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College of Design

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Week of Greatness

Hello again,

As I mentioned in one of my previous blog that the College of Design will be hosting the first ever Public Interest Design Week during March 19th -24th. There will be people from all over the places. It sure will be the largest gathering of people who are involved with public interest design. The best news is that the University of Minnesota students can now attend events for free! This is the best thing that happened to me in a month. There will be tons of great speakers, designers, policy makers, architects, educators, and students from across the country. What a great networking opportunity! So, what exactly is public interest design? It is a movement that intersect design with services. This includes, but not limited to affordable housing, education, social issues at hand, etc. It is a MUST ATTEND event. Register here: I hope to see you there!


Also, I was part of the Dean's Reception last Saturday. It was nice to see some of you at the event. We had a presentation about each program at the College of Design. The best part was talking to prospective CDes members and getting to know some of you and your parents. I really enjoyed learning about what you all are interested in and looking forward to at the U. If you were unable to attend the event, but still have some questions, please feel free to contact me anytime. I will write about the Dean's Reception in details next week. Get excited!

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

Lets do some Q and A

The Dean's Reception was this past weekend and I had a lot of fun meeting and chatting with some of you! I definitely enjoyed it and I hope those of you who were able to come did too! I seriously loved talking to you guys and hearing about your future goals, dreams, ideas, interests, and the questions you had about the program and the University. So for today's post, I will answer some of the questions I was asked this past weekend and hopefully bring you some understanding concerning those areas.

Q: Why did you choose to study Retail Merchandising?

A: I had an interest in business and was involved with a student group, DECA, while in high school; but I also have always been interested in fashion. So for me this major was the perfect mix of my two interests.

Q: Why study Retail Merchandising at the University of Minnesota?

A: Minneapolis is the perfect location to study Retail Merchandising because there are so many corporate retailers that are housed in the area. They often come and speak in our classes; they even collaborate with a few classes on projects. This gives us better opportunities to network and find jobs after we graduate.Winners and Target-thumb-600x338-125294-thumb-600x338-125295.jpg(This is a photo of me, some of my classmates, and the target team for visual merchandising after a competition for designing a visual merchandising layout. Photo credit:

Now, some basic questions that I was asked:

Q: What dorms should I live in my Freshmen year?

A: This is a question that I discussed in a previous post; you can find it by simply clicking here.

Q: How is it difficult to get around campus, particularly, from the St. Paul campus to the Minneapolis one?

A:I have also addressed this issue in a couple different posts, which you can find by clicking here and here.

Weekly Wednesdays

Happy Wednesday everyone! As the Spring 2013 academic term continues on at a steady pace, I though this week would be a good one to share with you all what a typical Weekday is like in my shoes. I would describe my weekly schedule as "action-packed" and Wednesdays are no exception.

JEsseLaMaackRapsonFeb2013.jpgOn busy days like these I usually try to wake up around 6:30am to get ready for the day, check my planner, and drink 2 cups of coffee before getting on the bus going westbound to the East Bank of the Minneapolis Campus. After the short bus ride, I brave a 4-minute walk outdoors (it's been quite cold lately) and arrive at my first daily destination - Rapson Hall, room 100 for a course called Design in the Digital Age. Without getting into too much detail, it's an architecture course focused on designing with the latest technology which we will likely use again one day in the "real world." I recently made the image below for a short assignment in the class using SketchUp software.  


After Design in the Digital Age, I quite literally sprint out of Rapson to the nearest Campus Connector bus stop and hopefully make it to my Rural Housing Issues class in McNeal Hall on the St. Paul Campus in around twenty minutes. I probably should have planned that out better during registration, but I usually make it on time. After Rural Housing Issues, I grab a quick bite to eat and hop back on the Campus Connector en route back to the West Bank Minneapolis Campus!

While my class schedule is empty for several hours at this point in the day (around noon), I'm still in a slight rush upon arrival at the West Bank because the bus to my internship isn't going to catch itself! I take MetroTransit Route 22 to 35th Avenue & Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis and walk a block or two to the HOME Line office (a statewide nonprofit tenant advocacy organization). My time there consists of speaking with Minnesota renters who have legal questions about their housing. Usually, I'm always being of help to someone, which is a nice feeling.

Then back to East Bank Campus for a quick dinner and my one-day-a-week Intro to Public Speaking class from 6:00 - 9:00pm in Ford Hall. Pretty self-explanatory what happens in that class, but I will say that our lecturer is amazing and I'm actually learning a lot about how I present myself to the public (former Gopher Tour Guide here). After speech class, I usually go straight home and watch Netflix in my bed. Wednesdays are my day off of serious homework endeavors for obvious reasons.

Well, time to start my day. Cheers everyone!

Jesse LaMaack

- Housing Studies, B.S.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dean's Reception

Hello all! It was wonderful to meet some of you at the Dean's Reception this past weekend! If any of you couldn't make it and have questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be in touch!

