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College of Design

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Relaxation Station

Hello hello!

I'm officially done with my study abroad semester -- can you believe it? The time really flies. Congrats to you all on finishing yet another semester!
A Light Art Gallery/Coffee shop I went to for a relaxing study break!

I always like to take some serious time during break to relax. It's so important for your health to not continuously carry around stress, which seems to always be the case during the semester. An obvious way to do this is to catch up on sleep! However, after taking a health & wellbeing course at the U my first year, I've really come to understand and appreciate the value of meditation.

It's so important to just tune out the world for a little bit and relax. Here is the link to a meditation I did during that class. There are also a ton of different videos on youtube with varying lengths and relaxing sounds. It can be intimidating at first because it's actually really hard to stop your mind from roaming, but it's the effort that matters and it will get easier with time.

Enjoy your relaxing break and happy holidays!

Retail Merchandising

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Senior Thesis Complete!

The semester has come to a close, and so has my book! I finished my design with enough time to spare to have it printed in a hardcover book at Target's Photo Center, rather than binding it myself (which is definitely not my specialty). I was nervous about putting this project I had spent so much time on in someone else’s hands, but the print quality was excellent and I was so relieved that it came out well.

I had been struggling with the book’s design for the past few weeks, but the final design came together piece by piece. My thesis topic is about gender representation in the media and how important it is to have stereotype-breaking characters in popular titles, rather than perpetuating generalized idealizations of men and women. I wanted to focus on the spectrum between “male” and “female,” and how those who fall between those categories are underrepresented in the media, so I wanted to make the color purple—the middle ground between blue and pink—the main element of my design.

I incorporated images from TV shows, video games, and books that I researched while looking for examples of positive representation, and I added spot elements of purple to these images to emphasize that these were the kind of characters that need to be more visible throughout the media. Originally, the purple was only present in the images and in highlighted text, but I felt that using the purple only in these areas was too subtle. The color was meant to be used as a highlight, but when it was used so sparsely in a sea of white, it made these elements of representation feel very small. The point of my thesis is to argue that this representation needs to be more present throughout society, and so I decided to add purple on the outer edge of every page as a way to normalize its presence in my design in the same way that gender representation should be normalized in the media.

That explanation was… a lot longer than I intended it to be! I think that kind of goes to show how much thought and work went into this design. Those two paragraphs only covered the use of color in this book—I didn’t even go into the other elements of design I incorporated! It’s not easy work, but I really like what I’m doing. Graphic design is just… really, really cool.

So long for now! I’ll see you all next semester.


Graphic Design

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Firm Tour

Hey Everyone!

This past week I had the opportunity to visit the firm WSB& Associates through the mentor program that the College of Design offers. My mentor as well as others in the program who work at WSB invited us to their firm. We were able to tour the firm and to take a look at some of their current projects.
WSB headquarters in Minneapolis (US Builders Review)

WSB is a consulting and design firm that focuses on engineering, planning, environmental and construction services. They have a small division of landscape architects that work alongside other divisions within the firm. This was my first tour of a firm, and it was really interesting to see what a day in the life of a landscape architect would be like. Along with the tour, we had the chance to present our final projects to a few of our mentors' colleagues and receive feedback. While slightly intimidating, it was a great experience and their comments were very helpful. This tour was a great way to end the semester and start break!

Hope you all enjoy the time off! See you in a few weeks!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Internship comes to an end

As the semester wrapped up, so did my internship at WSI Sports. By the end, I got to do some pretty important jobs, from cutting, to helping out at a photoshoot. I even got to design a look for a show they have coming up in January, called Icelantic On The Rocks. I’ll be working on creating this look over winter break.
(behind the scenes of the fall '17 photoshoot)

Being at WSI has definitely made me more self-assured in the studio. Knowing how to spread, cut, and knowing what a marker looks like made me a little more comfortable when it came time to do it in class. Because I’d seen this stuff before, it wasn’t so scary trying it out for myself.

