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College of Design

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time To Say Goodbye

I’ve now officially graduated from the College of Design! Our ceremony was really nice, especially our student speakers— two of whom were my classmates in the graphic design program. They spoke about the impact that the College of Design has had on their lives, and their composure on the stage was awe-inspiring. If you’d like to check out their speeches as well as the rest of the commencement ceremony, you can watch it here! Ever since I listened to their speeches, I’ve been wondering what I would have said if I were in their place, and how I would describe how the College of Design has impacted my own life.

I’m definitely not the same person I was when I first entered this College, and honestly, I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always been the type to sit in the back of the classroom and avoid any eye contact when the teacher asks for volunteers. It was easier to just float on by on my own, stay quiet, keep my head down. I still completed my homework and did well on tests, so what did it matter if I didn’t speak up in a classroom setting?

However, when I started taking classes in the College of Design, I learned the importance of giving and receiving feedback in critiques, and my outlook on speaking up started to change. I was so grateful when one of my classmates would look at my designs and tell me what I was doing well or suggest an improvement, and I realized that I had valuable insights I could offer to them, too. Even if it was just a small amount of praise, I knew I could help reignite someone else’s passion for design, and that was an awesome feeling.

I started talking more in my classes. It was scary at first, and there were more than a few times where I awkwardly stumbled through my sentences because I didn’t know where I was going with whatever I was saying. But as time went on, I became more comfortable speaking out, and I attribute so much of this acquired confidence to my professors and classmates in the College of Design, who always encouraged an open dialogue in the classroom.

I’m going to keep speaking up, for myself and for the sake of others, as I continue my career into the design world. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give a speech in front of hundreds of people like my classmates did, but who knows? Maybe I’ll get there someday.

Thank you, everyone who has been reading my blog posts these past two years. I hope you’re looking forward to hearing what the next graphic design student blogger has to say! I know I am.


Graphic Design

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summertime is here!

Hello Designers,
Congratulations — you made it through another school year! Summertime is officially here, the sun is out, and it's officially warmer than freezing temperature.  Let's hope it stays that way for a while! As we head into the summer months, there is a lot that will be happening in Minneapolis.  As I plan to work at Schneider Electric this summer doing UI/UX design, it is an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking thought.  Going into an internship, working with people much more experienced than I am, is something that always comes with a sense of intimidation.  However, I am excited to get to improve as a designer, learning a lot from experienced designers, and the work environment at a company.  This summer, myself and quite a few of my fellow product design friends plan to improve our sketching abilities by doing something called "one sketch a day."  This tactic makes sure you stay on your feet, and actually sketch once a day!  Anybody who is interested should totally do it as well, it'll help improve your sketching dramatically!  Have a wonderful summer designers.

Until next time,

The Day Has Come....

Interior design seniors' posters hung up in McNeal Hall.
That's right... GRADUATION! It still doesn't feel real but my undergraduate student career is now over, which also means my time as a student blogger has also come to an end. This will be my last post. It has been great getting to share my experience here at the U and hopefully I have been able to give you a good glimpse into life as an interior design student.

I've included a photo from the interior design senior showcase of some of the final design posters hung up in McNeal Hall for viewing.

It's crazy to think I've been blogging since my freshman year here and now it's over! It will be a big adjustment no longer being in school but I'm excited for what the future holds. I've been hired on full-time at Miller Dunwiddie Architecture following my internship and will be starting shortly.

I hope you'll stay tuned for posts from a new interior design student blogger as they document their own experience. It's been great getting to connect with you!

Best wishes,
Interior Design

Monday, May 8, 2017

See y'all next fall

As the semester wraps up, I’ve been thinking about all the amazing things I’ve gotten to do this year. It’s crazy to think about all the cool milestones in the apparel program, like going to NASA and making clothes for the Blue House orphanage, I’ve completed already. The girls from Blue House sent pictures of themselves in the designs we made in technical design studio last semester. How cute are they?! I can’t get over the fact real people are wearing something I made.

Over the summer, I will be on campus working as an Orientation Leader for the Office of First Year Programs. We’ve been training all semester and we’re so excited to interact with the class of 2021. If you’re an incoming student and you see me during summer orientation be sure to say hello! I’ll also be sketching, sourcing fabric and ideating for the senior fashion show over the summer. That’s the next big milestone to tackle.