The event was a great one and I had a lot of fun. I got to have lunch with incoming freshman and their families, which was super fun to hear stories about how people got interested in design and how they chose the University of Minnesota. I also got to tell my story, and how I made my way to Minnesota and the College of Design, which was a fun trip down memory lane! I actually attended the Dean's Reception my senior year of high school back in 2009! I cannot believe that was 4 years ago, because my time at the U has gone so fast!

The past 4 years have been a blur, and I couldn't be happier. I loved sharing part of my last year with incoming freshmen who I hope have as great I time as I have in the College of Design. I thought that it would be fun to share a picture of one of my first projects ever with you! This is something that I did back in high school, before I had decided to pursue design as a career and college choice! I will be using this in my portfolio which I am working on right now in one of my classes. Enjoy!


Lucie, Apparel design

Awesome Collaboration Tools for Group Projects!

In my Interactive Design class, we are working on an interactive personal project of our choosing throughout the course of the semester. This project is a huge portion of our grade and procrastinating is not an option. We are required to check in and have critique sessions with groups of students we have been placed with who are doing similar projects. We were also asked to find a unique project management tool to share our progress and ideas throughout the course of the semester.

Up until now, I have primarily used either Facebook or Google Docs/Drive to stay on page with others while doing group projects. After researching project management tools, our group found that there were much more elegant and efficient solutions for managing our group tasks and progress. Next time you have a group project, consider trying out one of these awesome and free collaboration tools!

Dispatch is a great tool for collaborating and stay up to date with your team. Discussion boards allow you to easily attach any files or links that you want keep your conversations organized and removed from your email inbox. You can tag your group members in comments with an @ symbol like you would on Twitter to make sure they get notified. Best of all, tools you might already use like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote integrate seamlessly with the tool.

Trello is a great tool for managing deadlines and organization information, whether it's only for yourself, or an entire team. Trello's interface is a set of user created "cards" that can be shuffled around and organized however you want across a board. For instance, a card might have project details and due date on it, as well as your teams conversation regarding the project. When you finish the project, you could move the card from a "to-do" section of the board to "done". Trello is great for keeping members of a team on the same page. It's a little difficult to explain, but super easy to learn and use. Try it out!


Dropmark is a little different from Dispatch and Trello in that it is focused more on collaboration and idea generation rather than full project management. However, it's still a really nice tool so I thought I would include it. Dropmark allows you to drag and drop almost any type of file (images, music playlists, PDFs, even raw Photoshop or Illustrator files) into the browser where it is organized into a mosaic of squares. Dropmark is great for quickly sharing visual inspiration with other team members or sending a preview of a Photoshop or Illustrator file without converting to PDF.


Do you know of any other great project management or collaboration tools? Tell me about it in the comments!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Groovy Stuff

photo.jpegOver the past few weeks, my Lighting class has been working on designing a lighting fixture. What's especially cool about this project is that we are collaborating with a company names Groovy Stuff located in Dallas, Texas. Essentially, they are our client and we are designing lighting fixtures that fit their look, feel, and style while incorporating our own point of view. Each student has been working on multiple prototypes for the project and we have been using Facebook to communicate with each other, our professor (Dr. Asojo), and the guys over at Groovy Stuff (Chris and Lee).

photo-1.jpegThe first stage in this project was sketching and sketching and sketching to come up with multiple prototypes and options for the company to choose from. We uploaded our sketches to the Facebook group we all share and we were able to recieve feedback. From there, the design process really took off because after each bit of feedback, changes would be made, new ideas would be born, and another set of sketches would be uploaded. Over the course of time, I came to a point where I was really happy with my design. I was able to share my sketches once again and explain my idea from a conceptual and functional standpoint. The clients seemed to really like my idea, so I decided to run with it!

Yesterday, our class met in Rapson Hall so we would have access to the wood shop and technology labs. I found my materials (lots of free, scrap wood!) and started talking with the employees of the wood shop to better understand the logistics of my lighting fixture.

So far, I have built a frame and stained it which you can see here. Maybe if I make more progress I'll do an additional post about it! Let me know if you guys would like that :)

Until the next one,

Interior Design

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hadrians Villa & Villa D'este

This week is going to be huge for the MSP-UMN-FCO-IST crew. hadrians villa.jpgWe have our projects finishing up...they are so cool! Huge maps of the city of Rome. Narratives melding with history and imagery. Its taking awhile to get them together, but I am looking forward to the review!
We went to Tivoli, Italy Saturday. It was a rainy day trip, still so lovely even though it was raining. berry e tree.jpgWe talked about the wild expanse of Hadrians Villa and the controlled upkeep and management of Villa D'Este. Hadrian created an imperial compound, acres of densely built up structures, Biblioteche (libraries), Gardins (gardens), Stadio (stadiums), multiple chapels, and so much more. It is a huge complex now in ruins and exposed brick. To warm up midday we all stopped in the caffe and got cappuccino e cioccolato caldo. Delicioso. balcony .jpg
Next stop: Villa D'Este. My favorite garden from LA 3413...Landscape History. Completely changed my view of the site however, to be there was so cool. The slope was insane, feeling at times like atop a cliff then flat. The upkeep on the Cardinal's villa is handled well and the parterre de broderie is well manicured and full. What is the most engaging feature of this site is the water. Its everywhere, flowing, gushing, standing, shining, running freely yet highly controlled. Somehow the engineering conquers gravity and is dispersed throughout the villa. The avenue of One Hundred Fountains, the Neptune Fountain, Oval Fountain, paths lined with rills. Hydrology is essential to this site and Hadrian's Villa. Italians do it well.

