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College of Design

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Break has Arrived!

IMG_4076.JPGI am pleased to announce that I am completely finished with my fall semester coursework and Winter Break is finally here! Although the work started piling up at the end as it always seems to, I powered through it and am very satisfied with my hard work. I definitely underestimated how much research I had compiled for my final projects until it was all laying in a pile on my floor - it was a tad overwhelming but somewhat organized (to me at least). CIMG6339.JPGThe final thing submitted marking the end of my semester was a brief yet concise summary explaining the formation, hazards, and mitigation of ice dams that form on rooftops during the winter season, caused by unwanted heat rising through attic ceilings and melting the snow on the exterior. Ice dams have potential to cause major damage to the house and also can become a source of mold and mildew which is no good! Preventing them can save a lot of potential problems. Thankfully, I was able to refer back to a handy little diagram I drew a few years back in my Systems Approach to Residential Construction class, and was able to get my final assignment submitted quickly and painlessly.

Outside of my exciting end-of-semester news, I am continuing to work for the next few days at our new office on the East Bank Campus that CBS Student Services recently moved to (which I mentioned a few weeks back). It is freshly renovated and in a convenient spot on campus, so I already love the change in scenery. At the end of the weekend I will be heading back home to southwestern Minnesota and spend a week or two with my family and relaxing. Hope you are all staying warm, it's getting cold out there!

Jesse L. - Housing Studies, B.S.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Final Design Edits

If you read my blog last week, you know that I had my final critique for my senior line last week, which is the accumulation of everything I've done this semester! I got some great feedback and made some changes to certain pieces to make the line flow more and have a cohesive collection.

In design, especially at a large school with an extensive program, you learn that much more goes into design than just designing and creating. Editing is a huge and very important part of design. As the designer and sole creator of a line, it is very easy to get lost in the pieces and not really see the big picture. This is why it is very important to have outside perspectives give you insight on how to create a line that truly flows and defines your aesthetic.

In my critique I got some great feedback, mostly regarding one piece, which didn't quite fit in with the others. After hearing what they had to say, and playing with different ideas and solutions, I changed the piece to the look below. (Check out my blog last week to see the original design)


Lucie, Apparel Design

Finale of Finals

The end of finals, planning the return trips home, getting ready for holiday events with friends and families. All this stuff builds up right when finals hit and hopefully you made it through with some sleep and dignity. I had no dignity last week...2 all nighters and some serious holes in my final model design. Add in a few brain farts during my presentation and it all ended with an awkward sweeping spew of information from an awesome crew of guest reviewers that came in for LA 3001. The reviews were exciting and with so many people the 2 hours flew by. My advice for model reviews: stick to what you know, talk sparingly, listen actively, and be appreciative and welcoming to new ideas!!


I just got a tip from my friend An, a current Landscape Architecture Graduate student. Check out the Minneapolis Convention Center on Facebook and look at the Vote: creative challenge. Just by reading the proposal I learned a lot about Minneapolis, downtown, street grids, and art as an informative diagram.
Hope your enjoying new found freedoms and winter time fun. See you next time!!!

Sarah S.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well, That's Poetic

Hello again,

I just turned in my last final online. So, now it is time to plan activities for winter break. The first thing on my list is to visit an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. There is a visiting exhibition that people cannot stop talking about: China's Terracotta Warriors. Not to mention that college students get the lowest admission rate with college ID. How can I miss this? The next thing on my list is going to see Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater. It is a perfect time for that. I wrote about the Guthrie in one of my past blogs. Minneapolis ranks number second in the U.S. for the highest theater seats per capita. I have no option, but to take advantage of all the resources around me.

The list is still going, but I think it is better to recap the best moment of finals week. I had a review for my BDA workshop, Furniture Design, last week. We had four weeks to design and create a piece of furniture for our own home. I chose to make a floor table because I do all my works on the floor. Here is the result:

Whaaalaaa...a three-legged table.

It is a single line metal leg with single sheet hardwood table top. Height can be adjusted when tilting at angle. One of my critique said the table was very poetic in the way the metal leg and table piece married together. I think that comment was very poetic.

I hope you are finishing up with your finals as well. Good luck with all the things in life and happy holidays!!

See you next blog!
Beau S.
Architecture B.D.A.

Planning a Productive Winter Break

One thing I really love about winter break is that it is long enough to give you some much deserved time off from constant studying and designing, but short enough to stay motivated about improving your portfolio and getting ready for next semester. Take a week or two off if you need to, but set a date for yourself to reevaluate the work you did this semester and see if it can be improved upon - this is especially important if you are Freshman who will be participating in Portfolio Review at the beginning of next fall! I often find that after not seeing work I did for a few weeks, I will look back and immediately notice things that bother me and could be improved. It definitely isn't necessary to improve all of the work you did this semester, but picking some of your best work and polishing it to make it really shine is a great start.

During my winter break, one of my biggest goals will be to finally get around to making a new portfolio website. I had been hoping to work on a new portfolio this semester, but was so busy that I didn't get around to it. Previously, I have used Cargo and Behance to easily create an online portfolio, but this time I will be creating my own site from scratch and hosting it on my own domain that I purchased. Websites like Cargo and Behance are great ways to start showcasing your work, even as a Freshman or Sophomore. In a future blog, I plan on talking about the pros and cons of using a service like Cargo or Behance vs. coding your own website from scratch.

Because I am very interested in web and interactive design, coding my own website makes the most sense for me, and also allows me to showcase my skills. I am excited to create a responsive website that will be easily accessible across all devices with different size screens. If you aren't familiar with responsive web design, you should check some websites that use it. Try resizing your browser horizontally on responsive sites and watch how the page automatically adapts to different sizes. Neato!

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No blog next week, but I will be blogging once a week for the rest of break after that. Happy Holidays!