The team at WSI trusting me to do so many imperative jobs made me confident in my work ability and in my skills as a designer. I’ve learned a lot of practical things during my internship, but I think confidence is the most important thing I’ve gained. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work at WSI. If you’re interested in finding an internship, visit GoldPass.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ideation Sessions

Very often in the product design major, we find ourselves in ideation sessions, thinking creatively about solutions to a problem.  This past week, our program director Barry Kudrowitz and some of us students had the privilege of teaching some nursing students about creative problem solving and idea generation.  Through this quick 4 hour session, the groups of nurses got to come up with a bunch of ideas and narrow it down to one that they eventually were able to prototype using a wide variety of materials. At the end, each group presented their prototype in the form of a skit. One group even had a costume involved in their skit/prototype which was fantastic.  Getting to see a group of nurses grow creatively and help come up with solutions to better the nurse-patient relationship was overwhelmingly amazing.  If you want to learn more about a class that focuses solely on this idea of creativity and idea generation, you can click here for more details!

Thanks ya'll!  I'll see ya designers at home (Rapson).


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Things I've Missed

Hello everybody!

As my semester abroad is almost over, I'm so sad to leave. However, there are a lot of things I'm unbelievably excited for back on campus next semester!

One of the things I'm most excited for is the snow. I know that after a week of being back at school I may think otherwise, but I'm looking forward to it actually feeling like winter for a change. If you see someone on St. Paul campus playing in the snow, come say hi!
Goldy at the last hockey game I went to!

Another thing I'm looking forward to are hockey games! Unfortunately, I missed football season this year, so I can't wait to finally get my gopheralls out of the bottom of my closet and rock them the second half of hockey season. I definitely miss all of the school spirit. If you're curious about the Gopher hockey schedule or want to get some tickets, click here!

The final thing that I'm going to mention (out of probably 50 more) that I'm looking forward to is Mesa Pizza. Are any of you really surprised this would be included in this post? It's arguably the best food in Dinkytown, so yeah, I'm pretty pumped for it.

Hope you all aren't too stressed now that it's the end of the semester and that you're getting excited for what is to come on campus in the Spring!

Can't wait to see you around,
Retail Merchandising

Wrapping Up Another Semester

And just like that, another semester is finished! Only one more to go...

It's crazy, but I now only have one semester left of my undergrad time at the U! In IDES4615W (Interior Design Research), we wrapped up the written component of our thesis, completing the 200-or-so page document and watching the 45 minute presentation video that was compiled. It was a united class effort to create this program for our thesis, and now next semester we will be using all that research we did in producing the design component of our thesis, which as mentioned before, will be to design a primary care clinic in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis.

IDES 3614 (Interior Design Ethics & Professional Practice) concluded with an emotional goodbye to a favorite teacher, Tina Patel, as she left to move to Canada. We had a big, delicious potluck on the final day to close off the semester and have one big going-away party as a class. She will be missed by a lot of students, past and present, at the U!

In studio (IDES 4607), we submitted and presented our final project. As part of the IDEC Student Design Competition, we designed an educational facility for students going on service-learning trips to the Amazon. I've included one of the renderings (to the right) from my group's project. It was a short timeline and a tough project, but all the designs in class we're very different and impressive.

This break I'll be laying low, relaxing, and continuing to work at my internship at Miller Dunwiddie Architecture. My final semester will begin on January 17th, so until then, I hope everyone has a great winter break and Happy Holidays!

Interior Design

Friday, December 23, 2016

Around finals time

Hey everyone! 

Around this time, many of you might have finished everything. I am currently still working on the two examinations I have left. This has been an enjoyable semester, and my project in BS studio turned out to be pretty at last (as shown below). 

Winter is here, and classes are over. I am so looking forward to the holidays and also to my learning abroad semester in Denmark. This site that allows you to easily compare the living costs from one city to another. Though Denmark sounds different, it is actually in some senses similar to Minnesota. The days are short and nights are cold, and instead of lakes, it has long coastline. Although apparently it is slightly more expensive to live in Denmark, according to research I have done, the lifestyle and climate are indeed very close.