I'm off to bed (sufficiently needed!) and you will be hearing from me next time from Istanbul!

Sarah S.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Instaflame! A packaging redesign.

coghlans.jpgYesterday, I presented my first packaging design for Packaging and Display (also known as GD3). Our first assignment of three was to repackage a sport-related product. My professor's definition of "sport" was pretty loose and encompassed pretty much anything you might find in an REI or Dick's Sporting Goods. This was great because my classmates and I found a lot of interesting things to repackage ranging from darts, to a hiking compass, to a bodyboard leash. I decided to repackage the fire starters pictured right.

The original package is not very appealing, is it? However, the attractiveness of the packaging wasn't the only reason I decided to repackage the fire sticks. In both REI and Dick's, these fire sticks are hidden in the camping section next to speciality backpacking supplies like expensive, ultra-compact camp stoves and burners - not things your average weekend camper would likely be interested in. I did some research and interviews with people who are into serious camping and backpacking, and they said they would never use these fire sticks. They have their own techniques for starting fires like using cotton balls soaked in oil or the old fashioned flint and steel method. So why do these seemed to be marketed towards the more advanced camper?


My redesigned package (Above - the matches were a last minute added bonus for fun) aimed to make a more attractive product in a more convenient package - one that easily slips into the pocket of a casual hiker, camper, or outdoor adventurer. Because one fire stick can be used to start two or more fires, it wasn't necessary to have 12 sticks in one pack - especially for a more casual user. The smaller package is meant to be stacked and displayed. Aimed to be sold for less than $2.00, it would be a great product to put near the checkout area of a sporting goods store where small trinkets and other goods are sold and often purchased on impulse, rather than only being hidden in the back of the store. Moral of the story: remember that product packaging isn't just about being pretty, it's about your audience and how it is marketed as well!

P.S. The Dean's Reception for incoming 2013 CDes freshman is this Saturday! Unfortunately I am not able to attend, but there will be a lot of others bloggers and faculty there for you to talk to. Make sure to attend!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

My Student Housing History

Although student housing isn't necessarily my area of expertise, I've had a variety of different experience as a tenant of Minneapolis student housing. This week, I thought it would be fun to briefly share them all with you all.

Pioneer Hall

76169234pio.jpgMy first and most memorable housing arrangement as a student was Pioneer Hall, an on-campus residence hall on the superblock. Highly recommended. Freshly separated from my parents and hometown, I was assigned a random roommate (who I continued to live with as a sophomore) in a two-bedroom suite. It was awesome and to make it even better, the dining center was right downstairs.

6th & 6th

Then came sophomore year. Our lack of apartment rental experience led my friends and I to the most ridiculous apartment I've set foot in - our old place on 6th Street & 6th Avenue Southeast in the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood near Dinkytown. Although it was situated in a charming and historic area of town, our six-unit apartment building was in pretty bad shape. Our apartment stood out among most others - its most notable features being the odd layout of everything along one never ending corridor, and boarded up porch windows. Overall though, rent was pretty cheap and it kept warm in the winter...and it definitely had character.

Chester's Palace

9167stxxzzz.JPGCome junior year, my roommates and I packed up and moved across I-35W to the edge of Dinkytown. Dinkytown, as you may well know, is the heart and soul of off-campus life. Five of us leased a HUGE house with five bedrooms, and also welcomed a black lab puppy named Chester to the family (hence Chester's Palace). Long story short, we quickly learned just how messy a house can get with five college-aged guys and too much living space, and a puppy. Almost impossible to keep clean. It was fun while it lasted, but that house will not be missed.

Southeast Talmage

My current residence is a little farther away from campus on Talmage Avenue Southeast in the Southeast Como Neighborhood. Our big group of five decided it was best to split up to avoid the unmanageable nature of five-bedroom places, which led us to choose a lovely 1970s duplex on the railroad tracks. The trains can be loud at times, but I'm mostly use to it by now and the apartment is quite nice. It is also conveniently situated on MetroTransit's Route 3 bus line which drops stops on East and West Banks of the Minneapolis Campus going westbound, and St. Paul Campus going eastbound - perfect for my trips to and from school!

Have a good week everyone!