(Your 2017 Orientation Leaders)

See y’all next fall!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Coming Up With a Name

These past few weeks have been absolutely crazy! Not only have I been finishing the coding and design for my video game, I also began working on a poster design for the game that would go up in our senior show exhibit. Ideally, I would have liked to have my game available for visitors to play, but that would require leaving my laptop out in Rapson Hall for over a week—and that just isn't practical! Instead, I decided to create a large poster that featured the box art for the game, which you would find on the front of the case if the game were sold in stores. Illustrating the different elements of this design and deciding on the colors and type I wanted to use were difficult, but honestly, the most difficult part of this whole process was settling on a name for the game.

I've never been the best at coming up with names, be it for a character in a story or a hypothetical business for a branding project. Names just don't come easily to me. But to go for months working on this game without any semblance of a name coming to mind, at any point in the design process ... that was a little ridiculous.

I decided it was time to get down to business and settle on something, because I needed to have this poster ready by next Tuesday, and it was Friday, and I wasn't getting anywhere by brainstorming on my couch. I got up, went to the local Starbucks, and started writing out as many words related to my game as I could think of. This game is based around a chat client, where you play as a character who interacts with other college students like yourself as part of a research project ... but the professor running the project isn't quite what they seem. I knew I wanted to incorporate some sort of word relating to the connection the player makes with their newfound friends, but I wanted the name to feel appropriate for a cheesy, retro-sounding chat room that an older professor might have designed. In my word map, I ended up writing down the word "link," and something about that just felt right. I started thinking of other words I could add to it that would make it sound more technological, and my mind went to "astral," as in something related to space or astronomy. Putting the two words together, you get ASTRALINK, and once I wrote that down, I practically melted in relief. I had a name. Finally.

Coming up with the name was far from the end of my work—I still had to finish designing the poster, not to mention the printing, mounting, and hanging that all had to come afterward—but it marked a turning point for my project. I'm finally in the home stretch! I have a game, a name, and now a finished poster, which you can go see at the LAUNCH exhibit in Rapson Hall!

Until next time,

Graphic design

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Construction Documents & Senior Showcase!

Hello again!

Latest post on the CDES Instagram — graduation just around the corner!

Another post, which means I'm that much closer to graduation! As my latest Instagram post emphasizes, there is very little standing between me and graduation at this point! Things are wrapping up, and I will soon be turning in my final assignments and giving final presentations!

Right now we are working on CDs. Not the kind with music, but construction documents. These are probably the most important part of being an interior designer and something that a lot of people don't know that interior designers are responsible for when they think of what we do as professionals.

Often times, people find this part of the design process to be boring and mindless, but I enjoy it just for being that! It provides a nice break from the highly creative thinking of the other phases of design process, which can leave you worn out. So for me, it's a welcomed design phase. I also enjoy that it brings the technical parts to my life as a designer. I love the balance of creativity and technicality with interior design, and this is the technical portion!

Flyer for Interior Design Senior Showcase
Construction documents are the instructions we give as interior designers to contractors in order for them to construct the project and follow our design intent. They are drawings that are a mix of plan views, elevations, sections, and detail drawings to best communicate how to bring the design to life. They are a super important part of the design process!

As CDs draw to a close, we are also pulling together our final posters, which will be on display for all of our family and friends to see during the senior showcase on Friday, May 12. Anybody is welcome to attend and take a look at all the designs! They will also be up and available for viewing during the day on Saturday, May 13. Stop by if you'd like!

Until next time,
Interior Design

A Trip to The Clearing

Hey everyone!

Last week my class and I took a trip to the Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. This educational institution and retreat space was started by landscape architect Jens Jenson in 1935. The MLA program has been visiting and working with the clearing for many years. It was truly inspirational to be able to experience the work of such an influential landscape architect.

During our time at the clearing, we had the opportunity to explore the ground and also get some work done on our current studio project. Situated on Lake Michigan, it seemed I always had a view of the water from wherever I was. The huge white cedar trees and the endless moss covering the grounds made it such a picturesque long weekend.
Campfire overlooking the lake

On our first full day there, we did various work projects including creating new paths and patios. My group was tasked with restoring a stone patio that was constructed by Jens Jensen himself. The patio is the only original structure of the main house, due to a fire in the 50's. Since the patio had sunken and become unlevel throughout the years, we releveled it while ensuring that the design and placement of each stone remained intact, keeping Jen's vision alive.