Well, I won't have a good picture until I actually arrive there. So, wish me good luck for my special adventure there!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Beauty of Wacoms

As we all go back to render some of our initial sketches in the Concept Visualization course in the Product Design major, we are all starting to realize the beauty of the Wacom tablets and Photoshop. As we started the tutorials with our professor, Ken Grant, it seemed as if we were doomed: how could one possibly draw on a tablet while looking up at a screen? It seemed nearly impossible. Luckily, the reality is that now we all have a newfound love for these amazing sketching tablets and editing programs. Not only do they allow for easy and quick fixes, but they also allow you to explore so many options without having to make multiple sketches.  If you want to learn more about them, you can click here.  If you ever get the chance to use these, I hope you'll take advantage of it! 

Also, as the winter season comes upon us, I know the classic designer mindset is to constantly be doing things whether that be sketching, building, or reading a book; please please please remember to get some rest and stay well for this season!

All the best, I'll see you designers at home (Rapson)!

Product Design

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Health balance

Hi everyone! 

Finals week is here, and for architecture students especially, the final presentations may be a little overwhelming. For me personally, this semester had been tough as my projects have required more time than I've spent on projects in the past, making for some late nights in the studio. While the days were exhausting, I totally enjoyed seeing the final products. Unfortunately, it wasn't until presentation day was complete that I realized I'd been neglecting my personal health in favor of getting everything done.. When I woke that morning, my throat was aching, and I could not even hear my voice. Although the final presentation went well, this was a great lesson to remind me to schedule time to give my body a rest. 

Check out this video called "Amazing Effects of Sleep (And Lack of it)" and one of my drawings below!  

Packing 101

Hello hello everyone!

As I've been studying abroad this semester in London, I've done a lot of traveling on the weekends. Most of the time I'm constricted to a backpack on the plane, and packing 3 days worth of things inside of it seemed like an impossible task. As a Retail Merchandising & College of Design student I definitely appreciate fashion, personal style, color, etc. as I'm sure most of my peers do as well in one way or another. Here are a couple things I think of as I prepare for a weekend away with limited space. Should you choose to study abroad, hopefully these will help you when you're packing for your next weekend getaway.
Cliffs of Moher--from my weekend in Ireland!

1. My favorite dark wash jeans. Let's be real, we all wear jeans more than once. Dark wash is perfect because you can wear them during the day as well as transition them to night.

2. A couple of basic tops. My typical travel outfit will be white, black, grey, or a mixture of all three. Keeping things simple guarantees you'll be comfortable and chic.

3. Wear your bulkiest items on the plane. I always wear my sneakers while I travel and pack my booties. Also, I always wear my leather jacket underneath my coat so I don't have to pack it.

4. Shower right before you go to the airport! If you're okay with showering every other day, do this so you can skip packing the shower related toiletries to save room.

These are just a few of the tips I have for making the most of the limited packing space you may have while traveling. In a perfect world, airlines wouldn't charge for checked bags am I right?

Check out all of the awesome study abroad programs that the U of M offers here!

Retail Merchandising

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Finals prep

Finals are just around the corner, and due dates are nearing for College of Design final projects. We’re in the final stretch of the semester, and I’m definitely feeling the heat. I like to combat finals stress by hanging out with pups and eating carbs.

Boyton hosts a Pet Away Worry and Stress event every week so you can take a break from studying to pet cute animals! I find it really rejuvenating when I’ve been working for hours on the same garment to just take a break and do something completely different, so PAWS is a favorite of mine.

The professional design fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi, will also be selling grilled cheese sandwiches in Rapson during finals for everyone working late on projects. Snacks are essential for late studio sessions!

Happy finals everyone and may the grading curve be ever in your favor!

