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College of Design

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

End of Semester

Hello all! It's finally spring in Minneapolis! It is a welcome change on campus, that is for sure!

As some of you may know, I am currently a senior and will be graduating in 3 weeks! That fact alone is crazy to me, as I feel like my 4 years at the University of Minnesota have really flown by. That being said, I am very very excited! The end of any semester means the wrap up of final papers, projects and exams, as well as the dreaded finals week! This semester, I have three final projects, two presentations, two final papers, and one final exam. This sounds like a lot, but realistically it is comparable to many of my seamsters, so I'm use to it. A nice thing about design majors, and the College of Design, is that most of your classes will have final projects and presentations rather than tests or exams. These can be studio classes with final garments and illustration projects, or something like what I am working on currently, with my Target collaboration which combines my major, apparel design, and minor, retail merchandising. This also means that most of these projects are due before finals week, or during the last week of class. This gives you more time for other classes, usually general education requirements, that typically have finals and exams during the week of finals. Having this kind of separation and timing allows you to prioritize and focus on what is most important at the time.

One of my big final projects if my Target collaboration that I am working on. This project is due and will be presented this Thursday! We have a lot to wrap up, but the project is coming together well and looks great! A part of the project was to create a "takeaway" item for our Target sponsors to keep after they view our project, to act as a remeinder of our group and project. I create a paper doll for our takeaway, and am currently working on finishing up all the details! Below is a pic!


Lucie, Apparel Design

A Day to Remember

Hello again!

This week, I was honored to be part of the 2013 Multicultural Celebration of Achievement. This event was a special celebration for the students of color who are graduating as class of 2013. There are students from all colleges at the University of Minnesota, including master degree candidates and Ph. D candidates. It was a truly emotional and inspiring event. Many of the students shared a similar experience of being the first-generation college student. The feeling of seeing your peers competed higher education, what is known to be unachievable to their parents, was beyond words. I am proud of all of them. College was a hard journey for everyone at the event, but we all have made it. Getting a college degree is not only the achievement of the graduating students, but it is also the achievement of everyone in their family who did not have a chance to attend college. It is a pretty big deal for many.

At the MCAE Celebration of Achievement, wearing the stole, with my friend. Photo by Vall A.

We received a stole, Ghana traditional hand-woven stole to wear at our graduation. The stole was design to represent the multicultural and the unity of all. It is a reminder for us to wisely entering the world and create great changes. I cannot wait to wear it as part of my gown during graduation!

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

So Much To Do, So Little Time.

Man! The end of the semester sure has snuck up on me. Since I haven't talked about what's going on in my classes for awhile, I thought I'd use this blog to talk a little bit about the major remaining projects I have left for the semester. I have 5 classes this semester, but aside from a reflection and a short exam for my Mass Communication minor, my biggest concerns will be completing my final projects in Interactive Design, Identity and Symbols, and Packaging class.

In my Interactive Design class, we just finished up our second major project where I conducted research and prototyped a solution to an inconvenience associated with the UofM's course registration system. The remaining project, which I will present on May 8th, is a self chosen personal project that has spanned the length of the semester. I chose to create a responsive design framework that will be publicly available to anyone who would like to use it. This project has let me do a deep dive into something that I am passionate about and given me the motivation to make consistent progress as I work toward my goal. The official download hasn't been released yet, but it will be linked on my site when it is complete.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 6.56.12 AM.pngIn Identity and Symbols, we will be turning in several pieces of our major semester project. We developed an entire identity for a non-existent company of our choice over the course of the semester and will turn in a stationary system, website design, and graphic standards manual on May 9th. I chose to create the identity for an brick-oven pizza restaurant called Fucina, which means forge in Italian. The Fucina logo and wordmark seeks to convey the industrial nature of the brick oven, as well as the simplicity and authenticity of a premium pizza made with high quality ingredients.

In Packaging, our last project consists of creating a new product of our choice with an accompanying point-of-purchase display. I still have quite a bit of work to do here, but expect an update in the future!

Good luck finishing your final design projects!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Monday, April 29, 2013

Grants and Giving Back

Over the past two weeks, my Interior Design Lighting Codes & Safety class worked on a project where we designed a mobile television set for a TV show locally filmed called Imprisoned Show. The show's host, Bukola Oriola, is a survivor of human trafficking and she interviews relevant guests in each episode. In addition to interviews, she hopes to expand the topics of her show to include international cooking segments and outdoor filming among other things. Because the show is revving up to take on more topics in addition to being produced more frequently, they needed a new set design which is where my class came in.

379821_10151584968051113_1393484004_n.jpgMy professor, Dr. Abimbola Asojo, received a Fairchild Topical Issues Grant which is why this project will be able to go from an idea to a reality. Thanks to grants like this, amazing things can be produced within our community. Because of the work my class put in and the Fairchild Topical Issues Grant, Bukola and her team will now have the designs and funding to get an awesome mobile set which will allow them to enhance and improve Imprisoned Show.

It was hard designing a mobile set, but such a huge learning opportunity! We visited the TV studio she currently films at located in Blaine, MN. There, we learned some of the basics about lighting a TV set. Some of the things we had to consider were cost and global flattering of a wide variety of skin tones. We did photometric calculations to determine the amount of lighting and we research to figure out different equipment we would need.

The most rewarding part of the experience was when we Bukola and some of her team visited our class to see the proposed design solution presentations. (see photo)

If you'd like to learn more about her show and how you can make a difference, please visit the Imprisoned Show Facebook page and "like" it so you can stay up to date with their progress. I should also mention that Imprisoned Show has a fundraiser coming up in June! More information about that can also be found on the facebook page.

