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College of Design

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Cool" Final Project

With only two weeks of class left, final projects and presentations are kicking into high gear. One of the biggest tasks I have yet to complete is a two-part final project for my surface design class. It's an extremely open ended assignment; the only requirements are that it include an "experimental" component (i.e. something you've never tried before) and a "planned" component that utilizes some other type of media. For my experimental portion I decided to try a new dyeing technique called "ice dyeing," where fabric is placed on a rack, covered with ice, and then sprinkled with dye powder. As the ice melts, the dye reaches the fabric at different rates and creates a really interesting effect. The technique is pretty unpredictable, so after trying a couple times I still came up with completely different results.

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For the next portion of the project, I plan to choose an an area from one of these fabrics, photograph it, and convert it into a color separation that I can use to create a visual identity system for a fictitious fabric store specializing in hand-crafted textiles. I plan to hand print business cards and product labels, as well as several other components. It's a pretty ambitious project, but I'm really looking forward to it!

Kate
Graphic Design





Big Papers and Cool Sources

Last week for my Cities, Citizens, and Community class, I turned in a 12-page paper titled "Minneapolis Hit Hard by Foreclosures, but Minorities Hit Harder: The Foreclosure Crisis in North Minneapolis". It was a very good paper to write, as I was able to learn about such a complex issue, such as the foreclosure crisis, and I got to learn about how it affected different areas and people in the Twin Cities. What was also fun about doing the research was that many of the sources I used were authored by University of Minnesota professors, one of them being Housing Studies Professor Jeff Crump! So that was pretty cool, knowing that I had truly reliable sources. Below I have pasted a bit from my introduction paragraph, if you're interested in reading. :)

"While the foreclosure crisis negatively impacted the economy and the U.S. as a whole, it also affected different groups of people in different ways. When compared to the rest of the Twin Cities, residents of North Minneapolis were disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis; North Minneapolis is located at the top of the City of Minneapolis, and it consists of the communities Near North and Camden. As a community with a greater percentage of racially and ethnically diverse households, residents of North Minneapolis experienced discrimination through the use of predatory subprime lending. The foreclosure crisis left North Minneapolis in disarray, but the city, as well as the state of Minnesota, has made efforts to alleviate the distress and to prevent further foreclosures."

I hope the rain doesn't get you down this week!

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Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain"

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


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Three More Weeks!!!

I cannot believe I have only three weeks until graduation! I am excited to be the first class to walk across the newly renovated Northrop auditorium. I have been trying to prepare to the best of my ability. I have my gown, cap and tassel and have been thinking about ordering a diploma frame. I am also excited to announce that I have accepted an intern position at BWBR! I cannot wait to start!

Until then, I have been developing my studio project pretty well. I have only two weeks until our final review for studio. Floor plans, elevations, section cuts, models and renderings are all underway! We have been having mock-up reviews every Friday for the past few weeks. These reviews have included musicians (since this is sound studio), acoustical designers, detail architects and more. Each one of them has helped us refine our building designs in a unique way.

Amanda and I took photos the other day for our AIAS National Chapter Leader of the Month award for being the Spring Quad Cochairs. We will be on National's website for May. Here is the photo we submitted:

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I hope everyone is getting excited for summer!

Until next time,
Jen
B.S. in Architecture



Monday, April 21, 2014

Runways and Interviews

Three weeks left until finals week and still so much more to do. This Wednesday is the WAM Elements: Design Competition and Runway Show! The run through orientation for the show is this afternoon, and I'm getting pretty excited for everything to start coming together! Another amazing thing happened as well, 2 of my classmates and I were interviewed by the Minnesota Daily about the show! Minnesota Daily isn't a highly renowned international publication by any means, but it still does have a presence around the campus and community, so it felt amazing to be asked to be interviewed for the show. Having all these experiences, doing the interview and doing runway shows, continue to reaffirm to me that I made the right decision in choosing the Apparel Design major. These are definitely things I love and would love to continue doing as a career.

Look for my article in the Minnesota Daily online and in the paper this Tuesday and don't forget to get your tickets to WAM Elements Design Competition and Runway Show! You can get your tickets here http://z.umn.edu/elements.

Here is a pic from the interview.

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Make sure to follow my blog at z.umn.edu/cdesblogs and also look for my pics on the UMNDesign Instagram!

