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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back from Virginia!

Last night, I returned to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport from a week-long vacation visiting an old friend in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was great to get away for a while, and I must say that Virginia is quite beautiful (I'd never been there before). We spent a lot of time traversing the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of town and seeing Charlottesville's historic sites. It does feel good to be back in Minnesota though - the extreme humidity of Virginia made it feel like I was in Florida!

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Charlottesville is also home to the University of Virginia (UVA), founded in 1819 by former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. I visited the campus a few times while I was in the area, it's really quite beautiful. I also picked up a book while I was on campus, written by a professor called Sustainable Affordable Prefab. The book loosely follows the Solar Decathlon housing project in Washington DC, a competition which the U of M also participates in. I finished the book in just three days, and it gave a lot of ideas and insight for possible UROP research projects next spring!

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Have a great week!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Summer, summer, you're flying by.

meee.jpgI cannot believe this is already the third week of summer! It seems like just yesterday that I was coming back from working my first day at the summer job, sitting on my futon, and thinking to myself, "this summer is going to drag and drag and drag." I'll admit, the first few days seemed like they went on forever and ever, but that's because I was getting used to a new schedule. An adult schedule. One where you wake up at 7:00am everyday, go to work at 8:00am, eat lunch at noon, continue working, and leave at 4:30pm to go to your respective home. So basically, it's like a 9-5, but like, not quite 9 and not quite 5. Close enough, though.

Now that I'm over the hump of the first few days of attempting to get into the groove, I can say I've finally hit a stride. I feel like I'm really starting to grasp all of my tasks and responsibilities at the Rapson Student Services office, I'm starting to get back into the loop at my job over in Uptown, and I'm making the most of my days in my leisure time. OH! And I've finally been reunited with my beloved car, Alfonso. (He's a Volvo.)

walker_interior.jpgHmm? What else? Some things on my agenda for the next few weeks include going to International Market Square, an interior design building in Minneapolis with tons of awesome samples and interesting people. I also want to get out to as many art museums as I can so I'll probably hit up the Walker Art Center and the Sculpture Garden (also both in Minneapolis) on a sunny day in the near future. I feel like I'm at such an advantage going to school in the Twin Cities, because I have so many amazing things right at my fingertips. Basically, my goal this summer is to soak up as much inspiration as I can so that I can go into next year with many fresh ideas and new perspectives. Did I mention I'm also planning a day trip to Chicago? Because there's that. I've never truly explored that city, and I can't wait to soak up the culture there (even if. Maybe I'll blog about it!

Until next time,

Interior Design

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Time and the Livins' Easy

Hey everyone,

I can't believe how great I feel after being out of school for a couple weeks. I'm refreshed and ready to start a new phase in my life. I started my work with Tree Trust this week! Yay. Along with blogging for for CDes I think my summer will be packed, but keeping so busy will make things very interesting all summer long. I get to continue exploring the city on my bike, as I did in LA 1401 thanks to a diverse curriculum designed by Prof. Brad Agee. My Tree Trust training brought me out to St. Louis Park via the Cedar Lake North Regional Trail. It is a beautiful spot just North of Cedar Lake and Hidden Beach. I highly recommend finding your way out there soon and enjoying the views, especially for a sunset or two at the beach.

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I attempted to get involved at the U my first year and it totally paid off for me. I got to be apart of an local and organic food potluck with the group "U Students Like Good Food" and a panel discussion with some local experts discussing urban agriculture. Learning inside and outside the classroom makes everything I'm learning seem so applicable to my future career.
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This week is the first week of going back to obligations, responsibilities and learning. Not only do I start work training, I am going to San Francisco to be a bridesmaid for a good friend from my previous college. I was an Architecture and Community Design major at the University of San Francisco California.

So even with all these changes and challenges starting up in my life I try to stay calm and take a few moments to breathe deep every day. I am super lucky to have opportunities and support for these endeavors from my boyfriend, family and the staff I will be working for.

So enjoy your free time and make the most of it!

