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College of Design

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Design Demo

A few weeks ago, one of my professors from freshman year invited me to give a project demonstration for his current GDES 1315 students. The project that he requested is known as "The Book," which is one of my favorite projects from the class.

The basic idea behind the project is to select a set of lyrics from a song or a poem, pair them with a series of images that change the perception of those lyrics, and then combine those lyrics and images into a book. For my project I used the lyrics to "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay and paired them with images of a homeless man (played by my friend Hunter). Once I had my images and type layed out into pages, I printed and assembled them using an accordion style fold. I then attached the pages to a cover that I made myself using bookboard, Japanese book paper, and a lot of glue.


As part of the demonstration, I brought in my finished book to show the class. I also brought some leftover materials from the project and assembled a miniature book cover to give them an idea of how the process works. It was great to be able to share my knowledge with a new group of students and I hope that I was able to help them complete their projects successfully!

Graphic Design


I hope all of you will enjoy the pleasure of spending this Thanksgiving with loved ones. I know I'm very blessed to be spending it together with my family and my boyfriend's family (don't worry, they've already met, it won't get too crazy). I'm thankful for the wonderful relationships I have, for the food that I get to eat every day, and for the education I'm receiving here at the U of M. There's another thing I'm thankful for, that I haven't told too many people about, so get ready...

This summer I'm planning on doing an internship abroad in London. Whoa man, I'm thankful for such a crazy awesome opportunity! With the help of my advisor, I came across a program on the Study Abroad site (check it out!). If everything works out, and I end up going, I'll be doing a 6-week internship in an area of work related to Housing Studies. I think it'd be sweet to intern at a homeless shelter, or somewhere where they helped people get into low-income housing.

I can definitely see myself there! Some day soon :)

The biggest road block right now is the whole money deal, but good thing the University is so eager to help in that area, with more than $500,000 in scholarships awarded to students studying abroad. So I'll start practicing my British accent straight away! ;)

Stay sharp :D
-Karly, Housing B.S.

Monday, November 18, 2013

CDes Mentor Program

The College of Design has a mentor program that is offered to juniors and seniors. The goal of the college is to pair all applicants with mentors who work in the fields of design offered through CDes.

This year, as a senior, I applied again for the program and was paired with a professional working at KaasWilson Architects. The kick-off meeting is held in the Great Room at the McNamara Alumni Center - a very inspirational space for design students!

CDes Mentor Kick Off Meeting.jpg

Appetizers are served, a short announcement about the program is made both by Dean Fisher and program coordinator, Lucy Reile, and then the rest of the time is spent conversing with our mentors. The goal of the program is to learn as much as you want or can about the field you are studying from a professional who can share their expertise with you.

The program encourages each mentee to meet with their mentor once per month (more if your mentor agrees to it). From November to April, I have created a list of one thing I would like to do with my mentor each month:
1. Kick-Off Meeting
2. Cover Letter and Resume
3. Visit KaasWilson Architects and shadow my mentor for the morning
4. Coffee
5. Site Visit for a project my mentor is working on
6. Portfolio Review

I look forward to learning more about architecture from my mentor and encourage everyone to apply for the program! The program is a great success and many professionals love to mentor students. You can check out the mentor program website here. You can no longer apply for this year, but keep an eye out in your emails next September!

B.S. in Architecture

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Projects, Project, Projects

The 2nd project for my Apparel Design studio, the pants project, is now complete. Below is a picture of my class wearing our projects. I always love seeing the ideas and work of my fellow classmates. They fuel the competitive side of me to be better and they also inspire me with great ideas. The talent in this program never ceases to amaze me. I'm the one on the far right, with my punk rock inspired pants.

Pants Project.jpg

Our next project will be our Line Project, where we have to expand on either our dress project or pants project to create a line from the original idea. On top of that, I'm also going to try to prepare for the RED runway show at the Mall of America in February. The work of an apparel design major never ends.

Follow my blog to continue to get updates about my projects and to see what I'm working on next at!

Apparel Design

Mesa Pizza Redesign!

For my Web Design class (GDes 2342), our biggest project this semester has been redesigning the website of a local business. We were initially assigned this project at the beginning of September, but were unable to make much progress on it due to our lack of web design knowledge. Now that the semester is heading into its final weeks, our websites are finally beginning to come together.

My business of choice for this project was Mesa Pizza, whose website was in major need of some TLC. In addition to the fulfilling the regular requirements of the project, I also chose to treat the website as a basic rebranding project. This decision mainly arose because of my dissatisfaction with Mesa's logo. Although I love Mesa Pizza, I've never been a fan of their logo. I don't find it to be particularly appealing on a visual level, and it doesn't really reflect the fun and youthful atmosphere that Mesa embodies. I was initially a bit nervous about changing something that is important to so many students, but I really thought that altering the logo would enhance the website.