Graphic Design

Campus Fun

Finals are over and winter break has started, so I think that in today's post I'll write about some of the fun, non-class related activities that the University of Minnesota offers to its students.

Most of these fun activities are part of Gopher's After Dark and are planned by the Student Unions & Activities committee. The entertainment and activities that occur at Gopher's After Dark take place at our student union, Coffman, on Friday and Saturday nights. Movies, music shows, entertainment artists, games, and many other fun and random activities take place during these weekend events. The movies that are shown during these nights are free and are movies that are freshly out of the theaters, but have yet to be released on DVD. The musical acts and shows typically occur at The Whole Music Club, which is located in the basement of Coffman, and showcase both local and nationally known artists. Occasionally, there are famous comedians, motivational speakers, and other well-known entertainers that come and perform for the students on these nights; one time I saw the comedic cast Chelsea Lately, it was pretty funny. There is also bowling and a game room, where students can simply socialize and have fun; these two activities, however, are also available during weekdays. Sometimes, events that are set up by other student groups that take place at Gophers After Dark as well. One event in particular that I recall is called "Scrubbed into Fashion;" it a fashion show set up by the Student group Fashion and Business.
(Doing live-band karaoke at Gophers after Dark, photo curtsy of Student Union & Activities Committee)

As you can see, the UofM not only offers a great education to its students, but also great entertainment and fun as well!

Until Next Time Friends!
Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Almost done, almost done

And MAN OH MAN, I seriously cannot wait. It's been a good semester, but I'm ready to put a lid on it and officially start my winter break. Right now, the only thing left on my plate is my Textile Analysis lecture final exam on Wednesday at 8am (bright and early). I've been studying my butt off, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've still got a whole day left to fully prepare, so I'm really glad that I spaced out my studying over the span of a few days.

Some of the things I'm excited to do over break include applying for scholarships and internships. As appealing as a totally lazy bum winter break might be, I think productivity is even more appealing and it will ultimately pay off in the long run. I am hoping to have a full time internship this summer, and that isn't going to find itself. I have a place in mind, so that's step one, but I still need to work on my resume, cover letter, and application materials. I have some rough drafts, so on Wednesday sometime after my final I plan on heading over to Career and Internship Services to get everything looked at and critiqued. Having a resource like that which is so easily accessibly is honestly priceless (and actually, it's free guys). It's always a good idea to have an extra set of eyes or two to look at stuff like that, so I can't wait to get some feedback.

As for scholarships, I'll be hunting throughout the University website and beyond. There was also an email that went out about the 2013 President's Student Leadership and Service Awards. It could be a long shot, but I intend on applying for this since I do have leadership experience that I've acquired over the past few years. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

One other thing I'm really looking forward to over break is my trip to Chicago coming up. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and blog about it so stay tuned! :)

Until the next,
Ashley O.
Interior Design

Friday, December 14, 2012

You're invited!

Here's a question: Did you know you can come the University of Minnesota and get a customized College of Design tour where you get to see resources, equipment, and student work up close and personal? If you did know this, then great! If you did not know this, don't fret because tours are offered almost every Friday and will resume in the new semester beginning January 25th. If you're wondering who your tour guide would be... the answer is probably me! I give tours every Friday to students who are interested in Interior Design, Apparel Design, Graphic Design, Housing Studies, and Retail Merchandising. There's another awesome tour guide dedicated to Architecture and Landscape Design & Planning over in Rapson Hall (the other design building).

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These tours are a great way to learn more about programs you are interested in as well as get a sense of what the campuses are like. It's nice because you see a dorm, get an info session, then get to view the academic side of things. Some of the highlights include seeing studio spaces for various majors, getting an inside peek at resources available, and the services such as Student Services or Career and Internship Services. By learning about what the College of Design has to offer while you are a prospective student, it really gives you an advantage once you come here because you already know so much.

If you're interested in setting up a tour, it's really easy! Just click here for more info.

Hope to see you on a tour sometime! :)

Interior Design

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finals Week Begins

It's a big week for students here at the U as final exams begin and social lives are put on hold. Aside from a few finals early next week, I've been spending most of my time on a term paper and group research project in my Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) course. MY group mates and I are working hard assessing, modeling, and comparing the life cycles and carbon/greenhouse gas emissions of two different commercial roofing materials/treatments: a PVC-laminated poly membrane called Dura-Last made from recycled post-industrial waste, and modular LiveRoof "living" green roof system. Some of our inventory modeling work is shown below - as you can see, things are starting to get complicated. Although it can be frustrating at times, the application of course material to a group project l is where we really start to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for LCA and its allied sciences. Hopefully, I'll be able to apply it in the real world one day.

useeee.PNG brookewz.png

backyardsnowyyy.JPGOutside of the school craziness, the weather must've been feeling wild and threw us all a deceivingly beautiful "welcome to MinneSnowta" snowstorm. Although the outdoor conditions throughout remained mostly calm and picturesque (large fluffy snowflakes gently falling and now wind), the precipitation went steady and strong for longer than most people realized. After what seemed like days of constant snowfall, the temperatures dipped into the low teens - turning roads into ice skating rinks overnight. Traffic was absolute mayhem for a good part of Monday morning (not exaggerating) before city workers were able to melt the ice on main roads. The whole thing was a pretty dramatic seasonal transition for all of us, but the first big snowfall is always a fun time for us Minnesotans, assuming your car didn't get towed during a Snow Emergency.

homeelinz.PNGOn a final note, I am pleased to announce that I was recently offered an internship at HOME Line, a Minneapolis based nonprofit tenant advocacy organization - offering free legal advice to renters across Minnesota. Much of my position there will be focused on their tenant hotline helping renters with tenant problems and legal issues. I'm super excited about the opportunity and feel that it will be a great way to broaden my housing policy knowledge and use it to empower others. Although it is an unpaid internship, I will be receiving required course internship credits for my time there and working at my regular campus job on the side. I start this coming January, stay posted for future updates!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Done In The Nick of Time