It's great that interior design can contribute to such a wide variety of arenas. I never knew I might work on a TV set design for a show about human trafficking, but the fact that I can make an impact in my own special way for a really great cause warms my heart and makes me excited for future opportunities to help!

Until the next one,

Interior Design

Intensive Levels Of Design

Hey UMN!
Well we are really getting close to finishing up the school year. But finals and presentations are still in our future!
In Turkey we are still working on a design project the involves a ferry, bus, and 2 types of Metro-Tram stations. It is an intensive almost semester long project. So far we have had to work at all scales, almost city/region,neighborhood, site, and details on the site. It has been difficult to work long term on this project, because there are so many elements to keep track of and design. A lot of times I get frustrated with my own work and think it is incomplete or just plain ugly. However, my professor Ozayr has been helping us all through these moments of doubt and uncertainty. rumis tomb muzesi.jpg
We did have some relief this week as the whole group traveled through Turkey from Istanbul to Urgup, a day trip through the mountain formations of the Devrent Valley and Cappadocia, even a hot air balloon ride at dawn. Then we made a quick pit stop at Afghani poet, Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi's, tomb. Tombs, or Tumbesi, are structure attached to the mosque complex, with large headstones that are used to signify importance or position of the people that are buried. Rumi seemed amazing, his tomb was giant, and his work is epic!

From Central Anatolia we traveled about 13 hours to Kusadasi, a small beach town with a lot of fun exciting tourist activity. We took a day trip to Ephesus, as you can see in the pictures to the left and below. We all took notice of how well preserved these ruins are, for a city that was established over 8 thousand years ago. It was a new type of experience, and the day put all of us in good spirits, and gave us some much needed fresh air!
We are finally back in the city of Istanbul, with only 10 days left to be together, learning and traveling all the time. It feels surreal how fast the trip went and how many things I have seen and done. Next week will be my final review so I will be writing with that experience and some final words from the session in Istanbul.

Until Next Week,

Sarah S.
Landscape Design and Planning

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Prevalence of Poster Projects

asdasfhjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj.PNGmeridianposterr9898.PNGHere in the College of Design, there are many skills a typical housing studies student will develop by means of repetition - and the creation and presentation of large-format posters are definitely one that we all have in common. As you can see, I've made my fair share of posters over the years. Regardless of one's chosen thematic concentration or minor field of study, poster projects are an academic endeavor which can be expected nearly every semester in the housing program. Posters in housing studies classes and allied coursework (such as architecture, public policy and environmental sustainability), are usually the end product of a directed research topic - a visually appealing layout of images and data, combining personal research and course materials.

postercapmodhousingg.PNGPersonally, I view poster assignments as a fun and gratifying way of using my creative talent to communicate thought-provoking ideas or information. A completed poster is a visual display of the hard work, research and intellect I put forth on a particular project - and a statement of my personality and creative abilities. While the housing studies program is mostly considered to be a less design-intensive major (relative to the other College of Design programs), posters are one of the design elements that most housing students become very familiar with during their time in the program. civengggposterrrr.PNG

From coursework integration and directed research to creation and presentation, the acquired skills we gain from poster assignments are valuable not only to our academic portfolios, but also to our future careers.

That's all I have for this week, stay tuned for upcoming graduation-related posts - commencement is just a few short weeks away!

- Jesse LaMaack
Housing Studies, B.S.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


eda34829410d384cc518d827bbeba9ab.jpgI haven't mentioned anything about this in earlier posts because it was all so tentative, but now that I've officially had my first day interning, I feel like I can tell you that I was recently hired as an Interior Design intern at Cuningham Group. I cannot begin to express my excitement and overall happiness.

Some of you might wonder how I landed an internship in the first place. Good question. The answer is NETWORKING. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again - it's all about who you know. The power of networking is incredible and it got me an internship at a dream firm.

It all started back in February... I attended an NEWH Speed Mentoring event where I was able to cycle around to different tables and chat with designers and sales representatives for a little less than 10 minutes each. In that short period of time I was able to leave a lasting impression. Because of that impression, about a month later I got an email letting me know Cuningham was in need of an intern ASAP. I sent over my resume and online portfolio and I guess you could say the rest is history because I interviewed and got the job.

I am eager to see what the future has in store with me, but I am so happy and excited for the way things are lining up. I'll try to keep you guys posted about my internship experience!

Until the next one,

Interior Design

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sweet and Calm

Hello again!

The end of the last semester of my undergraduate is approaching...with less than three weeks of class! It is nice that I do not have to ride the wave and stress out over finding jobs, applying for schools, or finishing projects. Everything is in place in terms of jobs, internship, and grad school. I officially finished with all my architecture class. The only thing left I have this semester is an art studio. So, my semester is ending in a very calm way.

This past week, I visited a class taught by a former instructor, Tom Oliphant. It is a furniture design class, one of the design minor courses. Having a minor is a great way to expand your knowledge to other discipline you are interested in. Students in this class have been working very hard in the past couple weeks designing and making a pair of chairs. We also have guest critics who are professionals practicing furniture and industrial design. Hearing from the professionals was always an enlightenment experience.

Students are presenting their chairs.

All the chairs by students in the class.

This is what I love about the College of Design. Every time there is a review going on, regardless of my enrollment in the class, I can always ask the instructor if I can visit as a guest and listen in on what students are doing. The graduate thesis works are always interesting. It is a great way to learn about other projects people are working on and to network!

See you next blog!

Beau S.

Architecture B.D.A.

