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College of Design

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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

No Hassle for a Tassel

Hello again!

This past week I went to GradFest, a University of Minnesota event advertised as "no hassle for a tassel." It is the event for all the quick grad go-to things to get done. The event takes place in Coffman Memorial Union and consists of a bunch of booths for various things (not to mention free stuff!). Here you can purchase all your graduation gear — announcements, memorabilia, caps, gowns and tassels. And most importantly, this is the only time that you can get all these things discounted!

I picked up my cap and gown and got my College of Design tassel. Each college within the U has a different colored tassel for graduation. The College of Design has a copper color that I think is really nice and unique!

I Instagrammed my tassel and cap this week. It is hanging in my apartment with my gown as motivation to finish off the semester strong because the senior slide is definitely real! It's so close to the end and I can't believe graduation is about a month away. My project is soon to be closing out the design development phase and my next post will update you on its progress. Stay tuned!

Until next time,
Interior Design

My Favorite Study Spots

This semester the tests never seem to stop. I have an exam almost every other week! This means that throughout the semester I haven't ever been just coasting along, rather I'm always trying to prep for the next thing right around the corner. I've found that I get bored studying at the same places all the time and that it's really important to switch it up and change your environment every so often. Here's a list of my favorite study spots on or near campus!

1. Purple Onion Cafe
I think this is one of my favorite spots because it's a lot closer to where I live than other places on campus. They have great drinks and also a lot of space so it's not as hard to find a table as some of the smaller coffee shops in Dinkytown. However, the wifi here is pretty unreliable, so I would recommend only going here if the internet isn't crucial for your work. 

2. Espresso Royale
Another great study spot in Dinkytown! It's a bit smaller than Purple Onion so it can sometimes be a struggle to find a table, but if you do you'll be comfortable for a while. Bonus is that I always see people with their pets when I go here. 

3. Walter Library
I love studying at Walter just because there is always space to sit; but most importantly, there are plugs, which aren't always a guarantee at coffee shops. Walter is also a guaranteed quiet study space, whereas coffee shops are filled with conversation, music, and coffee grinding. Whenever I really need to focus on my work, this is my go to spot. 

4. Magrath Library
This one's for all my St. Paul students! I spend so much time on the St. Paul campus that I definitely needed to find a great study spot there. Magrath is a smaller library but there's plenty of places to sit, and it's decently quiet at all times. Also, it's right across the street from McNeal where I have most of my retail merchandising classes. 

Keep calm and study on, 

Retail Merchandising 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sustainable Fashion

Patagonia's Worn Wear tour is coming to Coffman Memorial Union. This event will feature a repair fair, a sustainable design fashion show, and a screening of the documentary True Cost. A new student group to the College of Design will have a table at this event. Caitlin Hartman, a sustainability club member, said, “We are going to focus on the fashion industry's negative impacts as well as educating people on what fair trade means.”

My fellow apparel design classmates are always looking for shows and design showcases to be featured in so we have more material for our portfolios. Having an unconventional or sustainable theme really challenges you as a designer. You have to think outside of traditional design techniques and try new things. I appreciate that the College of Design has opportunities like this that allow us to really push our creativity.

Apparel Design sophomore Stephanie Wang will have her unconventional project, a dress made of plastic, on display at this event as a visual representation of the environmental impact the design industry has. You can check out Stephanie’s dress and more unconventional garments at the Imprints Student Design Showcase Wednesday April 19th at 7 pm at the Weisman Art Museum

Pill Pack Design Challenge

Hello Designers!

I hope you are all having a great week. These past two weeks have been quite interesting as we have been putting our portfolios together, and now we're ending portfolio review this Friday. Since this was the first time our program had ever done portfolio review, it was a very new and exciting experience.  Through this process, we got to design a pill pack and do a first stage prototype. After a lot of ideation (shown to the right), I landed on the idea of designing a pill pack for health and fitness enthusiasts. It uses a mechanism similar to that of a pez dispenser.

To the left is a picture of the prototype I developed, as well as the final design that would be made if this product were to be produced. It was definitely a challenge to design and prototype a product in two weeks, but nonetheless it was a fantastic experience, and it was really cool to see all of our skills come together in one challenge.

Until next time,

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