Sarah, Landscape Planning

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Summer Blog

Hello again readers! Its officially summer blogging season so I thought I would start my fortnightly blogs by introducing myself again, in case we have some new readers! My name is Lucie, and I will be starting my senior year at the University of Minnesota this fall. I am studying apparel design and retail merchandising, and will be getting a BSA and a minor in each respectively. I am especially interested in women's' evening-wear, specifically for sizes 8 through 14. Last semester, I had a research class looking into what I wanted to focus on for my senior line, along with my 15 classmates. Moving forward on to the summer and next semester, I will continue to research and sketch for ideas for my line. Most of next semester, and part of Spring semester will consist of me working very hard on my senior line, which is part of the senior show held annually in February. My line is taking inspiration from the sea and the Irish legend of the Selki (a type of mermaid, taking the form of a seal.)

Over the summer I will be blogging twice a month, documenting fashion and art events around the cities that I attend, as well as progress on my senior line research, and other fashion related goings-on. Feel free to leave me comments on my blog and I will do my best to respond to any questions!

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Lucie, Apparel Design

A Re-Introduction

Hi friends, since today is the first official day of summer blogging, I thought it would be nice to re-introduce myself to all the new readers and tell everyone a little about myself, the Retail Merchandising major, and what I am currently up to.

Well to start it off, my name is Sasenka, but most people call me Sashka. I just finished my Junior year at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and am both quite excited and a little sad to enter into my Senior year this coming fall, because my time here at the university has been wonderful so far that I'm going ti be sad to leave when the time comes; but, let's not get ahead of ourselves, because it's only just the beginning of summer. 

Now, a little about how I decided on my major. Since I was little I knew that I had an interest in fashion, but it wasn't until high school that I realized that I also had an interest in business. Wanting to pursue a blend of the two, I discovered the Retail Merchandising program, apparel track, here at the UofM. I immediately applied knowing that getting this degree at the University of Minnesota would provide me with great opportunities both on and off campus. I was right, I have learned a lot in the short three years that I have been going here and have been exposed great opportunities. Currently, I am doing an internship with Kohl's, which I got because by attending a Career and Internship Fair held through the University. 

( Visual merchandising is just one career option related to the retail merchandising major)

Well that's a little about me, until next time!
Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

Hello Future Designers!

My name is Sean Mateer and I am from Dousman, Wisconsin, which is about 40 minutes southwest of Milwaukee. Below is a picture of me with the Ski and Snowboard Club in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (I'm on the far left). If you want to get more information on the club, check out their Facebook page.


In the fall I will be starting my junior year in the graphic design program here at the University of Minnesota. I never planned on going to school for design, however I am really enjoying the program and I am extremely glad I transfered.

Believe it or not, I came to the U of M thinking I was going major in engineering, but quickly realized I wasn't looking forward to studying math for the rest of my college career. I have always enjoyed designing and building with whatever materials I could get my hands on. As a child, I was constantly playing with Legos and K'nex. My bedroom floor seemed to have a permanent blanket of those little plastic pieces. When I was a little older, I attempted to build my own snowboards and skateboards. All of this building throughout my childhood convinced my parents and myself that I would be going to college to study engineering. Image their surprise when I told them I was transferring to the College of Design for graphic design.

Throughout high school, I had developed an interest in photography and "graphic design" (a.k.a. photoshopping animals onto peoples heads), but I didn't think of applying my interest to a graphic design degree until one of my friends in the design program convinced me to apply. I was still feeling a little bit discouraged after discontinuing my education toward an engineering degree, but soon realized that design was what I really wanted to be doing all along. Design is the analyzing, researching, problem solving and building of engineering that I have always loved without the mind-numbing, headache-inducing math.

This summer, I am working at the College of Design Student Services as a Graphic Designer. When I am not working or studying during the school year, I enjoy listening to music and going to local concerts, cycling, and snowboarding. I also really enjoy exploring the Twin Cities as much as possible. There are so many great places to go and awesome restaurants to eat at.

That's all for now but be sure to check back! I will be frequently posting topics related to my experience at the U of M as well as advice for getting the most out of the College of Design and the Twin Cities.

Sean M.
Graphic Design

Monday, May 28, 2012

Architecture, BDA, what?