So yesterday I realized that I had only one more day of class left until I was done with my semester. I got a huge feeling of excitement and drowsiness; most of us have been running on very little sleep during finals week. With all of my projects due Monday and Tuesday this week I had a major push last weekend for what felt like a million things. I am sure some of you can relate, but I just am so happy that I made it to Wednesday! So all thats left is a dance class, attending a presentation and then presenting a model in 3001. THEN. I. AM. DONE. Then I am going to Rome and Istanbul. Where there is no snow. This study abroad Architecture program is leaving in January and returning in May, meaning I get to skip the majority of winter in Minnesota! Having grown up here I am more than happy to skip one cold season for the moderate rainy season of Italy and Turkey. snow outside my house.JPGThumbnail image for DSC03346.JPG

I hope you all are ready for some winter activities like sledding, ice skating and hot cocoa drinking. Check out the ice castles over by the Mall of America, ice skating at the Depot in downtown, or try to find the best tasting hot cocoa in the city! Enjoy winter break and get ready for some winter fun when you get back!

A great article by Cody Nelson at MN Daily highlights the student group U Students Like Good Food Check it out and Ill be back next week!!!!!

Sarah S.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Glory of Final Week

Hello again,

Final week has officially started. Several classes in the architecture programs already have their final reviews going on. So, what is final review? Think of it like a final, but with you presenting what you have done, what you have learned, and your greatest work from that particular course. Most of the design courses will test your knowledge and your ability during the semester by "reviewing" your project. Students will most likely be faced with a review than a test or a paper. It allows students to get feedback from their peers, instructors, and even professionals in the field you are studying.


I snapshot a view of Rapson Hall during final review week for you. It was definitely the liveliest time of the semester. Every space in the courtyard was occupied. I visited several reviews, listening to people explaining their projects and what they have been working on. It was super interesting and inspiring. The type of projects ranged from landscape architecture, to architectural photography, to furniture, and much more. Every review also have professionals in that particular field visiting and giving feedback to students. I had a review this past Monday for my furniture design class, and we have real furniture designers from company like Blu Dot as our guest critiques. Nothing is better than having these "big deal" people look at your project and talk about your project.

The final week is still going on and I cannot wait to be inspired by all of the talented design students. I hope you are as excited as I am.

See you next blog!
Beau S.
Architecture B.D.A.

What to Know for the Snow

a.JPG This past Sunday a pretty big snowstorm hit Minneapolis and everyone on campus appeared to be pretty excited about it! Last year's winter was pretty mild and warm, with very little snow. So when the snow started falling this past weekend, everyone was excited to take part in fun snow festivities that we missed out on last year, festivities such as snowball fights with friends!

Snow is typically inevitable during the winter months in Minnesota and tends to change things up a little on campus, particularly in transportation via Campus Connector busses. During winter months, Campus Connectors tend to run a little slower than in the fall and spring months, usually about five minutes late or so. Not usually a big deal,however, as a Retail Merchandising student, I think that it is important to know about these little delays, especially before creating your class schedules.

Retail Merchandising students are continuously tranfering between the three different locations, St, Paul, East Bank, and West Bank, on the university. The connector rides between the different locations are typically quick and easy, lasting roughly about twenty minutes or so between opposite sides of campus. However, in the wintertime it can take a little longer, which can get a little tricky for us Retail students, especially if we scheduled less than a thirty minutes gap between the classes that are on opposite sides of campus.

Knowing about how things run in the winter time before you come to the university can be beneficial. So when it comes time for you, potential retail students, to create class schedules, make sure to leave at a forty minute gap between class that are on opposite sides of campus.

Until next week friends!
Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

Final Line!

It's over! (mostly) My final line is complete (minus a few finishing details that need to wait until final fittings, like lining one dress, a few zippers, and hems, etc) I am so excited that I've gotten this far in such a small time frame!

These past two weekends I have spent every waking moment in studio. For example, this past weekend, I spent 55 of 80 hours in studio. (Thursday afternoon through Sunday night) It was a crazy busy time for me, but when you truly love something, like design and fashion, you'll put in the time, no matter how much it ends up being. It is something you're passionate about, so it is your top priority.

For our final critique, our mentors, professors and other design faculty and staff, as well as students, all come together to listen to your presentation and give feedback. It is always positive, but critical, as that is how design evolves, and designers grow.

Here is a picture of my final line! What do you think?


Lucie, Apparel Design

The End is in Sight!

One thing that is great about design classes is that your final projects are usually due the week before finals week. Once you get further along in the program and have finished up your liberal education requirements that have more traditional final exams, you might not even have any tests during finals week. I am pretty excited that I will be completely done with this semester come Wednesday evening after I present my final project in Web & Interface Design.

If you do still have some final exams coming up next week, let me give you some advice: get your studying done this week! I have been in the situation a few times before where my classes were over but I had my last final almost a week later. It is not fun and not easy to make yourself study after several days of feeling like your semester is over. If you have finals next week, treat the rest of your week off as a normal school week and get the majority of your studying done now. You will feel so much better and will be able to enjoy your weekend and days off before finishing up. Get your studying done now while you are still in school mode and brush up with a quick review before you breeze through your last exams, you will thank yourself!

That's it for now. I need to put the finishing touches on my project!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

P.S. I would highly suggest stopping by Open Port, the graphic design senior show for seniors graduating this semester. The show is from 5-8pm this Friday November 14th at the Weisman Art Museum and it is free! This is a great opportunity to check out some awesome work and get idea of what your portfolio may entail when you graduate. You can also get advice from and network with the students graduating from the program.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tips for the end of the semester

Managing your design projects on top of other group projects or finals you might have can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you get through the last few demanding weeks:

1) Ask professors for extra feedback

It often seems that your biggest and most important studio project of the semester is crammed into a very short amount of time in the final weeks of class. On more than one occasion, I have felt that the amount of critique I received from my classmates and professor toward the end of the semester just wasn't quite enough. Luckily, most professors will be completely willing to give you some more feedback during their office hours or via email.

