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College of Design

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Little Underground Investigation Between Classes

As a term project for my Architecture and Ecology course (a requirement for the architecture minor), our class was assigned to work in pairs and conduct a comprehensive energy investigation on a building of our choice - the only limitation was that it had to be one which designed and built using strategic sustainable and energy-saving strategies.

My team partner and I looked no farther than across the lawn from our classroom in Rapson Hall, to the Civil Engineering Building less than ten meters away. After some initial research and a stroll in and around the building itself, we quickly learned that the Civil Engineering was no ordinary structure and that it still stands as a revolutionary landmark in underground design implementation .
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Constructed in response to the 1970s OPEC Energy Crisis, the Civil Engineering Building used the most modern technologies and engineering practices of its day to produce a building that descended seven stories (110 feet) underground. Aside from these revolutionary geological engineering feats, the building's design itself also brought about a whole new method of spatial design for its users inside.

Solar technologies were used to beam natural light to the depths of the building whose exterior features comprise of about 5% of the building itself. It is almost entirely underground, but many places within the building are still naturally lit using these unique design practices.

During my research I found a great book in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library was written by two U of M alum who set up the Underground Space Research Center in the bottom floor of the Civil Engineering Building in the 1980s and studied its space alongside worldwide examples that existed at the time. Very interesting! It's amazing how subsurface buildings are so dramatically different in so many ways than conventional structures, and we have a famous example right on campus!

Have a good week!

Jesse LaMack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Unanswered Questions

We received a lot of questions in preparation for the Dean's Reception this year, and I think that the Graphic Design Major Session answered quite a few! The purpose of this post, though, is to revisit a couple of big ones for people that weren't there/wrap up details.

1: I would like to hear about some of the software/computer programs that are used for course work and does the university help with the cost of those?

Absolutely! First of all, I just want to say how JEALOUS I am that your computer purchase will be tax exempt (since it's required). I also wanted to note some other software we use and where you typically get it from. First of all, we use the Adobe Creative Suite of programs. You can buy Design Standard or Design Premium, with the difference being that Premium has the web stuff in it like Flash and Dreamweaver. You're gonna want that. Go to to check out the MTech page on the Bookstore site to see more information--unfortunately, you have to log in as a student to purchase it. That being said, you don't really need it until you take GDes 1315. Try to hold out as long as possible--Adobe updates fairly often.

Secondly, DO NOT purchase Microsoft Office in a store. Buy it from the U at because it's about $40 instead of $100.

Also, don't buy your own antivirus software. It's available for free from the U at

This next one is a favorite of mine....

2: Can students outside of a music major participate in groups like choir?

Students outside of music majors can participate in choir AND band! There is a difference between auditioned groups and non-auditioned groups on campus, though. An auditioned group doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a music major either; you just have to earn your spot. Learn more on the School of Music's Ensembles site at and make sure to JOIN MARCHING BAND! Kidding. Kind of.


My friend and classmate Naseem talking about her Abecedary Project in the Typography studio.

This post got really long really fast, but my goal is to answer YOUR questions, so feel free to leave me comments for the remainder of the semester. It's almost spring break!

Graphic Design B.F.A.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Got Some Questions?

So this past weekend, I was helping out at the Dean's Reception and had the opportunity to talk to many future/potential students, and their parents, about the school and the Retail Major. There were many questions that both students and parents asked about both the school and major; so I thought that for this blog it would be fun and helpful to go over a few of the main questions asked.

"Because the retail major is located in St. Paul, would it be impractical for me to live in the dorms that are located on East or West bank?"
Nope, not at all, we have Campus Connectors (campus buses) that take from west bank to east bank to the St. Paul Campus in a fairly short amount of time. Also as a retail major you will be taking class on all three parts of campus; design and retail classes will be in St. Paul, Business classes will be on the west bank, and most likely you will have to take some Liberal Ed. Requirements on the east bank. You will be experiencing every part of campus regardless; which is awesome☺

"Why Retail Merchandising?"
This major is very practical; it's a great mix of design and business. We take a variety of classes that shape us make us well round for this field. We gain design, retail, and business experience, all which provide us with the knowledge to work in both a store and corporate setting with creative, analytical, and business skils.

"What opportunities do I have at this university?"

Many top business, Target, Best Buy, General Mills, to name a few, are stationed here in Minneapolis; they, along with other business come to career fairs to recruit and reach students for both internships and job opportunities. These businesss also come to some classes and speak; currently I am in a class in which Target has kicked off a visual merchandising display competition.

