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College of Design

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Hello Everyone!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...Registration! Most people cringe when they have to start thinking about registering for classes because it definitely can be a stressful experience. However, I for one am excited. In two weeks, I will be registering for my last ever spring semester! It's so crazy to think about how far I have come since I started at the U of M 2.5 years ago. I've grown so much, as both a designer and a person, and I'm so excited to see what these last two semesters will bring.

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I am also excited because my credit load for my last two semesters will be significantly lighter as well. I only need to take 14 credits next semester and 6 credits next fall to complete my degree. This means I now have a lot of options. I can either choose to go part-time my last semester and save some money by paying per credit, or I can go full-time and take a few fun classes that I'm interested in. I'm not sure which I option I'm going to choose yet, but I've been looking into a few interesting classes such as Yoga, Floral Design, Wines and Vines, and Snowboarding. Check out the Class Search function on OneStop and search by subject or go to the Course Guide to see if anything looks interesting to you!

Until next time,

Graphic Design

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Designer in London

Well I'm in my sixth week of this 14-week program at Central Saint Martins. The work I'm doing here is definitely different compared to back home at the University of Minnesota, and it has made me appreciate the knowledge that that the College of Design has given me. Both of the schools have amazing qualities and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to experience them both. That said, I guess no matter where you go, as long as you are in a fashion design program, you are in for a lot of work. So if you are thinking about doing fashion as a career, be prepared.

Studying here requires a lot of independent work, self-motivation, and being comfortable with ambiguity. These are qualities that a good designer should be comfortable with. Along with those qualities, a good designer also knows the importance of research and development to really give their designs creativity and uniqueness.

One of my teachers here said something that really stuck with me: "If you design from your head, without any research and development, you may come up with great designs in the beginning, but it will eventually run out, because you only design things that you already know." That's some knowledge I learned here, that I'm giving to you. Research can be tedious, especially if you already have ideas that you are set on. But research, if done correctly, can take your designs and ideas to the next level.

Here are some things that I've been working on here:

Learning to use the knitting machine.
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Jewelry class experimentation.
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Go to to follow my blog and keep up with my life studying here in London. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see some of my pics.

Apparel Design

Trip to D.C.

This summer, I had the opportunity to visit our nation's capital. As a landscape architecture student, I found it really cool to visit all the monuments and the city of Washington D.C. These monuments have a lot of meaning behind them, and it showed more than I imagined. I found the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, and the Arlington National Cemetery particularly interesting.

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The Korean War Veterans Memorial was somewhat eerie because you are surrounded by statues of soldiers lurking through a garden of juniper. It was especially neat at night. Lights dimly lit the monuments so all you saw were figures coming out of the garden, and with a little fog that night, it was spectacular.


The National World War II Memorial portrays a sense of one nation. Every state is represented by large columns that create an arcade outlining a fountained pond. This is one of the newest memorials on the campus, which opened in 2004.

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Lastly, the Arlington National Cemetery may have been the most impactful to me. The cemetery is massive. It would take a couple of days to see the whole thing. You get amazing views of the city, including some incomparable views that mix emotion, patriotism and a picturesque landscape.

I think the trip to Washington D.C. helped me see the impact that landscape architecture has on a country, a cause, and a person. These monuments will stand for years to come and represent history and lives. Not many other professions get the opportunity to make impacts like landscape architecture.

Attached is a link about the monuments in Washington D.C.:


Landscape Design and Planning

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"But, I'm Sick..."

Let's start this post by giving U of M Twin Cities students a round of applause for finishing, or nearing the end of, midterms. We made it! Some easier than others, of course, but nonetheless they're over (for me at least!).

My midterms week didn't go as planned. I've been pretty sick all week and have made numerous trips back and forth to Boyton Health Services in hopes of feeling better. So far, no luck. I'm now back in my hometown, snuggled up on my parents' couch with Netflix and a hot cup of tea. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some tips about what college students should do if you wind up sick.

First, always email your professor stating that you'll be missing class. Nearly all professors will require you to show verification of your illness with a doctor's note. Boyton is a great place to go if you're feeling under the weather. It's right on campus and the staff is very friendly! Get examined, ask for a note for your classes, and further follow your doctor's instructions. Also, always keep your doctor's notes tucked away in a safe spot until the end of the semester just in case you need it in the future for additional verification of your absence. If you're sick during a week such as midterms, try your best to make it to your midterm. I promise you, it's much easier than going through the hassle of rescheduling your exam date and your professor will greatly appreciate it!

A few more obvious tips:
-- Take preventative measures (eat clean and exercise)
-- Drink a lot of water, hydration is key!
-- Sleep whenever you can
-- Call your parents or a close friend--sometimes hearing a comforting voice is all you really need :)

With all of this being said, stay healthy everyone!!

Stay tuned to my blog post within the coming weeks to see what this is all about:


Style On,
Retail Merchandising

Happy Homecoming!

