention, Framing Our Future, was hosted in Minneapolis. The event contained a myriad of companies in an exposition hall, keynote speakers, and seminars. It was easy to learn about new products and technologies from companies in the exposition hall while mingling with local architects. Pick out the seminars, companies, and technologies you are interested in. This is not school; you don't have to attend that seminar about building codes, but it might help you on your next studio project. I attended the International Building Code Seminar on Fire Proofing at 8am on Friday. It was a little rough getting up earlier on a Friday, but the presenter was fantastic. I never knew fire door systems could be so interesting!5167618170_af6c5ec339_m.jpg

Getting downtown from Rapson Hall was rather easy because Marvin Windows sponsored a shuttle to and from the convention on Tuesday and Thursday. The price of the convention is typically around $200 for professionals but students only needed to pay $10/day or $25/week. What a deal! CDes and the AIA want you to succeed in life!

Attending a professional event can sometimes be stressful. Pro Tip: Don't be drawn into bringing your friends because that can deter you from networking with professionals. You want to make sure you have the right attitude and outfit. Consider dressing like an architect, which would consist of black stylish clothes and interesting glasses. (Not this). First impressions are everything!

Holly Engle, Architecture major

Coming up with great ideas

When I was trying to decide what I would write about this week, I thought I might do a day in the life. Then I decided this week is too hectic; I didn't want to scare anybody. So I thought I should write about a project I was working on up until today. Well, that morphed into this idea about design and where good ideas come from.

Basically, what I'm trying to illustrate is the fact that we seldom ever hit that one big idea on the first swing. In my copywriting course, my instructor always told us "If you need one headline, write 100. And then write more."

When I was in high school art classes, it was really easy just to get an idea and start to create it. Maybe the teacher came by and had some input on where to amp up the contrast in a value drawing to make something a little clearer, but they generally didn't tell you your idea needed more work or refinement once you had started.

Not so in design. It's definitely something that I think a lot of young designers struggle with, myself included. We just have an idea and we just want to do it, whether it's clear to other people or not. Well, depending on what the outcome of your design is, it might need to be able to talk to people without you being there. More often than not, it will need to talk without you being there.

So, to summarize, start thinking your ideas through early. Start asking people what they think of what you're doing more than you're used to. You'll gain a valuable skill and comfort level that will help you immensely come your first critique.

My friend Katie and I's Conspicuous Consumption artifacts. She created a paper bag (and I mean created) to put a spin on corporate entities controlling grocery stores; I literally made a journal of my lunch habits over a five-week period.

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design BFA

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some Wonderful Places to Eat!

I love to eat and because the University of Minnesota is so large, it offers a great selection in dining. Restaurants are EVERYWHERE and all within walking distance. This is a list of some of my favorites!

Village Wok
This is an authentic Chinese restaurant with a great assortment of food to choose from. My personal favorite items from the menu are the wontons and sweet and sour chicken!

Loring Pasta Bar
This is a beautiful Italian restaurant that offers more than just great food. Its very romantic atmosphere is complimented by some wonderful live music; it's a great place to go on a date! Also on Friday and Saturday nights, this restaurant transforms its dining area into a salsa dance floor!

Chilly Billy's
This frozen yogurt shop just opened half a year ago; and its already become a staple among students here on campus. It offers a great selection of yogurts as well as toppings. The awesome thing about Chilly Billy's is that you pay by the ounce, so you can get however much you want!

The Purple Onion
This café has great coffee and food; anything from a white chocolate mocha to a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. It's also a great place to place to hang out and get some studying done.

Annie's Parlour
This is a signature restaurant for UofM students and it's known for their malts and burgers. They have so many malt flavors that it's sometimes hard to pick just one; but that's the wonderful thing about Annie's you can combine flavors! My favorite is 'hot-fudge banana'.

The list above is only a handful of my favorite restaurants. If you would like to find out what other food options you have on or near campus, check out these links:
University Dining Services

Until Next Time,
Sasenka Curic- Retail Merchandising

Busy Busy Busy

November seems to have flown by as several long awaited deadlines are creeping up on me quickly - I can tell it's getting to be that time of the year Professor Crump calls "the silly season". For many students, the weeks before Thanksgiving break are when all of those smaller assignments from earlier start materializing into that one comprehensive project which was assigned at the very beginning of the semester (AKA that huge important project that is mentioned at some point every class period, but has some blissfully distant end-of-November due date). After two years at the U, I figured out that around the time everyone starts talking about their Thanksgiving break plans, the "silly season" has begun and it's time to get busy.
Although it can get stressful at times, the increased brain activity tends to get my creative juices flowing and I feel pretty proud of the work I've done so far this semester. In the past few days I have been working on a variety of different projects such a grant proposal, a research matrix, and a preliminary image of a 3-D paper model that I'll eventually end up constructing (a representation of Frank Gehry's Nationale-Nederlanden Building in Prague). Frank Gehry is by far my favorite designer and I feel so proud to have a piece of his work right on campus!