Got more question? Please ask away! :)

-Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Dean Reception

Another College of Design Dean's Reception has come and gone. This year was a great success. I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with three incoming students and their parents to talk about both my work in the undergrad and graduate programs here at the U of M, and give them a personal tour of all that Rapson Hall has to offer them as design students!
Towards the end I also met a young man who was mostly interested in Architecture, but also wanted to know more about the Landscape Architecture side of things (if that was you, please email me with any questions you might have!). You would be very surprised to hear just how often this happens. I have two friends from undergrad that started as Architecture Majors and switched over to Landscape Design & Planning after learning the large array of jobs it prepares you for. Also, Architecture Majors often get a minor in Landscape Design & Planning or end up pursing a Masters in Landscape Architecture later on in graduate school. In fact, in my Masters of Landscape Architecture class I have two classmates that got bachelor degrees in Architecture, but elected for Landscape Architecture as a Masters...

Now i'm not trying to recruit students away for the Architecture Department, but rather letting you all know that the two majors are VERY interconnected and often students have dual interests so do not be afraid to explore them! You're coming here to learn and trust me, there is much to learn!

Deans Reception.jpg

Lastly, here's a link to another sweet blog about Project for Public Space. Really begins to shed light on all the possibilities Landscape Design and Planning/Landscape Architecture has to offer!

Till next week,


Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Masters of Landscape Architecture - Expected May 2013

Dean's Reception Recap

DSC_4056.jpgIn this week's blog, I will be addressing some important questions I received at the Dean's Reception. A common question was about the different architecture degrees the University of Minnesota offers (Bachelor of Arts, Design in Architecture, Science). "Why did you pick the Bachelor of Science?" I decided to go with the B.S. degree because of the studio structure, courses, and admission. Due to my personality, I am always seeking opportunities to excel, which is why I applied to the B.S. The B.S. admits about sixty students after their second year. The degree contains four studio courses, technical courses, and three to four elective courses. The structure and rigor of the degree allows for the development of relationships unlike other college degrees.

If you're not sure which degree is right for you now, don't worry: there are many courses prior to applying to the B.S. to help you decide. Design Fundamentals I & II will help you decide which course is right for you.

Another question: "Why did you pick the pre-professional degree over a five-year master's degree from a different university?" Besides having a great architecture program, the University of Minnesota is an amazing school with an assortment of amenities including a myriad of student groups, quality medical services, free legal assistance etc. Beyond the campus, we have a great metropolitan community that cares about education and the success of students by creating opportunities. The professional community and school realize the importance of creating a strong connection.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment on my blog.

Architecture - Bachelor of Science

More Examples of Work:
Architecture Watercolor: Museum dedicated to the Plastic Vortex


Design Fundamentals I: Container


Post Dean's Reception

It was great meeting some of you this past weekend at the University of Minnesota College of Design's Dean's Reception! I had a wonderful time and most importantly, met lots of great people and possibly new classmates!

I had the opportunity to meet informally with perspective students and their families before the formal activities of the day started, which was a great time to speak freely with them and get some of their questions answered. I focused on why the College of Design and the University of Minnesota is the perfect fit for me, and hopefully them. The design community surrounding the encompassing the college in the Twin Cities, MNFashion, is growing and welcomes students to design, volunteer and attend their shows and events. The second reason I focused on is the great combination of the big ten college experience on the University side, and the small college feel of the College of Design. You get the best of both worlds!

We then proceeded on to our major sessions, where I more formally presented two of my pieces to the perspective students and their families. I talked about portfolio review and my experiences with blogging and was able to answer questions as well.

Here are a few shots of my dress that went through portfolio review:

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Senior Fashion Show 2011 (13).JPG

It was great meeting with new students and talking with them. When I brought up my blog here quite a few of them asked me about it and how to access it, so I hope to start getting more comments! Feel free to ask any questions you like!

Lucie, Apparel Design

Hey! Hi! Were you at the Dean's Reception?

jpgIf you were, then you finally got to meet me! And if you weren't, well then, you didn't, haha. The Dean's Reception was so so so much fun! I had a blast talking and hanging out with high school seniors (and their families) who are considering the College of Design at the U of M for college next year!

First we started off with the multicultural information session which was very informative and interesting. Fredrick, the new director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence gave a presentation on all that MCAE has to offer. It was delightful meeting him and learning about various resources the university has to offer for multicultural students.

After that I got a chance to mingle a little and talk with different students and their families over lunch. What I loved about the Dean's Reception most was how casual it was! It made it really easy to get to know people and have some good conversation without feeling nervous or awkward.

The next thing we did was set up for major sessions! Basically, each discipline went to their section of the Design building and displayed work, etc. We heard from the Interior Design department head, Dr. Tasoulla Hadjiyanni! She was so nice and knowledgeable, it was certainly a treat hearing from her!