Until next time,
mossy groundcover

finishing touches on the restored patio

Monday, May 1, 2017

Preparing for Playsentations

Hey Designers!

I hope everyone is having a great week! Preparing for this next week has been one long and exciting adventure, and as a lab instructor I can tell you one thing, Toy Product Design Playsentations is going to be pretty amazing this year. The product design community is pretty amazing, and I am consistently amazed by all of the cool people and the products that they develop.

Groups of five and six have been developing a toy product this past semester, and let me tell you, these are some cool toys. Through three different prototyping stages, a lot of brainstorming, and some pretty crazy lab days making sure everything worked just right, this has been the adventure of a lifetime.  I am immensely proud of each and every team, and I hope you had the wonderful opportunity to get Playsentation tickets.  However, if you did not, no worries as you are still in luck. You can still come after the show (details here) and see all of the toys being presented at 8:30 p.m.  Can't wait to see y'all there!

Until next time,
I'll see you designer's at home (Rapson)


Journey to the north

During my last travel break this semester, I spent my final two days in Oslo, Norway. I am glad that I eventually got a chance to visit this country, which has been considered the wealthiest in the world and lately as the happiest country, replacing its brother Denmark.

Historically due to the close blood among the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish royal family, the area in Norway today with the least population has been under control of the other for over a thousand years. This fact makes the country always feel like a fantasy world far away from the mainstream politics. And of course its capital city Oslo at the same time had been not as "ancient and classical" as Stockholm and Copenhagen, by which I mean it has much more modernized buildings in the heart of the city.

Geomorphology, looking at the map, because it is so close to Sweden, I once thought that the suburban land form would quite similar, yet it turns out be actually a lot higher and steeper. For example, Oslo is established upon such hills. In the evening, you can appreciate the wonderful scenery of the little spots of light shining from the remote neighborhood on the hills, together with the waving reflection in the harbor, something you never see in Denmark and Sweden.

If you can have a chance visiting Oslo, I will absolutely recommend the National Gallery where the famous paint "Scream" by Edward Munch is being exhibited. Here is the link.

Hope to see you soon!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Houston, We have a problem

All semester we’ve been working on wearable solutions to various problems in the medical and aerospace fields. My group had to address the calluses forming on the tops of astronauts' feet because they use them to navigate around the station. For our solution, we made a load absorbing stabilization crew sock that was padded and attached to various objects with a hook.

We headed to Houston bright and early Sunday morning to present our projects at the NASA wearable technology CLUSTER symposium. There was a presentation and then a poster session where everyone walks around, asks questions, and can see the prototypes up close.

(photo by James Blair, NASA JSC)

The work we did this semester was definitely rigorous, but I’m glad our professor, Dr. Dunne, pushed us. We went into our presentations very prepared, all of our prototypes looked great, and our posters were sleek and cohesive. I am interested in participating in the  Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) next school year so learning the design research process this semester has helped to prepare me for that. (Find out more information about UROP here.)
(photo by James Blair, NASA JSC)

The trip was a blast! We got to tour Johnson Space Center, go to the Rocket Park, and we even had some down time to hang out on the boardwalk. We all got dinner and did some apparel bonding. (Check out more pictures from our trip on our Instagram page, @UMNDesign)


The time has come to start thinking about and registering for Fall semester classes! This is always an exciting time for me because my inner Type A personality thrives off of organizing and scheduling out my life. It can be stressful planning out your semester because there's so many things to consider, such as liberal education requirements, the location of classes, the times, and which classes should be prioritized over others. Make sure to make an appointment with your advisor before you register if you're lost. You can look into that here! These are my tips to consider when registering for your next semester classes:

1. Be realistic. Don't take on 17 credits if you're going to be really busy with a new job or you've heard some of your classes are challenging. Also, don't take 8 a.m. classes if you know you're not a morning person. Some of us are pretty ambitious like this, but what's the point if you're not going to do well?

2. Give yourself enough time between classes. Make sure you double check the location of your classes. Are you giving yourself enough time to get to St. Paul? You'll thank yourself later when you're not having to sprint between classes a couple times per week.

3. Take something that interests you! We all have required classes for our majors and minors, but it's important to always have at least one class per semester that you truly enjoy. Otherwise, school will feel like a chore (or even more of a burden than it may already be for you).

