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College of Design

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Changing Colors on Campus

Hey Everyone!

We are already half way into October and getting close to midterms, which means my schedule has been getting busy. Between various projects, assignments, and papers, I have been working hard these past few weeks. The fall weather and changing leaves have helped make this hard work worth it. The campus in the fall is one of my favorite things about going to the U of M -- all the deep reds, oranges and yellows against the buildings are so beautiful.

Pattee Hall

While I have been busy studying, it is nice to have a break and take advantage of the beautiful weather and sights. Around campus, there are many different places to walk and enjoy the outdoors and various fall activities. I love to walk down by the river or over to the Stone Arch Bridge. The views of the river and city are especially scenic with the changing leaves this time of year! Other fun activities include going to the apple orchard, carving a pumpkin or visiting the University’s Landscape Arboretum. Located about 30 minutes southwest of the city, the arboretum is free for all university students and has wonderful gardens and displays. They also sell the university’s own apples on site, including my favorite: the Honeycrisp. I hope to get out to the arboretum sometime this fall. Hopefully you all are enjoying this picturesque fall weather as much as I am!

That’s all for now,

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Finding Balance

Fall semester is in full swing, which means that my days are getting busier and busier. I used to dislike being busy, because I liked the flexibility that comes with having a lot of free time. Now, I think I actually enjoy having a lot of places to be and projects to finish, which is weird and new for me. I guess I like working! That’s probably a good thing, as long as I don’t overwork myself.

Right now, I’m getting further along on creating my senior thesis, which is a 16-page paper I’ll be writing and designing a book for by the end of the semester. It’s a lot of research, and research-oriented writing—which is definitely not my style. I much prefer a tone that’s more informal and relatable, like what I use on this blog. I understand that academics aren’t really the place for a personal narrative, but that’s just the kind of story I’d rather read and write.

Thankfully, some of the research I’ll be conducting for my thesis will involve collecting stories from people, and I’m looking forward to working on that! I know that I want to collect personal testimonies from people, but at the moment my actual research topic isn’t defined clearly enough for me to start collecting that data. I still need to narrow down my thoughts and figure out what I want to say with this paper—essentially, I still need to write my thesis statement! And I’ve got time, certainly, but not too much.

In the mean time, I’m still getting out and taking breaks to keep myself from burning out on my work. I stopped by Adele’s out in Excelsior for some custard (which was delicious), and it’s a really cute place! I’d definitely recommend it, if you ever head out to the southwest suburbs. They'll close for the winter at the end of November, so if you want to try it before spring you'll need to go soon!

That’s all for now! I hope you’re all having a nice October.


Graphic Design

Sunday, October 23, 2016

One Down!

Hello again!

Since my last post, my first studio project of the year has been completed!! I've included some renderings to show you what me and my partner, Hanna, created.

We were tasked with designing an 800 sq. ft. maximum pop-up retail space. We were given the choice of three high fashion designers, and we selected Rodarte. We had to take this complex brand and design a pop-up store that would reflect them, their style and brand, and their work.

We created a design that would show the contrast between the light, feminine elements that are the root of their work, with the dark, manipulated twist Rodarte's designs take. The main feature of our design was a gradient from the front to back of the store which went from light to dark. It was expressed through the glass that creates the structure, the clothing that was featured in the store, the frequency of neon lighting, and the use of live and dead flowers.

It was a really fast-paced project and very abstract. This allowed us (and forced us) to be really creative with our ideas really quickly. We weren't given many limitations in this project which left it very open to interpretation and led to a bunch of really different and unique ideas within the class. It was great to see everyone's final designs!

And with that, the first project of my final year is complete! On to the next one...

Until next time,
Interior Design

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall Internship

Hey there!

This semester I will be interning at WSI sports. WSI is a sports/active wear company here in Eagan, Minnesota. You may have seen some of their products if you watched the Vikings vs. Seahawks game this past January as they produced the cold weather gear for both teams! Everything is made in house, so I get to put my hands in a little bit of everything. It’s so cool to be able to watch the entire process.

I’ve only been with WSI for 4 weeks, and I’ve already learned so much, like how to spread and cut fabric and how to bundle the pieces to be sent out for assembly! I’ve also gotten to sit in on an R&D meeting. This isn’t a fetch-coffee type of internship, and I am so grateful. I am a hands-on learner, so it has been really helpful to apply what I have been learning in the classroom to  a real-world situation. A huge thank you goes out to Dr. Lucy Dunne for getting me in-contact with WSI!

(Photo Curtsey of Alpha Rho Chi-Mnesicles)

If you’re looking for an internship check out GoldPass.


Apparel Design

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Perks of Papers

Hi everyone!

We're officially a month into the school year, I can't believe how fast the time has flown by!

I'm really learning a lot here in London. All of my courses here cater more towards the business aspect of my major, and it's really insightful to learn about everything through a global lens. It's mid term season, and I'm trying to stay proactive! All of my courses have papers instead of tests, so I have 5 papers due in the next couple of weeks. It's a lot, but I'm excited about it. Let me explain... in my International Marketing class, there have been students in past semesters that have had their papers published in journals. In two of my other classes, I'll be able to use my papers as resume builders. All of the papers I'm writing in the next week explore topics related to my major in one way or another. It's an exciting learning process for me in "professional" writing, if you will. I feel like these papers are forcing me to learn about the business world beyond my classroom, which is great. I think the knowledge I gain from these papers will really come in handy for me when I'm interviewing for internships and jobs down the line.