Hi everyone!

This past week was Homecoming. I know you're probably all familiar with Homecoming week, football, and dressing with spirit, but Homecoming at the U of M is another story! There are many different events to mark the celebration, including a lip sync competition, step competition, flag football tournament, and the Homecoming concert.

On Friday night, TCF Bank Stadium was packed for the Homecoming concert and it was really fun. Iggy Azalea performed with opener Walk the Moon. Iggy performed all her hits including Fancy, Black Widow, and more.

Saturday followed with the football game against Purdue University. It was an intense game with a final score of 39-38, with the Gophers winning of course! This win puts the Gophers at 3-0 in the Big 10 play for the first time since 1990. The win also makes us bowl-eligible. Go Gophers!

It was a big week for students and fans, and we all can't wait to see what Homecoming will bring next year!

Interior Design

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Is there a Comic Sans Japanese Typeface?"

Hello Everyone!
Tokyo TDC
This last Wednesday night, I attended an incredible event put on by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the Concordia University-St. Paul Leaders of Design Series: The Tokyo Type Director's Club Exhibition. This is just one more reason I'm so glad I picked the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to complete my design education. There are constantly events like this all over Minneapolis and St. Paul!

The event began with Ryan Hageman lecturing about the History of Japanese Graphic Design and typography, which provided great groundwork for the second presenter, Jon Forss. Jon Forss was invited to be a juror at the 2014 Tokyo TDC Design Competition and he shared his experience and perspective on that in his presentation.

Additionally, as a designer himself, Mr. Forss' work tends to revolve around experimental typography, and he is always challenging legibility. This was great timing for me, as I was able to gain some inspiration from his work to include in an Advanced Typography project I am currently working on and have been hitting a bit of a roadblock with.

The Tokyo Type Directors Club Exhibition runs from October 13-31, 2014, in St. Paul so if you're around and have the time, I would highly recommend checking it out!

Until next time,

Graphic Design

Monday, October 13, 2014

Research! Bikes! Design!


In my architecture studio, we have been given our third project for the semester. This one will carry us through to the end of the semester, so it will be a big project with a lot of work. For this project, we are designing a small-scale museum space that will be located on the U of M campus. The museum space that I will be designing is to house bike collections. Not everyone has the same museum space topic, which makes it fun and interesting to hear about other research and design ideas. Some of the other collections include bees, bats, textiles, and wolves.

Last week during studio, my professor and I, along with two students who are also designing a space for bike collections, visited the Cycling Museum of Minnesota in Northeast Minneapolis. We learned about bicycles and their history in Minnesota. Most importantly, we received a lot of knowledge on museum design. A few of the people we met with have their education and background in museums. Talking with them about how to arrange collections and how to design a space to hold multiple exhibits was incredibly helpful.

When given a new project, it is essential to do as much research as possible. Being new to designing spaces, it is important for me to do research for this project not only on bikes, but also on museum design. What are the ways in which a bike can be displayed? What lighting is best in a museum setting? My research on both topics has been exciting and it sparks a number of ideas in my head.

Here are a couple of inspiration photos I've found from Method Bicycle.


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Monday, October 6, 2014

Hello London, it's me Lee

Hello everyone!! I hope everyone had a great summer and that you all are getting into the groove of the new semester. I have the fortunate opportunity to be studying abroad at Central Saint Martins in London this semester, so I'll be giving you the scoop of what life is like as a Londoner and as a student at the famous Central Saint Martins!

I've been in London for a little over three weeks now and I've been fortunate to have experienced unseasonably nice weather here. My first week was a whirlwind of glamour and fashion. I had the fortunate opportunity to intern for Marchesa during London Fashion Week, to help them debut their first show outside of New York. I was able to touch and work on some amazing dresses, dress models, give my input on designs, and also meet some amazing and talented people. Oh, and yeah, I may have been around some pretty famous people.... Anna Wintour... just for an example. That experience created a great start to my London semester.

Me working on a skirt for Marchesa
Marchesa Dress.jpg

Right after London Fashion Week, the semester began for me at Central Saint Martins. It was scary and exciting all at the same time. What are the other students going to be like? Will I like them? How many of them will there be? Is this semester going to be hard? So many thoughts and questions were running through my head, but here's tip from me to you; don't let those thoughts hold you back. Dive feet first, take an adventure, and go passed your safety zone. I guarantee that you'll get an experience of a lifetime as well as stories to last a lifetime. I've already made some amazing friends from around the world as well as have some amazing stories! All within the three weeks that I've been here.

Me at Oxford Street
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Follow my blog to keep up today with my adventure studying abroad. I'm sure that I'll have lots to say while I'm here.

Apparel Design

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Hello and happy October! I am headed into week six of the school year and it is going by incredibly fast.