After major sessions, I chatted with design professionals, prospectives students and their families and answered any questions they had about their admitted programs.

If you didn't catch my drift, Saturday was super fun! If you were at the Reception, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!

Interior Design

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting Ready for the Big Day(s)

Well, it just so happens that the Dean's Reception and the culmination of 13 days of tweeting for an internship are this Saturday! I'm coming down to crunch time, as I HAVE to have my website up so I can share my portfolio with this company--but I also need it up so I can show you all the work that I'm most proud of!

I'm also scrambling because the Student Ad Summit (visit them at is next Friday, March 2! I'm supposed to go through a portfolio review...and...I'm not nearly ready. YIKES!

I know I'm kind of jumping all over the place, but there are a lot of little things going on that I'm excited about right now. For this Twitter competition, I knew I needed to come up with something creative and off the wall to capture the agency's attention, so tomorrow morning in ice skating class I will be doing color guard choreography while ice skating. If I don't kill myself, I'll post the YouTube video next week.

We learned who the presenters were for the NSAC Regionals on Sunday and voila, I'm a presenter. I'm super excited about it, and I hope that some professional notices me and is wowed by my presentation skills. Ha!

Also this Friday, I will be attending an open house for an internship program at the agency that I REALLY want to work at, Martin Williams (

Basically, the gist: Be creative, be yourself, think outside the box, and network while you're out there!

Finally, I wanted to note again that the Dean's Reception is THIS SATURDAY and I hope to meet all of my readers there! I'm very excited to present some work, and hopefully you'll all be impressed as well...or at least fake it. Haha!

Until then,

Graphic Design B.F.A.

PS you can check the beginnings of my site out at

Click here to see my finalized business cards, complete with handmade icons!


IMG_0028.jpgIf you've been keeping up with my blog, then you know I work in the College of Design's Student Services. At the beginning of the semester, my boss (Lucy Reile) gave me a pretty interesting assignment - plan an internship panel. Yup! Those were my instructions, the rest was up in the air! But I wasn't on my own entirely, instead I teamed up with another student worker from Career & Internship Services, Rah Riley. (FYI- She's awesome!)

chat_icon_clip_art resized.jpegOver the past few weeks, Rah and I have been meeting about 2-3 times a week to plan the panel. We had to do things like research current College of Design students to find potential panelists, order catering, reserve a location, and work with the Student Services graphic designer, Patrick Puckett. (A fellow blogger and my cubicle mate who is also very awesome!) It was such a good experience getting to plan an event from start to finish, especially being that I'm still just a student worker! I got to learn first hand what kinds of things work when planning events, what things won't fly, and overall I got a feeling for if I like event planning overall!

The event is this Wednesday and I am super excited! I can't wait to see everyone's handwork payoff!

And speaking of events, I hope you know about the Dean's Reception! If you don't, check out this link. It's this Saturday, and I'm actually presenting which I am very excited about! It's open to prospective students and their families, so worth checking out! :)

Until the next,

Interior Design

Deans Reception Approaching!

Hey Everyone!

Its that time of year again when current students pull together examples of work they've done and prospective students make the trip to the U of M campus to get a first hand look at Rapson Hall and the academic programs they are considering. You can expect to hear from Tom Fischer the Dean of the College of Design, student advisers, current professors and current students. All of which hope to leave you with a better understanding of what we're all about hear at the U of M and how you will fit right in! I'm excited to showcase my work (sneak peak at my online portfolio located here!) completed in the Masters program and also for you to see work done by another student Grace Larson currently in the Landscape Design and Planning program. Please come with questions to ask and an empty stomach as lunch will be served! Hope to see you all there!

Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture - Expected May 2013

Understanding Housing with ArcGIS

This semester, my busy schedule has finally given me the opportunity to enroll in an optional course that I've heard quite a bit about from other housing students: HSG 5464 - Understanding Housing: Assessment and Analysis. Led by Professor Jeff Crump, we get the opportunity use available housing and community data to create maps with ArcGIS (Geographic Information System software). Not only does ArcGIS bring about a new, interactive approach to analyzing and assessing various forms of housing data - it also gives us an understanding of the ArcGIS program, a valuable skill that is often sought by our future employers. Here are some of the projects I have worked on so far this semester:

GIS 1.png mncounties.png

The course also has a strong design focus as well. We learn all about the colors, patterns, and other symbology used in map-making and how it influences the reader's perception of the mapped data. One of our textbooks is called How to Lie with Maps, combining design and "cartographic literacy."

ArcGIS makes it possible to visually lay out almost any kind of spatial data related to housing, the possibilities are nearly endless. And better yet, our we get to choose the topic of our term project. I have about a thousand ideas so far, I'll keep you all updated as it all comes together!