Lee
Apparel Design


Internships & Accelerated Status

como.jpgEven though my time in Istanbul is coming to a close (17 DAYS!) and the pressure of final review looms over me, I can't help but be excited for this upcoming summer and semester! As you know all Landscape Design and Planning majors are required to have an internship in order to graduate, and I am excited to say I will be interning at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory this summer. I will be working in a variety of areas such as the Sunken Garden, North Garden, Palm Dome, Fern Room, Tropical Encounters, and the Victoria Water Platters. The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory has always been one of my favorite places to visit since I was a child. They have a great variety of animals and stunning gardens. Oh and did I mention that entry is FREE? They do have a suggested donation of $3 for adults and $2 for children to help with maintenance and upkeep costs, but regardless Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is a fun place you MUST check out. Besides being selected for an internship this summer, I am excited to say that I was accepted into the Accelerated Landscape Design + Planning track for this upcoming fall! As you may recall I earlier wrote about compiling my portfolio to include in my application and that by being accepted into the program I will be able to start my 1st year of Master's courses in my final year of the Landscape Design and Planning program. I am nervous about making the transition from undergraduate to graduate classes, but I am always searching for a challenge!

Theresa
Landscape Design & Planning

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What does HECUA mean?!

HECUA stands for Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs.

But who cares...

I do!

This next semester, in Fall 2014, I will be participating in HECUA's Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment program. It is an off-campus study program where I will be focusing on the real-world challenges of poverty, inequality, and social change. In-class learning is combined with out of class internships, making it a comprehensive, real-life applicable learning experience.

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This week I will be mailing in my Participation Agreement for HECUA :) Very exciting!

HECUA will be a good fit for me because of my goals in housing. I want my career to lead me to a place where I will be working with those who face racial discrimination and other societal obstacles, and helping them find and get situated in affordable, adequate housing.

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I urge you to check out the website at https://www.hecua.org/ and see how HECUA could benefit your learning. It is sweet that the University of Minnesota has partnered with HECUA, allowing for this program to contribute to my major credits in Housing Studies.

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


Officially Employed!

After a busy few weeks interviewing for summer graphic design positions around the cities, I am happy to announce that I've accepted an internship at the Minnesota Zoo! I'll be working on a lot of their promotional materials for the upcoming season, as well as a major rebranding project that they are undertaking this summer. I'm really excited to gain some hands-on experience with branding for a large organization, especially for one as fun as the zoo! I'll be working 30 hours a week from mid-May through August, which makes it a nearly full-time position. It'll definitely be an intense experience, but I have no doubt that it will be worth it! I'm looking forward to getting involved, learning a lot, and having a blast in the process.

Kate
Graphic Design

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The Job Search

My search for summer employment continues and it's getting very close to the end of the year. I'm so determined to find something involving interior design for the summer but I didn't expect it to be so difficult! Since I'll be home for the summer, I've been searching for places near my house and I was actually amazed by all the interior design places around me!
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My search started with Google and turned up with quite a few firms. My mom had got this magazine for me called Artful Living, it's a local magazine that features interior design, architecture, cooking, and fashion. The photo to the left is of the cover of the latest issue incase you want to check it out! They feature an online version on their website as well for you to take a look at! It's a huge modge-podge of things but it included a lot of names of interior design firms in the Twin Cities area!

After my research, it's time to start contacting the places. I'll be sending out my resume and portfolio, hopefully landing a summer position for myself! The Career & Internship Services is a resource at the U that can help students in their internship and job search. They can help you put together a resume and portfolio which increases the chances of landing a job because of your impressive portfolio! I'll be using their advice when I reach out to these companies.

It's getting closer to the end of my freshman year! Portfolio review is getting closer and closer and finals are approaching quickly too. As much as I want finals out of the way and to be able to enjoy the summer weather, I'm sad to see it coming to an end. I still have three years but it's amazing how quickly this first year has flown by! There's still a lot to do but I'll be making the most of the end of this year! Good luck to everyone on finishing up the year and wish me luck with my job search!

Megan
Interior Design

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Curveball

So, I have some not-so-great news to share.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the merchandising internship with Nordstrom. Of course, I was super bummed and disappointed in myself. I made it to the final round interviews and had gone through the 3 month process for nothing (or so it felt like at the time). I'll admit, I spent about 1 day feeling discouraged and sorry for myself.