2) Stay organized, Plan ahead

Okay, so staying organized and planning ahead is a given, but I have encountered a few unforeseen and stressful situations toward the end of the semester that I never would have seen coming. For instance, if you need project supplies from the St. Paul Bookstore for a project, make sure to grab them before the weekend. The Coffman Bookstore is open on Saturday, but not Sundays! Also make sure to pay attention to the Computer lab hours for printing and working.

3) Choose your battles wisely

Okay, so you got more feedback on your project and you planned ahead as best as you could, but you still can't find enough time to create the work you would truly like to. Don't stress out too much - remember that you can always improve upon your work later. When it comes time to graduate, the work in your portfolio is what will matter - not the grade you got on one project in your foundation class. With that being said, always do your best- but your best is hardly even what you hand in to your professor. Improvements can always be made after the fact!

And just remember:
poster by Ena Bacanovic

Good Luck!

Graphic Design


I feel that I can speak for most U of M undergrads when describing this week as a true challenge in the area of time management - finals are right around the corner and most of us have other projects and deadlines to take care of first. In other words, it's crunch time. There's no doubt I've succumb to the mechanically operating work-school-study-sleep-repeat routine that get caught up in at this time of the year. While it may not be the most balanced or wholesome means of existence, a structured and productive daily agenda is to be expected when cruising through the home stretch of academic term - there is an end in sight!

SeanJesseDec5.jpg The recent cold snap that sent all of us for a loop yesterday brought less than favorable outdoor conditions, so instead of traveling to campus and back for our scheduled library session, my friend Sean (senior, School of Journalism & Mass Communications) and I set up a makeshift study nook at my place and were able to remain studious for several hours (not usually the case for me when studying in a college residential environment). While I seldom study at my house (or friends' places) because of the numerous distractions that tend to present themselves, I will note that our current home in the SE Como Neighborhood is a far more favorable study environment than some of our previous residences - my freshman residence hall (Pioneer Hall) being a good comparative example. Pioneer was great - loved every minute of it - but it was in no way an ideal place to get serious homework done, which was okay since the Biomedical Library was in the tunnel system just across the street and open late.


In other news, the office I work at part-time (College of Biological Sciences Student Services) will soon be moving from Snyder Hall on the St. Paul Campus to Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) on the East Bank of the Minneapolis Campus! I'm pretty excited for the move; it will work perfectly with my schedule for the upcoming Spring 2013 academic term. It will also be convenient for CBS students who don't spend much of their time on the St. Paul Campus, and overall easier to locate with MCB being on Washington Avenue (the main drag of East Bank, light rail coming soon!). I also have an internship interview coming up next week for the upcoming Spring term, fingers crossed!

Jesse - Housing Studies, B.S.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Escaping Plan: Venice

Hello again,

The temperature has been up and down lately and it makes me think about escaping Minnesota during winter. My plan is about to come true because I just submitted my study abroad application! The destination is Venice, Italy. This program will occur during the month of May, so I will have to bear this Minnesota weather in the meantime. Even though May is not really winter anymore, this plan still sounds amazing.

I chose Venice for many reasons. First, I am already familiar with Asian culture and American culture. I want to explore the European culture. Second, Venice is a city on water where car is not the primary mode of commuting. Third and the most important reason, Venice has a long history of architecture and establishment. It is the perfect place to study the changes in culture, history, landscape, and architecture through buildings. Not to mention that it is one of the prettiest places on earth.

An old Venice map, drawn in 1847

There are so many learning abroad opportunities here at the University of Minnesota. Check out the Learning Abroad website for more information. You can choose to do study abroad, volunteer abroad, intern abroad, you name it. I chose to study abroad during the month of May because it works best with my schedule. You can choose to do a semester long, year long, January term, or May term like I did. Have fun exploring the world!

See you next blog!
Beau S.
Architecture B.D.A.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Busy, Busy, Happy?

So it's the week before finals week and I should be feeling stressed, especially looking at all that I have to have done by next Wednesday, which is a lot by the way! But oddly enough, I'm at peace and actually pretty excited to study for tests and work on projects, assignments, and papers, pretty crazy right? Well, part of the reason I'm feeling so optimistic and positive is because I've decided to start looking foreword to my assignments, getting excited about them! I feel like so much of the time we, college students, take advantage of school; we look at our assignments as something that we just have to finish and overcome, instead of appreciating and really learning form the opportunity that is set before us. So, I'm choosing to be grateful for schoolwork and studying, especially these assignments that are set before me during this crazy and stressful part of the semester! Deciding to approach this week, and hopefully the entire school year, with this positive attitude is actually giving me a heart to enjoy my schoolwork, which is allowing me to be more productive as well. And personally I need all the productivity available, especially if I'm going to be able to finish five papers, two final projects, and studying for tests/quizzes in a matter of a single week!

(Planner full and still smiling!)

I don't know, maybe it's the season, maybe it's because I know the end of the semester is so near; either way, I hope that this mindset lasts the entire school year because I definitely prefer being happy and productive rather than stressful and overwhelmed.

Until next week friends!
Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Wait. You designed that??

