College of Design Student Blogs

April 24, 2015

Houston, We Don't Have a Problem

Man, this week flew by so fast and was jammed packed with stuff to do! Last Sunday, my fellow classmates and I flew down to Houston to finally present our hard work at the Wearable Technology Symposium for NASA!

Overall, the trip was a great success and we all had so much fun! Our flights down there went smoothly and we arrived in Houston with amazing weather. We went to Rocket Park to see this massive rocket, where all of us had a field day taking selfies. If you're presented with a massive rocket, what else are you going to? Of course you have to take tons of selfies.

That first night we all regrouped to put the final touches on our presentations and rehearsed to make sure our presentations were perfect. No matter how much we rehearsed, I don't think that there was any possible way we would have been able to overcome our nervousness. Presenting to NASA, a room full of engineer students and industrial design students, creates some pressure. All of our presentations went well, and we were well received by everyone. It was so amazing to see everyone else's designs, especially the other teams that did the same project as ours.

After the symposium, we got to take a tour of the training center for the astronauts, the current mission control, as well as the mission control used for the Apollo missions. Seeing that historic room was truly amazing. Everything was preserved to how it was originally. After that we went to Kemah Boardwalk and got to spend some real fun, quality time with each other, without having to worry about any projects. It was a great time, and it really brought us closer as a class. The perfect way to wind down our junior year and take us into our senior year as we prepare our senior collections.

Here some photos of the fun!
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Go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/design/studentblogs/ to follow my blog and keep up with what's going on with me. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see more of my pics.

Lee
Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 9:27 PM |

April 20, 2015

Gastronomisk Legestue

Hello everyone!

I am just about to embark on my last travel break of the semester, and my family is here to visit! It's hard to believe that the last time I saw them was three months ago. They unfortunately only get to stay for a week, but it is so nice to see them again. After this week, it'll be crunch time at school. With only about three more weeks until the semester ends, all of my final projects and papers are due soon. I just have to remember that it'll be summer before I know it!

There aren't regular classes scheduled on Wednesdays because we go on field studies with our courses instead. This past Wednesday, I took a trip with my food systems class to København University's Gastronomy Lab. There, we worked with two students studying food science. They prepared recipes for a three course Nordic cuisine meal. Nordic cuisine is reshaping itself and becoming very progressive in the culinary world. The students' focus is on local, fresh food, so the meal was centered around in-season vegetables. We split up into small groups and made all three courses with a bit of help from the Danish students. They gave us plenty of freedom to alter the recipe where we saw fit, which made each group's meal a little bit different. We got to eat the meal, of course, and it was so incredibly delicious! It really showed that fresh food can make all the difference. It was such a cool experience. Here are a few pictures of our licorice ice cream, starter salad, and fish.

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Margo
Architecture

Posted by Margo at 2:24 AM |

April 19, 2015

Studio IV Final Project

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on a final project to design a Fraser clinic. I thought I would share a little more about the project to give you all a sneak peek of what the sophomore interior design students are working on for the Studio IV final project.

This group project is part of a Perkins + Will pro bono project where students at the U of M collaborate with Perkins + Will to bring Fraser a clinic design that will support the needs of its clients. Fraser is a clinic that works with children with ASD (or autism), and also supports the parents who spend so much time there.

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We're currently in the design development phase, which means we have developed a concept and are now working on making selections and developing our final design for the space. We are working with Revit, a professional computer program, to create our designs and renderings.

I've included a photo on the right of a rough, preliminary rendering of our initial ideas to illustrate the concept of rendering with Revit and how realistic it looks.

So far, we've had a couple of meetings with both Perkins + Will and folks from Fraser who have come in to look at our designs and provide feedback. Working with clients this semester has been really great because it made the process a little more challenging and helped us with real-world applications. We are working on things that will actually be built, so our designs may become a reality. It's really exciting to think about!

There are only about three weeks left in the semester, so it's almost crunch time. It's time to work hard and finish strong!

Megan
Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 12:20 PM |

Design Inspiration

Hey everyone!

Spring is finally here! The weather this week has been wonderful, and everything is beginning to turn green. It was nice to finally be able to open the windows in my apartment and let in some fresh air. I know the plants in my apartment were happy to get the extra sunlight. With spring here, it means the end of the semester is approaching as well. I'll be hard at work on my final projects and paper these next couple of weeks.