Hello friends,

My name is Beau Sinchai. This fall I will be a senior in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program (BDA). BDA is a design degree with an emphasis in architecture. It is great for students like me whose interests are the combination of architecture and other disciplines. I am interested in public interest architecture as well as arts. I want to use design as a solution to humanitarian issues in the third world countries.
Being in the BDA program gave me the flexibility of choosing courses based on my interest. I took classes about Designing in Conceptual Frame and Redesigning BDA Studio I and II.

Below is one of my final projects in a BDA course. It is a lounge space in the BDA studio that my friends and I designed to better serve BDA students. It was made life-size, entirely out of cardboard.



It was really fun to be able to design a product and turn it into reality. We have our final review in the project itself!

It is so useful. I have been studying there, hanging out there, eating there, and even sleeping there. The only thing left is moving all my belonging there and cancelling my apartment contract.

This summer I will be busy welcoming all first-year and transfer students to the University of Minnesota as an Orientation Leader. We have 26 Orientation Leaders this year, and we are currently practicing our stage performance and dancing for you all. Get excited! It will be super fun. Register for your orientation if you have not already done so. I am looking forward to meeting all of you this fall!

See you next blog,
Beau Sinchai

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring Semester 2012 is OVER!

Summer is finally here! After an intense week of final exams, the spring semester is over and my hard work has paid off. I've been spending most of my free time with my friends, enjoying all of the great summer amenities Minneapolis has to offer. Lake Calhoun and the Sculpture Garden have been two of my favorite outdoor activities.

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I have also spent some time doing stuff that I hadn't had much time for during the busy academic term - like spending time with my older sister (who recently graduated from the U of M) and visiting the Mill City Ruins near downtown Minneapolis.

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While I have spent all of my college summer breaks thus far here in Minneapolis, I have decided to spend my final summer before senior year back at home in Southwest Minnesota with my parents. After three years of summer work and paying the bills myself, moving to an air-conditioned lake home with free room and board sounds great to me! I will be blogging periodically throughout the summer to share my thoughts and keep in touch as I try to land an internship for the fall when I return to Minneapolis.

Also...I have nearly forgotten that in the midst of the end-of-semester craziness, I registered for fall semester classes. Much of the coursework will be fulfilling my housing technology concentration and architecture minor - they add up to 16 credits total:

HSG 3482: Sustainable Housing - Community and Environmental Technology

CMGT 3001: Introduction to Construction

ESPM 3603: Environmental Life Cycle Analysis

ARCH 4671: Historic Preservation

ECON 1101: Principles of Microeconomics

Hope you're having a great summer so far!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On to summer!

Its summer time! A time to relax a bit, take some time off from school, work in the fashion field on my own and through volunteer opportunities, work and save up for the fall semester, etc. Over the summer, I will continue blogging about my goings on, related to school, working and fashion design, but will only blog every other week. Feel free to keep commenting and asking questions and I will try to answer each and every one of them!

As far as this summer, I will be working two part time jobs: one, the one I hold during the school year as well, is as a student receptionist/assistant for the Dean's Office in the College of Design. This is great because a lot of the people I work with during the summer are newly incoming freshman, so its great to share my story and give them some insight into a student's life. My other job, that I just got recently for the summer, is working as a fit expert and personal shopper at Nani Nalu swimwear boutique. I work with clients, one on one, to find suits that fit them based on their sizes, height, lifestyle, etc. Its great for my career goals, because I eventually want to work with a range of sizes, and learning directly from women and what they like and don't like is great insight. Another great thing is that a lot of the women I work with, are within the size range I want to design for: 8-14, so learning and seeing what works best of those range of sizes is great.

Here is a picture of the boutique where I now work!

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Lucie, Apparel Design

The Last Rituals

Readers, it is with great regret (and great pleasure) to say this is my last blog as your student blogger. I've had a great time sharing stories with you over this last academic year, but I'm excited not to be a student anymore! I'm still working on finding a job; however, I have an interview at Hopkins/Baumann, a small design shop that specializes in publication design tomorrow. I'm very excited!