I quickly established the basic color scheme and overall feel of the site, and then began working on the logo. I have now narrowed down my options to the two tentative logos seen below. Although there is still a long way to go, it's great to see the visual and technical aspects of the site finally coming together. I look forward to sharing the finished website with you in the near future!



P.S. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Graphic Design

Working is fun!

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a pretty big school, and that's so cool for so many reasons. Not only does that mean variety, diversity, and room for great personal growth, but it also means lots of student jobs!

There are so many things to be done on such a large campus, which results in so many on-campus jobs for students to choose from. I work in the dining center, and I love my job!

Working in the dining center has been sweet because it is a short, indoor walk from my dorm room, I get free food, and the people, especially the managers, are super nice. Also, I have learned a lot since being there. I ask a lot of questions, being relatively new to the food prep line of work, but no one has minded yet. It is definitely a happy environment to work in. And if anybody's interested in getting an awesome job like me sometime in the future, they can find info at the University Dining Services job site.

And remember, I am very happy with my job, but I thought this was funny. So enjoy. :)

Stay sharp :D
-Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

What's up Doc?

construction docs.jpgIn my studio course (IDES 3606), we're making progress on construction docs that are due at the end of the semester. A lot of times, people think interior design is just about picking colors and making stuff look cool, but it is SO much more than that. Yes, there are fun elements when brainstorming designs and developing ideas, but once those solutions are determined, how are they built? Designers and Architects have to create construction documents that can communicate and articulate the intended design. Depending on the size of the project, these document sets can range in size from being around 10 sheets to 100 or more.

Each student in my studio is creating document sets based on their NEXT office design solutions. It's a great experience getting to see a project all the way from beginning to end and I look forward to completing my drawing set. It'll be a great portfolio piece to show that I'm a designer who also has technical capabilities.

Chat soon.

Interior Design

Ciao & Merhaba

I've been deciding when to share this information, but I can't wait any longer. I'm studying abroad this Spring! I will be participating the Rome and Istanbul Program offered through the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture.Rome.jpg I will be going for the entire semester along with 19 other students from the U. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be studying abroad in Italy and Turkey, however I could not be more excited. Rome and Istanbul are two cities that are profoundly connected through the shared histories of the Roman, Christian and Mediterranean worlds. They are diverse in their food, religion, and their transition between tradition and modernity. We will be spending 5 weeks in Rome and 11-12 in Istanbul. Colosseum_in_Rome,_Italy_-_April_2007.jpgAlso, we will be taking trips to Florence, Orvieto and, time-permitting, Venice when in Italy and the original capital cities of Bursa and Edirne, as well as as a week long excursion through Central Anatolia and into the spectacular geologic landscapes of Cappadoccia and the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in Turkey. If you have ever thought about studying abroad you need to check out the Learning Abroad Center. They can help you find a program that will fit with your program and scholarships to make it affordable. The programs vary in length and you can go for however long you are comfortable.
istanbul-hagia_1986642b.jpg Eco-Turkey-Cappadocia1.jpg turkey-travel.jpg

Images from:

Can't wait to share my experiences with you!
Landscape Design & Planning

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kickin' Career Planning into High Gear


It's kind of sad to admit that it took me until my senior year of college to schedule a meeting with the College of Design Career and Internship services. I've been meaning to make an appointment ever since a representative came to one of my retail classes freshman year. As new students, you should make an appointment with this office your first semester on campus!

For those of you who don't know, Career and Internship services are here to help all of us with ANYTHING related to future career/internship planning, like reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews, and providing great resources for job/internship hunts. I made my appointment with Heather to help me become connected with the Seattle area retail industry, since that's where I'll be moving post graduation. Heather was so helpful and was able to share some of her professional contacts with me, and help me get my Linkedin profile looking professional and ready to go. I can't believe I waited this long to make and appointment! I'm feeling so much better about my job search and much more prepared. I really encourage all of you to set up a meeting with Career and Internship services, no matter what year you are!

Stay Fabulous,
Retail Merchandising

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spring Semester Approaches!

With only four weeks of classes left before winter break, preparations for next semester are already beginning. On Tuesday I will register for my spring classes, which I am really looking forward to! After a nearly design-free semester, I'm excited to jump back into some hands-on graphic design classes. If everything goes as planned, here are the classes I'll be taking:


GDES 2345 - Typography
This course focuses on Typography, which the art and technique of arranging type. The class integrates Typographic principles into a variety of projects that are done both digitally and by hand.

