Cdes header

College of Design

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Today is the last day of the semester! Hope everyone survived their finals. I know for me, this break is much needed. I’m envisioning full nights of sleep and stress free days. Of course, I’ll be doing lots of work over the break. I’ll be working my job, as well as working on my collection to put all the finishing touches to it. My to-do-list is pretty extensive for what I have planned over break, but without the added pressures of having other classes on top of it, I’ll be able to put my full concentration on making my collection the best that it can be. We’ve received the posters and postcards from the printers, and we’ve already started posting some of the posters. Our website is live and tickets are now available for purchase. Everything is coming together, and I can’t even begin to describe the excitement that I have! I promise that this will be an amazing show, so you better hurry and get a ticket before they are all sold out! That’s my short update for now. Everyone have a great break! Travel safely and happy holidays!

Make sure to follow and like the Identity 2016 Fashion Show on social media.
Instagram: identity2016
Twitter: @identity_2016
Go to the website to buy your tickets now!

Also follow my blog at to keep up to date with me, and follow our Instagram to see some more pics


Apparel Design

Finals Week is Here

Can you believe the last week of classes has ended? Each semester seems to go by faster than the last. Studying for final exams, writing papers and working on projects for all of my classes can become stressful at times. I find making a checklist helps me organize and prioritize all the dates and assignments. Just the simple act of crossing off an assignment I accomplished is very rewarding and motivating! Another thing that I find useful during final, is taking quick breaks. Whether it is doing a quick workout, or going to grab coffee with friends, this time off can help me relax and then refocus once I start studying again. 

During finals week, I spend a lot of time at the library. My favorite spot is McGrath Library on the St. Paul campus because it is often very quiet and has big windows that let the light in.  Many of the libraries, including Walter, Biomedical, and Wilson have extended hours throughout finals to allow students a place to study 24/7. Another cool thing the libraries offer is stress relieving study break activities. Each library has unique activities that students can do. Some activities include free coloring sheets like this one, free chair massages at Biomed or building with LEGOs and kinetic sand at Walter. 

Check out more fun activities at the UMN library website here!

Landscape Design and Planning

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ready or Not Here We Come

 Finals are coming up this week! You can always tell when finals are coming up, because everywhere you look you’ll see students frantically trying to finish up their projects and working to get as much information in their brains as possible. I’m currently writing this post in the studio, as I am also one of those students frantically trying to finish up my project, which in this case is my senior collection.

I remember when I first started the program, creating my senior collection was just a thought in the back of mind, and it felt so far away. How has it come to the point where I’m about to present it to the Apparel Design faculty? Looking at my collection, I can’t help but think about all of the things I’ve learned since entering this program, and now it’s all coming together for this one thing. At the time you are taking a class you may not understand why you are learning what you are learning, but trust me there is a reason for every class you take.

Working in the Apparel Design Studio
My collection still has a lot of work left before I feel ready to present it, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to pull it together. I already have four looks that are almost done, and I’m getting the base for my fifth put together now. Even though I still have a lot of work left to do, I know that I’m not alone. My fellow classmates are also working diligently to get their collections together. Their hard work and determination helps keep me going and motivates me to continue to push my limits. I can’t wait to see the results of everyone’s hard work when we present next week.

I also have an update about our Senior Fashion Show. The website is up and running, so go check it out. Here is the link to the website, Ticket sales will be up soon! Don’t forget to follow us on social media.

Instagram: identity2016
Twitter: @identity_2016

Make sure to follow my blog at to keep up to date on the craziness that is about to happen this semester. Also, follow our Instagram to see some more pics


Monday, December 21, 2015


Hello again!

As an update from my last post, the results of the next round of the Steelcase NEXT Student Competition have been revealed and I was the lucky recipient of an Honorable Mention! This means I don't compete in the final round but my project was selected as one of the top designs from the submissions from schools across the nation. It was selected for this honor as one of 5 from over 700 designs and 60 different programs. There are 5 semi-finalists that will now go to present their projects to the judges in person and from there, one person will be the big winner!

I'm proud of myself for receiving an honorable mention and have received a lot of congratulations from the faculty and my classmates. Everyone is very excited for me and I feel so much support. I'm happy I can make my school so proud!