- Jesse LaMaack
Housing Studies, B.S.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rethink Lecture Hall

Hello again,

My class ARCH 3250 Creating a Culture of Innovation: the Link between Environment and Learning is doing something very exciting. We will be redesigning the learning spaces to better support the education. We have been discussing and researching about the ineffective of traditional classrooms and lecture halls. Let's think about this. How much information do we actually absorb or how much fun do we have when sitting in classroom where you cannot move out of your seat or chat. Not everyone learn the same way. Some people prefer quiet environment, some people prefer louder environment. Some people prefer discussion, some people prefer working alone, and some people want both. This raises a very important question of how can we serve all types of learners and support they way they learn and still flexible enough to be able to adapt to any new technology that will happen in the next decade.

Old top view of Humphrey School of Public Affairs scale model

So, our task is to redesign 2 institutions. The first one is the Humphrey School of Public Affairs which is a higher education institution. The second one is the North Park Elementary School, an elementary school in Minnesota. I choose Humphrey School of Public Affair because I am interested in higher education. I will show you the process of redesigning the building next week. Also, I will be part of the Dean's reception this weekend. If you will be there, please feel free to ask me any questions or just chat. I hope to see everyone there.

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

New Plans

Hey friends, hope your week is going well! This week I will talk about the new undergraduate plan for Retail Merchandising and Graphic Design that was announced just a few Fridays ago on February 8th. This new plan is one that gives students, within these two College of Design programs, the ability to graduate in three years rather than four. The three-year degree will be made available to those students enrolling in either Retail Merchandising or Graphic Design in the fall of 2014. You may be asking yourselves, how will I be able to finish a four years worth of credits in only three years? Well the answer to that is that students within those two majors, who choose to take on this new plan, will be able to take a full load of credits during the summer months. This new plan is only a pilot and will be used to determine whether there is really a need for students to complete a degree in three-years.

Photo 2798.jpgFor some more information, here are some news reports and articles that have reported on this new implementation.

- CBS Minnesota - Can you spot me in the video? hehe:)
- Startribune

Also a reminder for those of you who are going to the Dean's reception, it is this Saturday and I will be there! So please come say hi and chat with me! Because this is how excited I am to meet you! --- >

Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Senior line!

Hello all!

This past Saturday was my senior fashion show FLUX! It was absolutely wonderful and it went off without a hitch! All my models looked beautiful and all the clothing fit perfectly and looked flawless on the runway. This show was the final finish line for us 17 senior designers, after 4 years in the program. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of our group and how far we've come. Each of us has a specific and unique aesthetic and design style, as well as target market, ranging from punk-inspired children's'-wear to menswear to plus size evening and bridal. We all held our own and showed collections true to us as designers. I showed my line of four evening looks on models ranging from a size 6/8 to a size 14/16. I was beyond pleased by how all my girls looked and with the way the audience responded. In fact, if you're interested in seeing my pieces, I will be bringing two of them to the Dean's Reception this weekend! Some of you will be there, I am sure, and I will be speaking about the Apparel Design program at the U of M and meeting with incoming students about the student life here on campus. Here is a shot of one of my pieces that i will be showing at the Dean's Reception, on the runway!


If you will be at the Dean's Reception, feel free to say Hi and ask me any questions! If you won't be there, go ahead and post any questions here and I will do my best of answer them!

Lucie, Apparel Design

All Roads Lead to the Duomo

Or Rather, the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. This amazing building was the landmark of the city for sure. We could not walk anywhere without referencing the Duomo! In a smaller city like Florence we got to experience a lot more of the city in just a few days, although most of us fell in love with Florence. synagauge.jpgThe Arno River cuts through the city, similar to Rome and the rough Tiber, although the multitude of pedestrian bridges really captured a more intimate relationship with the natural realm than I have felt in Rome. The Piazzas were always full of activity and sunny most of the day. It felt easy to sit and draw most places, people stopped to look at a lot of the work we were doing. island fountain.jpg
We went to the famous Uffizi Gallery, spent the better half of the day within the great halls lined with paintings, sculptures and etchings. The Piazza Uffizi lines the river banks creating some outstanding vistas and vantage points. The kinetic energy was outstanding in Florence. Between the walkability level, series of connected Piazzas and large "must see" architectural monuments within Florence, there was always something going on. The city had an interesting transition between day time and night time. Day time was filled with Gelato, lunch on the streets and strolling leisurely, leather markets, and a strict (much appreciated) following of the afternoon siesta. ponte vecchio.JPGThen the evening, which starts after dinner around 9pm. It is couples walking hand in hand, with friends, strolling the main walks and piazzas. My sketches increased in volume in Florence and I was continuously inspired to be out and experiencing the city. It was an amazing look into classic Tuscan city developments, religious changes and integration of the modern with the classical and medieval. Such a cool place full of so much history.

Until next week, stay warm MN!!

Sarah S.