GDES 2399W - Design and its Discontents
This class focuses on a number of universal concepts and theories within the design world. One of the biggest projects centers on consumption: What do we consume and why? This can include anything from the food we eat to the music we listen to.

DES 3201 - Career and Internship Preparation for Design
This course provides students with the tools needed to locate and secure jobs and internships within their specific field of study. It outlines the job search process, helps students identify personal skills and strengths, and teaches them how to create cover letters, resumes, and portfolios.

GDES 3312 - Color and Form in Surface Design
I am a bit foggy on the content of this course, but it seems to focus on different methods of altering surface materials (printing, dyeing, etc).

JOUR 3004W - Information for Mass Communication
This is my only non-design course of the semester, which I will be taking to fulfill my Mass Communication minor requirements. The class focuses on the application of information strategies within different mass media industries, including the processes of gathering, evaluating, and using information.

If you need help planning out your schedule for next semester, try using the U of M's Schedule Builder!

Graphic Design

Gruppenprojekte! (Group Projects!)

At this time in the semester, group projects are a big deal. Professors are putting us to the real test. Have we actually gotten it, the point to their class? Are we able to regurgitate more than facts? Can we creatively take what we have learned and expound on it?

Not only do we get to answer all of those questions with a "Yes!", but we get to do it in community with other people. And I know that group projects can sometimes sound like a drag, but as I've been in college a while now, I've learned that they are such precious opportunities! Four brains are way better than one.


In my sustainable housing class, we met in our semester project groups, and my goodness, I almost cried! It was so cool!!! My group was brainstorming and coming up with all these neat ideas for the project. It's so sweet when group projects work out as intended.

Also, I hear that in the real (professional) world, all people ever do are group projects. I'm very pleased to have a taste of them as a Housing Studies student.

Stay sharp :) and warm! :D
-Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Join some amazing students in AIAS

The nationally recognized architecture student organization at the University is the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Minnesota chapter. Minnesota represents one of thirty Midwest chapters within AIAS. Other chapters make up the East, West and South to total in 7,000 plus AIAS members nationwide. As the student representation under the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the AIAS works hard to help their members network with the architecture profession through monthly firm tours, biweekly guest speaking events and volunteering opportunities.

The AIAS-Minnesota chapter has had the opportunity to hear from wonderful professionals such as Jennifer Yoos of award winning firm VJAA and John Cook from the world recognized firm HGA. We have toured many firms such as the smaller custom residential frim TEA2 to larger firms like RSP Architects in the historic Grain Belt Brew House building as well as construction site tours like the Northrop and multi unit housing. The AIAS also strives to help improve your educational experience through the AIAS Mentor Program where first and second year students are paired with third and fourth year students. This is another great networking program that helps students with questions about portfolio, decisions between the B.S. and B.D.A. programs, helping learn the facilities at Rapson hall, pointers on projects, classes and professors and so much more. Other events AIAS Minnesota have held are bake sales, pumpkin carving, volunteering at the Gopher football games, a 5K marathon and bowling to name a few. The major events AIAS offers are the Fall Forum and the Spring Quad conferences. On these trips members travel to a destination within the country for a very reasonable cost and are able to take tracks where members learn from professionals about topics related to architecture or architectural issues within that region. This is a fantastic way to discover architecture outside of our own back yard as well as explore new cities and meet tons of AIAS members from other chapters. These are experiences you will not forget or regret! As an AIAS member you may also be part of Freedom by Design, which is our design-build organization. FBD finds local clients with specific design-build needs and implements new designs for the client and within the client's home. Freedom by Design offers wonderful design and construction experience as well as unique projects for your portfolio!

To find out more about AIAS-MN and FBD click here. To register to become an AIAS member please visit the National AIAS website here and click Join AIAS.

Milwaukee Quad.jpg

See you next time,

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Perks of Technology

Today was the big day! My Interior Design Studio VI (IDES 3606) peers and I presented our unique and individual design solutions for the Steelcase NEXT competition. Throughout this project I have learned SO MUCH about various softwares including Revit, InDesign, and Photoshop as well as file management sites such as Google Drive and Netfiles. Check out my renderings that I did in Revit and enhanced in Photoshop - I won't lie, I'm pretty impressed with myself!


Between trial and error, help from peers, and online tutorials I was able to boost my finished product. These resources are always very accessible so it's just a matter of putting the time in to soak up the knowledge.