This past Saturday, I decided to take a little break from writing my paper and explore a vintage market expo that was happening in the metro area, and maybe get a little inspiration for my final projects. The expo was filled with rows of people selling various items, from refurbished tables made from old car parts to handmade jewelry. One of my favorite vendors was a man that made artwork and framed mirrors from old ceiling tiles. He showed a video that depicted his entire creative process, from taking down the ceiling tiles at an old house to the creating the finished products. His pieces and the other artwork at the expo reminded me that I can draw inspiration for my designs, including landscape plans, from just about anything, whether it's the geometry of a painting or an old ceiling tile.

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Cameron
Landscape Design and Planning

Posted by Cameron at 11:06 AM |

April 17, 2015

Welcome to New York!

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Hello everyone!

As promised in my Instagram post this week, I have some very exciting news to share. I've officially accepted an internship with Martha Stewart in New York this summer! I will be the design intern for Martha's American Made program, and I could not be more thrilled.

This was honestly my dream internship, and I'm still a little in awe of being accepted. It just goes to show that dreaming big can really pay off--it did for me! I've learned that even if something seems out of reach, you should go for it anyways, because you never know what could happen.

I have about 5-6 weeks to move out to New York and while that idea seems a little daunting right now, I know everything will work out.

Bring it on New York!

Until next time,

Leah
Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 3:47 PM |

April 7, 2015

Påske

Greetings!

I hope everyone had a chance to relax and enjoy the weather this weekend! I was off of school this past week because I traveled with my architecture studio during the last break. I spent a few days of my vacation in Nice and a few days in Prague. Both cities were amazing.

IMG_3634-2.jpg IMG_3702-2.jpg It was my first time experiencing a Southern European city, as well as an "Eastern" European city. The architecture and livelihood of each type of city was fascinating.

We have just two weeks of school left before we take our final weeklong break. This is a really hectic time for school. My professors are all trying to squeeze in assignments, so there is plenty of schoolwork. For the last break, my mum and sisters are paying me a visit! I am looking forward to spending a week exploring Copenhagen. I unfortunately haven't been able to do much exploring here on my own. Once we return from that break, it is just three short weeks until school is out. Where did the semester go!?

Enjoy every day, and keep up to date with UMN Design's Instagram!

Margo
Architecture

Posted by Margo at 2:48 PM |

April 6, 2015

Almost Time for Lift Off!

There is never a dull moment in the world of apparel design. I'm always busy, busy, busy. I have been working hard with my group on our NASA project. We were able to present our preliminary designs and experiment findings to our NASA mentors. Sadly, we were only able to have a conference call rather than doing a video conference. I would have loved to see who our mentors are so I could put faces to the names. Our presentation went really well, and I'm really proud of my group and the progress we made with it.

I think our mentors were impressed as well, especially with the direction we took on our project. Haptics usually deals with training people how to interpret vibrations, and that's what they usually see. Our project focuses on seeing what people intuitively interpret and what they think the vibrations are telling them to do, without training. Although our experiments were inconclusive, our mentors liked the idea because it was different from what they usually see. It's definitely something that designers can learn from and apply to their designs. As a designer, you should strive to be as innovative as possible and take risks. You'll be happy with the results in the end.

Now that we have completed our preliminary design and research, we can begin working on our final designs, evaluations, and presentations for the symposium when we go down to NASA in a couple of weeks. I'm excited to go, but I am also feeling nervous because we will be presenting to NASA! It's kind of a big deal.

Here is a photo of one of the other groups working on their project.

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Go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/design/studentblogs/ to follow my blog and keep up with my life. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see more of my pictures.

Lee
Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 3:08 AM |

April 5, 2015

#p1on1

Hello everyone!

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This past weekend I attended the American Institute of Graphic Arts' (AIGA) Portfolio 1-on-1 event and it was absolutely phenomenal! I am so happy I decided to sign up for it.

Portfolio 1-on-1 is an annual conference for junior and senior graphic design students. At the event, students get the chance to work with professionals in the design field to make connections and receive feedback on their portfolios. During the weekend, attendees have the opportunity to join three studio tours around downtown Minneapolis, as well as attend various workshops and panel discussions.