I hope you all take these into consideration! Good luck in the Fall,
Retail Merchandising

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Senior Show Time

We are officially less than a month away from our senior show, which means we’ve entered crunch time both for finishing our individual projects as well as setting up the event! Each of the 50 graduating seniors had a part in creating our senior show, whether they helped with fundraising, organizing the show floor, or creating our awesome website—which you can checkout right here!

I’ve really enjoyed taking ownership of this exhibition along with the rest of my classmates. It’s like we’re working on one last project all together, and the payoff will be so much sweeter than if we had someone else organizing this event. This show is ours from the ground up, and I think that’s the best way we could end our undergraduate career.

You can come see our final projects on Thursday, May 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Rapson Hall courtyard! It’s completely free, and we’ll have fun outer space-themed snacks to go along with our LAUNCH theme. I hope to see you there!

Until next time,


Graphic design

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fresh start to my day

Hey Everyone!

When classes and your schedule get busy, it's good to find something that relieves your stress and refocuses your mind. This semester, I have been going to yoga in the mornings at 6:45 a couple days a week at the rec center. The class allows me the time to relax before my day of classes. While some days it’s hard to get up early in the morning, after the class I always feel energized. One of my favorite parts of the early morning class is being able to watch the sun rise while doing yoga. The big windows let the sun shine in throughout the class.

Since not everyone is a fan of waking up that early, the rec offers classes at a variety of times throughout the day. The different classes include cycling, pilates, total body strength, zumba and cardio kickboxing. To check out the different classes offered and schedule available at the rec center just follow this link!

Until next time,

Journey to the north

The journey ended on the other side of the Bothnian bay, the Republic of Finland.

2017 is the first centennial anniversary of this country, but the past 100 years has been very difficult to them. Three wars, especially the three-year winter war against the Russians, had largely determined the result of the World War II. Although the Finns are not known as the best warriors, the insistence upon the national uniquity is always exceptionally strong—strong enough to become the 7th largest country in Europe now.

Walking in downtown Helsinki, at first you might attempt to think those buildings are similar with Soviet styles or Scandinavian, yet after merely two days you will probably find out that Finland is truly like no other. The Finnish language, for example, together with the Estonian language as the only sibling under the same language family, has a totally different word for meaning like "mother," for which most of other languages in the world would would probably say "mum" or "mama."

Helsinki, the capital, is one of few European capitals where there is no palace. The un-splendid street views make it hard to use a or few simple photographs to represent the city or even the country. Below are my pictures to be shared for this time. Hope you enjoy.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Reminiscing on visiting Hong Kong

Hello Designers!

After being officially admitted into the Product Design program this past Friday, I've had a lot to be thankful for. When I came to the University as a freshman, I had no clue what I wanted to do, but I did know that I liked math, science, building things, and design. I thought I wanted to do Chemical Engineering from these interests that I had. My advisor instantly recommended that I at least take a look at the Product Design minor, and go on the CSE 1002 trip to Hong Kong on Product Development in January over winter break. From school, museum and industry visits, to taking a cable car to see the Tian Tan Buddha, this trip was filled with adventures. The thing that really stuck out to me throughout this trip, though, was how cool everything we saw was. I was fascinated by what I saw from students, what I saw from industries, and I thought to myself, "This is what I want to do with the rest of my life."

That's what drew me to the major I am doing today.  I was simply amazed by everything that I was seeing and I wanted to that everyday of my life. After taking toy design that next Spring, I knew that this was what I should do with my
life. Since Product Design wasn't yet a major, I had decided to just do the minor.  I was fortunate enough to be only a Sophomore when the major was released, so that I was able to turn my minor into a major.  Today, I am so grateful that I have gotten to be a part of such an amazing community, and I am excited to see what this last year of major courses entails for me and my friends.  We are beyond excited to (hopefully) be part of the first graduating class in Product Design at the University!

Thanks for listening,

I'll see you designers at home (Rapson),

Urban Clinic Design

Hi everyone,

The design development phase of my senior thesis is complete! In an effort to avoid making this summary the length of a paper, I'm going to try to make this overview of my design as short as possible. This design was worked on in conjunction with HGA, a local design firm that is completing the project in real life. The project is for HCMC's North Loop Clinic that will be located at 800 Washington Ave. It is a primary care clinic that is looking to attract young professionals who are living and working downtown.