Over the summer, my new friend Sean will maintain this blog every other week. I say new friend because he and I didn't know one another until he applied to take my place as the graphic designer in the College of Design Student Services Office. Since then, he's even applied to replace me at the Office of Information Technology! I also found out that he and I have the same birthday, separated by two years. So we're basically the same person.

I wish all of my readers luck in their future paths, whether you are a parent helping your student decide where to go to school, or you're the student embarking on one of the greatest journeys of your life. I hope I've helped you decide that the University of Minnesota is the place for you. It certainly was for me.


Me and my friends Lauren and Kelsey from my study abroad program in London after Commencement.

A fond farewell,

Graphic Design B.F.A.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Last Saturday was a glorious day filled with friends, family, and a whole lot of memories. My family arrived around noon to traveled with me over to Rapson Hall. One of my studio-mates scheduled a pre-commencement photo in our beloved architecture building. It turned out to be very chaotic, but we took some great group photos. Our commencement was held in Mariucci Arena because Northrop Auditorium is being renovated. After hearing a motivating speech by U of M alumnus John Cary, we walked across the stage to shake hands with some of the faculty including Dean Fisher, Julia Robinson, Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla, Renee Cheng, and Loren Abraham. That short walk will forever be etched in all of our memories. I'll miss everyone that I've met here, especially those who have changed my life.

For now, this time after graduation is filled with excitement and uncertainty. I will have to choose a graduate school if I want to become a licensed architect. But before I rush back to studio all-nighters, I am considering applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Poland. After spending two weeks there last May, I fell in love with a country that most people forget exists unless you have Polish ancestors. Hopefully, I will be able to experience their culture for longer than two weeks.

Beau Sinchai will be taking my position as the Architecture blogger. She is a great friend, fellow AIAS member, and student. Beau is seeking her Bachelor of Design in Architecture and will be graduating next year. You will learn a lot of information about student involvement from her; she does so much!

Good luck in everything you pursue! Thank you for reading my blog!

Bachelor of Science - Architecture

Passing the Blogging Torch...

Hi everyone, I wanted to first thank all of you for reading my blog! I hope you learned a lot about the U of M, Landscape Design & Planning Majors, and about the College of Design. The new Landscape Design & Planning blogger will be Sarah Sularz! She will be starting bi-weekly blogs over the summer with the first one being May 28th.

My plan for the rest of the summer is to continue working (while always keeping an eye out for bigger and better things, as you should too!) Next year I will return to the University of Minnesota for my final year in the graduate MLA program where I will be crazy busy completing my Capstone Thesis and will (fingers crossed!) graduate from the MLA program this time next spring!

Please do not hesitate to track me down next fall if you have any questions or simply want to chat about Landscape Design & Planning tracks within the Bachelor of Environmental Design!

Have a great summer!

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

Look How Time Flies

10.pngWell, well, well. The end of the year had to come sometime, and with the summer following behind it, I can't say I'm too somber. This week has been quite the transition being that my last final was on Saturday and now I'm finished with school until the fall. As I mentioned before, I'll be working quite a bit this summer, and that has only just begun. And if I'm not working, I actually have this wonderful thing called free time. With all this free time, I've decided I need to set some summer goals.
1) Exercise or be active 5-6 times a week.
2) Read for leisure.
3) Self learn more on Adobe Illustrator.
4) Cook more.

I'm really excited about these goals because they are all totally attainable, as well as beneficial if I can stick to it and accomplish them. Along with those goals for the summer, I'll also continue blogging-- though it'll be every other week until fall. Don't fret too much though! Time flies and I'll be back with another post on May 28th.

Until then,
Interior Design

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Break Time

Hello Friends! School just got done this past Saturday and summer break is finally here! Woot! However, it does not feel like summer quite yet. I am still in the school mindset and can't seem shake the feeling that I should be studying or doing homework, but I have none, so I do not need to be doing anything; it is wonderful! It's nice to know that for the next two weeks, until my internship starts on May 29th, all I am obligated to do is rest, be lazy, and enjoy beautiful weather.

