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College of Design

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

After a month off of school for winter break, getting back into the routine of classes and college can be stressful. I know I was just getting adjusted to life at home again when I came back to campus to start the spring semester! A new schedule can be intimidating, especially being a first-year student, but the key is to prepare yourself beforehand! It's the second week of classes now and I'm already quite adjusted with my schedule!

U-of-M-Campus-Connector.pngI have classes now on West Bank and in St. Paul. I live on East Bank so I'm not so familiar with these other areas of campus. I'm really relying on the bus system this semester to get me to these other areas of campus (it's a lifesaver, especially in the winter). It's important to understand and become familiar with it because once you understand the Campus Connector (pictured on left) and Circulator systems, navigating campus becomes much less daunting. I also like to prepare for a new schedule by looking at the Interactive Campus Map to know where the buildings I'm supposed to be going to are located. Last semester I was on East Bank and in St. Paul so I'm now experiencing life over on West Bank two days a week. After this semester, I'll be a pro at navigating all 3 areas of campus which is quite an achievement I'd say.

Another new experience I'm having this semester is taking an online class. I'm really learning how important time management and organization are. Take a look at Karly's post about the wonders of keeping a daily planner! I know mine is going to be attached to my hip this semester.

Figuring out how to navigate campus according to your personal schedule is a great thing to do ahead of time. Also, keeping a planner is another component to a successful and less stressful beginning to the semester. Going into new classes confident and prepared make the transition back into the school routine much more manageable!

Interior Design

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sound Studio!

And my final studio is... the Sound Studio!

The focus of the studio is to explore the interaction between music, architecture and the community and how these elements intertwine and shape one another. Throughout this studio we will be researching how sound is affected by a space, how oral perception affects one's concept of space, how architecture influences music, niche musical communities and more. The final project will be a design for a recording and performance of music in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul. The building will contain rooms for musical recording and performance areas, practice areas and housing for artists, a concert venue for over 300 people and attendant support spaces.

Our first assignment for the class is to take a musical instrument, dissect it, and draw it in plan, elevation, exploded axon or another method that tells the story of how the instrument and its parts work to make sound. We must focus on how air moves through the space and the textural qualities that make these sounds.

Below is an example of a fire station that was turned into a music hall. One of the Sound Studio professors, Jody McGuire, worked on this project. You may find more photos of the project here.



Until next time,
B.S. in Architecture

The Importance of... a Daily Planner!


I am that crazy lady pictured above expressing the importance of a planner with her face, as well as the importance of daily hygiene with her wet hair still wrapped up in a towel. But seriously, college life can be a blast, just as long as you've got your daily planner handy!

From Housing Studies projects to a variety of U of M student groups, there are so many things to keep track of as a college student. But don't fret, simply writing down a to-do list in a planner can make life so much EASIER. First semester, I had gotten into the habit of checking my U of M email often and writing in my planner. Second semester, well... I've got to pick up the good routine again. This past weekend, I kept a mental list of things to do, but all of it slipped my mind (including this here blog; my apologies for the tardiness). :(

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Getting Messy!

Now that spring term is officially underway, I'm really excited for my upcoming semester of design coursework! Even though we've only been back in class for a few days, my classmates and I are already digging in and beginning some major projects.

In GDES 3312: Color and Form in Surface Design, we've already started our first screen printing project. Compared to the highly-controlled digital environment that I'm used to working in, screen printing has been complete one-eighty. The process can be unpredictable and messy, but it also allows for a high level of freedom within the creative process. Each print is different than the last and you never know quite how the next one will turn out. Although this can lead to some imperfections in your work, these unique characteristics may turn out to be what makes a piece great.

The images below are from the website of Dan Mather, an independent screen printer and graphic designer based in London. They really show that sometimes the most beautiful things can come from the messiest places.

Graphic Design

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The First Day of My Final Undergrad Semester

WOW. I cannot believe four years has flown by. i remember my first day of class like it was yesterday - the classes and all of the friends I met. I am happy to say I still have all of those friends and it has been fun to grow with them, watch those who graduated before me and look forward to graduating with those who haven't.

I am looking entirely forward to this semester. I have three classes - Studio IV, Revit, and a Directed Study underneath Jim Lutz. Studio will be interesting because it has three different options and I get to choose which option I would like to take. However, I have to wait until the first day of studio to find out what the options are. I am also looking forward to working with Jim on a Directed Study. The study will pertain to the planning process and weekend-of tips for the American Institute of Architecture Students Spring Quad Conference that AIAS Minnesota is hosting April 4-6th. I'll keep everyone updated with how the study is going throughout the semester. Here is the promotional video link AIAS Minnesota has developed so far for the conference. Check it out here! If you would like to participate in the conference, you can register to become an AIAS member by clicking here. Registration fees have dropped to $27 for the Spring semester!!! It is a great time to become a member and see what AIAS is all about!