In other news, we're finally getting some regular Minnesota winter weather! Here is a shot of a seasonal fountain behind McNeal Hall, the College of Design building on the St. Paul Campus.


Looking forward to meeting some of you at the Dean's Reception this Saturday!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Building Community

Friends. They are an essential part of life, and are of particular importance during your time spent in college. Considering that this, most likely, will be the first time that you will be the living on your own and away your family, it is important to make building a strong community one of your priorities. The friends you make will be your family away from home. They will be the ones that you turn to when you are feeling sad, homesick, or even happy. They will play a big role in your college life, so it's important to seek out some great ones!

I am so grateful to have found as great of a community of friends at school as I have. Having met many friends though my major, student groups, random classes, , and believe it or not even coffee shops, I have come to understand that there is no specific formula to developing friendships. As you can see I even met some great friends at a coffee shop, and it was all because we were talking about the same topic and were sitting just a table away from one another. Another thing to keep in mind will developing friendships, is to seek out diversity. Having a diverse group of friends is important; this can mean friends of different ethnicities, majors, cultures, or whatever. You want to grow while in school and expand your world view, so what better way than to dive in with some friends who see the world from a different perspective than you do.

(some of my friends and I earlier in the year)

Now on a little different note; there will be a Class of 2016 Dean's Reception held this Saturday, the 25th. You guys should definitely come check it out and learn more about the University of Minnesota, particularly the College of Design. I will be there too, so come and chat with me!

See you there!
Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Film in Architecture

Hello Future Architects!

Since the Dean's Reception is this Saturday, I thought I would make this an inspiring, captivating entry. I bet you think architecture is all about modeling buildings and drawing. Well, there is more than one way to capture and study space. I was introduced to film while in Studio II. My partner and I were studying the Wilson Library on West Bank. We were given an item, a microfiche of the 1920's census, to find and document. The result was a film capturing the movement, sounds, experience, and process. Click on the video below. After we made the film, we modeled three different spaces, which highlighted certain details.

hollykatie_film (iPhone & iPod).m4v

For my final project in Studio II, I created a film capturing the space between the Recreation Center and Cooke Hall. If you've read my earlier blog entries, you will remember this project (the museum containing the taxidermy collection). The film is very strange due to the juxtaposition of the people using the spaces, the collection of taxidermy animals, and the buildings. If this doesn't make sense, please see my earlier blogs that describe this project. My music selection was based on the rhythm of the space (people walking and using exercise equipment).

holly_video (iPhone & iPod).m4v
Thumbnail image for holly_sitemodel04 copy.jpg

If you have any questions about architecture or my blog, please don't hesitate to come over and talk to me. See you Saturday!

Bachelor of Science - Architecture

Dean's Reception

Its here! This Saturday is the College of Design's annual Dean's Reception, I hope to many of you there! The Dean's Reception is a great event where perspective students can come, hear the Dean, Tom Fisher, speak, meet professors and students and get a first hand view of the major they are interested in. You'll get to explore the various facilities and studios in Rapson and McNeal Halls as well as meet staff and get your questions answered about financial aid, major requirements, and more. I will also be there, all the College of Design bloggers will be! I will be part of the Apparel Design group and I will be there to show a few of the pieces I have designed through the program, as well as to answer questions and talk about my experiences.

I remember when I attended the Dean's Reception before my freshman year, 3 years ago, and I still have fond memories. I attended with my mom, which was nice to have a friendly face around, while still meeting new people I would continue to work with throughout my college career. Meeting professors, staff and upperclassmen was a great way to really get a feel for the major, more so than you can by reading or through online research.

I am very excited to meet all of your and your families! Bring your questions and I will be open to answering any and all, as well as just general talk about the major! I truly love this major and college and cannot wait to share them with you!

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Lucie, Apparel Design

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Most Interesting Things in the last Seven Days

  1. 1. Developed my personal brand. I'm freaking out about it. All I have is my logo and a pattern at the moment, but I'm super excited.

    One of the possible origins of my last name is "Poque," meaning "small pouch." Therefore, a pocket--hardworking, there when you need it, don't have to think about it. Greg Pickman said, "Done Check."

  2. blog.png

    My concepts for my new brand identity :)

  3. 2. The Lucky 13 Internship applications at Campbell Mithun have begun. Applicants have 13 tweets at their disposal to convince the agency they're worthy of an interview. I'm feeling very confident.