(Going to the lake: something I look forward to doing to this summer)

So the end of the semester not only brings an end to school, but also an end to my weekly blog posts. But do not fret friends, because this summer I will be blogging every other week starting May 28th. I am planning to keep you all updating on the happening of my internship and all that I am learning; but other than that it's pretty up in the air; so if you have any questions specific to previous posts or ideas on what I should cover or go more in depth with, let me know and I will definitely try to write about it!

Talk to you all in two week!
Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some of the Most Important Things Thus Far

Hi everyone. This is my second to last blog entry with you. I'm starting to get a little sentimental about graduating. I haven't nailed down my next step yet, so I've been telling my friends that it's hard to get excited about the unknown right now. It's also been different at work, having everyone realize they're not going to be walking up to my cube to say, "Hey, Patrick," anymore. I've really enjoyed working at the CDes Student Services office, and I've grown so much personally and professionally there. I'm going to miss it a lot.

Saturday and Sunday are two of the most important days of my life thus far, though. Graduating from college has been on my mind since I started high school in 2004 (just realized how long ago that is ahhhh). There have been so many important memories made along the way, and I think that's one of the biggest things to realize: it's not just the education that makes you employable. It's the path you take and the lessons you learn outside of the classroom that make a person a life-loving, well-rounded individual.

I'm going to end this week's entry with a picture of all the regalia I will be wearing this weekend, besides the cap and gown. The maroon and gold medallion shows I'm a Latin Honors Graduate; the blue and white cords are from my fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi; the gold cords show I'm graduating with distinction; the copper tassel shows I'm graduating from the College of Design; the white tassel shows I'm graduating from the College of Liberal Arts.


Oh, and I had a job interview at Padilla Speer Beardsley today ( Wish me luck!

Graphic Design B.F.A.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Internships, resumes, and portfolio's oh my!

As you may or may not know, an internship is required as part of the Bachelor of Environmental Design degree program. Internships can be found on the U of M's goldpass site, the American Society of Landscape Architecture -Minnesota chapter website, Minnesta Nursery & Landscape website, and any number of city websites.

To help you with resumes, cover letters, and anything else job application related.... the U of M career services is a great help - and FREE to students!

I completed an internship with the Ramsey County Conservation District as an Urban Best Managament Practice (BMP) Design Intern. I designed rain gardens, dry creek swales, shoreline restorations, and native planting restorations.

Internships go a long ways when beginning to build your professional network and begin to generate persons you will use later in life as references for future employement. As broad as our program allows us to be, and all the various subjects we gain knowledge in, it never ceases to amaze me how interconnectd the professional world we will be going into is. Your current boss may just be golf buddies with your future boss.

Make the best of every opportunity you get!

Till next week... Where I will be introducing you to the new Landscape Deisng and Planning Blogger for this summer and the 2012/2013 school year!

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

Almost Done!

On Saturday, I will join my fellow studio-mates to receive my diploma in Mariucci Arena! Until then, I am finishing up some meetings with professors, cleaning out my studio desk, and passing the AIAS gavel to our new board members. Like most architecture faculty, my studio professor, Dale Mulfinger, met with me to discuss my grade and future. It's comforting to develop a relationship with a professor to seek advice about graduate schools, jobs, and life. In addition, all my studio professors would write a recommendation letter for me when I apply to graduate school! I've found that they don't have the direct connection with their professors in other degrees .

Cleaning out my studio desk was very stressful because it's hard to know what to save, especially since I will be moving in a few weeks. The best solution to a clutter-free lifestyle is to photograph and scan anything that seems important. Rapson Hall provides a great imaging lab and a scanner in their computer lab. Also, buy numerous external hard drives to back up your work. You never know when you might lose, drop, or spill water on your precious electronics.

It's come to that time of the year when I have to start passing on my responsibilities as AIAS President. I'm really excited to see what the new AIAS board will do in the upcoming school year. Good luck! I'll miss you!

I know I said last week that this would be my last blog, but surprise, I have one more! I'll introduce you to the new architecture blogger and tell you what my hopes for the future are.

Architecture - Bachelor of Science

Last Week's AIAS Jeopardy Event

Final Cabin Model

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What An Opportunity!