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On Friday, my group visited Cue, Little, and Olson. I absolutely loved all three and gained wonderful insight from our tour guides.

On Saturday, I began the day by attending a workshop with Heather Olson on how to leverage social media in your job search, which I found to be very helpful. I then attended three review sessions with various design professionals and received some really fantastic advice that I can't wait to utilize.

This weekend was definitely a reality check for me, but now I know what steps I need to take to get to where I need to be. I highly recommend this event to everyone!

Until next time,

Leah
Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 8:33 PM |

Registration Time

Hello Everyone!

Last week, I registered for my fall 2015 classes. For me, this process is always exciting because I get to see the different courses that I can take. Here is a photo of all the courses that the Landscape Architecture department offers for the fall semester.

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Although registration is fun and exciting, it can also be a bit stressful at times because it takes careful planning to make sure you meet all the course requirements while trying to fit everything into your schedule. I always find it useful to talk with my adviser as I prepare for registration to make sure all goes smoothly when the time comes. He offers great advice on what courses I should take and when I should take them. Another great tool I use while registering is graduation planner. This allows me to plan out potential schedules for my four years in college and also tells me what requirements I might be missing.

I am really excited about the classes I am taking next semester!

Here is a link to grad planner:
https://onestop2.umn.edu/gradplanner/home.jsp

Cameron
Landscape Design and Planning

Posted by Cameron at 4:31 PM |

A College of Design Hidden Gem

Final projects have officially started and summer is just weeks away. My final studio project is another group project, and we are designing a clinic for Fraser. Along with finals comes a lot of job searching. My classmates and I have been gathering projects and putting final touches on our resumes and portfolios.

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One service that I've found helpful in assembling my portfolio is the Imaging Labs in McNeal Hall and Rapson Hall, where students can go have professional photos taken of their projects. I'm not sure how many students actually know about the Imaging Lab, but discovering it has been amazing for me. They take great photos and it's really easy! The quality of the photos is much higher than cell phone images with dull lighting and shadows, so it's definitely a great asset.

If you're a design student at the U of M, the Imaging Lab is a valuable thing to know about, and it's just two floors down from the interior design studios. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the service and taking your projects there as soon as possible so you can use your summer vacation to put together a portfolio.

Have a great couple of weeks everybody. Summer will be here before you know it!

Megan
Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 11:48 AM |

April 3, 2015

Major Issues!

Hey everyone!

If you're anything like I was at the start of college, you might not know what major is the best fit for you. I promise you that you're not alone. You'll find that a lot of students start college either undecided or with only a slight idea of what they want to do.

Here's how I ultimately chose the retail merchandising major:

When I came to the U of M, I hadn't yet decided on a major. I was always interested in biology and chemistry, but I also had a very creative mind. I started my freshman year by taking general courses in a variety of subjects (creative courses, biology courses, etc.) so I could play around with different areas of interest in hopes that it would help me decide. By the end of my freshman year, I still didn't know for sure what I wanted to major in. I was becoming anxious and frustrated.

My sophomore year was when everything fell into place. I decided to make an appointment with a Center for Academic Planning (CAPE) coach. CAPE coaches are available to assist students who are having a difficult time choosing a major. After having a few meetings with a CAPE coach, carefully considering what I found important in a major, and analyzing my strengths and weaknesses, I chose to major in retail merchandising.

The retail merchandising major had everything I was looking for and still lives up to my expectations every day. With creativity, hands on experiences, online classes, and supportive professors and advisers, I knew this was the major for me.

If you find yourself struggling to decide on a major, I highly recommend making an appointment with a CAPE coach. They're always willing to help and truly care about what is best for you.


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This photo was taken three years ago at my orientation. TIME FLIES! #GoGophers

Best of luck,
Bethanie
Retail Merchandising

Posted by Bethanie at 9:36 PM |

March 24, 2015

Danish Design

Life in Copenhagen has been quieter these past few weeks. After getting back from a travel break, I had a lot to do in my other classes besides studio, and in studio we began our third and final project for the semester. It has been nice to be back home in Copenhagen and get back into the swing of things. But I leave again on Saturday for a personal trip to Nice and Prague. I'm always on the move here!