  4. 3. Presenter applicants for the National Student Advertising Competition spoke to the group to try to win votes for a spot. Did I run? Of course I ran. I mentioned the fact that I've had the opportunity to pitch ideas to tons of local non-profit groups in my graphic design courses, and even a corporate client (Medtronic). I also mentioned pitching a social media tool to a big shot music executive at my internship in London this past summer.

  5. 4. Celebrated Valentine's Day out with fellow single members of the NSAC team. It was a great night out at Taco Tuesday at Burrito Loco!

  6. 5. Developed a plan of attack for finalizing my portfolio. It's going to take a lot of work, but I will get this done! I have to get a job! Go go go!

  7. 6. Was able to substitute my Graphic Design Senior Seminar course for my Advertising in Society requirement. Woohoo, three less credits to take in my final term!

T-minus EIGHT DAYS until YOUR Dean's Reception! And you get to meet ME! As well as other graphic design students, obviously.

Until next time,

Graphic Design BFA

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making time for oneself

It's easy with our hectic yet fulfilling schedules to forget to take the time to smell the roses. That's exactly what I've been trying to do these past few weeks. Whether its simply taking the time to enjoy the nice winter day on my way to the bus stop in the morning, or sitting in the Rapson Hall Courtyard and simply looking around at everyone working, eating or relaxing themselves. Maass_Brothers_Ice_Fishing.jpg After all people watching is always enjoyable. Recently I've been working on an analysis of children as pedestrians and the skills they need to learn to be able to safely cross the street as well as the design of streets. My area of focus is in North Minneapolis along West Broadway Avenue. The study is proving very interesting and should help me as I focus in on my final project for the semester. This weekend I play to again take the time to smell the roses as I am going home to Freedom, Wisconsin (just north of Green Bay, Wisconsin) and plan on seeing a few High School friends along with Family and of course hitting up a few lakes to get some ice fishing in. Making time for yourself during your college years is very important and you'll find you're more productive when you do sit down to work on your studies.

I'll leave you with a little quote from my High School principal... "Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours" - Mrs. Arndt

Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Masters of Landscape Architecture - Expected May 2013

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Events and People

After my hectic week last week, it's nice to relax and spend some time with friends. And hanging out with friends is exactly what I did today. After classes wrapped up, my roommate and I hit up the Caribou next to my apartment for some quality roomie time and studying. As I'm sure you assumed, there was more 'roomie time' involved than actual studying, but we were productive nonetheless. What made studying at Caribou even greater, was that we got 'buy one get one free' drinks today; everything is better when it's cheaper, at least to us college students. After my study session, I met up with one of my closest friends and went to the Gopher basketball. We were playing Ohio State, and though we lost, I had a ton of fun! I haven't gone to many basketball games, but after tonight I am definitely considering buying season tickets for next year. Not only is the game itself fun, but so are the people. There is so much fun energy that comes from being surrounding by fellow students and friends; it's a perfect place to meet new people. However, if sporting events are not your cup of tea, do not fret, there are plenty of other events on or near campus where you can both meet new people and be entertained.
Some of these events are:
•Ballet and dance performances
•Theater and plays
•Fashion shows
•Art Musiums (WAM, which is on campus)
•And that's just a few!

(Me and my friends at a basketball game last year)

-Sasenka, Retail Merchandising B.S.

Marketing Design

IMG_2212.JPGLast weekend, the Minneapolis Convention Center hosted the Minnesota Lake and Cabin Show. My studio was invited to present our bunkhouse designs to be judged by attendees. After three hours of presenting, I realized what my design was capturing and lacking. The attendees were looking for larger spaces to entertain and sleep. They were not concerned with materials, assembly, or transportation.

IMG_2210.jpgMy main idea was to create a bunkhouse that had the smallest footprint while hosting a variety of activities, i.e. sleeping, eating, and lounging. The design was criticized for being too small, even though it used space efficiently by converting a bed into a table. I had also selected a material based on its eco-friendly qualities (Richlite Stratum, a paper composite board with a bamboo center), which would make the structure expensive. Although I didn't win best in show, I gained a lot from talking and selling my design to people. Some spectators complimented me on my brochure, material selection, and model. Pro Tip: graphics are fundamental when working with clients.

Afterwards, we were allowed to walk around the convention center. Talking to different design-build companies made me realize that my education from the University of Minnesota has provided me an assortment of resources. Since the school has a great sustainability program, I can market my job abilities to a variety of companies.

Have a great day!

Bachelor of Science-Architecture

Free money anyone?

photo.jpgEveryone says it, but scholarships are one of the most important things for students to keep on their radar throughout (and before) their college career. I mean, think about it. A lot of scholarships only take matter of moments to fill out, some have you write essays, others require coursework, etc. But when you really think about it, most scholarships are relatively easy to apply for and have major payoff in the end.