While I was still in high school, I remember hearing about my sister's Welcome Week experience during her first week of college at the U of M. Welcome Week is this incredible weeklong event held for first-year students. I'm a transfer student and my previous college didn't have a similar program. When I transferred to the U of M, I made the great decision to become a Welcome Week Leader for a few reasons.

First, since I transferred, I never got to experience Welcome Week as a freshman and it sounded really cool from my sister's experience. Second, I wanted to make sure the new students at the U of M felt welcomed and like they belonged. Lastly, I love meeting new people and being a leader, so it sounded like a perfect fit. Being a Welcome Week Leader was more than what I was expecting. Although it takes quite a bit of time dedication at the end of the summer, it was a blast and I made so many friends. It was such a blast, in fact, that I decided to do it two years in a row!

This past year during Welcome Week's College Day, I was able to connect with more than just first-year students. I had lunch with two architects -- one a current U of M professor, the other a former U of M professor. Meeting and chatting with them was spectacular. It was interesting to talk to professors on a more personal level about topics we all shared and felt passionate about: architecture and education. It was fun to hear their stories, and it was so cool that they wanted to hear mine as well. I got both of their business cards and I plan on taking the current professor's course next fall.

The U of M has so many wonderful opportunities out there. Being at such a large university, you never know when you might make a meaningful connection. I went into being a Welcome Week Leader to help first-year students make strong connections with their peers, and surprisingly, I was able to make two very beneficial connections of my own!

Thank you Professor Donofrio!!


Exploring Minneapolis

As important as getting to know what campus life is like at a school, it's also really important to think about the surroundings off campus! I've been assigned a project in one of my classes (ARCH 3711) that includes going to two places in Minneapolis for research of social behaviors. My two assigned places are Cowles Dance Center and the Guthrie Theater.

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Cowles led me downtown, where there are so many events and different restaurants to explore during a night in the city -- especially concert venues (Target Center, First Avenue, etc.) that hold shows for many big names in the music industry. There is also the Holidazzle Village in the winter that is a fun excuse to get out into the city for a night.

My visit to the Guthrie led me across the Stone Arch Bridge which surprisingly, I had never actually been to before, despite living right outside the Twin Cities my whole life. It was a beautiful walk and there is so much to see, especially entering the Mill District on the western side of the river. The Guthrie Theater building is open to the public and has some great views of the city. I recommend exploring it even if you're not going for a show!

Above is a photo I took from the campus side of the river, looking out to the city during sunset after my day of exploring. I recommend getting to know the areas outside of campus, because for some reason, I hadn't much yet. So get out there and explore!

Interior Design

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Work Hard, Play Hard

Happy October, everyone!

The semester is back in full swing and I'm definitely feeling it! Though a lot of my time is consumed with going to class, doing homework, and studying, I do find plenty of time to do things that I love. Minneapolis has so much to offer for busy college students and I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to live here and take advantage of them. Here are a few of my favorite things to do around the city:

---Walk around the lakes. After all, we are the Land of 10,000 Lakes! My favorite lake to walk and rollerblade around is Lake Nokomis. It's a short bus ride from campus and it's a great way to get your exercise in for the day.
---Catch a show at the Varsity. The Varsity Theatre is a great place to spend your Friday or Saturday night with friends. If you're interested in seeing what kind of events the Varsity offers, click here.
---Have a night on campus at Coffman Memorial Union. Gather up all of your friends and head onto campus to enjoy a night with other students! There are always plenty of events happening at Coffman. Again, check out the Student Unions and Activities page to view events!

Always remember to find a balance between schoolwork and your personal life. This was something that was very hard for me to learn when I first started college, but the older I get, the more I see how important it is to also focus on bettering yourself as a person and taking time out of your day to do something that you enjoy and that makes you happy!


Style On,
Retail Merchandising

Friday, October 3, 2014

Busy busy busy


Hello everyone!

It's been a while since my last post and even though we're only about five weeks into the school year, I've already been crazy busy.

This is most likely due to the fact that I am taking five design classes this semester: History of Graphic Design, Identity & Symbols, Packaging & Display, Advanced Typography, and Creativity, Idea Generation & Innovation. And, on top of classes, I've also joined two student groups here at the U of M this semester -- AIGA@UMN and NSAC (or the National Student Advertising Competition).

So basically, I live, eat, and breathe design. But I LOVE it.

Both of these are fantastic opportunities for enhancing your resume, design skills, and overall knowledge of design and how it plays out in the workplace. They're also both a lot of fun and a great way to meet new friends! The picture to the right is from the first AIGA meeting where people were playing Pantones Against Humanity (it's basically Cards Against Humanity, only design themed).

You can read more about the two student groups here and here.

Regardless, the U of M has 800+ student groups, so I promise if there's something you're interested in, there's a group for that. If not, you can create your own student group as well! Getting involved in activities and groups on campus is a fantastic way to meet people and really make the most out of your college experience.

Until next time!

Graphic Design