The other evening, I met with a connection I formed upon my arrival in Denmark--an architect! She is a young architect who just started her professional career after graduating from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. This school offers programs in architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, apparel, and a number of other design disciplines. She was able to show me a bit of her work, which was so incredible to see. A lot of her work looked like projects I've completed before. It made me realize I am getting closer to the end of my education, which means it will be time for the real world soon!

It was also very nice to talk with her about the job market for architects in Denmark. I have fallen in love with this country, and would have great pleasure to come back here again to live. However, the job market is difficult for architects in Denmark. She was unemployed for a year before she got the job she has now. Denmark takes very good care of its unemployed citizens though, so she has been okay. In the next couple of days, she plans on compiling a list of firms in Copenhagen for me to look into for potential jobs this summer, and also for post-graduation. The real world can be tough, so I am open to any connections and recommendations I can get! So just a healthy reminder about Career & Internship Services and the awesome (free!) services it provides to help get you on your way to being a professional!

And then just a little sneak peak of where I'll be in a few short days :D
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-Margo
--Architecture

Posted by Margo at 3:53 PM |

And We're Back

Welcome back from Spring Break, everyone!! This year, I wasn't able to do anything wild and crazy like go to Mexico, but the weather here was a lot better than the typical March in Minnesota, so that was a plus. The time off was nice, and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say it wasn't long enough to get everything done that I would have liked to.

I was able to do some experimentation with my NASA project for my Apparel Design studio class. If you don't remember, the project I was assigned to is Wearable Haptics for Directing. My group and I created a prototype to house all of our vibrating tactors, which we then tested on people to see how they reacted to the various stimuli we gave them. So far, we've got some interesting results. We'll be presenting our project to our NASA mentors this Wednesday, so I'm hoping that goes well. Wish me luck!

Here are some pics from our testing.
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Go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/design/studentblogs/ to follow my blog and keep up with what's going on with me. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see more of my pics.

Lee
Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 9:12 AM |

March 22, 2015

Another Field Trip

Spring break is drawing to a close, meaning we are on the home stretch to summer now!

The other week for my materials class (IDES 2613), my classmates and I toured Tile by Design in Plymouth (located in the NW section of the Twin Cities metropolitan area).Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 1.52.47 PM.png
We went to talk about different kinds of tile as well as their benefits and aspects, such as durability, clean-ability, etc. We learned about natural vs. polished surfaces and the differences between types like terracotta, porcelain, ceramic and so on. We also got to explore the showroom.

My favorite area was the space featuring future tile trends. There were some unique items and interesting combinations. I Instagrammed one of the displays in that section (on the right) that shows a chevron pattern using colored tiles with the appearance of wood. This is just one example of the interesting tile textures, displays, and colors that I have never seen or thought of before.

It was a fascinating tour, and I suggest a tile showroom visit for anyone who is interested in interior design or wants to learn more about tile products. The employees were so supportive; they were excited to share information and show us around. It was a great thing to experience in person rather than learn about in a classroom or online.

Hopefully everyone has/had a great spring break; time to get back to class!

Megan
Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 12:43 PM |

March 18, 2015

Spring Break!

Hello everyone,

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I am sitting in Tampa, Florida, as I am writing this!

As mentioned in a previous post, I spent my freshman year of college at the University of Tampa, so I am back here visiting friends this week. So far, I've been able to relax and lie out by the pool, watch a Spring Training game for the Yankees, and spend a night at the beach watching the sunset. It's been a really fabulous trip so far and I'm not sure if I'm ready for break to be over just yet.

That said, spring break marks the halfway point of the semester and warmer weather is on its way, so I have that to look forward to!

While I've spent each of my spring breaks in Tampa, several student groups at the University of Minnesota have alternative break options such as Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) and Habitat for Humanity. Both of these groups work on service projects around the country throughout the week. This year STLF traveled to Washington D.C., Denver, and Atlanta, while Habitat for Humanity went to Beaumont, Texas; Medford, Oregon; and Sacramento, California. I've never been on one of these trips, but I always think they sound like a lot of fun! If you're interested, check them out here and here.

Until next time!

Leah
Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 12:13 PM |

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