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I hope everyone has a wonderful first day back and has rested up enough over winter break!

Until next time,
B.S. in Architecture

Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Goes On

Welcome back students!! For the past four days I was at a leadership retreat with my fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi. I was secluded from civilization somewhere in Ohio and all technology linking me to the outside world was eliminated, which means my cellphone and laptops were not available to me. Our ability to connect to basically anything through the use of technology is fantastic, but this past weekend has reminded me that my life doesn't necessarily have to revolve around it. The removal of technology was actually refreshing and allowed me to really engage in the leadership retreat. Life still happens, even without technology. I'm definitely going to periodically take this concept into the new semester to allow me to fully concentrate on my work, especially since the Align Fashion show is coming up on February 15th, so I'll need to make sure I put out quality work. Everyone try a day without your cellphone and see what happens.

A picture of Ohio from the plane.
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Make sure to follow my blog at and make sure to visit to get more information about the Align Apparel Design Fashion show!

Cool Books?


Yes, cool books! I have to say, I must be sitting pretty in my Housing Studies major because most of my required textbooks are books I would like to read anyway. For my Cities, Citizens & Communities class, we are to read The Origins of the Urban Crisis. The book looks at Detroit and addresses the pattern of racialized poverty in industrial cities. For my Global Perspective housing class, we are reading Planet of Slums. As described by The Times, this book "forces us, angrily, to confront the deplorable realities of slum existence and the limitations of slum policies in many developing countries."

It looks like my classes will be discussing issues that I am already passionate about and issues that are excruciatingly relevant, whether here, or halfway across the globe. Poverty is a bigger issue than often realized, and specific areas and people groups often get hit harder than others. "Overall, the number of people residing in slums has climbed from 777 million in 2000 to almost 830 million in 2010" according to the United Nations report at

Crazy me, but I am just so excited for school to be starting up again here at the U of M! This stuff is just so important.

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Align Fashion Show 2014


I don't know about you guys, but I am SO excited for the 2014 Align Fashion show on February 15th! For those of you who've never been to the show or haven't heard of it, the Align Fashion show is in it's 46th year of showcasing the senior lines of U of M apparel design students. The designers have been working all of semester to create their senior lines that will be showcased on February 15th at Rapson Hall. This year's collections include everything from bridal to children's wear and will not disappoint! I have had the privilege to be included in this year's show, and will be modeling a look from Carissa Prieve's senior collection. It has been so cool to see Carissa's look from pretty much the very beginning and to see how it has evolved and turned into something that I want in the closet ASAP!

The show is not only a great place to see the incredible design talent from the U of M's senior apparel students, but it's also a great opportunity for us retail merchandising students to get out there and network with industry professionals. The most important thing I've learned through my internships in New York City, and even now trying to find jobs out in Seattle, is that you have to network and really put yourself out there in your industry. So whether you're going for the amazing fashion, the networking opportunity (or maybe even both) I really encourage everyone to check out the Align Fashion show. I'm so excited to see everyone's work and to put my best Tyra Banks catwalk to work!

Here's the link for Align Fashion show for more info on the show:

Stay Fabulous,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Well, it's that time! I'M LEAVING! I cannot wait to experience all the world has in store for me within these next four months. However, there were so many things to organize before leaving. The hardest thing for me though was packing! How can I possibly fit everything I need for four months in 1 suitcase plus a carry on? Is that even possible? Well, I'm proud to say that yes it is, even for an overpacker like myself. Some of my tips for effective packing are:
1. Pack quality over quantity. It's better to have fewer items that will keep you warm/dry than lots that will not successfully do so.
2. Cut everything you are taking in half. This tip should be taken within reason. I've found that I tend to think I need everything plus the kitchen sink in my bag, but I really need about half of what I am taking.
3. Choose the fewest pieces that will make the most outfits. I try to pick one nice skirt that has multiple tops to match that can be worn either everyday or for classy nights out.
4. Don't forget your chargers! Yes, you will need adapters, but your laptop will do you no good without that charger.
5. Check the weight limits for your bags before going. Some airlines will have lower weight limits than those within the US. Make sure to check beforehand to save yourself the extra charges.
6. Bring a padlock. This may seem silly, but if you like to save money during your short trips to other cities, you will probably be staying in a hostel. Hostels are great places because they can offer lower rates, but because there may be people you don't know in your room, you should have a lock to secure your belongings.
7. Relax, you can always buy it there. Worst case scenario, you forget something at home and you have to buy it. Yes it may not be the ideal situation, but it is always a possibility.

