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College of Design

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Things Are Getting Real!

image.jpegAll the pre-interior design students are venturing into the world of texture and pattern this month! Our latest project has been a challenge to find fabrics and other textures and patterns to use with an analogous color scheme. We got to use the big wall of resources in the studio (pictured on left). It's been sitting there full of fabrics all year and now we get to use it!

It's been really fun rummaging through all the things scattered about and picking out some really fun pieces and I even got to put to use finding furniture pieces to hypothetically reupholster!

Although this project has been very time consuming it has also been really fun! It's an enjoyable thing for me and there's nothing better than getting to do homework that you actually find fun! I'm currently working on the layout of the final boards and I can't want to have it completed and see it all put together. You've just got to love that feeling of holding a completed project, I know I do!

Check out the UMN Design instagram where you can bet I'll be posting photos of projects and things were working on in the interior design program!

Interior Design

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Online Portfolio Launch

This week I took a huge step forward as a graphic designer by launching my online portfolio! At this point it's still a work in progress -- I have a lot more work to upload and some minor kinks to work out -- but you can see the beginnings of it here:

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I had some difficulty finding a site that really represented my work in the way that I had envisioned. There are tons of free portfolio hosting sites out there, but they aren't quite as customizable as the ones you have to pay for.

I ended up going with folio24, but I chose the free version rather than the paid subscription -- it's still super easy to use and allows you to upload 35 images, which is more than many other sites. I also toyed around with PortfolioBox and Crevado, but they had a lot of limitations on their free versions. I may eventually upgrade to a paid site, but I'd like to really know what I'm looking for before I make that commitment. For those of you who may be looking for an online portfolio site of your own, this article has tons of great resources for you to check out:

Since this post was published, I've actually switched sites again. Here is a link to the new and improved version: I'd love to see your thoughts in the comments below!

Graphic Design

Balancing Act


It's a great balancing act schoolwork is! I am currently juggling three big projects. The first I have already told you about, the development proposal my Housing Development and Management class is making to the City of North St. Paul. The second, a presentation on housing issues in South Africa for my Global Housing class. The third, a research paper on homelessness and the use of public space in my Cities, Citizens, and Communities class.


None of these projects would go very well if it was not for some of the resources here at the University of Minnesota. The library page is a wonderful site fully equipped with tools to find sweet articles and journals for my research projects. Homework is way easier when directed toward reliable sources, as opposed to me going crazy searching Google for hours and finding nothing. :)


With only three more weeks until spring break, I will make it through!

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 Pinterest for Designers!

Hi everyone!

I recently found out about this great website perfect for interior designers! Whether you're just looking to kill some time or looking for furnishings for a project, its a really cool website. It's called It's a website a lot like pinterest (one of my favorites for killing time). Basically, you search an item and get a huge list of different things and you can 'like' them and design your own rooms by making boards. It's really cool and I can see myself spending a LOT of time looking at it.

We're just starting a new project in IDES 1602 and I think this website will be of use for me! We are just starting to use color and pattern in our designs and we also get to select furniture so you can bet that I'll be searching stuff on this website and I'll probably spend a lot more time than necessary searching for the perfect pieces for my project!

Fun Fact: the previous interior design blogger, Ashley, was recently featured on the website! Click here to read about her as she answers questions about her experience as an interior design student at the U of M!

Interior Design

Monday, February 17, 2014

Align Senior Fashion Show

This last Saturday the apparel design seniors had their fashion show, Align. This was a culmination of all the years of learning and hard work. As each collection went down the runway, you could tell the seniors put a great deal of work and thought into their pieces. Even the main event were the collections from the seniors, the juniors and sophomores also were able to put a piece into the show, and they need to be acknowledged for their hard work as well. From the beginning of the day to the very last thank you to the attendees of the show, a lot of work went to making Align come together. What an experience! It was definitely exhausting helping rounding up my sophomore class and getting them ready along with making sure everything for the show was prepared for showtime. Even though the day was hectic and exhausting, it also supplied a lot of inspiration and energy. The show was a complete success and I couldn't be prouder of everyone involved! If you missed it this year, definitely keep an eye for next years show; you don't want to miss this amazing event.

Here are some pictures from the Align Fashion Show.