I just applied to the DHA Continuing Education Scholarship, which is offered through the University's College of Design. It required a form, a written statement, and a resume as the bare minimum.

Prior to applying for this scholarship, I spent a lot of time hitting up the Career and Internship Services in McNeal where they hold "Resume Doctors" and drop in hours where you can bring in your resumes and have them critiqued and proofread. I probably went to drop in hours for my resume about 3 times in the span of a week, and I'm not even kidding. But it's great because it's a free resource and the peer advisors are always knowledgeable and eager to help.

After having turned in my scholarship materials, I felt very confident in my application materials because with a little help, I now have a resume that's eye-catching, properly formatted, and pretty much awesome. Thank goodness for Career and Internship Services!

Interior Design

Had a Great Birthday Weekend!

After all of my hard work so far this semester, I decided to put schoolwork on hold this past weekend to relax and celebrate my 21st birthday with friends and family. On Saturday evening, my parents came up from my hometown on the prairie for the occasion, bringing my sister and me to dinner and the Timberwolves game downtown at the Target Center. We felt adventurous and decided to traverse the downtown skyway system instead of going outside, such a Minneapolis thing of us to do - definitely got lost multiple times but it was quite beautiful and friendly the downtowners were always willing to point us in the right direction! Fun fact: Minneapolis has the largest continuous skyway network in the world. Definitely need to make day-trips downtown more often; it's only a 5-minute bus ride from the Minneapolis Campus!
sykways.JPG twolves.JPG

The game I went to on Saturday had over 20,000 fans, the highest attendance since 2004! It was great!

sunset.JPG icee.JPG
Sunday (the day of my triumphant 21st) was the most beautiful February day a Minnesotan could ask for, so a few friends and I hopped in the Jeep with our puppy Chester and spent the day outdoors at Fort Snelling State Park. The Twin Cities as we know it today essentially grew outward from Fort Snelling in the early 1800s, making it both beautiful and historically relevant. Definitely worth checking out! The Hiawatha Line Light Rail stops at Fort Snelling for anyone who wants to get a quick taste of nature on their way to the Mall of America!

Wishing everyone an enjoyable week, I will be busy catching up on my studies!

Jesse - Housing Studies, B.S.

Fashion Week

Hello all! I want to tell you about a super cool thing about living in the Twin Cities and attending the University of Minnesota. It is the fashion community in the surrounding area. The fashion world/industry in St. Paul and Minneapolis is young, fun and fast growing. Twice a year, like the larger fashion capitals around the world, the Twin Cities holds Minneapolis St. Paul Fashion Week, or MSPFW for short. As a student it is a great way to get involved in the fashion scene and network with professionals. Attending events, volunteering and showing your own designs are all opportunities to take advantage of!

This February 18-25 is our annual F/W 2012 fashion week. I am involved in a variety of events throughout the week and am very excited! I will be showing a design I created in "Twelve", the University's annual fashion show held on campus in Rapson Hall. The show takes place on Saturday February 18th at 5:30 and 8pm. (If you are interested in attending, check out the website for ticket information:

Another fun event I am working on is the Red Dress Event, held on Sunday February 19th at SEVEN Sushi Ultra Lounge. I will be assisting Laura Fulk backstage. Laura Fulk is a very well known and successful designer in the Twin Cities. I interned with Ms. Fulk last year and have kept in touch with her and have helped her on a variety of projects since then.

Here is a shot of the MNFashion homepage and calendar:



Lucie, Apparel Design

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How's interior design studio going, you ask?

Interior design studio (IDES 1602) is definitely keeping me pretty busy this semester. The cycle pretty much works in a way where we get a project, work on it for about two weeks, turn it in/present and repeat. Although it keeps me very busy, I really enjoy this cycle because it allows for continuous learning and we avoid wasting any time.

So far this semester, we've been focusing on proportion systems and color theories. It's exciting to learn about these things because they are directly related to interior design and can be observed all of the time and basically anywhere!

We've completed two projects this semester. The first one was a project where we looked for the elements and principles of design in magazines online. It's funny, because back in junior high and high school when I first learned about the elements and principles, I never thought I'd need to know that stuff again. Boy was I wrong! Elements and principles are everywhere, and surprisingly so.

The other project we completed consisted of three parts. The first thing we did was find proportion systems in real life, magazines/online. Again, you would never think that there was such a science behind interior design, but there totally is! (Click here if you're curious and want to see a little video about it.) The other parts of the project were designing a stained glass window and a IDES 1602 logo, while utilizing proportioning systems, of course!

Here are photos of my logo and stained glass window designs!