Then I started to think of all that I had accomplished since initially applying for the position back in December. I had networked with numerous current employees, had several meetings with our career counselors, had the opportunity to speak with actual buyers at Nordstrom, and was in a group of 80 out of 1,400 to make it to the final round. Well that doesn't sound so bad, right? I started to take inventory of all that I had done and began to realize that although I didn't come out of this with an internship, I had learned so much about the process, and also about myself. I realized that feeling sorry for myself would not get me a job, so I picked myself up and started right back in with my job search.

I learned (and am still learning) a valuable lesson through this disappointment. There are always going to be obstacles and road blocks, whether it's with classes, job searches, or just life, but what matters is the action we take after encountering those obstacles. Are we going to feel sorry for ourselves or be proactive and take a different approach to reach our goals? I'm definitely going to try to take the latter approach, and encourage you all, no matter what you encounter, to do the same :)

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Stay Fabulous,
Katie

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kick Back & Relax

After being in the crazy, fast paced lifestyle of Istanbul for over a month, our Spring Break trip to Cappadocia was well needed. As much as I have come to love the city, I found myself missing the natural landscape and activities like hiking, swimming, and exploring. The first place we went was Ürgüp where we stayed in a cave hotel. The entire surrounding landscape varies greatly from Istanbul by being composed of villages that have carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits.
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The best part is that you are allowed to climb and explore them as you wish. As much fun as that was, my favorite activity there was the sunrise hot air balloon ride we took. I won't deny that I was extremely nervous, however it was the best experience of my life. Floating above a landscape that I'd never seen anything like, surrounded by many other balloons made the experience feel as if it was something out of a novel.
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After spending a few days there, we headed to Kuşadası to spend our time on the beachfront swimming and getting some sun (maybe too much sun). I loved relaxing and swimming in the clear, blue water of the Aegean Sea and taking a day trip to Ephesus. The trip to Ephesus not only sparked my interest because of the Library of Celsus but also because it contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated. I loved having the opportunity to walk through an active dig site and see excavation in process.
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Overall, my Spring Break trip was exactly what I need. It was a chance to have a small break from a stunning city to see more of a country that I did not know much about before coming. It's sad for me to think that I have only a few weeks left before I come back to Minnesota, so I will have to make the most of the limited time I have left!

Theresa
Landscape Design & Planning

Magazine Makeover

Since I first began the Graphic Design program here at the U, one of my biggest interests in the field has been editorial design. I'm specifically interested in the visual composition of books and magazines, and I would love to pursue a career at a publishing company or work in-house for a major magazine.

After nearly two years of looking forward to it, I'm finally getting the chance to work on an editorial project. In my Typography class we are currently redesigning the cover, contents page, and two spreads of an existing magazine. For my project I chose to focus on First for Women magazine, which is in serious need of some design TLC. The magazine's content primarily consists of health-related articles and promotes a positive lifestyle among its wide age-range of female readers. For the purposes of this project, we were instructed to alter the magazine's target audience to make it a bit more specific. I chose to go with a slightly older demographic, focusing on health-conscious, active women between the ages of 40 and 55.

The original aesthetic of the magazine was very overwhelming and cluttered, with bright colors, huge fonts, and loud graphic elements that changed on every page. My goal was to tone down the design, make it more organized, more legible, and much more pleasant to look at overall. I redesigned the masthead to serve dual purpose as a framing element and gave the magazine a fresh color scheme to emphasize the health aspect of the publication. Before and after images of the cover are shown below:

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Let me know what you think in the comments below! I'd love to hear your opinions!

Kate
Graphic Design




Planning ahead, and it feels so good!

Planning ahead, and it feels so good! Planning ahead, 'cause I understood. There's one perfect fit, and homework, this one is it. I am so so excited 'cause I'm planning ahead, hey, hey. (Do you get it? Did that work? Feel free to sing the previous lines to the wonderful tune of "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb)

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Anyways... We are coming down to it! There are only 5 weeks left in the semester, including finals week. And it's exciting, not because school is almost over, but because I feel like I have already learned so much, and there is still so much more to learn!

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Obviously, I'm very excited about my little calendar and all the planning ahead I've been doing with my highlighters.