Stayce Petraborg.JPG Crystal Compton.JPG Kayna Hobbs.JPG Align Seniors.JPG

Make sure to follow my blog at and also look for pics on the UMNDesign Instagram for more of my pics!

Apparel Design

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Slumming It"

For my Global Housing class, our instructor had us watch the documentary called "Slumming It". It followed Kevin McCloud as he spent two weeks in then India's largest slum, the Dharavi slum. This is the same slum as seen in the famous "Slumdog Millionaire" movie.


Right in the city of Mumbai was Dharavi, a slum just one square mile big and home to 1 million people. Many of them lived in shacks formed from the garbage, children played next to rivers of toxic waste, and people got sick due to the very minimal sanitation.

Even though the people of Dharavi lived radically different lives from his westernized self, Kevin McCloud still enjoyed his time. Even amongst the filth, McCloud felt at home. It was an intellectually conflicting experience for him. While we see the slums and say that it is the wrong way to live and that is all bad, inhabitants of the slum see their home quite differently. There is no doubt that the people of Dharavi deserved better sanitation and clean water. But there were many aspects of their community that ought to remain. I encourage you to watch it at Even in all of the garbage, the people of Dharavi managed to form a vibrant, resourceful, and encouraging community. But please, watch it for yourself!

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing B.S.

Mixed Results?

Hello everyone! Just as I promised, here is a look at the finished prints for my first surface design project. I ended up with a total of six prints on three different types of paper, each of which are slightly different.


I'm not completely happy with how they turned out, but for a first attempt I would say its still a success. After starting with such a strong background shape, I had trouble finding an image that could be printed over the top and still stand out as the main focal point. Instead of working against the shape, I decided to sketch out tree branch that roughly followed the curves of the original print. I went for a gnarled look to contrast the smooth lines of the background and printed it twice (slightly offset) to give it more visual weight.

It was a fun to experiment with a more spontaneous approach, but if I had to do the project over again I would definitely plan a bit more up front. Luckily I'll get a chance to do that soon, as we're already moving onto another project -- printing a repeat pattern on dyed fabric! I have a couple ideas floating around in my head right now, but I'll let you know when I have something more solid to show.

Graphic Design

Andrea Ponsi

ponsi clock.jpg During my weekend visit to Florence, I had the opportunity to meet the Italian architect Andrea Ponsi at his studio to learn more about his work. He has completed several commercial and residential buildings. The inside of his studio contains not only his building designs, but also his own furniture and objects. My personal favorite is his solar image clock, which shows at any time of the day the exact hour, sun's position in the sky, the length of the day and night, and the times of sunrise and sunset. At first glance, you would never have expected that it was a clock, but after taking a closer look, you can see the intricacy and appreciate how useful it is. Besides seeing his work, Andrea also talked to us about his design process. One thing that he said that I found inspirational was that the human body is the center of all designs. When taking this statement at face value, you will find it has truth, but when I thought about it, I fell in love with this statement. Every project I work on for class is dictated by the human body. The goal of every landscape architect and architect is to design spaces that people can enjoy, that evoke emotion and have a purpose. That is why I enjoyed listening to Andrea speak; he summed up the main goal of architecture in one amazing sentence. All in all, my visit to Andrea Ponsi's studio in Florence was just what I needed to keep my energy going with all of the sketching I've been doing lately for class. With only two weeks left in Rome I hoping for less rain so I can get out and sketch!

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Ponsi Sketch

Landscape Design & Planning

I Am Loving Studio!!

Sound Studio has been amazing thus far! We have studied musical instruments through architectural drawings (axonometric views, isometric views, plans, sections, details, elevations, etc.) and have regenerated particular interests of these instruments through models. Each student received a specific instrument; mine is the harmonica. Now, we are creating a mobile pavilion where this instrument can be played. Our site for our mobile pavilion is the St. Paul Union Depot (BEAUTIFUL if you have not been! It is free and I suggest you go!). My pavilion reflects the harmonica being cradled in the player's hands. A canopy is cantilevered over the interior play room by large finger like structures and the playroom resembles the intimacy of a small instrument. The playroom wall is built from varying lengths of projected wood pieces reflecting the in and out movement of the breath when playing the harmonica as well as the various lengths of the chambers within the harmonica that control the pitch of the note.