Along with the schoolwork pileup, despite my best efforts, also came a fair bit of procrastination. This time, however, I did my best to make it what I like to call productive procrastination. While procrastinating in the design computer labs in McNeal earlier this week, I found out how fun the spiral line tool on Adobe Illustrator can be. I had such a great time making a typographic shape of Minnesota, I decided that I would make a few different states each day. Depending on my procrastination impulses, I should have a complete 60-inch wide United States typographic map within two weeks. It'll be awesome! I'll post a picture of it when I finish.


Have a great week!

Jesse LaMaack, Housing Studies

Accelerated Program for Bachelor of Environmental Design

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers students who have at minimum a 3.0 GPA to apply for their accelerated track during the fall of their junior year. Required as part of the application is a portfolio, three letters of recommendation, letter of intent and a copy of your transcripts. Accelerated Page.jpg If accepted that student would then enroll in the classes they would normally take as a first year masters student in the Masters of Landscape Architecture program.

While taking on the responsibilities of a graduate student can be a bit daunting let me be the first to tell you they are SO worth it. First, the financial benefit is quite staggering as it saves one years graduate tuition which comes to about $24,000 in tuition and fees. Tack on housing for the year, food and transportation and you're looking at a savings of probably about $34,000! Second, as a graduate student you will begin working on more complex design projects, traveling to see various sites (like my trip to Seattle, Washington), and be given your very own desk (showed you all a picture of mine in a previous post) in a secured studio.

If you have any lingering questions about the Accelerated track you can email Brad Agee the current Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Have a good week!

Eric Maass

From Inspiration to Completion : Part three

Sewing a garment has many complex parts involved, many of which I have already touched on in my previous two posts about this project: inspiration, ideation, sketching. The next step, what I am currently working on it test garments and samples. Test garments are mock ups of the actual outfit that test out the fit and proportion of the pieces. You also get to try out your construction first before going ahead with your final, which is a good idea in any situation. You wouldn't write a paper without a draft right? The same holds true for designing.

In many, if not all of your classes in the College of Design, you will have to create drafts/test garments of your designs. This allows for editing and mirrors what happens in the real world. The biggest part that I am wrestling with right now in my test garments is the proper fit. Knits are a difficult type of material to work with, and this is our first studio dealing with them. Here is a shot of my test garment being fit properly.


As you can see, fitting is an integral process in the design world, and it involves quite a few steps. But don't worry, your professors will help you through every process and are always there to answer questions regarding your garments. They ever are available to meet one on one outside of class if you have specific questions not addressed in class time.

Next week I will show you my final garments and talk a bit about using the variety of machines available to you in your studios!

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

Monday, November 14, 2011

A chance to hear from the experts,

If I were making a list of the top five reasons I love my school, professional development opportunities would definitely be in it. Basically, professional development is a fancy way of saying getting in touch with professionals as a resource and learning tool. The U of M provides a ton of opportunities to meet and network with professionals from every field and area of study under the sun.

jpgTomorrow night I'm going to The State of the Interior Design Profession that is being held downtown and I'm way stoked! This event is a book signing and we will also be hearing from the author as well as others in the field (even the U's very own Dr. Guerin who co-authored!) Being a first year interior design student myself, I think an event like this will be of great help to me when it comes to figuring out what I want to do after graduation. With a degree like interior design (or any of the other design degrees for that matter) the opportunities, options, and possibilities are endless. There are various career paths people take post graduation. Going to an event like the one I'll be attending tomorrow will be very beneficial for me because step one is actually knowing what my options will be.

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Looking for a Big Kid Job

I was in Cincinnati, Ohio on Monday and Tuesday this week for my first ever "big kid" job interview. I wanted to share with you kind of the process that I went through trying to get myself ready for the inevitable job search, and offer some resources that are incredibly useful when it comes time to find your first job!

Like I already mentioned last week, it's so important to take advantage of career services. They helped me fine tune my resume so much my sophomore year, and they helped me learn the skills I needed to create a better resume without having to stop in every time I changed something.