When people attempt to define interior design, there are always mixed messages (some on par and others completely off). For instance, some people don't realize that interior design is NOT interior decorating and some people think it's just about throw pillows and paint colors. It's more than what the TV shows say and the fact of the matter is simple: interior design is so much more. It is about creating interior spaces that will garner optimal productivity from those who inhibit it. It is about providing comfort and safety. And you know what else? It's about hard work. Some would compare the term "interior design" to "interior architecture", and to be honest, I'd say they're close if not one in the same. Now technically, a graduate of an interior design program cannot call themselves an architect, but believe me when I say that the skill set is all there.

photo.jpegAnd speaking off skill sets, I want to talk about a project I completed today for my interior design studio course (IDES 2603). As I may have mentioned in a previous post, our big final project for studio is designing a retail space. Along with this project, one of the tasks was to design a custom casegood. If you are unfamiliar with what a casegood is, it is basically a piece of furniture that doubles as storage (think cabinets, dressers, etc). When I started in the interior design program, it never even crossed my mind that I would ever be designing a piece of furniture. It was such a cool assignment because we were able to create the perfect casegood based on our retail space. This casegood fit individual concepts and moods of the space and added a unique touch to the space because it we didn't have to use standard furniture.

The interior program here is great because it is thorough. They teach you everything you need to know and everything you would dream of knowing. I am learning so many things that will be applicable to my career as an interior designer one day. I remember back in Elementary School or Junior High when kids (me included) would ask, "when are we ever gunna use that??". It's really nice to know that I don't need to wonder that anymore.

Until the next,

Interior Design

Traveling Design

Today I thought I would post about something other than my senior line, as next week it will be completely finished and I will be sure to post about the final critique and how it was received! Can't wait! This weekend will be very busy, but everything is worth it in the end!

Back to my post! I thought I would post about taking opportunities when traveling and out with parents and family, over holidays, etc, to take advantage of different fashion and design exhibits. I often travel with my family and always am going to galleries and museums with them on our vacations. This past Thanksgiving break we were able to take some time to visit the Field Museum in Chicago, IL. The Field Museum has a great exhibit currently about the museums' clothing and fashion coordinator, and how her designs often take inspiration from older garments housed within the various regional collections. The exhibition was showing her garments alongside traditional and very old artifacts and comparing and contrasting the design elements within the pieces.

Attending events and exhibitions like these broadens your design and fashion views, as well as network and knowledge. Making time to visit even the local galleries and collection showings (during MNFashion Week, etc.) is a great start!

Here is a picture from the collection!

Lucie, Apparel Design

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Designer's Relief

Designing spaces large and small is part of being a landscape planner. It is how you deal with the space you have, not the size of the space, that can shape it into something special. 3001 design scheme001.jpg Working with a proposed site on a piece of paper is extremely difficult for me. Starting with a drawing on a scale version where 1"=20' then translating that into more detailed drawings and then a full sized model. Its really hard to wrap my mind around the sizing, and appropriate elements that are needed in this site. I got some good advice from my TA in LA3001 David K., In a site that is a small public space, he told me to make larger gestures with lots of direction. It is always easier to focus into smaller areas once the major concept has been expressed clearly. This advice is helping me to connect better with my site, contour lines, and structural elements. You can see from my first draft of the site that I have some sweeping ideas, but I took a lot of care in the movement of the pathways, but not the spaces outside of them. My next step is to use my contours for purposeful design, not just to be there without connection. So I suppose I am saying think outside yourself and get other people's opinions before completing a design!
There is an article by the Southwest Journal that reinforces the idea that people need to experience nature. Being in nature reduces stress. But what if you work in the landscape you are supposed to be experiencing. Where is the designers relief? think about some of your stress reliever these next few weeks, get through finals with some sanity. I'll be back again next week.

Sarah S.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It Was A Chair. Is It a CHAIR?

Hello again,

It's crazy to think that the end of this semester is less than a month away. On that note, I think it would be a good idea to show you one of the project I recently completed for a class. I talked about a furniture design class I am taking and how we are going to "pimp my ride" dumpster chairs in my past blog. Well, the wait is over. I have the re-designed chair(?) prototype right here for you.

As I mentioned in previous blog, I don't use a chair, I don't own a chair, and I am not planning on getting one anytime soon. So, the dumpster chair I found has to evolve into something else that would enhance my experience of working on the floor. Below is my 3-minute proposal and result sketch presentation. I discovered that the backrest piece has a unique curvature that allow my body to shift at different angle when resting on top of it. After several trials and errors, I came up with a system of multipurpose angled wood piece as you see in the image below.

The Sketch Presentation

This image was taken after the class was over. The professor left his camera unattended for a short period of time, so we decided to have a little fun with it. *Photo by Tom Oliphant

Your health is the most important thing around this time of year. So, use all the resources you need to help you end your semester well. Visit the Writing Center, SMART Tutoring, Counseling and Consulting services, Recreational Center, and whatever else you need. The U of M got it all for you.

Good luck with classes and see you next blog!
-Beau S.
Architecture B.D.A.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Helpful Technologies

Hello again everyone, hopefully you all had a terrific Thanksgiving! As winter break looms, its getting to be that time of the semester where group projects are taking over and we are beginning to apply our skills we've learned so far this semester. Balancing three group projects at a time can be trying at times, but a few key pieces of technology provided to my by the U of M has been making my academic life a bit more manageable. First and foremost on my list of helpful technologies came about just a few years ago when our student email server "GopherMail" was integrated with Gmail from Google. If you aren't familiar with Gmail, Google Drive/Docs, and Google's other programs - I can assure you that it makes life as a college student a lot easier. It can be used as a regular email inbox, a much more secure substitute for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel - and most of all, it provides us students with file sharing capabilities (below) so group projects can be worked on by everyone involved live from our own computers. That way, all group members can be connected and conversing without having to butcher our schedules by all having to meet in one place (often a hassle for many of us College of Design students who are always back and forth between Minneapolis and St. Paul).