My design was based on a concept derived from the city grid of Minneapolis. From above, the downtown Minneapolis area is identifiable due to its angled grid around the Mississippi. You can see this concept throughout my design in the use of diagonal lines creating intersections and the use of contrast.

Check-in and waiting rendering

This is a rendering of the check-in and waiting area. Here you can see a variety of furniture types — atypical from what is usually seen in a healthcare space. One of the things I wanted to achieve with this project was to stray away from things commonly found in healthcare spaces, like stark white walls and healthcare's typical pale greens and blues, and to create more of a contemporary, corporate atmosphere to fit the neighborhood and attract the target market of young professionals.

Patient hallway rendering

Looking down the hallways, each room is identified by using one of the main colors of the brand and named after a street in the downtown Minneapolis area. Within each exam room, this identity continues, with the use of color and a large graphic that corresponds to the street after which the room is named.

Work area rendering

The staff work area has a similar way of identifying rooms in the hallways. In the work space, there is a large custom ceiling of the Minneapolis city grid. This area follows contemporary corporate design trends, using sit-to-stand desks to support staff, and by accommodating a variety of work styles.

In the next class, we will go on to the construction documents phase where we each put together all the technical drawings for our designs. It's not known as the most exciting part of doing interior design projects, but is VERY important and also provides a nice break from the creative stuff, which is great when you're feeling a little drained of creativity after design development. I'm ready to just go to town on the construction documents and finish this project up! Graduation is one month away... it's crazy to think!

Until next time,
Interior Design

Friday, April 14, 2017

Staying Mindful

If you’re looking for a class to take next semester, I’d highly suggest looking into CSPH 3201—Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. I took this class fall semester and it changed my life. It was really helpful to have a class that allowed me to focus on bettering myself. Mindful breathing and meditation also helped me to manage my heavy course load. In the class, we learned various types of meditation including the body scan, sitting meditation, and sitting and standing yoga. We also learned various ways to incorporate mindfulness into our lives, like mindful walking, eating and communicating.

When you’re finished with the class you aren’t completely on your own. You get access to free downloadable guided meditations. I’m going to get to really put what I’ve learned to the test next fall while I'm working on my senior apparel line. Things are really picking up as we head into the final weeks of classes, and I have to remind myself to take mindful moments. I’m thankful I have these tools under my belt now to better handle all of the stress.

Check out the Center for Spirituality and Healing here.

(photo courtesy of Google)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Making the Most of It


The semester is almost over, which means finals are around the corner, but more importantly so is summer break! Whatever your plans are, I'm sure you're counting down the days until you're free from the stress of classes and extra curricular activities on campus. However, it's so important to live everyday meaningfully and with gratitude, rather than just waiting for the future. If you live like that, the present will just pass you by.

One of the ways I try to live in the moment and spend everyday happily and gratefully is by taking in the environment around me and appreciating how beautiful and alive our campus is. I'll be moving back to Wisconsin this summer, so I have to take in our campus while I still can! It's amazing what you will see and learn to appreciate when you're not staring at your phone as you walk through campus on the way to class.

I took this picture on St. Paul campus as I was leaving one of my classes. The weather isn't always great during this Spring season, but take it upon yourself to spend more time studying outside, going on walks, and in general paying attention to the little things on campus. You won't regret it!

Until next time,
Retail Merchandising

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Getting Scenic

For my senior exhibition, and for my final project as a design major, I’m writing, designing, and coding a video game. Writing the plot and giving the characters dialogue came easily, and coding was difficult but manageable thanks to the plethora of advice available online. Designing the game, as it turns out, has been the most time consuming and challenging aspect of this project—particularly, illustrating the background of the main scene.

I’ve heard from artists and designers I follow online that backgrounds are their least favorite part of any scene they create, and now I can say that I absolutely agree! There is so much detail needed to make a scene look somewhat believable as a space, from the perspective needed to create a depth of field to the placement of items within the scene that make the room seem less like a box and more like … well, a room.

The scene I’ve been illustrating is an interior shot of the main character’s room, and constructing this background reminded me so much of the McNeal Hall drawing I made back in the day. I’m really grateful now for all the experience I had working on such an architectural drawing! It’s certainly making my job now a lot easier.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of my game both here and on the College of Design Instagram account, so feel free to check that out for some cool photos from me and all of the other design bloggers.

Until next time!


Graphic Design