Take care,
Interior Design

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Going to the Dentist

Judging by my experience today, I think it's safe to say that no one likes going to the dentist. But, it has to be done, and low and behold, you can see the dentist right here on campus.

I actually started using the dental clinic here at the U way back in 2007. I had my wisdom teeth taken out at Moos Tower my senior year of high school. Last October, I went to the dental clinic again to get a tooth that I had chipped filled back in. It was easy as cake, and the dentist did a great job!

In December, I'd gone in to have a routine cleaning. Well, here's what happens when you don't get your teeth cleaned in a while: they get really concerned about your gums and dig around. A lot. Obviously, that's all my fault, but that didn't make me accept the consequences any sooner!

Today I had to go back in to get the other side of my mouth cleaned, as they'd done only my left side in December (that side was healthier at the time). Today I had to get Novocain, and it still wasn't a very pleasant experience.

Anyway, long story short, there are options for students to see a dentist if they can't see their normal dentist back home over breaks, or if an emergency should happen. Also, starting this past year, the U partnered with MetLife to create a voluntary student dental insurance option--which I purchased. It really helps cover a lot of costs, and I wouldn't have been able to afford to fix my chip without it.

Visit the dental clinic's website at and also check out the MetLife voluntary dental option at if that sounds of interest to you!

Graphic Design BFA


The Boynton Health Service building on the East Bank Campus, which holds the dental--among many others--clinic.

Sustainable Housing--Beyond "Going Green"

For housing studies majors, the concept of sustainability goes far beyond the latest "green standards" and individual carbon footprints. Yes, it is something we are taught and fully understand--but it's our job to look at the bigger picture. Housing is something that must be constantly monitored, evaluated, re-evaluated, and most of all, sustained. Not only is it something that most people consider a basic human need, but it is also accounts for over half of our nation's fixed assets. In it's entirety, it is estimated that our nation's housing stock is valued at around $17.8 trillion.

Sustainability is a MUST, and our economy depends on it. After the latest burst of the housing bubble, there is no shortage of work to be done, and our diverse coursework teaches us of the complex framework of sustainable housing from all angles. Housing is like its own ecosystem supporting humanity, where seemingly unrelated disciplines rely on one another to support and empower humans and their relationship to the natural world. Here are a few examples from housing coursework:
Beginning at the household level, Systems Approach to Residential Construction and Our Home, Our Environment give us a crash course of modern housing construction methods, waste reduction, and energy efficiency practices. Although I was terrified to find a step-by-step manual of how to construct a modern Canadian (AKA cold climate) wood-framed home on my list of required textbooks, it was a surprisingly interesting way to explore how the structures work as a system within itself, the natural surroundings, and the people who live there. Aside from lectures from our instructors, we had the opportunity to speak to employees of the U of M's very own Cold Climate Housing Program and Center for Sustainable Building Research.
Promoting Independence in Housing and Community, which is further explained in previous entries, involves the design, planning, and implementation of universal design principles to allow all people the freedom of housing choice, satisfaction and affordability--regardless of age, disability status, or other limitation. Sustainable neighborhoods and communities shouldn't restrict certain people from living there, and our nation's housing stock shows weakness in overall accessibility and adaptability. As the Baby Boomers continue to climb in age, changes will need to be made.

And finally, (skipping over a bunch to get to the grand scheme of things), Housing Policy. To put it simply, our nation's economy went down the drain in recent years because our obsession with homeownership got extremely out of hand. Greed, deregulation, and blatant ignorance brought an end to what was previously forecasted as exponentially rising home values. Many warned that our lending practices were completely unsustainable and it could not go on for much longer, but few listened. The nation was thriving from it, and was enjoying the ride.

As our natural ecological systems fluctuate and adapt to changes, so should our systems of living.

Jesse - Housing Studies, B.S.


In the Wilderness

I spent this past weekend in Cook, MN, near Lake Vermilion. I bet you're wondering why this is pertinent (unless you've read my previous blogs). My Studio IV course, Cabinology, consists of designing our own cabins. Well, the University of Minnesota sent my studio there to research our sites and tour cabins. My studio (fifteen students) arrived in the small town Friday night. We began our Saturday at 7am at Montana Café. I would recommend their breakfast: amazing. It took us a while to travel out to our sites because of the roads were in poor condition and unplowed. Once we reached our destination (in the middle of nowhere), we began to hike through the woods (5-10 acres) toward Lake Vermilion. Hiking in snow up to your knees while drawing and marking off your site is an experience everyone should have. After spending a total of ten hours on my site all weekend, I understand the terrain, the views, and the experiences.