Monday, February 18, 2013

UROP: Giving Back to the Community

My professor Dr. Asojo and two 3rd year interior design students, Carol Erklouts and Tawana Terrell recently completed a UROP project. UROP stands for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. It is a program that allows undergraduate students to conduct research, learn independently, gain funding and be compensated for work. It might sound scary or intimidating, but it's actually fairly easy to set up. You just need to submit a propsal and find a faculty mentor. If you'd like to learn more about how to get started, check out this link.

For Dr. Asojo, Carol, and Tawana's UROP project, they worked on the interior and lighting design of a science lab for a K-8 school, St. John the Baptist Catholic School in New Brighton, MN. They began by conducting initial research which quickly became more and more indepth as they learned more about what the space would require for optimal functionality. Once the data was collected, the design process of a new and improved science lab began.

1.jpegThey attended a fundraising event that the school hosted and presented their design solution early in February. The design solution was so compelling, that it helped to secure funds so the project could go from a plan to a reality.

When I think about the impact interior designers have on the community, it really solidifies how important the profession is. This UROP project inspires me and I hope to conduct a project of my own this summer or in the Fall 2013 semester.

Oh yeah! And before I forget - if you are an admitted CDes freshman for Fall 2013, I hope to see you at the Dean's Reception this Saturday! I will be there with many other bloggers, faculty, professionals, and current students. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'd be happy to find you answers! You can also directly get in touch with Lori Swenson at 612-624-6250 or

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Design for Change

Hello again,

I started my internship a month ago as a Social Design Intern at People Serving People (PSP). People Serving People is a homeless emergency housing with the emphasis in providing a broad range of on-site programs to help the families with jobs, housing, etc. I had the privilege to be working with an educational organization and a design studio in Los Angeles for a project at PSP. Our project is to create a new program for teens at PSP. We hope to use the design methodology that us, designers, are familiar with. We call it D3 which stands for Dream It, Design It, Do It. It has been implemented in Los Angeles and the results are extremely positive.

This is the first time that D3 will be implemented in the setting like homeless emergency housing. We hope that we can empower the teens because they are the ones who could potentially break the homeless cycle their parents are living in.

D3 Methodology

You may wonder how this is relates to architecture. As a designer, it is important that we realize the capability of design and its potential. Who knows, I might be designing a new facility to support this unique D3 program at PSP because the current facility was not design for that. Architecture is much more than designing buildings and design is much more than creating objects. It is invisible architecture and design. We provide these teens with the tools that they can apply to their lives. I am so glad that the unique architecture and design knowledge I have been gaining from the BDA program allows me to think outside the box. It was not hard for me to find the connection between design, homelessness, and social change.

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dr Dunne

Hello all!

I thought I would take this week to talk about one of my professors, Dr. Dunne, and her latest creation. Dr. Dunne is an apparel design professor who focuses on wearable technologies and electronic clothing innovations. She is the professor who lead my class's project with NASA. She also heads up the University of Minnesota College of Design's Wearable Technology lab, which is located in McNeal Hall. I also worked with her, in this lab, for a project in collaboration with engineering students, to create handbags and luggage with the power to power a cell phone or other USB device with solar panels.

Dr Dunne's latest project, which I have seen throughout the process, is her smart technology glove created to help firefighters in work settings. The glove has sensors in it, to allow firefighters to "see" through smoke and dimly lite areas and allow them to move through an area without feeling around to sense their surroundings. It works similarly to echolocation, by sending out signals and reporting back to how far away things are. You point around the room and the glove will vibrate based on how far away things are: harsh vibrate for things that are close and a softer one for ones that are far away. Using this technology, a firefighter can more safely and more quickly maneuver their way through dangerous situations. This is a great example of how apparel design has real world, non fashion, uses, ones that are being innovated every day within the college of design. If you're interested in learning more about the project, here is a great article:

And a photo of the prototype:


Lucie, Apparel Design

International State of Mind

Hey friends! Today, I think I'll talk about some of the things I am learning in my International Markets class. This class has been really great so far and is helping me realize that I have a real interest in how business functions, occurs, and change outside of the United States. The class will be touching on a lot of different bases, but currently our focus is on the cultural differences between counties or societies and how being aware these cultural differences can help a business succeed globally.

4815838-earth-globe-high-resolution-image.jpgThe class format for International Markets is a mix of online activities and in-class lectures, about half and half; some days we meet in class and other days we meet online to complete online activities, quizzes, or attend virtual group discussions. However, no matter the class setting, we are constantly being stretched and growing in knowledge. One of our recent assignments was to watch some videos on dominant religions and cultures within specific countries; we then discussed how these specific worldviews could affect both business-to-business transactions and business to consumer transactions.

The more time I spend in this class, the more I realize how important the information I am learning really is! The class is preparing me and making me aware what needs to occur for international business transactions to be successful, which I find to be valuable, especially when I think about the fact that I am graduating soon and may end up working for a company who handles business all around the world.

Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Finding Design Jobs and Internships

Depending on where you are at in your graphic design career, you may be starting to think about trying to find a design related job or internship during your time off in the summer. There are many useful resources for finding graphic design jobs and internships. Below, I'll talk about some of the most common ways to find a graphic design job or internship as a student at the U of M. This is by no means a comprehensive list for finding opportunities, but a good starting point and some of the resources I have found most helpful.

a) Goldpass - Goldpass is the U of M's personal job board. Employers from all over Minnesota, and even throughout the US post jobs and internships on Goldpass. Goldpass makes it easy to search by discipline or type of work.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 7.51.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 7.56.48 PM.png
b) Networking - This could very well be your best bet at landing the perfect job or internship. By building a relationship with professionals in the industry, they are likely to keep you in mind when they hear of an internship opening. This can be espeically helpful with firms and corporate agencies that don't publicly list whether or not they have internships available.

c) Firm website - A majority of design or advertising firms will have a "work for us", "jobs", or "careers" page somewhere on there website (though it's not always easy to find). If you are lucky, you might find information about internship openings on these pages or someone you can contact to see of they offer any.

d) Alternative job boards - There are also a number of job boards such as Indeed, Authentic Jobs, and that you may find a design job or internship on. AIGA has it's own job board as well!

Do you know of other great resources for finding jobs or internships? Leave a comment!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Exploring Rural Design

Greetings readers! Hopefully February has been treating you well. It has been a crazy busy past few weeks as the semester kicks into full speed alongside my work and internship obligations - but busy is good! This week I'd like to share with you all my recent research and learning experiences in the area of rural design. Rural design is something you may not have heard of before, largely because it is considered an emerging design discipline focused on addressing issues in rural areas by means of research-based design principles. Basically, rural design seeks to pursue an equitable balance between the human uses or rural lands and the natural ecosystems that exist in the area - a "best fit" between human use and natural functions. Coming from a rural area, I personally find this emerging area of design to be both challenging and environmentally responsible.

rurdezz.jpgLuckily for my fellow students and me, our very own College of Design in partnership with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences is at the forefront of this research-driven design discipline and is home to the Center for Rural Design (CRD) - "CRD is an award winning, multi-disciplinary research and design studio that empowers communities to find innovative solutions to problems in rural Minnesota, the Midwest, and globally."

I've been doing a lot of research and related work on rural design as I am currently taking a course called Rural Housing Issues taught by housing studies professor and CRD faculty member Dr. Ann Ziebarth, who provides our class with a wealth of knowledge and insight on the topic. Very interesting stuff!

Hope you all go out and learn something new today!

- Jesse LaMaack
Housing Studies, B.S.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Projects on projects on projects

Thumbnail image for photo-6.jpegSo in my previous blog posts, I've talked a lot about the IEEE Student Lounge redesign project we've been working on in studio. We finally presented last Thursday and it feels so good! As I move into the second semester of my second year, one thing I've noticed is how much the pace picks up for individual projects. At first, it was kind of scary thinking about doing an entire project in 3 weeks, but now that I've done it, I can honestly say I have no complaints. Thumbnail image for photo-5.jpegIt is a really rewarding experience to be able to work through the design process and go through each stage and come to an awesome end result in a quick amount of time. In past semesters, I would have had 2 months for a project that I am now able to complete in 3 weeks. It really goes to show how much I've grown, progressed, and learned in the interior design program. It felt amazing being able to present a project I was really proud of to a real life client. From here, the next steps are for the clients to review each individual design solution from my peers and I and decide on a solution or elements of multiple solutions they like. Once that's done, they are actually going to implement the design that they like into their student lounge. It's really cool to think that something I created could become a real life thing! Cross your fingers for me.

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Palimpsest of the Jewish Ghetto

Latest adventure: traveling through the Jewish "Ghetto" of Rome. There were once walls that separated the religious sector of the city from the Catholic majority. Pope Paul the IV put them up in 1555 with hopes to convert the Jewish population. His attempts failed. The Jewish population actually grew and attracted refugees from Spain and Germany. The walls were torn down in 1846, with cool left over ruins as markers and memory, and this part of the city is now full of valuable real estate, kosher delis and markets and a serious sense of community. jewish ghetto walls.jpgThere are delicious bakeries and fun gift shops that make it a great destination spot for tourists and Romans. The Jewish sector lines a series of ruins including the Portico d'Ottavia and Teatro d'Marcellus, both built by Augustus I for his niece and nephew, respectively. marcellus theater.jpgThe streets here are narrow and winding, making it an easy place to get lost.
Nearby is a really interesting Roman National Museum containing the Crypta Balbi and cistern and a series of layers of buildings piled on top of on another. This is a great example of Palimpsest that exists everywhere in Rome. Layers of materials and history compounded through the ages, telling us stories of architecture and social hierarchies. Antonella told us the importance of knowing these different materials. baldi crypt column and materials list.jpgThis "Cheat Sheet" is posted at the museum. The column seen in this image is also at the Crypt. It is in different stages of remaking, to show how the column would have been placed within the site. The historical imagery here is amazing and really inspiring to me as I go forward with my drawings and sketches. Layers and Layers just laying below the city waiting to be discovered.
So this weekend we are going to take a train trip to Florence. I will be really busy exploring this gorgeous city and visiting the Uffizi Gallery.
Until next week,