Finding Design Jobs and Internships PART 2

Back in February I posted a blog called Finding Design Jobs and Internships where I listed four different resources that I had been finding helpful to find internship openings including using the Goldpass website, networking, browsing a lot of firm websites, and using alternative job boards. It took me about 1 month of very vigilant networking and searching, but it paid off because I've been successful in finding a summer internship that will be a great fit for me. While all of the previously mentioned techniques were helpful, below I'll talk about a few more techniques and resources that led me to my internship for the summer.

A) Look in a different city - The Twin Cities are great for design, but picking up and moving for a summer is much easier before you graduate and could help you expand your network outside of the Midwest. If you think you would be comfortable spending the summer in a different city, explore what is out there. I decided that I would love to travel somewhere new for the summer, so I specifically concentrated on three design/tech cities I was interested in: Austin TX, Boulder CO, and Portland OR and looked for as many openings as I could in those cities.

B) Linkedin - Finding a wide variety of firms and one that fit my interest in cities that I had never been to provided to be a challenge at first. If you are looking at a companies page on LinkedIn, on the right side you will see a section called "People Also Viewed". The companies under this section tend to do the same type of work and will be located in the same city as the current company you are viewing. This was really helpful for finding a lot of different firms in unfamiliar cities.

C) Twitter - If you found a place or two you are interested in on Linkedin or elsewhere, check out their Twitter page. Here you can find out more their personality and check out who they follow and interact with to find likeminded companies located in the same city. Often, you may find a firm that looks interesting, but doesn't say anything about whether or not they hire interns. In this case, it may be appropriate to send a short email inquiring to whether or not they do hire interns, though I had several successes with doing this via Twitter. Get a feel for the companies personality and use your own judgement to determine whether or not it would be appropriate to ask this question via Twitter. If the company is active on Twitter, it is likely a quicker and easier response for them, as well as good promotion.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 7.54.30 AM.png

D) Networking, again! - I don't think I can say enough about how important constantly meeting new professionals and expanding your network is. Design professionals I have met throughout the Twin Cities helped me by introducing me to people they knew in the cities I was interested in. Having any sort of personal connection can give you a big leg up on the competition.

So it's official: I'll be spending this summer in Austin, TX as a Design Intern at Springbox doing UX and visual design and I couldn't be more excited! If you are looking for a summer job or internship, don't limit yourself to only the Twin Cities and don't be afraid to reach out to others in your search!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


use.pngI have really been utilizing Career and Internship Services lately. Last week I went to have my resume critiqued and this week I had an appointment with a career advisor, Heather Fredrickson. I have been really behind in my job hunt due to my uncertainty of staying in Minneapolis next year or move to Los Angeles with a friend; I now have decided to stay here, in Minneapolis.

When I set up my career appointment last week, I was unsure what I wanted to discuss and talk about during the meeting; all I knew is that I desired guidance on how to find a job that would allow me to utilize my skills in retail, business, and design. During the appointment, Heather and I discussed my interests and job positions I was interested and not interested in. I told her that I wanted a career in business, but one that would allow me to exercise my creativity and design skills, something like product development or visual merchandising. After talking for a bit, she recommended that I do research on ten companies that hold positions that interest me. She then advised me to contact the people in these positions and set up informational interviews to learn about how they got to where they are. She informed me that making connections is the best way to find jobs openings because most job openings are not listed.

So, my next step is to use the sites, pictured on the right, and look into some companies and positions! Wish me luck!

Until next week!
Sasenka-Retail Merchandising

Art Crank

Hello readers! This week I thought I would blog about the great art and design shows and opportunities here in the Twin Cities. Having a great design school in the heart of such a thriving art city is a wonderful opportunity. I have already blogged about MNFashion and Minneapolis St Paul Fashion Week, which happens twice a year, with other singular events occurring throughout the year.

Another great event that I just attended was the annual Art Crank event. Art Crank is a great Minneapolis event that combines the two loves of the Cities'; bicycling and art! Art Crank brings together graphic designers and screen printers to create bicycle inspired art, which then is displayed and sold during the night of Art Crank. It is a fun event to visit and meet other art and cycling enthusiasts. Below is a picture of one of the prints!


Another great event coming up is Retro Rama. Retro Rama is an annual event put on by the Minnesota Historical society that revolves around vintage clothing and style. There is vintage clothing on display, historical food and crafts, and a fashion show featuring looks by local designers that were inspired by a historical period. This year the event is on May 17th, and I encourage any of you to come check it out!

Lucie, Apparel Design

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Class Schedule and Internship

Hey UMN,

It is so close to the beginning of Summer! Most of us are excited, but for a few of us, including me, things are getting down to the wire. Expected graduations, class schedules not being perfect. Its a lot to handle on top of the semesters work!
So I am reporting back to you about class schedule issues, internship status and the MLA program. Update: I did get into the MLA (Masters of Landscape Architecture) at the U of M. So starting next fall I begin with my accelerated masters degree curriculum. Im so happy that I was introduced to the idea and pushed to apply by my Professor and head of the LA Department, Brad Agee. Brad was here in Istanbul, and really helped me along with the process. Now I am getting ready to start a new chapter in my academic journey. However, the MLA course work is very demanding. I still have some undergraduate credits to finish up and was having a hard time figuring out my schedule with the MLA requirements. So I got out some emails to Brad and my advisor Chris Schlichting...having trouble getting things figured out in Istanbul. They were super helpful and now I'm going to be taking summer courses at Minneapolis Community and Technical College to get myself in good shape for the fall. Focusing on my Masters courses is super important and I do not want any further distractions coming at me next fall. Both Brad and Chris have been helping me figure out things to make sure I graduate, like summer courses and the required internship, which I still do not have set up. Things are looking complicated, but I know I have people at the U of M who are there to help and encourage me through the tough times.
topkapi blog post.jpg

Back to the present time in Turkey. These pictures are all of the Topkapi Palace. We had two classes in one day at the site, it was a long fun beautiful day of sketching. The group was getting ready for some reviews last Monday, mostly re-figuring some plan work, and taking the comments from our amazing critic panel last week to help push our designs. We are also heading out to Cappadocia, Turkey in central Anatolia on Tuesday. Its a semi spring break that we are having almost at the end of the term. I am hoping for clear sunny skies for the hot air balloon ride we will take at about 5:30 am Wednesday morning.