I am also excited for our multiple field trips including a visit to our site in Lowertown, St. Paul, the MPR broadcasting station, MacPhail Center for Music and possibly more! We recently went to First Avenue and got a tour behind the scenes! The venue was a completely different atmosphere seeing it empty! I have been there many times for concerts and was extremely pleased to see the main room, the green rooms, 7th Street Entry, the Depot and other rooms. Below is a photo of band's set lists taped to the wall behind the main stage.


Until next time,
B.S. in Architecture

Align Fashion Show Recap


Last night was so much fun! As I mentioned in my last blog, I modeled for my friend, Carissa Prieve, for the senior apparel design fashion show. I have to say, I was so impressed with the talent from all of the designers. The lines were so diverse, some ready to wear, some more conceptual, but I loved the creativity and passion that came from each collection. I might be a little biased, but I absolutely loved Carissa's designs. All four of us girls looked so put together head to toe, and we all got so many compliments after the shows about how much people loved her line. The best part was seeing all of Carissa's and the other designer's hard work come together and to celebrate their senior collections. I saw Carissa's work from the very beginning when it was just a couple of sketches, so to see the whole thing come together and walk down the runway beautifully was amazing. I wasn't sure what exactly to expect when I said yes to doing the show, but I am so happy that agreed to do it. The whole thing was so professional and organized, from the show's production to the runway coach teaching us how to strut our stuff.

It was such a busy day going from hair and makeup, to the photo shoot, to lining up backstage that I didn't get as many pictures as I'd liked to, but my cousin took some pictures from the balcony that I have to share! I'm hoping to get pictures back from the photo shoot and share later.

Stay Fabulous,


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

My First Typeface

In my past couple entries I've talked a lot about my Surface Design studio, so for this week I thought I should give you an update on another important design studio that I'm taking this semester: GDES 2345 Typography.

The first few weeks of class were heavily focused on textbook readings, which outlined the historical foundations of typography, classic typeface examples, and type anatomy. This week we finally got some hands-on experience as we took a stab at designing our own typefaces. Here's a look at my first attempt:


bloom_fabric_11.jpegAlthough the text reads "Mango," that isn't actually the name of the typeface -- I just chose it at random until I can come up with something that really fits. I wanted to achieve a clean, geometric feel while still playing around a bit with the proportions. The top sections of the letters appear to be a solid gray here, but they are actually a slightly transparent black. I'm not sure how practical this will be, but I really wanted to try something different. The overall inspiration for the design came from the "Bloom" Chair designed by Paige Vanderkemp (pictured to the right).

Although the typeface is still a bit rough, I'm definitely excited to see where it leads! If you have any thoughts of the design, let me know in the comments below.

Graphic Design

Birthdays and Proposals!


Today we celebrated the 19th birthday of one of the girls in our dorm. Even though college students don't have all that much spending money, I feel we did pretty well in the gift giving department, as represented by the photograph above. Happy Birthday Grace!

And forgive me if the title of this blog is misleading. No one is engaged. But I am making a proposal :)

For my Housing Development and Management course, we have been given the task of making a housing development proposal for a nearby city. The confinements for such a proposal are that there must be between 12 to 60 units in the building, and that it includes live/work housing. Beyond that, we can envision whatever housing development we like; we get to unleash our creativity. I'll give you better details as the project progresses, including... what the heck is live/work housing?!

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing B.S.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Eternal City

It's only been two short weeks since I left Minnesota but it feels like just yesterday! During my first week away I had the best time exploring all of Paris with three other Landscape Architecture majors and one Architecture major. We went just about everywhere you can think of. From the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, the Panthéon, Notre Dame, Sacré Cœur, Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Palace of Versailles, Musée Carnavalet , Musée de l'Orangerie, the catacombs, and the Champs-Élysées, our days were always packed with activities. Out of all these activities, my favorite was going to Versailles because it was a dream come true. Even though the gardens weren't in bloom, the strong axial geometry and expanse of the site was more than enough to take my breath away. Besides Versailles, my unexpected favorite thing was going to the catacombs. I found the way they laid the bones to create walls fascinating, with a sort of haunting beauty. I never would have thought that something so personal could be used in design.