Xoxo, Quinessa

Friday, December 16, 2016

Library Tour

Hey Everyone!

With final projects and tests looming over our heads these last 2 weeks, everyone on campus seems to be getting in the zone. Finding a good study spot is very important during this time, whether that's your apartment, a studio, a library or a coffee shop. The Starbuck's line and tables always seems to be especially packed this time of the semester. If you need a quieter space to study, the U of M has so many incredible and unique libraries.

While there are many smaller libraries on campus the main 5 include:
  • Wilson (West Bank)
  • Andersen (West Bank)
  • Walter (East Bank)
  • Bio-Medical (East Bank)
  • Magrath (St. Paul)

Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library

 During finals week, all the libraries have extended hours and some are even open 24 hours. My favorite library to work in is Magrath Library on the St. Paul Campus. They have study tables right next to big windows, which always get a ton of sunlight throughout the day. I always like having natural light when I'm busy working inside. Another one of my favorite study spots is the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library in Rapson Hall. Since it is so close to all of my classes, it is a nice spot to use for a quick hour or two in between classes.

 Happy Finals!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Thousand Words

After a semester’s worth of work, I’m finally finished writing my senior thesis paper! It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve definitely learned a lot thanks to all of the research I’ve done, but wow does it feel good to be finished with this.

I love writing nearly as much as I love designing (if not more on some days!), so I’ve enjoyed this writing process. I know some of my peers haven’t been quite as enthusiastic about actually writing this paper, and I certainly can’t blame them. Sixteen pages makes for a lot of writing! It helps when you’re writing about something you care about, but even then, it can be hard to describe in words why your passions are so important to you. That’s one way that the design of your book can speak for your passion in a way that words can’t—especially in an academic paper, which is driven by facts rather than emotions.

I think that’s why I’ve been struggling to finalize the design of my book. I just haven’t been able to convey my message correctly with my layout and the graphic elements that I’m adding to my paper. I know what I want to say with my design; I just haven’t found the right way to say it yet. I don’t have much time left to figure it out, with the end of the semester coming so soon!

The next time you hear from me, I’ll have finished my book and I’ll finally be able to share my designs. Until then, you can have a preview of some of the illustrations I’m working on.

I'll post some more pictures of my book in progress on the College of Design Instagram, so feel free to check us out there, too.

Wish me luck, and good luck to everyone else on their finals!


Graphic Design

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Quick Guide to Minnesota Winter

Hello again!

We have seen the first big accumulation of snow on campus for the winter, and we are quickly approaching winter break! In the spirit of a Minnesota winter snowstorm, I thought I'd provide some quick tips to anyone coming from out-of-state to study here, specifically those coming from places that don't experience snow. As a lifelong Minnesota native, I'd like to say I'm an expert on the matter, but every year I find myself unprepared and forced into a quick adjustment to the winter weather. Here are some helpful tips that come to mind:

  1. Take advantage of public transportation. Many students on campus don't have cars and are using public transportation anyway, but when the snow flies and the roads are slick, avoiding driving is usually the best option to avoid the added stress. No scraping ice and snow off your car, waiting for it to warm up, or worrying about being the driver! Take advantage of Metro Transit and the nicely discounted UPass students get! This pass can be used on the lightrail and buses which can get you a lot of places and almost always run even in crazy winter weather.
  2. Plan accordingly. Getting anywhere in winter weather usually takes longer than expected. Whether it's the increased difficulty of trudging to your destination in deep snow, or the delay of transportation in winter weather, it inevitably will take longer than expected, so plan ahead!
  3. Stay warm. This seems obvious, but it is important. And, relating to the previous point, get your winter gear before the first snow. Be ready! With the first snowstorm comes the rush for winter clothing, and if you're a part of the scramble, you may be left with limited choices and find empty shelves. It's not fun being the person in a cold, soaked sweatshirt in this kind of weather.
  4. Enjoy the peace and beauty! The snow creates a peaceful silence outside, even in the midst of Minneapolis. There is also the beauty of a fresh snowfall. I've included a picture I took of the snow on the trees; the beauty is all around!
The winter season brings along stress for many whether it's due to the holidays, end of the semester, or the weather, but taking the time to prepare and stepping back to enjoy all the great things about the season will help to make all the stressful parts more manageable and enjoyable. Winter break is quickly approaching -- good luck to everyone taking finals, and enjoy the weather as best you can!