Hello friends! So, do you remember how last week I showed you a picture of a project I was working on for my visual merchandising class? Well that project was actually not only a project for the class, but also a competition for Target! About a month ago we, as a class, were given the opportunity to redesign/re-merchandise different sections of the Target store: women's ready to wear section, the men's swim shop, and the boy's Cherokee shop. Having been assigned partners of two, we were given the option in choosing which of the three shops to re-merchandise. My partner, Joe, and I chose to take on the challenge of re-designing the men's swim shop.

Spending many hours brainstorming, visiting Target and competitors, doing peer interview, and implementing our ideas on the computer program, mock shop, Joe and I finally got to present our project to our class last Monday. Out of about 40 groups, which presented both that Monday and Wednesday, Joe and mine's idea was selected to be in the top 12! Not only meant that we had a good idea on our hands, but that we got to present this idea to Target executives! We were very excited!

Well, this executive presentation actually occurred yesterday, Tuesday, and Joe and I ended up winning 2nd place! Not only is this a great honor, but also it is an even greater opportunity! By placing 2nd, we are given a chance to visit Target headquarters this coming August and discuss the possibility of a job opportunities after college! HOW AMAZING! I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity!


Well if any of you have questions, please feel free to ask! But until then, have a wonderful week!
-Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

What a semester, what a year.

photo.jpgThings are finally winding down in the academic department, though it is finals week. I've gotten two of my final projects/exams taken care of and I've got two more later in the week, but I'm really almost done and it's kind of hard to believe. The spring semester probably flown by faster than anything I've ever experienced. It was a busy time and I have A LOT going on. From school and work to my tonsillectomy, social commitments and portfolio review, life was pretty crazy. And even the fall semester--I can't believe how far behind me that is now. I hate to be cheesy or overly sentimental, but it honestly feels like just yesterday that I was walking into McNeal for my first day of classes. The year has been a whirlwind, but I'm so happy to see summer on the horizon.

And speaking of summer, I've got a busy one of those ahead of me too! I've got quite a bit lined up for myself, including working at Rapson, completing a visual merchandising internship, doing my retail gig and then working back at McNeal. It's going to be crazy hectic, but I'm also really excited! It'll be nice to have a break from school, but I'm glad I'll still be productive.

Until next week!

Interior Design

Why Housing Studies?

Finals week here at the U of M is in full swing, and so far so good (for me at least). As much as I'd love to share all of my pre-exam stress drama with all of you, I figured it would be a good week to instead give you all a few reasons why I'm proud to be a housing studies major - a course of study that is often overlooked by prospective students.

It's a Real-World Major.

Because of the various housing classes I have taken this past few years, I have a full understanding of the housing market and its special relationship to our nation's economy. With housing being such a powerful economic asset, having an in-depth understanding of housing in America in the form of a B.S. degree will also be a pretty strong asset next year at graduation. The way I see it, Our major is pretty much job security because housing in this country is not going anywhere - and the demand for experts and researchers is only increasing as our housing market becomes increasingly complex. If there was an award for the major most relevant to the daily functions of our society, I would personally vote housing studies. I may sound a little bias in that statement, but housing is just that important. It's a (very expensive and complex) basic human need.


The People

Long story short, 75% of my housing studies classes have around 15 students (there's one larger class of about 40). The nature of housing studies courses encourage us all to work together and help each other out - whether we are doing a group project or individual work. There's only a handful of us in the program (roughly 12 undergrad housing majors, 26 students total counting those earning a housing minor). Note that this is not a typical program size at the U of M. We're all pretty much on a first-name basis and have likely had between 3 and 8 required classes together by graduation. I have made quite a few school friends so far and we're always helping each other out in some way or another with our studies - being competitive in the housing major would be counterproductive to the overall goal of our coursework.

Our professors, aside from being extremely knowledgeable, have devoted their careers to housing and are a huge resource to us students. They know our names, our interests, and tell us of any internship or job opportunities they've been informed of. After putting in the extra-mile into my housing coursework the past few years, the professors are more than willing to help you out with a letter of recommendation or serve as a professional reference. Our professors are also very involved in our HOUS student group events (often showing up with pizza), and will often give us opportunities to attend seminars and events with professionals.