Until next week,

Sarah S.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mobile App Challenge Finale!

Today is the conclusion of the 2nd annual U of M Mobile App Challenge. The Mobile App Challenge started back in October when organizers encouraged student designers, developers, entrepreneurs, or anyone interested to pitch an idea for a new mobile app. If your pitch was selected, you received up to $500 to help with the costs of designing and developing your product. This evening, the apps will be examined by a panel of judges and winners will be selected shortly thereafter. Together with a 4-person team consisting of three student developers and myself, we have created an app called ThinkTank. It has been a enriching and sometimes frustrating project, but an extremely beneficial learning opportunity for the design work I would like to be doing in the future.


ThinkTank is an idea and thought collaboration network that is location-based, anonymous, and user governed. ThinkTank provides a unique and refreshing take on social media and human interaction. The home screen of the app shows posts closet to your current location. An anonymous post from a user of the app might be about an interesting landmark, a breathtaking view, an event that is currently taking place, or perhaps it is just a silly or even thought provoking idea. The idea is to get people interacting and conversing anonymously, rather than always worrying about how they may be perceived on their sprawling social network.

Another feature of the app are "Ponders". If you like a post by someone, you can "ponder" or like it. If you don't like a post or find it inappropriate you can downvote it or flag it. This keeps unique and interesting posts at the top of your feed and demotes uninteresting ones, letting ThinkTank's users govern the content they interact with.

We will be showing off a real working beta on our phones tonight in Walter Library room 101 from 6-8pm if the snow doesn't scare everyone away. Stop by and check it out or feel free to ask me any questions about the app or the Mobile App Challenge in the comments.

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prototype fit tests

Hello all! This week I thought I would blog about my design collaboration with Target and how it is going. Last week, in my blog, I wrote about the print that my group designed and printed in the digital lab. This week I wil elaborate on what we did with that fabric!

We took the printed fabric and continued working on our prototype for Target. Our other two fabrics used in the design are coordinating teal and brown corduroy. We used the print fabric to accent the garment in pops, and unexpected areas. The print is being used on the inside of the cuffs, the underside of the collar, and the inside lining of the entire shirt. Below is an image of our garment!


We met with our Target design team counterparts last week, and went over our designs and talked about potential issues with production. When a designer is designing something for their own line, like we have done so far, you only think about what the price is of the one product. When designing for a company like Target, you have to think about the entire production line and all that goes into it, as far as cost. Many of our potential issues were in regards to costing, which makes sense. Creating your own print and using three different fabrics in one garment can be costly!

More next week!
Lucie, Apparel Design

Bazaar of Life

This week is the start of the end. Its 3 weeks til finals. Our reviews are intense and getting the project at Kabatas is getting detialed like i never have done before. It is exciting seeing a place where you are "working" coming to life through drawings. But its also important to give all the courses and lessons here in Istanbul a highlight on the blog. Today we went on a walking tour of the Grand Bazaar. Not a shopping tour, like it may seem, but Ozayr had a friend come and walk us through all the intricacies, HANS, history, hidden passages, antiquated productions, rooftops and great merchants' stores. han courtyard with palimpsest.jpg
There are tons of amazing sites in Istanbul that we all have become familiar with, but there so many places we would never get to see if not for Ozayr and his amazing array of contacts. We got to see a collapsed in roof that housed a giant loom. The weaving industry of Istanbul had to be pushed out by the government because of the intense vibrations the machines caused. We walked up onto the roofs of a han courtyard, the same roof featured in James Bond Skyfall. on top of han.jpgAlthough it seemed much too small to actually facilitate that great chase seen, it was beautiful the views spectacular and the city was all around us. We stayed up there until the sounds of the call to prayer began. Then i shut my eyes and heard so many sounds I never let myself hear before. My experience was one of a kind. And i cant believe how nice it was to shut my eyes and let myself experience the city which is so vivid and visual, in a different way. Let yourself be influenced by out of the ordinary happenings. The design college is always telling us to go out and experience things in order to gain a better understanding of what we want to do and what we like. Do these types of things while you can.
loom with no ceiling.jpgGo to the Mississippi River, Draw, Photograph, Listen, Collage, Paint and Write. These types of memories will do you much better than doing just one or even studying from the images found on the internet or just a book. its these types of analysis images that help our designs and can create a really dynamic and inspired design. Im trying to learn to trust my own designs by doing these things more often. So go try something new or different than your used to. Incorporate this into your work at school. Have fun, and stay strong for just a few more weeks!
Until next time,

Sarah S.

All Kinds of Busy

sketchupScreenshpt.pngWith only one month of school left in my undergraduate career, time sure is flying by quickly. That being said, I am keeping plenty busy and there's no time for the senior slump. With a robust variety of classes this semester as I finish up my final requirements, I've been doing all sorts of schoolwork lately. In Design in the Digital Age, my classmates and I are learning various methods of digital modeling like SketchUp, Revit, and Kerkythea. I'm not use to these sorts of courses being a housing studies student, but I'm finally starting to get the hang of it (for the most part). The whole experience has definitely given me a different perspective on housing design, and I'm glad to have learned how to use these various technologies.

spchhhhhh.jpgOutside of my design-intensive courses, I'm also taking a public speaking course to fulfill my communications requirement. Being in a class of mostly freshmen and sophomores, the housing knowledge I've gained over the years has been used in almost all of my speeches. Although it's a relatively small class, I feel like I've educated my peers on the various dimensions of housing and communities - which I hope they can take with them and use in a positive way moving forward with the rest of their education here at the U.