It's never too early to start networking. Every year, the College of Design puts on some great College to Career programming, including Dirty Laundry (which I put the marketing materials for myself) and Design in 7. There are plenty of firm events every year too. Check out the College to Career portion of the CDes website at

Once you have access to it, you'll want to start using GoldPASS early. It's our campus jobs site where employers will post full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities for students to apply to. It's how I found the company that I interviewed at this week. Put a note in the back of your mind to check out when you're thinking about starting your job search.

Also, take DES 3201: Career and Internship Preparation for Design either your junior (that's when I took it) or senior year. It's a course that will give you so much knowledge about your job search that you might not have thought of on your own, and you gain credit for doing it.

Left to right: The view from my room on the 17th Floor of the Hyatt Regency on the south side of downtown; the fountain in Fountain Square; a view of the sunset over the river on my way to my interview.

That's it for this week!

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design BFA

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mac or PC... The great debate!

When you begin to search for a personal computer to use to complete your coursework one question always comes up. "I'm going into design, does that mean I need to buy a Mac or PC?" My most objective answer is to look at the programs you will be running (adobe creative suite, AutoCAD, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), SketchUP, etc etc) and see what their running requirements are. mac vs pc.jpgThen go to the store of your choosing and find the computer that meets the required specs. Many programs will tell you that you need a minimum of 2gb of RAM to run the program but 2gb will often leave you hitting your head against your desk waiting for the programs to run, do yourself a favor and purchase a computer with 4gb of RAM if at all possible.

Also very important is to purchase an external hard drive to back your work up with. The last thing you want to have happen is to work day in and day out on a project just to have your hard drive crash the day before your set to present (knock on wood i've avoided this but I know a handful of friends who haven't.) So take the advice up front, you may just be really glad you did one day.

Take advantage of the College of Design computer labs in your first few years here at the U of M as all of their computers are updated each year with the newest versions of the programs you need saving you a lot of money in purchasing program licenses. When the time does come where you deem it necessary to purchase the program for yourself be sure to buy the program from the U of M Bookstore as they have student rates resulting in GREATLY REDUCED software prices. Also, AutoCAD is free as long as your a student from the AutoDesk website.

Happy Shopping!

Eric Maass
- Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design 2011
- Masters of Landscape Architecture Candidate 2013

That's 'Suite'!

Today was a busy day, mostly because I have been working on this "Campus Fashion Weekly" project all day! It's supposed to be a magazine/newspaper mock-up with fashion tips, informational articles, and even "letter's to the editor". This was a group project assignment for my Fashion: Trends and Communication class (ADES 3217); each member was required to write about two articles so that we could produce a two-page, six column newspaper. We had to format these articles and add pictures as well. We were given the option of using Microsoft Publisher and PowerPoint for the assignment, but my group decided to use 'InDesign'. A few of the member in my group, myself included, have had experience using the Adobe Suites from previous classes. We determined that it would be the best and smartest tool to use because it provides us with a greatest range of creativity and freedom.

This is a rough example of our project layout:

Screen shot 2011-11-09 at 12.39.29 AM.png

The Adobe Suites are really fun and very useful. However, they are not required for any of the Retail Merchandising classes I have taken thus far, even the one where I learned how to use them. But, if you ever need or want access to these programs, there are computer labs all over campus that will provide you with the option. Nevertheless, if you decide that you do want to purchase the Adobe Suites, you will be able to do so through the Office of Information Technology for a wonderfully discounted price.

Have a great day!
Sasenka Curic - Retail Merchandising

Finding the Right Match

Want to meet a professional in your field that has the same interests as you? Then the College of Design mentoring program is a great opportunity!

mentor.jpgThe College of Design has one of the largest mentoring programs on campus, even though it is one of the smallest colleges in the university. Students and mentors apply during the summer. The mentoring program then pairs them up based on their interests. Pro Tip: If you can't find a program to match you up with a mentor, seek out an older student or professional and ask them. The worst they can do is say no.

IMG_1542.JPGOn Wednesday, I met my mentor, a designer that works at AECOM, at the Mentor kick-off in McNamara Alumni Center. Since there are more students than mentors who apply, my mentor has two students. The three of us share a lot of interests, including historic preservation, sustainability, and design. The kick-off event facilitated our conversation (similar to speed dating) by providing a list of topics. All of us had already read Cradle to Cradle, which allowed us to discuss certain topics. Now that we've met, it will be easier to meet at future events in the Twin Cities.

My mentor also offered to critique my portfolio and studio work. We've scheduled our next meeting at AECOM where he will give us a tour. It will be nice to have a one-on-one informational tour instead of being in a large group.