Another technical tool that has come in handy is the Excel-based GREET Life Cycle Analysis modeling and calculation program one of my professors recently provided us with. I know, boring, I would have agreed just a few weeks ago - but, it has proven to save our group a lot of time when it came time to conduct our own LCA, so it is much appreciated. Another technology I've been revising recently from last year's map design course is ArcGIS, which is essentially geographic information software which turns data and metadata into maps. It's a good skill to have learned because sometimes certain projects or findings could be better explained visually as a map, and ArcGIS allows me to make my own maps to convey the data that I choose. So yay for technology! It is making my week go by a whole lot smoother.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeping Focus

The holidays are among us, making it very difficult for us students to focus on school! Luckily, I have a lot of interesting classes that make these last few weeks of the semester go by a little faster. One of these classes is my Fashion, Design, and Global Industries class (ADES 4218). I think I've probably talked about this class a little bit in previous posts, but I think I'll go a little bit more in depth about what it's all about in this post.

This class is an online course where the students, within the class, are split into different discussion groups. Each week we make posts in these discussion sections; the posts pertain to the topics we're learning and readings about in that particular week. These discussion groups exist so that we as students can learn from and with our peers even though we are not in a physical classroom setting. The topics of posts vary and can be anything from 'What makes a specific city (e.g. London, Paris, Tokyo) a Fashion Capitol' to this week's discussion topic of "Qipao" influences in Western design.

Quizzes are also a weekly occurrence in the class; but, unlike previous quizzes that I've taken for online classes, the quizzes in Fashion, Design, and Global Industries are essay/short answer and not timed. We actually have a full week, from Thursday to Thursday, to work on them. I find this really nice, because we get time to think and process through the answers, rather than just rushing to get them all done and answered. Of course, in addition to the discussions and quizzes, we occasionally also have group projects or video reports to work on; these assignments are pretty rare though, I believe maybe only one group project and two reports all semester.

The collage below is one I made for a discussion post earlier in the semester; discussion topic was about the different shopping centers found in the LA area and how they appeal to different target markets.


Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Senior Line: Final Garments!

The time is finally upon me, final garments time! This means that I am through with the initial phases of patterning, test garments and pattern corrections and am ready to move on to creating the real garments out of their fashion fabrics. (Fashion fabrics is a fancy way to say the actual fabric the garment will be made out of. Muslin is the inexpensive cotton fabric used to make most test garments.) This also means that my garments are starting to look real, and I love it! It is really hard to tell how a design will look in the end when it is in the wrong fabric, so moving on to this step is very encouraging.

When you start creating garments in the final fabrics, you also start making design decisions based on how they look in reality, not just in sketch or in test garment fabric. For example, one of my designs was a jumper with sleeves. In final fabric, the sleeves were too much of a good thing (over designing is a difficult thing to overcome, and something important to watch as a new designer) and I completely changed the silhouette to be sleeveless. I think it is much more chic now, and fits with the rest of my line better. Take a look below!


These are not in any way finished garments, but they're getting close! I have final fittings this week and will continue to finish the pieces over the next two weeks! Wish me luck!

Lucie, Apparel Design

Next semester already!?

With such a busy schedule, this semester has seemed to go faster than ever before. I can't believe there are only 3 weeks of regular class left (including this one)! I registered a week or two ago for my second to last semester of my college career. That's right, I'm graduating in Fall 2013! This is pretty exciting for me because until recently, I didn't think I would be able to graduate until Spring 2014. Here is a look at the classes I am taking in Spring and what I expect from them!

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GDes 3352 - Identity and Symbol
This class concentrates a lot on branding. From what I have heard from friends, projects may include creating a brand and identity for a fictional company of your choice, or even redesigning the identity of an existing company.

GDes 3353 - Packaging and Display
Surprise, surprise - this class is all about branding and packaging design. It will be fun to have a somewhat hands-on class again next semester. This semester has been pretty computer heavy!

GDes 5341 Interactive Design
This course seems to change frequently over the years, but I have heard it will probably involve some web and mobile app design, as well as a few other projects. I will give an update after the course starts!

Jour 3006 - Visual Communication
This is the last course I will be taking for my mass communication minor. I don't know exactly what it is all about, but it is called visual communication... here's to hoping it is fun!

PUBH 1005 - Sleep, Eat, Exercise
This will be interesting... I needed one more credit to be full time and all of the cool gym classes I wanted to take were full. In all seriousness though, there are a number of 1 credit Public Health online classes that are supposedly pretty easy and fun. Check them out if are curious or need to pick up an extra credit!

P.S. Try using UofM's new Schedule Builder to help you plan out next semester!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

The Benefits of Networking

If you've never heard of networking, then listen to me closely when I tell you IT'S IMPORTANT. In a nutshell, networking is connecting with others. Specifically, I'm talking about the importance of networking with people, professionals, students, etc. in the design world and within your chosen discipline. There's probably a million and one reasons why networking is crucial these days, but for our purposes now, I'll just break down a one or two below...

Picture3.jpeg+ Would you like to increase job guarantee after graduation? I'm assuming your answer is yes, right? Well then hop to it and get out there meeting people. The more connections you make during your time in college, the easier it will be to utilize those connections when you are job (and even internship) searching. Like the old saying goes, "it's all about who you know..."

+ Would you like to learn how to be professional? Again, I bet you do. (And if you already think you're a pro, then practice never hurts.) Networking with others gives you the opportunity to conduct yourself as the young professional that you are because you are interacting with professionals who have made it in the industry. By getting direct face time, you can really learn a lot about what to do and what not to do in regards to professionalism. And if you're worried, you can always prepare for your first few networking opportunities by checking out the Career & Internship Services office. It's an awesome resource right in McNeal Hall, and they can help you get ready to shine.

Now that you know WHY networking is so important, the next thing you're probably wondering is HOW. And let me tell you, it's a lot easier than you think. First off, there's lots of events the the College of Design's College to Career Program hosts that bring professionals right to campus and other events that bus students out to design firms (FOR FREE). When you meet a professional that strikes you as interesting and you'd like to form a connection, it's usually as easy as introducing yourself, asking for a business card, and following up via email. Just like that, you've made a professional connection. And it's always good to stay up on things like linkedin where you can easily maintain these connections. (Check out the blog post about it!)