The program I'm on is called Study & Intern in London and it's through CAPA: The Global Education Network. I highly suggest checking it out if you're looking for a study abroad experience that's more than just lectures and tests. Click here if you want to learn more about it!

Retail Merchandising

Friday, October 14, 2016

Physical Computing and the Internet of Things Collaborative

Hello all,

As we start making our way through the last two-thirds of the semester, I wanted to share an amazing opportunity with you all.  The Physical Computing and Internet of Things Collaborative allows you to play with Arduinos, Little Bits, and much much more for a whole hour and a half on Friday afternoons!  What gets better than that you ask?  The fact that free treats and coffee are also involved!

At this collaborative, you get to spend time with some awesome people, building mini prototypes and having lots of fun.  If you are interested in learning more about it, or would like to join the mailing list, you can do so here.  What makes this collaborative so awesome, is the fact that our professor is one of the coolest people you will ever meet.  Professor Lana Yarosh loves to get new people involved in our collaborative and help their dreams become a reality!  If this sounds like something you would love, you should definitely look into coming to the collaborative and checking it out!  

Until next time, I'll see all you designers at home (Rapson).

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Senior Thesis: Getting Started

Hello again!

My senior year is quickly in full swing now with projects. During senior year, the interior design program has a fall semester research class, in which the class collectively writes an in-depth thesis, and a spring semester studio in which each student completes the design portion of the thesis.

Right now, I'm in the midst of the research course. We have received the information on our project; we will be designing a primary care clinic for HCMC to be located in the TractorWorks Building in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. We've all been researching our designated portions of the thesis. I've been researching building codes and infection control and was also assigned as a member of the team to complete Chapter One. This week, I got to go on a visit to the site (pictures included) to see the space that will actually be turned into the clinic.

This space will be a challenge given all the columns, which should make for some interesting design solutions between the class! I'm excited to see the different things the class comes up with. We will be having the same basis of information from the written thesis, and the same project briefing information, but to see the variety of design solutions that will come out of the class is always very interesting.

I'll be sure to keep updating the blog on the progress of our thesis, and at the end of the year, I'll be able to share my completed design of the clinic. It will be a long process, but with thorough research and a semester of consciously designing, I hope to share a beautiful and thoughtful clinic design!

Until next time,
Interior Design

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Day at the Career Fair

In the four (coming on five) years that I’ve been at the University of Minnesota, I have never attended a career fair before now. When I first began my studies in graphic design, I was way too intimidated by the “professional real world” to venture to the career fair. When I finally felt I was ready to attend last year, I checked out the employers who would be attending the St. Paul career fair and sadly did not see much in the way of marketing or design.

Fortunately, this year had more in the way of marketing options—particularly the local advertising firm Colle+McVoy. I’ve heard many good things from people who work there, and the work they create is very nice. I went into the career fair hoping to learn more about what they look for in a job applicant, and after speaking with their recruiter, I was able to get some good advice!

The most important takeaway from my conversation for the recruiter was that you should always be proud of everything in your portfolio, and it should be there for a reason—not just to fill up empty space. They’ve seen portfolios that look fantastic except for one project that isn’t nearly as good, and they’ll say that the applicant needs a better eye for determining the difference between successful and unsuccessful design before they’re ready to work for them.

That sounds pretty scary to me, honestly, because what if I include something thinking it’s a good piece when someone else might think it’s bad? I think the best way to prevent that sort of situation from taking place is to make sure that you can explain why you think it’s successful. If you can talk it out and make a good argument for your work, then it shows you have good verbal skills and confidence in what you do, even if your skills still could use improvement. And, let’s be real, our skills will always be improving as long as we keep working. It’s kind of intimidating to think about, but I won’t let that stop me from putting myself out there.

Until next time!

Graphic Design

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

First Studio Project Complete

Hey everyone!

This past week I had my first review of this year in Studio. For this project, we analyzed a site on campus called The Knoll. This is an interesting spot because it used to be the main entrance and green space of the campus prior to the Northrop Mall area.  Our project was separated into three parts; first we had to analyze the physical conditions of the site, then look at the emotional and experiential qualities of the space and finally create a model of a portion of the space.

While reviews can be intimidating, overall I find them very helpful and engaging. They are a great way to learn how to synthesis and present your ideas and then receive feedback. This is one thing I love about design school. You are able to have this open dialogue between students and faculty that furthers the design process and thinking.

Landscape Design and Planning

Monday, October 3, 2016

New Year, New Blogger

Hey there! 

I’m Quinessa (it's like Vanessa with a Q). I'm a new blogger for the apparel design program. I am from Saint Paul, MN. My interest in apparel started when I was very young, but a sewing class I took in high school really sold me on it! As a third year apparel design student, I can’t wait to share with you all stories from the studio! I just recently added a minor in social justice, that I am excited to start this semester. I needed a break from all that designing, and being involved in civil rights is important to me. If you're interested in adding a Minor check this out!

(Hey that's me!)

Outside of class, I will be interning at WSI sports, but more to come on this in a later post. I am also Vice President of the Mnesicles Chapter of Alpha Rho Chi, the co-ed, professional Design fraternity on campus. We focus on projects to build our portfolios, expand our networks, giving back to the community and bonding as a brotherhood. We'll be celebrating 100 years of our chapter this Saturday! Here's a picture of some of my brothers at recruitment this year.

If you’d like to follow along on my apparel adventures, then stay tuned!