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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!