For a more comprehensive list on what to pack, you can check out this link!

I can't wait to share my adventures with all of you! Below is a photo from myself on the beach in Florida to inspire you until my next post.

Landscape Design & Planning

Designer Stereotypes

SpotTheDesigner.jpgAs a graphic design student, I'm well aware of the many stereotypes typically placed on professionals within the graphic design field. Designers (especially young designers) are often portrayed as avid Apple fanatics decked out in black rimmed glasses, graphic tees, and skinny jeans. Although I don't personally conform to this dress code, I do identify with a number of intellectual and creative traits commonly associated with graphic designers -- I'm very visually oriented, extremely critical of my own work, and a diehard perfectionist.

Over time I've stumbled across a number of infographics that jokingly outline these traits and poke fun at common graphic design stereotypes. I've posted two of my favorite infographics here, which you can click to view the full-sized versions. These infographics are not only entertaining, but also have a real resemblance to my own thought processes and habits (except maybe the one about digging through the garbage).

I hope you find them as entertaining as I did!

Graphic Design


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Getting Acquainted!

Hi everyone! I'm Megan and I'm a new blogger for the College of Design. I'm a first year student just starting my second semester at the U of M and I'm a Pre-Interior Design major. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, knitting, and crafting with my friends (I spend a LOT of time on Pinterest...). I'm so excited to share this blog and all my experiences as a design student at the U of M with you!


I'm from Plymouth, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. I'm not the kind of person who knew all along where I wanted to go and choosing a college took me a long time. Being undecided of my major at the time, I knew I wanted to go somewhere with a lot of options of majors for me to choose from. After considering cost, financial aid, location and, of course, school colors... I decided on the U! To the right is a photo of me when I received my acceptance letter!

Being a crafty person, my friends and family have told me that interior design would be right up my alley. I've always had an interest in it, it's been my answer for years when I've been asked what my dream job is. However, last semester when I began at the U I was undecided in the College of Liberal Arts. During the first week of classes I went to my advisor and changed my major to Pre-Interior Design and transferred into the CDes. Ever since, I've been confident in my choice and major and am really enjoying taking classes related specifically to what I want to do!

Follow my and other students' stories and experiences at the U and CDes by using this shortcut: for easy access to the blog site.

Interior Design

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cliches like 'bittersweet'...


Cliches like 'bittersweet' are really the only way to describe the end of my blogging career for the College of Design. That's right folks, this is my last blog. It's been such a great time writing and taking photos to document my experience as an Interior Design student here at the U, but the end had to come some time... I'm not graduating for three more semesters yet, but as I come towards the end of my years in school, I am transitioning. In particular I'm becoming more involved at my internship which has been a great run so far. I'll definitely miss being a blogger and it was a hard decision, but it also creates a great opportunity for a 1st year Interior Design student named Megan. She'll be picking up the Interior Design blog starting the first week of classes (which is literally right around the corner!) Thanks very much for reading, subscribing, commenting, and connecting with me - I've genuinely loved every minute.

So long and good luck!

interior design

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Design Pin-spiration!

Since the beginning of winter break, I've found myself spending a lot of my free time online. Much of this time has been devoted to one of my favorite websites - Pinterest. In addition to its countless recipes and craft ideas, Pinterest is also a great source for creative inspiration. With countless boards created by professional designers and design firms, there is always something new to look at. Every area of design is covered, from typography to branding to packaging. I've posted links to some of my favorite boards below. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Graphic Design


Get me out of here!

Get me out of here!
I can no longer stand it.
I must go home now.


Above is an expression of my emotions in haiku form, as well as in picture form. As one can guess, I am tired of being away from school. I love my family, especially you mom, but I really wish to be back at the U of M now.

Now do not be confused. I am not that nerdy kid who was always studying during recess and who dreaded summer vacation. This break has been wonderful, I just can't wait to get back to school.

I have got many exciting classes to look forward to this semester, new friends to reconnect with, and freedom to return to. Only one more week :D :D :D

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing B.S.

P.S. My boyfriend sewed me the sweater that I'm wearing in the picture. Isn't he talented!

Monday, January 6, 2014

AAAS Minor

To go alongside my Housing Studies major I have declared the African-American & African Studies minor. I will be starting some of my minor classes this next semester, and I am truly looking forward to it!

According to the Wilder Foundation, while the Black/African American population makes up only 5% of the adult population of Minnesota, they make up 38% of the homeless adults in the state (check the info out for yourself, click here). That is quite unbalanced. This is why I feel the AAAS minor would go appropriately with my Housing Studies major. There must be a better way. And from having already had a semester of classes with my Housing Studies professors, I know this is an issue that will not be ignored when it comes up. Topics in class have not shied away from the discrimination and issues certain populations face when it comes to housing. I love Housing Studies because it sees the real issues and addresses them, all for the benefit of real people.