I was asked by a professor to help represent the housing program on President Kaler's first visit to our department last year!

Well, I could go on all night but this blog is getting a bit long and I have a study tomorrow morning that I should be studying for! I'll save the last bit I had planned to share for next week. In the meantime, feel free to shoot me an email if any prospective students out there want any additional insight on what it's like to be a housing major! America needs more people like us out there who know housing like we do!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finals Week

Its finals week. That means different schedules, no more classes and final exams for some classes and final papers or projects for others. The nice thing about my spring semester this time around is that, because of our NASA project and trip to Houston, I don't have as much of a stressful time during this week. That is another thing about being a design student: most of your design classes have final projects instead of final exams which means lots of work before finals week, but not as much stress during the actual week. Your other classes however, will have final exams. My finals week this semester is pretty low key, which is nice considering the week before our trip to Houston, TX I wasn't sleeping more than 3 hours a night! I have a final exam tomorrow morning for my History of Costume class, as well as an online final for my Dress Society and Culture class. I have to turn in our final patterns, prototypes etc for my studio class as well, on Wednesday. My final paper for our NASA project is also due on Wednesday, I have been working on it and revising it throughout the semester but our final version is due then. My research class for our senior line was done a few weeks ago, with no final project. (It was only a 1 credit class.) The other class I had this semester, surface design studio, had our final projects due during the last week of class. Here is a photo of a few of my final projects for that class.


Lucie, Apparel Design

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Bittersweet Week

I'm sure you're probably getting tired of my writing about things winding down for me, but it's really what my life is about right now. It's tremendously promising and deathly frightening at the same time. My peers, faculty, and supervisors at work all have faith I will be employed quickly, but I can hear my bank account telling me that if I'm not working by June, July is going to be a problem!

So nice to see SENIOR on a nametag, finally!

It's not all stress, though. Last night was the Honors Recognition Ceremony for students graduating with Latin Honors. It was a wonderful event and a great celebration with my friends and old floormates from Middlebrook Hall. We went to Applebee's after for adult beverages (which is still kind of weird that we're all old enough to have those now) and, of course, half price apps.

This isn't chronologically correct, but Wednesday marked the last graded assignment of my undergraduate career. I created a book entitled Urban Frustrations, which was a collection of typography from construction signs and my smart-alec remarks back at them. It felt wonderful to turn it in and be done!

My submission for my typographic landscape assignment, Urban Frustrations.

Today was the presentation of my Summa Cum Laude thesis, "More Than A Mark: Creating a logo and identity system for the University of Minnesota Marching Band." The presentation went extremely well, minus the part where I got teary at the end. Honestly, I think the realization that it's all over finally hit, and I lost my composure.

Finally, the registrar showed me the cords we get to wear for levels of distinction at Commencement today. I'm so glad I didn't buy a stole, and I also encourage everyone to do their absolute best. If not for the bling bling, because you want to. It will show when it comes time to graduate that you put your time in.

Personally, I will be walking wearing an honor medallion, the blue and white cords of my fraternity, and my cords for the level of distinction I earned. I'll also be wearing a copper tassel for my degree in Graphic Design, and a white tassel for my degree in Advertising. I'm not sure about you, but I think I have plenty to wear!

And they named me Outstanding Undergraduate Student to boot.

Until next week,

Graphic Design BFA

The SELPies!

This past Tuesday, I attended the SELPies-- an award show sponsored my the Student Employee Leadership Program (SELP), honoring Outstanding Student Employees. SELP also puts on workshops throughout the semester that student employees can attend. There's even a certificate you can graduate after you complete the steps listed on their page. It's a great program that does a good job of polishing up students who show promise.

In addition to other student workers and their supervisors at the SELPies, some my College of Design Student Services team were also in company. Gayle Whitney and Tiffany Thayer, office managers were there, along with my direct supervisor, Lucy Reile (thanks so much for the award nomination, Lucy!!). Patrick Puckett, Carlie Owens and Anna Heitz (not pictured) who were also being honored.