Sarah S.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Target: Design

Hello all! I am at a bit of a stressful point in the semester, because our senior fashion show is less than 2 weeks away! Where did the time go!? I am down to the wire sending out press invites and coordinating with designers and models. We have a lot to do still, but we'll get it to work! 10 days and counting!

This week, I wanted to talk to you about a great project I will be working on this semester, in my Soft-lines class. We, in teams of 3 apparel design students and 3 retail merchandising students, work with Target to create a new product or line of products for a target market or group of consumers that we find Target isn't currently focusing on. This could be a size range, age group, style type or anything in between. Our overarching target market, which was assigned to us randomly, is "big-girls" which encompasses girls sizes 4-16, typically school aged girls. I am excited for our target market, as girls clothing, I find, is so "nitch" or specific: girly and pastel. I want to create something for the tom-boy girl, who is active and imaginative. Something with primary colors and fun geometric prints. Now, of course, we will have to decide on something as a team, collaboratively, and work with Target to have our ideas approved, but it's something to start with! Other groups were assigned active wear, "big boys", infants/toddlers, and other types of apparel and consumers.

Here is a shot of our design day at Target Corporate!


Lucie, Apparel design

Whose Basement?

Hello again,

Last week, I had a chance to visit Leonardo's Basement, an innovative educational organization. It was our field trip for one of the BDA workshops, ARCH 3250 - Creating a Culture of Innovation: the Link Between Environment and Learning. We look at new ways to create learning environments that will foster the individuality and creativity of every student. This means that the old traditional classroom setting with rows of table and teacher standing in front of the whiteboard is no longer relevant. It is bringing architecture to the changing world and think about how we can prepare ourselves and the future generation for the ever-evolving technology.

The moment I stepped into the space, I was amazed by the amount of random stuff ranging from glitters to mechanical piece inside a grand piano. The only instruction we had was to create an environment for learning for kids that were there. We can use anything that is available in the space. This freedom of making and doing is also applied to the kids. I saw kids using saw, climb up and down to get the stuff they want without any fear. What a wonderful way of teaching! I love how they just let the kids take risks and learn from mistake rather than preventing kids from making mistakes and hurt themselves a little.

Left: Critique by Prof. Wes. Right: Project by a group of class ARCH 3250
Photos by Justin Sims Photography

At the end, we have "Professor Wes" who is about 8 year-old, critique our design of the space. He told us what he likes and what we can work on. For example, "I think the bubble wrap floor would be nice" -Professor Wes. I can only agree to that comment.

Last thing before I leave: the Dean's Reception is coming up. I hope to see some of you there. I will also blog about this after the event!

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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Come and Chat at The Dean's Reception!

mcneal.gifHey friends! I want to inform you all that The College of Design's Dean's Reception is coming up in about two weeks! The event will take place on Saturday, February 23rd. It will be held on the St. Paul Campus, in the McNeal Hall Atrium, for the students interested in Retail Merchandising, Housing Studies, Apparel, Interior, and Graphic Design. So to all you potential Retail Merchandising students, who have questions about the major and what it's all about, this is the place to be!

The event will host different information sessions where you will learn about the College of Design and the major of your interest. There will also be luncheon where you and you family will get to talk with faculty and current students about college life, classes, the city of Minneapolis, the major itself, and what ever else comes to mind!

I helped out at the Dean's Reception last year and will definitely be helping out again this year! The event is really casual, laid back, and a whole lot of fun! It is a great and safe place for questions you may have the school and major, and also any questions you may have regarding any of my Retail Merchandising blog topics; I love to chat and am always willing to help, so please feel free to come up to me and chat.

I hope to see you there!
Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Do in College.

mostfun.jpgThe most important. The most fun. The most fantastical. The most resume-worthy... You might have seen these posters around McNeal this past week promoting the kickoff meeting for the revival of the U's AIGA Student Group.

If you aren't familar with it, AIGA stands for the American Institute of Graphic Arts. AIGA is a nationwide professional organization for designers (and students!), with over 66 different chapters. Minnesota has their own chapter and most of the events and conferences put on by AIGA Minnesota happen right here in the Twin Cities. Design schools often receive funding to create AIGA Student Groups that can plan their own events or organize trips to chapter wide events. The University has had an AIGA Student group in the past, but it unfortunately disbanded when the leaders graduated. Never fear, we are getting the group back together!