Happy Spring!

Jesse LaMaack
Housing Studies, B.S.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good Arts, Good Cause

Hello again!

I hope you are all enjoying this snowy Minnesota weather. I cannot believe this is happening during the month of April. At least the weather is making me feel like this sweet senior year is not yet to be over soon. On that note, I still forgot to purchase my cap, gown, and tassel for the commencement ceremony. The facebook page "Meanwhile in Minnesota" has some humor to spread.

A meme from the Meanwhile in Minnesota facebook page.

Today, an architecture student group Freedom By Design (FBD) is hosting a silent auction event in the courtyard of Rapson. Because FBD is a non-profit student organization aiming to help the individuals with low-income and disability in our community. All the works that students do for the clients are free of charge to the clients. This means that the group solely relying on fundraising as a way to support the work we do.

FBD auction.jpg
Photo by AIAS Freedom By Design - UMN group

This silent auction event is the 6th annual art auction event for Freedom By Design. I donated quite a few of my pieces to the event. The committee and volunteers did an amazing job of hosting the event and advertisement of the event. The public is bidding on many amazing artworks by local artists, students, and faculty. What a great way to be part of something great! I really hope that they made a lot of money to help those in need. I bid on a few amazing pieces, and I hope to win them all!

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

Graduation is Nearing

IMG_1235.jpgI have only one month left of being a college student and then it's "Hello, Real World!" I don't know how I feel about this, because I don't think I want to leave college quite yet! But nevertheless, graduation is nearing and as sad as I am to know that this chapter of my life is closing, it's exciting, as well as a little terrifying, to think of all the possibilities the future holds.

I've always been told that this stage of my life will be confusing and rather stressful; it's intimidating trying to figure out what path to take in life or what career path you truly desire to take. Should I stay in Minneapolis and try find a job with a large corporation like Target? Should I work for a smaller company? Should I even stay in Minneapolis? These have been the questions circling through my head; they have been paralyzing me. I think that somehow I got this idea in my head that if I choose the wrong career right off the bat, I would be stuck forever. Thankfully, this past month we've had some speaker come into one of my class and talk about their career paths and share about the many paths they all took to get to where they are at. That calmed me down a bit; it made me realize that I don't have to have my whole life out at twenty-two, but I do need to take some steps foreword and see where they take me.

I love how in the Retail Merchandising major we have so many professionals from the retailing field come and talk to us, sometimes to share about job and internship opportunities and sometimes to simply supplement and provide real examples of what we are learning. Ether way, it's a great opportunity to gain
perspective and even network!

Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Let's Build Stuff!

Today in my interior design studio, we focused on concept development for our current museum design projects. Concept development process work can include coming up with concept words, sketches and even 3-D models. It's fun to think in a conceptual, abstracted way and really break through to a new way of brainstorming.

IMG_2368.jpgIn the photos I've included you can see a lot of group work happening. Our museum project is broken up through the class so each group (made of 3 or 4 students) will design their own museum. Group work is always appreciated during school because it is very rare that you will work on projects alone once you are at a design firm. Being able to learn the skills necessary to successfully work in a group now are essential for thriving as a professional. Some of these traits include compromise, communication and being able to take in criticism.

So far I've really enjoyed working in my group! I'm working with Sean and Ashley and we are gelling really well together so far. We utilize technology resources like Google Drive and Facebook so even when we aren't face to face we are able to continue the design process and share our ideas with each other. Our generation is so lucky because we have so many ways to communicate with one another outside of class and it really shows in the finished product because every element of the design solution is especially well thought out.

We've still got some work to do before the end, but I'll keep you posted as we work along!

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Internship Update

HLlionee.pngAs I've mentioned in previous posts, I've spent the past few months interning for a Minneapolis-based nonprofit tenant advocacy organization called HOME Line. I mostly answer incoming phone calls from Minnesota renters and provide them housing-related legal advice under supervision of a licensed attorney specializing in state landlord-tenant law. I'll admit that it took some time to become familiar with all of the cases and statutes that govern our rental housing arena, but I eventually became a fluent speaker in the language of tenants rights. Most of what I use at work is outlined in the book "How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block," which was written and published by HOME Line attorneys.

Best of all, I'm applying my housing knowledge and communication skills to help others who are often in urgent need of legal help. I get the opportunity to speak directly with so many different people from all walks of life and hear their stories, which are always at least moderately interesting. I feel that my experiences at this particular internship will definitely benefit me professionally one day, especially if I end up taking work at a nonprofit housing agency or property management company - just in time for graduation next month!

Hope all is well with you and your housing,

Jesse L.
Housing Studies, B.S.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

None Other Is Better Than MN

Hello again,

This week I will give you the reason why the University of Minnesota is the place to be. Besides the part that we have wonderful resources, ranked among the top universities in the nation, and located in the land of nice people, we are officially the healthiest city in the U.S.!

Minneapolis is ranked the "Healthiest City in the U.S." by Forbes Magazine.