Thumbnail image for SELPies_0002.jpeg

It was a fun event to attend, especially because I love my job! It's so reassuring to receive an award that reinforces the fact that you are good at what you do. I think the skill-set I have gathered from working as Lucy's assistant will really help me when I graduate and am out in the "real world" because communication skills are important in any field of work, and in my opinion, especially design. In addition to communication skills, I have also learned more about time management, prioritization, and professionalism. These are all important areas to excel at both currently and as a graduate.

Thank you and until next time!

Interior Design

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Opportunities are Seldom Labeled"

6432402181.jpgLast night, I had the honor of receiving the 2012 President's Student Leadership and Service Award from President Eric Kaler. The banquet was filled with inspirational speeches and great dinner conversation. After being nominated by Jim Lutz, professor and AIAS faculty advisor, for my work with the College of Design and AIAS, I was selected out of over one hundred and fifty applicants. I have to thank Jim Lutz, all of my amazing AIAS board members, and everyone else who has helped me over the last four years.

Award recipient Maggie Goshert provided a great quote from her father: "Opportunities are seldom labeled." You will have many decisions to make while attending college, but the most important ones will open doors to a myriad of opportunities. Looking back to my first year, I would have never imagined I would have achieved what I have today. I know I've said this a thousand times but GET INVOLVED. If you really want to have a great college experience, remember to incorporate your passions and be grateful towards the people who help you. Unfortunately, next week is my last blog. I hope you've had as much fun reading these as I've had writing them.

Architecture - Bachelor of Science

P.S. Today was my final studio review!!

Almost Done!

It's the last week of classes and we are all preparing for the final stretch. We are adding finishing touches to projects and starting to dig our faces into our books in hopes of acing finals. But, I must admit that I actually don't have many final tests this year; I just one cumulative final and the rest are just regular, "non-cumulative", tests, projects, or papers, which are due this week. Having an easygoing finals week, is a departure for me, I am used to scantering and cramming my head full of information; but this year, I get to focus more on the tasks in front of me, rather than simply final exams. However, don't get me wrong, projects and papers can be tough as well, particularly if they are lengthy or you have many of them to due.

With my projects and papers all being due this week, this past weekend was super difficult for me. I did not think that I had enough hours in the day to finish all that I needed to; I had a, very large, project due, four papers to finish, and had to study for a test. Somehow, I managed to get it all done and now all I have to do is study for my one final next week and start packing everything up for the summer.

(This is a side view of the project I had due; for this my partner

and I had to re-design and merchandise a shop)


Have a great week!
Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

Revisiting an Old Project

The final project in our map design class has given me the opportunity to further research some previous work from last year's course 'Housing and Community Development.' Focusing on the southern Minneapolis neighborhood Nokomis East Neighborhoods of Morris Park, Keewaydin, Wenonah, and Minnehaha, my fellow students and I conducted on-site neighborhood housing analyses - later coming together and compiling a detailed housing report on each individual neighborhood.


For my current class, I am making several maps of the neighborhood's housing characteristics from available GIS data. While I'm still in the process of finalizing the final poster and map designs, it's been interesting so far to see certain trends within the neighborhood groups when comparing parcel data. The final poster is due tomorrow so I better get back to work!

Jesse, Housing Studies major

Laser cut, Laser cut, Laser cut!

Its a busy time of year as final studio project due dates are coming up. This makes for a very busy place at Rapson Hall - The Digital Fabrication Lab, home of our THREE laser cutters. These laser cutters are a students best friend as they save countless hours (and perhaps even a finger or two, wohoo for safety!) for each of us in cutting time. One of the laser cutters is made available for reservations making it very convenient for those students on tight schedules. The other two are on a first come first serve basis. I was unfortunately reminded of some advice I got from my high school wood shop teacher... "measure twice, cut once". I'll admit I cut a few pieces twice resulting in wasted time and additional stress. As for the actual working of the laser cutters... no worries, there is always a lab attendant there to help you out when you have a question.


This brings me to the stress of finals week. My best advice and remedy is to find an activity that you can do for as little as ten minutes to help take your mind of things for a bit. Also, creating to-do lists can be very helpful in staying organized and ensuring you don't forget about anything. Speaking of to do lists... Its time I get back to mine, just 8 hours until I present my studio final!

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