Overall, this has been a crazy semester with tons of work but it has been very rewarding because I've learned so much. Just last week I had three projects due, which shows how exciting my semester has been! But my classmates and I have all made it through with a lot of new knowledge. And now, winter break is so close! There's just a couple things left to do. I have construction documents due coming up (pictured to the right) that are also requiring a lot of time but they are something that I'm learning a lot from. They look like a mess but it's an organized mess! They are reviewed and redlined and then I make whatever corrections are pointed out and highlight them so I know what I've fixed. After those are complete and turned in, I will have just one final and then it's winter break! Another semester almost complete, it's flown by!

Hang in there everybody!
Interior Design

Friday, December 18, 2015

That's All Folks!

Hello everyone!

This past week was an absolute whirlwind, and now that it's over I'm just starting to process everything that happened—and perhaps most importantly, the fact that I am officially done with school! With that being said this is my last blog post—so sad!

Our Portfolio Show in the Rapson Courtyard was a massive success!
The 3.5 years I spent here at the University of Minnesota have been the most transformative, challenging, and fun years of my life. It was such an amazing experience to see everything that we have worked so hard on for the last 4 months (and 3.5 years or more) come together during our Portfolio and Senior Thesis Exhibition shows this week.

Overall, I was so incredibly impressed and proud of all of my fellow seniors. During and after the shows we had some time to reminisce about our time here and upon thinking back to our very first days in the program we couldn't believe just how far we all had come. Even more so, it was really exciting to realize that over these last 3.5 years, we really have all become like a family. We have all been with each other each step of the way; through all of the blood, sweat, tears, late nights, and hard work.
Our Thesis Exhibitions are on display in
the Larson Gallery in St. Paul through Friday 12/18.

As for what's next, most of us (myself included) are unsure at this point, but I just know that with all of the talent of our class, we will all go on to do some truly amazing things.  To check out all of our work, make sure to visit Specifically, my finished portfolio can be found at and the online version of my thesis exhibition can be found at

Well, this is goodbye! Good luck and Happy Holidays!


Graphic Design

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December Already!

Happy December!

I said this last time, but WOW time is flying! There are only two weeks until The Big Final Review. We have been working on this project for six weeks already, so we have explored a number of different elements within the project. Our first two projects of the semester were only about two weeks long. When they are so short you don't have time to do a lot of exploration and there is really no time to change ideas. So, this long project has been great and we have explored the site, neighbourhood, history, and individually-different aspects of our Bath Houses. Now that we are down to the final two weeks, it is time to start tying everything together and making final drawings, renderings, and models! These next few weeks will be crazy busy, but it is always so incredible to complete a project you have been working hard on for weeks. I can't wait to see the work my peers and I finish! Here are photos of work during the process:


See you in two weeks, and in the meantime, don't forget to check us out on Instagram!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CDES Mentorship

Hello everybody!

Who else is ready for Winter Break?! With the holiday decorations and music starting back in November, it is hard to believe that break is finally (almost) here! I find it helpful to have fun activities planned relative to my major…it makes studying seem much more meaningful to me!

I recently was able to meet with my College of Design Mentor. She is one of the managers for Product Design at Target. I have had an amazing experience so far with this program…I would highly recommend it! This opportunity has allowed me to meet so many retail professionals and see how each company runs their design team. I wish I would have known about this program earlier…here is the link for those that are interested!

My mentor is actually a University of Minnesota College of Design Alum. It is great to hear how she felt prepared through her coursework to enter the real world. As an experienced professional, she has amazing advice to give to people trying to start out in the field of retail. Her time spent with Target has evolved from entry-level design positions to senior managing roles. The flexibility and the wide variety of knowledge she has had due to her varying positions has allowed her to understand multiple levels of the industry.

This week we decided to meet and I had the chance to tour the Target Product Development Headquarters. They are currently in the process of moving the headquarters, so I was able to see both spaces. The first office area was much more of the traditional office space. The departments were clearly separated and each designer had their own cubicle space. The newer space was designed with designers in mind. It is a much more cross-functional and collaborative space. There are no longer cubicles and the office space is much more open. There are brighter lights, higher ceilings, and ah-mazing views of downtown Minneapolis. Who wouldn’t be inspired in that kind of space?! It was awesome to get a chance to see the varying levels of finished products. Everything from textiles to finished products are available at your fingertips!