I know that may be a lot of info up there, but if you have questions, don't hesitate to lave questions in the comments!

Until the next one,

Interior Design

Monday, November 26, 2012

Giving You The Low Down

Hello everyone!

Welcome back from break, hope you enjoyed every moment of chill time. I did. I just want to bring up some cool stuff going on that might peak your interests, and that easily gets you involved.
urban air image.jpgFundraising made viral....Join artist Stephen Glassman in his project URBAN AIR. His goal is to beautify Los Angeles roadways. His idea is to use money from the Kickstarter money raiser to fund this awesome re-appropriation of the Billboards of Los Angeles. They have so much potential to heal and clean with Stephen Glassman's sweet bamboo designs, gotta check it out.

I also recommend checking out the international student blog pages and specifically my friend Zhou Cheng's writings. He does a great job talking about resources in the U of M area and whats going on!

My good friend Constance is throwing a wonderful fundraiser for Fazenda Boa Terra urban farm in Minneapolis. I encourage all of you to attend and help out if you can...Here is the **** event information if you are interested in attending. This farm is run by just a few dedicated farmers who believe organic nutritious food should be accessible to everyone. fundraiser event map.png
They have a donation CSA program for families who cannot afford to purchase organic food. They want to continue this program but need help from people like you and me and your parents and teachers. So spread the word! Also if you are interested in organic or local food movements, politics, or just want to know more you should come by one of the BEST student food group ever...****U Students Like Good Food. This group is awesome, I go to meetings when I got the time and we have guest speakers from campus, local businesses, farms, we have potlucks we participate in Project Cook, lots of fun things!!!!

***right click new tab to open!!! sorry for the inconvenience

Until Next Week,

Sarah S.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving and Thanks for a Break

Hey guys,

I am sure you are all aware that it is Thanksgiving week.
Thumbnail image for Wild-Turkey.jpgThis means we get a break from classes on Thursday and Friday, and some awesome teachers even cancelled Wednesday classes. But this is NOT a good time to completely turn on your studies and projects; those long term projects, those pieces you mean to work on a little everyday, or even just getting organized can go unattended during the semester. Don't forget to think about that stuff while you got a few extra minutes this weekend. Here is a great example of some stuff I'll be doing this weekend:

cleaning my room: it has been too long.
A design treatise projectt: have about 1/4 of the elements I need and its due date is sneaking up on me!
doctors appointments: they will be made and even marked on my calender! my trip to Rome and Istanbul is coming up.
None of these things are hard to do or even time consuming, but when you are in college they can slip through your head easily.
Also to update my status of the structural model I am working is what I got so far, now I just have to scrounge up some card board (the workshop is sold out!! oh no) and get it done.

model with building plan.jpg
So remember to eat lots of food, see your friends and enjoy your family if you can.
Have a good week and ill talk to you again soon.

Sarah S.
Landscape Planning : BED 2014

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wrappin' Things Up!

Hey guys,

The weather gets colder and time is flying by, I cannot believe how much I have had to do and get done this week! It is a hard semester that is close to being finished. Most of us have registered for next semester, which i always think is fun. But this time around I am not registering. Instead I am going to be in Rome and Istanbul for a study abroad semester led by Ozayr Saloojee focusing on Architecture. Yay, I'm thrilled to be leaving MN for the chilly months.
Rome has a temperate Mediterranean climate and Istanbul has a warm but wet climate. I love learning about new places. Inspired by my upcoming travels, I have decided to create a Roman inspired structure for a model i have been working on. Here is the preliminary design. I want it to be a little modern yet clearly taking elements from roman temples, like the arches and arcaded walk. this is done in Google SketchUp...I think one of the more intuitive programs to use for 3d diagraming.
model with building plan.jpg
I also had a huge group project and presentation. I can't be the only one who feels a little bead of sweat roll down their brow at the idea of a long term group project. We all have our own priorities, majors, and work out side of school. However, some groups work better than others. I have been thinking about why lately. One of my group projects went so well....everyone put in work where and when they could, we got it done before the deadline and were flexible with one another. Another group I am in, that presented yesterday, (and now we are done!! sweeeeeet)....anyways this group had constant scheduling issues, confusion of the assignment and not a lot of cohesion between diagrams. Everyone worked hard, we all had ideas and inspiration, but the final group pieces were ok at best. So I think I learned the communication, giving one another examples of your work before hand, and a couple rounds of practice (all together or not) before a presentation are very helpful. Use other groups as inspiration too! Don't be shy about making sure your group is on the right track by comparing work to others. Make it original but its a good way to ease any worry. Have a good week and a great Thanksgiving Day off!!

Hope this is helpful,

Sarah S.

My Final Round of Courses

Tomorrow marks the day of my final round of course registration before graduation! It feels like just yesterday that I registered for the very first time at freshman orientation, and here I am today planning out my final semester as an undergraduate. While I have usually felt overwhelmed with tons course options during registration season, I'm now left with a fairly structured list of classes to take to complete my degree. Together, they fulfill the remainder of my housing technology concentration and architecture minor, plus intro to public speaking, which is one of those courses I've been putting off for a while. Here is the tentative list of course I plan to register for:

- COMM 1101: Introduction to Public Speaking
- HSG 5484: Rural Housing Issues
- ARCH 3412: Architectural History since 1750
- ARCH 4150-005: Multifamily Net-Zero Seminar
- ARCH 5550-002: Multifamily Net-Zero Studio Module

I'm most excited for the Multifamily Net-Zero Seminar & Studio Module. Together, they are a special pair of courses for upper-level students and will essentially be the capstone courses of my academic career - combining the most important elements my degree - housing, residential technology, architecture, and sustainability.