"Minneapolis residents breathe clean air, prioritize exercise and keep their weight down, supported by a city that was among the first to add bike trails and ban smoking in public places. If you live in Minneapolis-St. Paul, you and your neighbors are less likely to have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma and are more likely to be in excellent or very good health. (It helps that you're less likely to smoke and more likely to walk or bike to work -- in the summer, at least). "Minneapolis has lots of open spaces, parks, and walking areas, and you see people walking everywhere," Thompson says. The twin cities do their part by setting aside a high percent of the city as parkland, offering plenty of ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, dog parks, golf courses,and recreation centers. How do Twin Cities residents keep up their commitment to fitness during the area's notoriously cold winters? Snow sports and "lots of fitness centers," says Thompson.

Salsa Dancing Night in front of the Northrop Mall, U of M. Another fun recreational activity for the public.

I can only confirm this statement. We have our expanded Recreational Center that will be completed in 2014 and it is free for students! You will also find parks and over 10,000 lakes to enjoy year round. There are also bike lanes everywhere on campus and in the city. If you prefer not to own a bike, there are a bike-share option such as Nice Ride. Students are also get great discount for Nice Ride subscription as well and there are Nice Ride stations throughout our campus. Very convenient.

Or if you are thinking about other types of transportation, we have over 90 bus routes run through our campuses everyday. U of M students can get a U-pass, a $97 bus pass that allow you for unlimited rides for the whole semester. You will be spending approximately less than a dollar per day for this commuting option. Great way to be sustainable for your wallet and for the environment!

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

Computer Issues

I have been having some computer issues over the past few weeks and it has made doing schoolwork, as well as many other tasks, nearly impossible. Applications, such as Microsoft Excel and Adobe Photoshop, were constantly freezing up and quitting on me, without any warning or advance. In addition, my computer completely stopped connecting to the Internet; this is quite the issue when you have an online class that requires you to take part in "online discussions" at a particular time each week. It is rather difficult to get by with a computer that is not working properly while in school, because so much is dependent on it.

Knowing that I had assignments to work on and deadlines to meet, I tried to plan out carefully when I would make my trip to the nearest Apple Store; I had been planning to go off campus to either Uptown or Roseville. But then I remembered that we have an Apple Authorized Service Center right in our very own bookstore! This realization brought me such relief; it saved me an unnecessary trip off campus and time!

computers.jpgSoon I made my trip to the Bookstore to get my computer checked out. While the having the computer overlooked, I got into a conversation with the technician who fixing the issues. We got into a conversation about Apple Service Centers and their relationship with different colleges across the United States. He informed me that these Apple Service Centers were not found in many colleges. This both surprised me and made me feel grateful for the service being at my very own campus here at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Luckily, my computer only needed a software update and it was good as new!

Also, in addition to having a rather conveniently located Apple Authorized Service Center, the University of Minnesota offers great technological service through the Tech Stop. They are a great service and help fix difficult computer issues on a variety of different computers and technological devices.

Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Photo Credit:

Fabric Printing

This past week I used the new fabric printer in McNeal to create some of my own fabric designs for my soft-lines class, and I thought it would be fun to show it to you!

The fabric printer is a new piece of equipment and is available to all College of Design students. Paying your student service fees gives you access to great equipment like the computer labs, plotters, and now this fabric printer.

The fabric printer prints on 100% cotton broadcloth that is 44 inches wide. When printing it is important to remember to format your image to be no bigger than 42 inches wide, to accomodate for the selvage edge. This ensures that your entire image will show up and won't fray. When you create your pattern or print, like I did, use photoshop and create your image with no higher than 150dpi. If you are printing more than one yard, decreasing your dpi may be necessary in order to print. Printing costs are by the foot and can be found at

Here are some photos of my fabric! This is a print of an abstracted photo of plant cells under a microscope. We will be using this fabric to line and accent our shirt for our Target collaboration.



Lucie, Apparel Design

Transportation on Campus: Why I Love to Bike!

With the weather getting warmer (not accounting for the snow that may be covering the ground by the time I post this), I wanted to talk about my preferred method for getting and to and from campus from my house: via bike! The Twin Cities has a vibrant biking community and the University of Minnesota has taken notice, recently making many improvements to campus and the community to encourage more frequent and safer biking. Living off campus in the Como area, I am positioned between both the St. Paul and East Bank campus. While my $97 Metro Transit UPass easily pays itself off every semester, I prefer biking when the weather is decent for many reasons. Check it out below:

1) Biking saves me time - Living off campus on Como Ave, most students take the city bus onto campus. The 3 (the bus that comes down Como) runs every 10-15 minutes during the day, and it's about a 10 minute ride to campus from my house. However, the total time I spend walking to the bus, waiting, and riding is usually around 30 minutes, where biking only takes me 10 minutes to get to East Bank, or 15 minutes to ride the opposite direction on Como to St. Paul Campus and McNeal Hall. If you are making multiple trips during the day, those extra 15 minutes could add up to an extra hour that you could spend on your design work, or whatever else you need to do.

2) Biking keeps you fit - Okay so kind of a no-brainer, but at about the same time that the weather gets nice enough to bike everyday, the amount of design work and other commitments that build towards the end of the semester start to increase rapidly. Unfortunately, the first thing I cut out of my schedule when I don't have enough time in the day (and I can bet I'm not the only one) is exercise. While a 10 or 15 minute bike ride might not seem like a very intense workout to some, doing it 4 times a day amounts to quite a bit of physical activity!

deroZAP.jpg3) Biking gets you free stuff - What!? Yep, free stuff just for biking! Ever see one of these funky antennas on the right around campus or somewhere else in the Twin Cities? These are RFID receivers for the Dero ZAP program that the UMN Bike Center participates in. You can get a chip mounted on your bike that will track when you ride past a receiver and be rewarded with free bike gear or gift cards if you ride enough in one month. I've already gotten several gift cards and bike accessories and it's totally free to participate! Head to the University Bike Center near the Superblock if you would like to check it out.