Monday, December 14, 2015

The Pressure Is On

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Whether you were with family or with just friends celebrating, I hope that you got some good food with some good company. I’m one of those people that takes advantage of the vacated campus as an opportunity to finish work. Having people in the studio is great for the company, but once your projects start to become bigger, the space for your work is much more appreciated. An empty studio where I can spread out and work is definitely a cherished commodity, especially at this point of the semester, when everyone is working on their final projects. 

I finally started cutting into my final fabric, and it’s always such an experience that fills me with anxiety. Fabric is expensive and sometimes is only available in limited supply, so cutting it always feels like a game of Russian roulette, where I get nervous and anxious that a mistake will happen that I can’t take back. I’m slowly making progress on getting the final looks together. I’m hoping by the end of this weekend to have at least 2 complete looks finished. Only 2 weeks left until everything will have to be done! This is definitely crunch time! I know everyone is feeling the pressure, so if you run into an apparel designer around this time, please be kind :)

Hand Pleated Cummer Bund Waistband
Net Bustier Base

Here are some pictures of my work in progress!

I also wanted to update everyone that our social media for the fashion show is up and running! Make sure to check us out on Facebook (, Twitter (@identity_2016), and Instagram (identity2016)! Like us and share us! Our website should be up soon, so keep a look out for that!! 

Make sure to follow my blog at to keep up to date on the craziness that is about to happen this semester. Also, follow our Instagram to see some more pics

Apparel Design

Friday, December 11, 2015

Another Project Complete

Another week down and another project complete! In my studio class, we recently completed the design development phase of the NEXT design I've been mentioning throughout the semester. I'm including some renderings I created from my design for you to take a look at! The project is a coworking office space designed for a fictional company, NEXT, that uses Steelcase products.

We presented to industry professionals and our projects were all sent out to select 2 winners to be sent on to the next round of the competition at the national level. Mine was one of the ones selected from my class, so I've been really busy trying to perfect it and prepare it for the next phase and it's off getting judged right now!

We have about 3 weeks left in the semester and still so much to do! Although this HUGE part is out of the way there are still many projects going on for me. We are now doing the construction documents for the NEXT office and developing the lighting and electrical systems within it. I'm also building upon my work on a small retail design for some projects in class. We're so close to the end of another semester and I'm a little hesitant because of the work still left to do, but things will always get done and soon enough it'll be winter break and time to enjoy the holidays!
Open Office

Interior Design

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Accelerated Program Application Process

This semester I am beginning to start my application for the accelerated program offered in my Landscape Design and Planning (LDP) major. The accelerated program is a great opportunity that allows me to begin my first year of graduate school during my senior year. Instead of completing the undergraduate LDP and Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) in 7 years, I would be able to complete it in 6 years. The MLA program continues the curriculum of the LDP through broader exploration of landscape ecology and systems, as well as providing extensive studio experience.

Included in the application process are two essays - a statement of interest and a critical issue essay, three letters of recommendation, as well as a portfolio. A portfolio is an opportunity to show your artistic and design ability through your work. The portfolio is also an opportunity to represent your own personal style through the overall design and layout. With the application due in January, I have been working hard gathering all of my important projects from many of my classes and then organizing them into my portfolio using a program called Illustrator. The courses in the LDP major prepare you well by having many design projects that can be used in the portfolio. Projects in a couple classes have been carried over to subsequent classes, so I know have both hand and computer rendered illustrations depicting my designs. I am excited to continue working on my application this semester and hopefully being able to be a part of the accelerated program next year. To learn more about this you can visit the Landscape Architecture homepage.


Landscape Design and Planning

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fusion + Fashion

Another week of the semester done and it's been a busy one. Projects due dates are coming up, which means crunch time! I took some time off this week to get out in the world by attending IIDA's Fusion + Fashion event. It's a HUGE event they hold every year in which groups (students, firms, etc.) create outfits using construction materials. There are some crazy outfits and it's so amazing to see what these groups come up with!

A group of students from my class entered this year (outfit pictured on the right). Notice that it is literally constructed from a chair... crazy! They also used wall covering for the dress.

The big winner was a group from Aveda. I'm not sure exactly what theirs is made of but look for yourself, it's amazing (video on left). There are a lot of winning categories including most unique material and best stage presence. Overall it's a super fun event and great for a night out! It was an awesome break from working on projects and I'd definitely encourage people to go for a fun night out in the upcoming years.