Hab1.png hgab2.png

The 2011 Princeton Net-Zero project and the 2012 Northside Net-Zero project (above) are some of the past studios that have come from this course. It will be quite a bit of work, but it will ensure that I get the very most out of the little time that I have left in the College of Design. Saving the best for last.

Jesse - Housing Studies, B.S.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Be My Guest!

Hello again!

I wrote about the progress of rebuilding the BDA studio in the last blog, so this blog is dedicated to our dearest friend, BS studio. B.S. stands for Bachelor of Sciences in Architecture which is the other program option beside Bachelor of Design in Architecture (B.D.A.)

I visited the senior BS studio last night to see what projects the BS students are working on. They are currently redesign the Weisman Art Museum plaza and the Washington Avenue Bridge, both located on campus. The intent of the redesign was to create a space that would bring people in and connect the space to the river. Right now, the Washington Avenue Bridge is just a bridge without any significant use. BS students want to connect the bridge to its surrounding, the river, the daylight, and create more uses for the University students. What a great idea!

Nathan S. is working on his model of a pavilion space on the bridge with the program of a space for studying and gathering with the view of the river.

(left) BS students are staying late after hours to work on their projects, (middle) wall of process works and ideas over the semester, (right) Ze C.'s work of a gallery that will be on the bridge to draw the connection to the museum exhibit

I also visited an architecture elective class which opens to all upperclassmen BDA, BS, and graduate students. The class is ARCH 4150: From Trait to Form Performance: Study of Masonry Structure. The students researched several precedent works to study stereotomy with the focus on the underlying geometry and construction of vaults. Nou H., my friend in this class said that they are creating a vault from the Municipal building in New York by Guastavino. They created several models of different vaults, then they chose a vault to build at ¼ scale you see below. I witnessed the construction and I was amazed by how strong the vault is when considering the amount of material and the thickness of material used. Simply mind-blowing.

(left) students are working on the vault, (right) constructed vault is being tested *Photo by Sara Marquardt

I hope these works get you excited about architecture program. We would love to have you as part of our family. Remember that the deadline for Fall 2013 admission is December 15th!

See you next blog,
Beau S.
Architecture B.D.A.

A Look into My Classes

Today was the first day of registration for spring semester classes and might I say that I am already looking foreword to the classes I will be taking! It looks like I have a pretty nice mix; I've got quite the variety lined up for my last semester of school. I am taking four classes, equivalent to fifteen credits; three of the classes are requirements for my major and one is an elective for my minor in design. The three major related classes I am taking are Marketing Research, Computer Literacy, and International Retail Markets; the design minor elective is Color and Form in Surface Design.

In Marketing Research (RM 4217), I will be learning how to collect, analyze, and display data for marketing projects; for example, projects that involve research and statistics to find and determine the target market for a specific product.
Picture 9.png

For International Retail Markets (MKTG 3010), I will be getting the opportunity to learn how the retail, and business world in general, functions outside the US. Discussion and lessons will take place on how and in what way social cultures, conflict between countries, and trade impact the retailing world.

Computer Literacy (PSTL 1571) is a class that I have unintentionally put off until this year and is the class, out of this list, that you will likely take within your first or second year of college. In this class you learn about using Microsoft processes, such as XL and PowerPoint, successfully.

Lastly, my design minor elective, Color and Form in Surface Design (GDES 3312), I will be doing a lot more hand on, design work in this class. I will be learning how to screen print designs on paper, fabrics, and other mediums.

All of my classes are look super interesting and fun! And it's making me get a little ahead of and has me already so excited for the coming semester!

Until Next Time!
Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Post Experience MN

This weekend and the Experience MN event was a great success! It was a fun time to meet such a large group of possible new freshman and some of their families! Here is a recap of the day's events!

All of the University of Minnesota College of Design bloggers, plus a few other students, presented a slide about their major, minor, blogging, and projects as well as other things they had been involved in while at the University. I spoke about apparel design, my minor in retail merchandising, my project with NASA as well as my blogging duties. The three projects I presented were my dress I designed for portfolio review freshman year, my NASA project, and my tailored jacket. (you can see photos of these projects if you look back into my older blog entires)

Here is a picture from the presentation:


If there are any readers who were at the presentation and have any questions, feel free to leave them below!

Lucie, Apparel Design

Ready, Set, Go!

As I've transitioned into the second half of the semester, I have found myself at the starting line of final projects and the race to the end is about to begin. I've got plenty to keep me busy from now until the end of the semester, but the thing I must remember is not to burn out. When this part of the semester comes up, some people start to panic, but it is really important to take a step back and be mindful of endurance and pacing yourself if you want to succeed. I mean, when you think about it, it's a lot like running a race. You have an end goal (the finish line) in mind, and you need to get there quickly and efficiently without getting overwhelmed with the distance you will travel.

.jpgRight now, the biggest thing on my plate is my final project for my Interior Design Studio. We are designing a retail space from the ground up. Everything from the concept of the space to the client, floor plan and finishes (as well as many other things) will be completely up to us as individual designers. It's so exciting because we each have total control over what our store will become. It will be a lot of work, but I cannot wait to see the end result. Imagining that is what will keep me going through the duration of this project!

In my other classes, I also have some pretty big assignments. To be honest, I view these assignments as hurdles in the race (and I don't mean that in a bad way). My final studio project is the race that will consume the majority of my focus, but if I want to come out on top, I can't lose sight of the hurdles along the way.

I've included a picture of my most recent to-do list. This is the way I stay on top of things as I make my way through this metaphoric race to the end of the semester. I find that keeping track of everything I have on my plate in an organized way is the greatest tool I can utilize as I plow through my workload.

Until next time!

Ashley O.
Interior Design