Are you a fan of biking to campus or class? If not, give it a try! If you have any questions about biking on campus or the ZAP program, let me know in the comments!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Time to Recharge

bikes Princes Islands.jpgSo we have just 6 weeks left of the semester. Time has flown by, moving from Minneapolis to Italy and then to Istanbul has been a crazy experience. I feel like I am working so hard, and getting so little done at times. In Istanbul are doing an amazing studio project, learning HIstory of the Mediterranean region, from Byzantium to Constantinople to Istanbul, and taking a Visual Cultures course that requires presentations on different themes around the city. That plus blogging for the trip and CDES, trying to stay in shape for soccer season, cooking, and sharing the slowest internet possible with 3 other people, it feels like time is not on my side. I am sure you can relate! somehow at the end of every semester, no matter how well you mangage your time, there is so much to do. climbing the rocks Princes Islands.jpgThese pictures are of our excursion to the Prince's Islands, a day full of biking and climbing up some rocks and fun with the whole group.
I decided to try and stay calm, keep exercising, and make the most of the time I do work. Its okay to manage your time so that you have free/relaxing hours in your day. Although when your trying to reach multiple deadlines it seems like the worst idea ever. It is important for students to take time for ourselves. If not we might end up stressing out too much, not being productive, getting emotional, all in all make ourselves sick or unhealthy.
Street Art Tophane Park.jpg
Dont get me wrong, if your stressed out and in a time crunch, go do something that you enjoy that might inspire a project or assignment. For example, last Thursday I was feeling down, so I went on a walk around the Tophane Park area, above the main road. I found some great street art, views of the Bosphorous, an organic cafe (which are a rare treat in this city), and some awesome new staircases that cut straight down mountain sides. I was totally taken aback by how easy it was to change my mood, just by changing hat i was doing. Makes sense, but sometimes we all need a much deserved, albiet obvious, change of pace. I returned to my work the next day and felt more centered, able to concentrate and had some great stories to share.

Stay sane and happy out there guys. Until next week,

Sarah S.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Cleaning!

Spring-Cleaning.jpgIt's April 8th today and even though the weather isn't shining quite like spring, that doesn't mean I can't get a jump on spring cleaning. Spring cleaning falls into a lot of different sectors of my life. It's anything from my closet and wardrobe to the files on my computer. For me, it's nice to take a break about mid-semester to tidy up my life a little bit since things can get hectic from time to time.

Last night for instance, I cleaned through my closet and dresser to start pulling out my warm weather threads and to start stowing away my heavy duty sweaters and hoodies. It's gotta warm up sometime soon so I'm making sure I'll be ready when it does! I also sorted piles of clothing I would like to part with and could potentially sell at consignment shops like Buffalo Exchange and Plato's Closet or clothing that would be good to donate to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

Recently I also bought a new computer and I have been working to transfer over my data and organize it in a neat and practical manner. As a design student, I have a lot of large and important files on my computer and organizing those is key to my efficiency. Since I'm also working on my portfolio and my website, archiving past projects has become essential and adds to why organizing my computer is so crucial.

Besides those major projects, I'm also doing basic things like cleaning out my office space in Student Services, my locker at school, and my car. If I do a little each day, I think I can be done by the end of the weekend. Wish me luck!

Interior Design

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Housing Prevails in my Elective Coursework

Despite being enrolled in only one housing studies course this semester as I finish up my architecture minor and thematic technology coursework in the School of Architecture, I've been learning about, designing, studying, and researching a variety of other various housing-related topics in these courses. PRINT THIS ONE.png
Besides being relevant to my major and interests, I'm also getting the opportunity to apply my design and creative skills in a much different setting and approach, which has me learning all kinds of new technological tools ranging from light Adobe Illustrator work to complex modeling programs that continue to occupy a relatively sizable chunk of my time. Although it took a while to get a hang of things, I'm now a fairly competent user of SketchUp and steadily improving.

Overall, this semester has been a lot less time hitting the books at a library and more time in the Rapson or McNeal Computer Labs. However, recent assignments and final project details in my Architecture Since 1750 course has brought our small focus group together in a way that puts aside our discussuions on the design of the huge timeline we've been thoughtfully piecing together - the new information that we uncover both in class and in our case study examples seem to strengthen yet further complicate the our final thesis. It will be interesting to see what happens in upcoming weeks as we move into the modernist era of the course.

Take care and happy April everyone!

Jesse LaMaack
- Housing Studies, B.S,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Past, The Present, The Future

Hello again,

It is less than two months until graduation! One blog length is not enough to describe how excited I am, so I am going to make it short and say that I am super excited. I got all my cap and gown ready, but I still manage forgot to purchase the tassel...I must have been too excited.

Let's take this sweet moment to recap this senior year together. I started the year with being an Orientation Leader, welcoming the Class of 2016 to the University of Minnesota. It was one of the best experience I have ever had in terms of leadership involvement. I learned so much from the position especially about social justice! Not to mention the friendship I made with other Orientation Leaders. I highly recommend that you find involvement outside classroom. There is not a single thing I regret about being involved during my four years here. There are more than 700 student groups on campus for you to choose from!

2012 Orientation Leaders...Can you find me in this picture? *Photo by Orientation and First-Year Program

Currently, my internship at a homeless shelter is going great. I am using design as a way of thinking to end homelessness. Many challenges, but I would never trade this experience for anything. Also, I am still enjoying my Research Assistant position with the Center for World Heritage Studies. Everyday at work was an eye-opening. There are so many things I have never know about the World Heritage Sites and all the works that was behind it in order to establish a site. I now have many random facts to tell people. For example, there are only one flight to Kiribati (an island country in the pacific ocean) every two weeks. So, if you want to visit this place, you better plan ahead!