That's all for now.

Holly Engle
Bachelor of Science - Architecture

The Areas of Concentration

barrack-street%20small.jpegAs housing studies majors, all students are required to eventually choose one of five different areas of emphasis related to housing. These are community development and policy, housing technology, management and finance, selected populations, and sustainability. The different concentrations allow us to explore other academic departments of our own interest and give us a lot of flexibility when choosing a minor, which most housing students end up earning by graduation. It's really interesting to see how the areas of concentration have led housing grads in a variety of different directions - from city planners to commercial bankers.

My particular area of focus is housing technology with a minor in architecture. Emerging technology has not only increased the overall efficiency of our homes, but also (in the last decade or so) spawned a wave of real-time home technologies used in a variety of ways including living assistance, safety, entertainment, security, and social empowerment. It's a project within itself trying to keep up with the latest gadgets and techy things related to housing technology, and I think it would be great to one day help implement these into new housing developments.


Jesse LaMaack

Housing Studies

Monday, November 7, 2011

From Inspiration to Completion : Part two

Last week I posted about the project I am currently working on in my Studio class. Over the past few days I have made quite a bit of progress. After deciding on a final sketch of my design, the next step is to pattern a general shape. In your apparel design classes you will learn how to use various patterning methods like draping; putting fabric directly on the mannequin form to create your pattern, drafting; using book instructions to draw a pattern directly from individual body measurements, and modifying block patterns; taking very basic patterns and changing them to create your specific design. In most projects you will use two, if not all of the above methods to create your final patterns.

Here is a photo of my patterning process:

The photo above shows me patterning using drafting and block pattern manipulation methods. As you can see, it involves a lot of trial and error, with many measurements and lines to draw, but it is very worth it in the end.

The next step is to cut out your patterns and use draping techniques to check your garment is the correct size and shape. Here is me checking my knit project!


The next step for me, which will be documented next week, is to start sewing samples to figure out the best way to construct my garment. Sewing samples before starting on the actual garment assures that you will be confident when it really matters! The professors in the Apparel Design program ( all are wonderful and help you through all these processes until you are confident working on your own.

More next week!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Getting sick... DUN DUN DUNNN

Over the past week, I've been feeling a little under the weather. You know, just your typical coughing, sneezing, sleepy bit. I tried the usual over the counter stuff at first as well as just trying to sleep it off, but nothing availed. Finally I realized it would probably be a good idea to take a quick trip to the doctor.


Luckily, right on campus we have Boynton Health Services. Basically, this is a health facility/clinic offered to students, staff, faculty etc. on campus. They have locations on the East Bank as well as St. Paul. Since pretty much all of my classes as well as my job are over in St. Paul, I stopped there on Thursday.


The doctors there were all super nice and caring as well as very knowledgeable and informed. I hardly had to wait 5 minutes to see a doctor, and overall, the examination only took about 45 minutes total. Turns out it was just a weird bug, but I got prescribed an anti-biotic and I was able to pick them up at the Pharmacy located inside of the East Bank Boynton.

Thank goodness Boynton exists, because getting home would have been a major hassle! Since my visit, I've been doing what the doctor instructed, and I'm feeling so much better!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In a Day

Currently, I am enrolled in seventeen credits; I have four lecture classes and one online class. It can be rough sometimes I won't lie, but it's all about how you manage your time. Having an online class is nice because it allows me to have a more open schedule; I only have class Monday through Thursday and also have quite long breaks between my classes. However, with an online class you have to make sure that you are staying on track because it is super easy fall behind.

Today friends, I'm going to walk you through a typical Monday and show you all what a normal day in my shoes looks like. My first class of the day, Business Statistics (OMS 2550), starts at 10:10; this is nice because it gives me a little time to sleep in, and I do love to sleep! The class typically lasts till 11:50, but sometimes we are let out early. After business stats, I have a fairly long break till my next class, about 4 hours. I usually use this time to study, work on my online class, exercise, and sometimes, even nap. When 4 o'clock rolls around, I start getting ready to head out to St. Paul for my Fashion: Trends and Communication class (ADES 3217); this class starts at 4:30 and goes until 5:45. After the class is done, I usually hop on the campus connector bus and head to my favorite coffee shop on campus, Espresso Expose. This coffee shop is open till midnight, which is very convenient because it gives me an opportunity to meet and catch up with friends as well as get some extra studying done; it's the perfect way to end a day!

Until Next Time!

Studying at Espresso Expose