After Paris, we all headed to Rome to begin classes. I was not sure what to expect for a schedule, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that basically my five weeks in Rome will be spent drawing. Most of my time here will be spent going to a site, exploring, and sketching. The rest will be working with my partner on our section of a map of Rome for the final project mixed with walking history tours. I'm excited to say that we received the Vatican area for our portion of the map and I could not be happier. It is a vibrant place that changes mood daily and always has something new to show me when I return. I can't wait to start on the final drawings and share with all of you this vibrancy.

Also, the internet here is extremely unreliable and slow, so please check out the Instagram page to view my photos! The username is umndesign and just look for #Theresa!

Landscape Design & Planning

Back in the Groove

The semester is now in full swing, which means projects and assignments are back in full force. Right now in my apparel design studio we are working on a project in collaboration with the Weismann Art Museum's third annual design competition. The competition is Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined. The goal of the project is to basically portray Siberia using non-traditional materials, innovative textures, and/or structural shaping with an emphasis on sustainable best practices. The sustainable part is what makes the project challenging, so this weekend I went thrift shopping and got some great stuff from Savers and I think I have pretty good plan set. Below you can see the bags of stuff I came home with, and luckily since it was from Savers it wasn't too much of a cost and it'll fit the sustainability concept.

Savers Loot.JPG

Also at the same time, the senior fashion show, Align, is coming up which I will be modeling my pants from last semester and creating a top to go with it. I should probably stop blogging now and get to work.


Make sure to follow my blog at and make sure to visit to get more information about the Align Apparel Design Fashion show. Also look for pics on the UMNDesign instagram for updates on my projects!

Apparel Design

A Time of Reflection

In Housing Studies, what we do, believe it or not, goes beyond simply houses. One thing I love about it is that we consider communities. How are healthy communities formed? What makes a neighborhood bad? Does the physical environment of a neighborhood have a greater influence on the lives of residents than issues of politics, economics, and culture? How can we take what we have learned about communities and use it to actually benefit the lives of people?

Much of what we do is discerning reality. Some people say cities are unsafe places to live, while others say suburbs only produce feelings and actions of isolation. But what attributes would produce either of these results? The population of homeless single males is decreasing, while the population of homeless families increases. What causes such a reality? And if we find the cause of such outcomes, will it allow us to provide better housing for more people? I sure hope so.

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


Spontaneous Screen Printing

UnfinishedPrint.jpgAs I mentioned in my previous post, I've already begun my first screen printing project for GDES 3312: Color and Form in Surface Design. The project is loosely titled "Portrait," but it doesn't necessarily have be a portrait of a person -- the final print could depict nearly any subject, from an animal to a season or even a mood.

Although my own prints are roughly halfway done, I still haven't decided on a specific subject. This lack of direction may seem a bit strange, but it was done intentionally to give the project a more spontaneous feel. Our professor encouraged this impromptu approach and urged us to jump right into the printing process without any set ideas or plans.

Although I was initially a bit uncomfortable with the idea, I've really come to enjoy the process -- being creative feels much more liberating without a strict plan to follow or a specific outcome in mind. It's been really interesting to see how my prints unfold and where the next day's work will take me.

One of my six prints for the project is shown here on the right. Even though it isn't finished, I'm pleased with my progress so far. Up to this point I've been working with basic screen printing techniques and experimenting with a few different approaches to achieve the mottled texture and watery lines you see here. I haven't quite decided where to go next, but I definitely plan on including at least two more layers of color. I'll be sure to upload some photos of the final prints once they're complete. If you'd like to see how they turn out, stay tuned!

Graphic Design

Ready, Set, Network!

First things first, I have a confession to make.

I am a big time nerd, and proud of it.

I made the dean's list for the second time in my college career this past semester and
could not be more excited about it. I took the most credits I've ever taken last semester, so I really am proud of my hard work.


Okay okay, enough about me and the dean's list. On to something else I'm very excited about...the U of M Job and Internship Fair! This awesome networking opportunity is coming up on Friday, February 21st at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This really is a great opportunity for all U of M students of all majors to get connected with industry professionals. Whether you're looking for your first internship, or you're a senior like me looking for a job, the job and internship fair is a perfect place to start! Over 200 employers will be at the fair including big names like Apple, The Buckle, Kohl's, and Target.

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For more information on the Job and Internship Fair, check out

Is it your first time attending at job and internship fair? Go to for career fair tips!

Stay Fabulous,