As for school, work on projects continues. I look forward to sharing my office design with you in the upcoming weeks for the Steelcase NEXT Competition, it's coming along!

Until next time!
Interior Design

Friday, December 4, 2015

You Never Know Who You’re Going to Run Into

I hope the past couple of weeks have been going well for everyone. In the past couple of weeks I’ve completed my patterns for my collection and have done all of my fittings. Everything has gone well and I’m excited to begin the final stages of creating my collection. The next steps will be to begin collecting all my final fabrics, creating all my embroideries, dye my fabrics, amongst many other things. Information for the show is in the works, and our website will be going up soon, so be sure to be on the lookout for that!

Joe Vecchiarelli
Yesterday I volunteered to represent the College of Design booth at the Sewing and Quilt Expo at the Double Tree in Bloomington. Quilting isn’t a thing that I’m personally interested in, but it was fun to talk to people that have the same knowledge of sewing and crafting that you do. I got to learn many new things from the people that stopped to talk. I even got to meet some alums from when the College of Design was the College of Home Economics. It’s so nice to see how happy they were at the developments the program has made.

Joe fitting a woman for a custom mannequin
One of the biggest highlights of the event was meeting Joe Vecchiarelli. He is the president of Fashion Supplies Inc. and he was manning their booth. I got to talk to him and learned that he is a fit specialist and works with the shows Dancing with the Stars and Fashion Star. He learned his patternmaking and fit skills through mentorships, which one major one was with Helen Joseph Armstrong, who is the author of the textbook that we use for patternmaking. It was amazing to hear that he learned it straight from the source. You never know who might meet whenever you go to these kinds of events. Even though this sewing and quilt expo may not have been originally something I thought I would have been interested in, I’m glad I went, or else I would not have been able to meet him.

Those are the updates that I have for now. Continue to follow my blog at at to keep up to date on all that is about to happen this semester. Also, follow our Instagram to see some more pics

Apparel Design

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Home Stretch

This is it.

This is the home stretch, folks. Our senior show is officially a week and a half away, and I have to say, I have a lot of mixed emotions about it!

I'm happy because graduation means no more homework, papers, or exams, but I'm sad because I'm going to miss all of the great friends I have made and all of the fantastic professors I have met over my time at the University.

I'm proud because of all of the amazing work myself and fellow seniors have created and amassed and I'm amazed at the amount of time, effort, and hard-work that has gone into our educations.

To see the fruits of our labor, make sure to come see us all at at LAYERS, our Senior Portfolio Show and Thesis Exhibition on December 9th from 5:30pm-8:30pm in the Rapson Courtyard on the East Bank campus here at the University of Minnesota and December 11th from 6pm-9pm in the Larson Art Gallery on the St. Paul Campus.

But most of all, I'm excited because I now get to move onto the next step in my life and use all of the knowledge, memories, and experiences I have accumulated over the past 3.5 years out in the real world.

Making the decision to transfer to the University of Minnesota 4 years ago was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has played a part in this chapter of my life and has helped me progress towards my upcoming graduation.

Until next time,

Graphic Design

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Can you believe Thanksgiving has passed? Here's a photo of what designers do at Thanksgiving! It's nearly time to start buckling down with finals, and before you it the holidays will be with us! This semester has been a whirlwind. Some weeks are crazy busy and I hardly have time to think, and others are scattered with a few assignments and I can catch up on sleep. Each week brings me new opportunities and knowledge that is taking me one step closer to graduation.

This past week I met my new mentor, and it was incredible. Every year, the College of Design holds the Mentorship Program for upperclassmen. This allows each discipline the opportunity to connect with a professional in their field. Being that I am a super senior, I have had three mentors. Its been very interesting because each mentor has been very different. Their backgrounds, interests, future goals –all match mine in one way or another, but it has allowed me to see that a career in architecture or design can bring me different places in my future.

My newest mentor has a background in human factors and ergonomics and studied architecture for her masters. She is a planning and strategies consultant rather than an architect, which I think is so interesting. I hear from architects pretty often, so I am really excited to hear about her field of design. We bonded over the focus on humans in design and sustainability. Both of these topics are something we are incredibly passionate about, and what we feel is often lacking in the built environment. I think my third mentor might be the perfect mentor for me :)