Until next time,
Interior Design

Friday, December 9, 2016

3D Printing: Just as cool as it sounds

Being in Product Design, we work very closely with 3D modeling software.  It is always so cool to see your designs that you are thinking in your head appear three-dimensional on a computer screen. This past week in my Designing for Manufacture course, we actually got to 3D print our tape dispenser design.  It is such a cool experience to create something in a software and then see it actually be created out of plastic.  I've always thought that 3D printing was the coolest thing and have actually done quite a bit of research on it.  One thing that I found out about the new 3D printing technology that is coming out is something called CLIP by Carbon 3D. This actually 3D prints stuff much more quickly than current technology.  You should read more about this new type of technology by clicking here.  They also included a couple videos of 3D printed items that are super cool!

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Beauty of Mistakes

After giving some time to let the emotional wounds
of a failed laser cutting attempt heal, this mistake
turned out looking pretty cool!
Hi again!

It has been a week since finishing my last project and with it, I had quite the experience! Somehow I had yet to laser cut in my career as an interior design student and for this group project, it was on me to laser cut to make our 3D model because I know how to use CAD. Well, it turns out that laser cutting has a few quirks that you should be aware of that I was not.

Mainly, you need to make sure right when it starts that it is actually cutting through your material... it seems obvious, but you can set it to the right settings like I did and sometimes it just doesn't cut through and needs to be set to a thicker material. I also made the mistake of wanting to cut a really intricate pattern. I wasn't aware that it would take so long to cut since whenever I've seen it, it has gone really fast for people! When you're paying by the minute to use the machine, lets just say such an intricate pattern isn't a great idea.

Luckily, there were some greatstaff working in the Rapson Laser Lab who were able to help me out ! In the end, I had to cut everything twice, which left me with some leftover pieces that I couldn't even look at after all the frustration. As I said, it has been a week now, and if you saw my Instagram (pictured above), you saw that I've given some time to let the emotional wounds heal and was able to actually appreciate my mistake!

Photo of the final 3D model
Overall, I'd say this situation is just a good example of how after a little time, you can really appreciate the beauty and value of your mistakes. I'm still not ready to say I'd love to try laser cutting again, but I definitely learned a lot from the experience and I think I produced a pretty great model in the end (pictured right). With laser cutting, you can really do some cool things and it's really a great resource, but if you're a first-timer like me I strongly recommend assistance from the start! If you do mess up, give it a week and maybe you'll be able to turn it into a happy mistake like I did!

Until next time,
Interior Design

Monday, December 5, 2016

On to a New Job!

After six months, I’ve finished my internship at Make-A-Wish Minnesota. I feel a lot more confident about my social media skills now, and I like knowing that the work I did contributed to a good cause. I got to write a lot of stories about incredible wish kids, and I even got to meet some of the kids when we held photo shoots. I enjoyed the work and I liked being busy, but it’ll be nice to start focusing on work that is geared less toward social media and more toward graphic design.

Now I’ll be spending more of my time working as the graphic designer for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy! I’ve been working there for several weeks now, and I really enjoy the work that I’ve been doing. On my first day, I was asked to design banners for the college’s 50th reunion and the turnaround was so quick—I finished the design that day, and the next day made some minor edits and sent the PDF off to the printer. You can see the final banner on the right!

Since then, I’ve been designing logos for some internal programs and creating layouts for brochures and mailers. I’ll have lots of solid pieces to add to my portfolio over the next several months, and I’m already looking forward to what I’ll be doing in the future.

Until next time!


Graphic Design