The future, however, is not unknown. I got accepted to the MFA 3D Design program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. It is where the well-known designers and architects such as Eero Saarinen, Ralph Rapson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Florence Knoll went to school! I love the U and Minneapolis, but I think this is the time that I go out and explore more cities. So, it seems to be the perfect time to say goodbye to Minneapolis. Come to the U, and you will understand why it is so hard to leave!

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

Design Real Life

Hello all! Hope you had a great April Fool's day yesterday! :)

Lately I have been very busy perfecting my design portfolio, resume and website, to create my professional and creative design persona for the public eye. This is very important for any career, but in design, your portfolio can be more important as it shows what you can really do as a creative individual. In my experience in design and design related jobs, resumes are tools to get you noticed and brought in for interviews, while your website and portfolio will show you as a designer and what you can do, and in turn will get you the job. (Hopefully!)

In the College of Design, and in the apparel design major, you take two specific classes that focus on the professional and presentation side of you as a designer. In your sophomore year you will take one based specifically on internships and how to access positions and apply, as well as ways to stand out from the pack. You will start your resume and website process in this class, and continue it as you learn and grown through the years. The second class, which I am in currently but in the future will be in the sophomore or junior year of study, focuses on resumes and final portfolios, which will help in obtaining a full time design position after graduation.

Below is a link and photo of my website/portfolio that I am working on.


Lucie, Apparel Design

More GD3 Packaging!

GD3 (Packaging and Display) has definitely been one of the most time intensive, but also most fun classes of the semester. It is refreshing to do some hands on work in a semester dominated by computer work. Today, I presented my second packaging design project - Rizzare Premium Kombucha. If you aren't familiar with Kombucha, it is a fermented tea beverage that contains probiotics like those in greek yogurts. Kombucha is well know to be a very detoxifying and rejuvenating drink, but there is not much marketing differenciation between the few types you will commonly find in a nicer grocery store or corner market.

One of the reason I chose to do Kombucha for this project is that I felt I could more easily develop a brand and product marketed towards women. My portfolio was lacking any projects directed specifically at women, but being able to design for any audience is important, so I took this opportunity to break out of my shell and specifically market towards very active and athletic, health-conscious women between the ages of 20 and 40. Below you can see the brand board I put together- this board gives a quick overview of the interest and lifestyle of my target audience and helps to focus design decisions.


One of the biggest things I was influenced by when designing the packaging for Rizzare was Chipotle's typographic bags and cups. I felt that the handwritten type on Chipotle's packaging provided a very down to earth and authentic feel - exactly what I wanted to communicate with Rizzare. I chose to package Rizzare in Tetra Paks for two reasons: 1) An active or athletic person doesn't want to throw a glass bottle that could potentially break into their bag. 2) Tetra Paks are unique in that they keep contents sterile - even milk in Tetra Paks doesn't need to be refrigerated. This is advantageous for Kombucha due to the raw, probiotic nature of the beverage which is susceptible to spoilage. Check out quick snap of the final product below:


The end of the semester is approaching rapidly. What projects are you most excited about working on? Let me know in the comments.

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design

Monday, April 1, 2013

Touring Target Headquarters

This past Friday, some fellow Retail Merchandising students and I got a chance to go on a Target Corporation tour. The Design Student and Alumni Board, who sets up great opportunities and events for current College of Design Students year round, arranged the tour.

T.jpgThe tour kicked off with a panel of speakers who work in merchandising, buying, sourcing, and planning for Target Corporation; they spoke about their specific jobs within Target, their educational backgrounds, and the career paths they have taken get to where they are at now. It was very interesting to see how diverse their career backgrounds were; some started working for Target straight out of college, while others got their start at different companies. Educational backgrounds differed too, ranging from Psychology to Retail Merchandising majors. They also spoke to us about Target's Corporate Culture and what working for Target looks on a job-to-job and company basis. It was really interesting to learn more about the company and about the different career paths! I'd be lying if I said that it didn't make me desire to seek them out as a future employer!

The tour took place in the second portion of the event and was fairly brief because we ended up spending the majority of the event speaking with panel and learning about Target. The tour, regardless of being short, was still really interesting! We got to see a few different areas of the current building, as well as an additional section that has just recently been developed; it was really cool to see how Target establishes a balance between work/life even within their headquarters.

The event was really fun and also very resourceful, because we were given contact information to be able to network as well! I am just very thankful that the College of Design sets up events and opportunities like this for its students.

Sasenka- Retail Merchandising

Photo: Target Headquarters at night
Photo Credit:

Research can be fun too!

WAM.jpgWhen most people think of research, they tend to cringe. To be honest though, I think that's just because they don't know how much fun research can be! In my Interior Design Studio IV and my Lighting Design, Codes and Safety courses, we have been introduced to the concept of precedent studies. A precedent study is basically initial research on a topic to help you develop a solution for a current project. In this case, we are doing precedent studies on existing museums to help us better learn about what works and does not work for museum design, the crucial elements that must be included, and the newest innovations.

My studio group of three students including myself decided to design a museum that would house various types of sculpture. We are required to do three precedent studies (one in person and two online) so we split them up amongst ourselves. I took the in person study and visited the Weisman Art Museum on campus. This museum was perfect for our initial study because it housing a dynamic collection of sculpture ranging in size and medium.

While at the museum, I was able to interview staff and snap a number of photos. The next step will be to organize and depict my findings in a informative report.

Research like this is fun because it is directly applicable to a project I am currently working on. It's also always fun checking out museums and new exhibits, so I really can't complain about a homework assignment like that!

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design