IMG_2096.jpgOn Saturday afternoon, we traveled to two different locations to tour cabins. One of the sites, Ludlow's Island Resort, contained unique cabins. Located on an island in Lake Vermilion, some of the cabins were made out of doors while others were four stories tall. What an extraordinary view!

Now I have to take everything I learned this weekend and bring it to my client. How will I explain their site? This will be my challenge, since I've never worked with a real client before.

Ta-ta for now.

Bachelor of Science- Architecture

You build that how?

A class i'm taking this semester is called "The Art and Ecology of Landscape Detail". Basically, taking that cool looking design and figuring out how it can be built. One of the best parts of it is that we're actually working on a project which will actually be built on the U of M Campus and right in front of a portion of Rapson Hall. (To be more specific, between Rapson Hall and Mechanical Engineering.)

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The plan is to create a more engaging public space that includes land form and seating as well as more space for parking bikes as the current bike racks are always parked to capacity. We're trying to be as sustainable as possible with this project by re-using materials already on site, preserving existing trees and keeping all runoff on site. We plan to use a permeable paver system. These pavers allow water to infiltrate through the brick joints and down through the gravel sub-base and back into the soil to recharge the water table below.

These pavers are becoming more and more prevalent as cities begin to require new construction to keep all water run-off on their site to reduce the amount of water entering the underground storm water pipes.

Also, the Deans Reception at the College of Design is coming up on February 25th, looking forward to hopefully seeing you all there and answering any questions you might have!

Take care,

Red Hearts for Fashion

Hello everyone! This past weekend I was able to be a part of a great fashion show at the Mall of America. February is Womens Heart Health month and this it was part of the month long events around the cities. The fashion was called Red Hearts For Fashion and it was part of an event called Go Red for Women, promoting awareness of womens' heart health. It was a great event to be a part of and I had a ton of fun. There were two shows Saturday throughout a few other events during the afternoon. Seven other design students from my class also showed pieces. It was a wonderful day of crazy fashion festivities, and some of our faculty even came to watch. It was great seeing them really take an interest in our projects outside of class!

As part of the event, we were challenged to create designs that were inspired by heart health, in women specifically. I created a tennis work-out outfit, designed to promote healthy exercise, but also to allow the wearer to look cute and feel good about the way she looks.

Here are a few shots of my model, Sarah, and myself!

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I also had the wonderful opportunity to present my design and be interviewed on Twin Cities Live last Wednesday, as part of a preview for the show. One of my apparel design professors helped me with getting this media opportunity, so it definitely helps to get to know and form relationships with your faculty! You never know what a connection will help you reach in the future.

Lucie, Apparel Design

A busy, busy week

This week has been the craziest, most hectic week ever! And it's still not done! I keep telling myself, "just three days to go, just three days to go," but Saturday can't come fast enough. This week has really prompted me to keep up with my studies. It is so easy to put them off and tell yourself you won't fall behind; but let me assure you, in most cases you will. So today I thought I would give you some words of wisdom when it comes to your studies.

-This is a tip that a friend gave me: Make it a point to go over notes that same day you took them; this will help you retain the information better.

-Dedicate a few hours each day to your studies; a couple hours a day is way better than pulling a couple all-nighters.

-If you don't understand something, ask a friend, your professor, or a TA; assuming you that will "get it eventually" is definitely not the best way to go about it. Ask and learn it right away, that way you won't be scrambling and stressed out come test time.

-Accept that sometimes you will have crazy, busy weeks (like I am now) and that a social life may not exist in your near future. But hold tight, it's just waiting around the corner; use that as your motivation.

Well, I hope that you take these tips to heart and put them into use someday!

Until next time, my head shall be buried in my books...
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Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Architecture in the Schools

Being a member of AIAS has given me the opportunity to connect and communicate with the surrounding community. Last week, I traveled to Golden Valley to visit the Perpich Center for Art Education. AIA MN hosts a program called "Architecture in the Schools," which introduces students to the concepts of architecture. I had the honor of being a guest reviewer for their final project. The students were asked to design their own studio within based on their artistic interests. The only constraints were that studio would be located within the school. The course was over a nine-week period. Students with an emphasis in photography designed professional galleries and photo studios; some even had dark rooms for developing film. A student interested in music designed a recording studio and lounge with a Zen garden for relaxation. The quality of craft, creativity, and space for the students' projects were superlative for their age. Starting this month, Architecture in the Schools will be at FAIR School in downtown Minneapolis.

Working with different levels of design experience, ages, and interests has inspired me to change the way I design. Pro Tip: try to work on projects outside of studio to increase your group work skills and knowledge. I'm looking forward to traveling to FAIR School in the upcoming weeks.

See you at the Dean's Reception in a few weeks!

Bachelor of Science, Architecture