I've got plenty of exams and papers due before school is over, but that's not a negative. I see it rather as a period of time when I get to learn so much about so many different things. In the next few weeks I have papers due on the following: the foreclosure crisis and its impact on North Minneapolis, the perception of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad, informal settlements in South Africa, and multi-family housing development in North St. Paul. As for exams, those will be on the various topics of global housing, management and development, residential construction, and international social work. Housing Studies is such a cool major as it is so diverse! I never get bored :)

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



Monday, April 7, 2014

WAM Student Design Competition

There is about 5 weeks left of classes before finals week. It' s kind of crazy to think that the semester only has that many weeks left! With the end of the semester just around the corner, this definitely means that extra work and motivation is needed to get there. Here's some exciting news; everyone in my studio class was accepted into the Weisman Art Museum, Elements: Student Design Competition! The show is inspired by the Weisman's exhibition, Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined, which is what my non-traditional materials project for my studio class was created for. The show is in 2 weeks and I still have to put on some finishing touches to my piece, on top of the other projects and homework for the my other classes. 5 weeks, till the end of the semester, seems like so little time, and then it sometimes it seems like forever.

The competition is on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 and you can go to the www.weisman.umn.edu site to find more information about the show.

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Make sure to follow my blog at z.umn.edu/cdesblogs and also look for my pics on the UMNDesign Instagram!

Lee
Apparel Design


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quad Came, Quad Saw, Quad Conquered

Hello again!

This past weekend the AIAS Midwest Quad event hosted by AIAS Minnesota took place in Minneapolis. Fourteen of the AIAS Midwest chapters were represented this past weekend at the conference. It was great to see old friends made at previous conferences and make new ones. There were many first time Quad attendees there and many veterans. Ryan Gann, our Midwest Quad Director from IIT, has been to seventeen AIAS conferences and his final one was ours. We received numerous compliments from our guests including that they liked the hands on approach to our track sessions. We mixed networking with professionals, guest presentations, construction tour, firm tours, technology workshops, etc. We also were complimented on our dance - many said this was one of their top, if not favorite, AIAS conferences they have attended. The Beaux Arts Ball, themed 'White Out Brite Out' was the event everyone was waiting for. Even Goldy made an appearance!

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We provided neon party favors, a photo booth with colorful and creative props, black lights and an amazing DJ. University of Minnesota alumn and now public interest design leader, John Cary, was our keynote speaker during the ball. He gave a thoughtful and inspiring presentation on designing with intention (designing for the user by the user). He ended his speech with a surprise costume for the ball - an Evel Knievel outfit. 4

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The photo below is from the Council of Presidents Meeting. The national AIAS president, chapter presidents, vice presidents and future members interested in a leadership position attended.

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The event was an amazing success and I am glad all had a wonderful time. Now, back to focusing on studio.

Until next time,
Jen
B.S. in Architecture

About A Month To Go!

Here we are, a month away from the end of school! I'm almost done with my freshman year of college and I really don't know if I'm happy or sad about it. I guess it's just a big mix of emotions! One-fourth of the way done with college!
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This last week was quite the week for me. I returned from spring break with a nice fever to start off the week back at school. Being sick at school was definitely one of my biggest worries leaving home but with the help of Boynton Health Services, I'm alive and well to tell you all about my experience! I ended up with a fever of 103 degrees and ended up going to urgent care in Boynton where I was tested for a few things. I instagrammed a nice picture of the doctors office (to the right) while I waited for some results. I was given medication and started improving quickly and after a few days of waiting for lab results, it turns out I had some weird form of strep. I felt completely better two days after starting the medication and it was the biggest relief to have that sickness go away. Now I guess I know I can survive being sick at college! Now everything is well and I'm back to being healthy.

Finals are coming up along with portfolio review so it's going to be a very busy last month of school but I'm just looking forward to summer and nice weather! I'm also still on the job hunt for summer employment in a job in interior design which is another thing on my list of to-dos but if I manage my time well enough, this last month will hopefully be a piece of cake. I've had some fun visiting my friends at their colleges these last few weekends. It's been really fun and it's interesting to see the differences between each school, I definitely suggest visiting friends when you're all off in college! Not only is it good to see a familiar face but the chance to experience different places is so interesting. But now after my little time of travels, it's time to hunker down and get to work on projects, papers, and studying!

Good luck to everyone as we all finish up the school year! We'll make it to summer, don't worry!

Megan
Interior Design