Let me know what you think!

interior design

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Where does the weekend go? I always feel like the weekend goes by so quickly and Monday just sneaks right back up on you. That's definitely how I feel about this last weekend, which was definitely fun, since my weekend began with my favorite holiday, Halloween! I feel like Halloween is an apparel designers dream holiday, at least it is for me. Having the ability and knowledge of how to pattern and sew gives apparel designers a huge advantage when it comes to costumes. You can become more creative and the costumes are custom, so they fit so much better! Plus, it gives you amazing practice on utilizing the skills that you learn in the program. I've made my own costumes before, but after utilizing my new skills, they are so much better. I'm definitely not going to rule out costume design as a possible career option. Hope the rest of you had a great Halloween as well!


To continue to get updates about me and my life as an apparel design major go to and follow my blog!
Apparel Design

Designing Life

Despite my lack of graphic design courses this semester, I have been busily putting my design skills to work in a number of other classes. Just last week, I utilized these skills in my Astronomy Lab for an unexpected and slightly unusual purpose - designing an alien life form.

The assignment was to choose any body in our solar system and develop a life form specifically adapted to it. My group chose Jupiter's moon Io, which just so happens to be the most volcanically active body in our solar system.

Alien.jpgAfter selecting our creature's home, my group immediately went to work brainstorming different adaptations that would allow it to survive in such a harsh environment. We chose to give it a gelatinous body that would resist Io's extreme temperatures and allow for easy movement. Due to the absence of plant life, we decided that the creature would derive its energy from sulfur and other volcanic wastes abundant in Io's atmosphere. The creature would collect these gases through its large mouth, filter out the energy-giving elements, and eject the remaining gases through holes in its underbelly and sides. These jets of gas would allow the creature to float above lava patches and areas of intense heat. Rather than eyesight, we decided that our life form would navigate using thermal readings generated by sensors in the tips of its sweeping tentacles.

Although the resulting sketch is definitely not something to display in my portfolio, it was created using the same critical thinking skills developed through three semesters of design coursework. This just goes to show the importance of design experience, even the most unlikely of situations.

Graphic Design

Wait, I Need A What?

Unlike many freshman, I came to the U wanting to pursue a degree in Landscape Architecture. With this interest in mind, I was able to start taking classes in my major right away and loved them. Now I am a year and almost a half into my college career and have enough credits to apply for the accelerated landscape design + planning track here at the U. The accelerated track allows qualified undergraduates to complete the LDP and MLA in six years rather than seven years. This past week I attended a meeting with other students to learn more about applying for the accelerated track. With the information I gained here, I learned I need to submit a portfolio along with my application. Luckily, I have saved all of my drawings and projects from previous classes to compile my portfolio. One piece of advice I'd like to give is to never get rid of your coursework without either photographing or scanning a record of it for your future use. There are many options of where to do this in either a computer lab or imaging lab here on campus. They have great hours to work around any schedule. Keep checking back on to learn more about the process!

FieldTripT ShadowStudiesNoon.jpg

Left: My friends and I on a field trip for LA 1401
Right: Shadow Studies for LA 2301

Theresa, Landscape Design and Planning major

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Not many similarities can be made between me and Barney Stinson of "How I Met Your Mother". But last Monday as I prepared for the Government and Nonprofit Career Fair, I suited up!

As I stared off into the distant sun, I contemplated all that my suit had done for me.

Let's get real. While it was important for me to look professional in front of potential future employers, suiting up is not what prepared me. Rather, I went to the College of Design Career and Internship Services website. As I've mentioned before, it's full of valuable resources. Since a career fair is just like a bunch of mini interviews, one after the other, I watched the site's video on interviews. Feel free to watch it for yourself!

Upon leaving the career fair, I realized that it could have been a lot scarier if I hadn't known what I wanted to do. Because I know that I want to work directly with families looking for low-income housing, I was able to weed out many of the organizations that were at the fair, and then focus on the ones that I liked. In the future, I could see myself working for a handful of the employers that I met at the career fair, and it's really exciting that a Housing Studies degree could do so much for me!

Stay Sharp :)
-Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Feeling Stressed? Visit the Rec!


I can't believe it's already November! That means only 49 days left until the end of fall semester, which also means that finals time will be here before we know it. This usually is the time in the semester when group projects, papers, and exams are all coming at you, and it can definitely get a little stressful. Personally, I've found that one of the best ways to combat stress is with good, old fashion exercise. As U of M students, we're lucky enough to have an amazing recreation facility that's FREE with our U Card. Whether you like walking on the treadmill, doing push ups in boot camp, or breaking a sweat in Zumba, the Rec really has something for everyone. I've been going to the Rec since I was a freshman, and I can say that it's not only helped me stay healthy, but has also been a great outlet for when school seems a little overwhelming, and I know we've all been there before!

You don't have to be a fitness model, or even an athlete to use the Rec. Just grab a friend, check it out, and start relieving that stress. Check out the Rec's website for information on the facility and group fitness schedules and rates.

Katie, Retail Merchandising

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