This is a scary image. Is it true? Do we sometimes ignore homelessness?

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Breaks Up! Back to Work!

Happy New Year!! Hope 2014 is going well for everyone! Winter break is now halfway over, which means that I need to start getting those winter break projects started and completed! The past couple of weeks of no deadlines and assignments have been fantastic, but as a designer, I've gotten bored rather quickly! I can feel my mind screaming for stimulation, so with this crazy temperatures plunging, I think it's a good time to stay inside and warm and keep busy working on some personal projects, one of them being the dress for the Hearts for Fashion, fashion show coming up this February. It'll at the Mall of America, which lots of exposure. Here's a sketch of what I'm proposing to make. My inspiration comes from the heart being a muscle, and mimicking the musculature of the body.

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Follow my blog and see how the dress comes out at!

Apparel Design

So Many Classes, So Little Time!

With spring semester just around the corner, I'm really looking forward to my upcoming design classes! As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be taking Typography, Surface Design, and Career and Internship Preparation. I had also planned on taking Design and Its Discontents, but unfortunately there were no more open seats. Instead, I decided to take one of my three required program electives. With nearly twenty options listed on my APAS report, the only difficulty was choosing which to take.

I very interested in several classes including one on bookmaking, one on photography, and another on user experience in design. Sadly, none of these classes fit in my schedule so I had to think a bit outside the box. I ended up choosing a class called the Phenomenon of Everyday Design (DES 3351), which is only offered periodically every few semesters. The class not only sounds really interesting, but is also given by one of my favorite professors from freshman year!

Even though DES 3351 it wasn't on the list of preapproved classes, a quick email to my adviser assured me that it would count as a program elective. With such flexible scheduling, it's easy to find classes that suit my schedule as well as my interests as a graphic designer!

In addition to this change, I also swapped my Journalism class for Management 3001 and an Art History class in Roman Art and Archaeology. You can see these new classes on my updated schedule below!


Graphic Design

Winter Break: Done and To Come

Winter break so far has been lovely, and now that I'm reaching the halfway point I'm reflecting on everything I've gotten to do so far as well as thinking about what else I want to accomplish while I've got this free time on my hands.

Up until this point, I've been interning full time which has been incredibly rewarding and enriching. I've been able to get involved in more project work - some of which is local! (Can't wait to check out those openings sometime down the road.) I've also had time to spend time with old and new friends, pin on my Pinterest boards, and cook some tasty meals.

Going forward, I really want to spruce up my apartment with some cool DIY projects and just give the place a lift. I also want to work on my online portfolio and update the look and content of my resume. I foresee some cozy afternoons in coffee shops on the horizon...

What have you been up to over break? Anything interesting on your winter break to-do list? Let me know!

interior design

Greetings From Canada!


I hope all of you are enjoying the holiday season! I was home in Wisconsin
for Christmas for about 10 days before heading to Vancouver to ring in 2014
with my boyfriend. Between all of the meals, baking, and family game
nights, it feels like the holidays flew by, like they always seem to do.

My boyfriend and I start our trek from Vancouver to Laguna Beach, CA
tomorrow where I'll spend a week before heading back to Minneapolis.
It will take us about three days in the car before we reach sunny Laguna Beach.
I have my phone all charged up so I can be the DJ. (Beyonce on repeat).
I am mostly excited to lay on the beach, finally read "Mockingjay" and
enjoy the rest of break until classes start up.

I hope you're all enjoying time with family and friends!

Stay Fabulous,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Let's Get Going!

Well, I am happy to say the first semester of my Sophomore year is done. I had many hard classes and am proud to say that all of my hard work paid off! My final projects went better than I ever could have imagined and were great pieces to feature in my portfolio (which I also have finished). DSC_0018.JPG With all of this hard work behind me, I am off for a quick vacation to Florida before going to Paris(for a week of fun), Rome, and Istanbul! It is hard to imagine that in just under 20 days I will be in a different country. However, I could not be more excited. I went to England and Scotland this past summer and have been anxious to travel ever since. It is important for Landscape Architects (and designers in general) to travel in order to experience a place first hand. Being in a space and feeling its essence allows you to decide what elements you like and want to incorporate into your own designs. How do you know what works unless you see it for yourself? I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. from an early age and am happy to continue this lifestyle. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and experience a new place, from a new country to maybe a nearby local park you've never been to. Find what interests you and what you are passionate about!

Landscape Design & Planning