Join us this Thursday the 7th at 5:45 in McNeal 274 to learn more about AIGA and get signed up as a member! Becoming a member is heavily discounted for students and gives you the opportunity to attended awesome design and networking events where you can learn and make connections to better your chances of securing a job after graduation. In addition to having access to great AIGA events like monthly Cocktails with Creatives and Portfolio 1-on-1, you can also participate in events that we will put on just for U of M AIGA student members like going on studio tours or participating in a short workshop.

I hope to see you at the meeting!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Three Years of Nonstop Housing Development Near Campus

Thinking back to the very start of our new housing construction craze around the U of M campus, it seems like just yesterday that the large fenced-off mud pit on 15th Avenue & 4th Street Southeast rose from the subsurface and became Sidney Hall - the big, fancy, modernesque new apartment building that boastfully became the pinnacle of elite living in Dinkytown. Sydney Hall was a huge hit and the units filled up faster than most expected. From that point on, the rest is pretty much a blur of new off-campus apartment buildings going up everywhere...and I mean everywhere.

It shocks me to say with almost absolute certainty that since the Sydney Hall project was labeled a huge success, the development and construction of new off-campus student housing has not stopped - not even for a week or two between projects. Developers flocked to the area to buy up any undeveloped or distressed land close to campus...and have rather quickly added added hundreds, possibly thousands of brand new apartment units for students willing to pay for a little extra amenity.

WaHu-RENDERING-1.jpgToday, the development frenzy continues at full strength and seems to now be extending into all marketable student neighborhoods around the U, and developers seem to be getting stronger with every new multi-million dollar building they complete. I'm a housing studies student and I literally cannot keep track of them almost seems out of control. Students are talking a lot about it too, and each person seems to have their own opinions on the impact it will have on the area. Truth be told, it's impossible to tell at this point whether a "housing bubble" is about to burst before our eyes or if the new units will assimilate in a positive and equitable way.

Regardless, the nature of the whole situation is simply unprecedented and the U of M area is being redesigned and redeveloped - both on on off campus - at a faster rate than anywhere else in the metro area. I personally like the new and changing scenery, it's exciting to be a housing student and watch these massive structures go up in passing every day from start to finish.

Wishing you all a fantastic first week of February - we've sure been having perfect weather for long and productive library sessions!

Jesse LaMaack
Housing Studies B.S.

Roma: Project Underway

Hey guys! Returning this week to report a million things from Rome! So we continue to go all over the city. An average day goes like this: take the train to meet at a choosen location at 8:45am, Ozayr our architecture professor from the UofM gives us some background morsels to start us off, we go into the site and draw for a hour or so, regroup and walk around with Ozayr and get more seriously interesting information's about how modern Rome, and Empirical Roman, structures and leaders tie together and have changed throughout the centuries. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for castel di San Angelo.JPG the picture to the right is the second floor portico at Castel Sant'Angelo
The weekend was sweet. flea market.JPGWe have a giant flea market right in front of our "apartment" each Sunday. It literally spans almost an entire half of our neighborhood. It has everything from old school leather furniture, to socks and leather handbags, to furs and old Italian magazine print ads. It was a serious excursion. Thumbnail image for roman forum pathway.JPG It was and eventful day to say the least. We started the week with the Coloseum or coloseo, and then of course the Roman Forum where we saw the Arc of Titus, Emperor Augustus' house and gardens, in the picture to the left, the procession of the Via Papales or where the ancient procession connected St. Peter's Basilica and the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. coloseo.jpgYou can see some awesome ancient maps from the talented mapmaker Giambattista Nolli. He solidified accurate mapping techniques in Rome. Everyday is something different here. We see gardens and ruins, modern interiors with 5th century carvings intertwined. Its an amazing city with so much history and culture and I am glad to be a part of it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Student Lounge Redesign!

Hi Guys! Hope all is well.

photo-2.jpegSo for this week I wanted to give you guys a little peek at what I'm working on in my Interior Design Studio. I'm not sure if I told you guys, but we got a really awesome assignment where we are redesigning a student lounge located on the East Bank of the U of M. It's an Engineering building and the student lounge is dedicated to an engineering organization called Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE for short. During the first week of classes, our studio sections went to the student lounge to assess the current state of the space and interview the client. It was really interesting getting to actually go and speak with students who use the space to see what they would need out of a proposed design solution. We took measurements, snapped photos, and jotted plenty of notes.

After this initial meeting, the next step was to organize thoughts and start brainstorming for concepts and concept images. Concepts are important in design because they help to guide your design process from schematics, to preliminaries, to finals. My concept words were "structured", "connected", "fresh", and "progressive". The concept images help to illustrate what the words selected mean.

After working on conceptual stuff, the next step was to move into space planing and preliminary floor plans. After we got things sketched and modeled, we presented our initial thoughts, concepts, and plans to the client. My next step is to use the feedback I have received to improve my space plan. After that, I'll finalize products, color themes, and other little details.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted!

Ashley O.
Interior Design.