College of Design Student Blogs

May 5, 2015

Proud Mama

Hi everyone!

The semester is coming to an end, which means everyone is finishing up their final projects and getting ready for finals week. Finals season brings on a lot of stress, but with that stress comes much needed relief when you're finally done with the semester. My advice to everyone is to prioritize your time, get enough sleep, and try to study in advance rather than the the night before your exams.

The last two weeks of the semester should go smoothly for me. For my final project in my photography class, I wanted to take a series of pictures and portraits in a fashion spread style. Luckily for me, FAB had its annual fashion show, RISE, on Sunday, so I decided to attend the show and take some pictures. The show presented work from many of our apparel design students at the U of M, as well as collections from local stores and designers.

The show went really well overall, and the student collections were very high quality. I was extremely impressed by everyone. The show was also a competition for the students where three freshman and sophomore students won for the best collections. I felt like a proud mama seeing them up there. I couldn't have been more impressed and proud of the caliber of work they submitted, especially for being so early in the apparel design program. Seeing talent like that from the freshman and sophomore class makes me excited for the program's future.

Here are the winners from the RISE fashion show:

Evan Ihde, Ka Ying Lee, and Sinéad Kelly


Here are pieces from each of their collections:

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Follow my blog to keep up with what's happening in my life and follow my apparel design journey. Also, make sure to check out the UMNDesign Instagram to see more of my photos.

Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 2:24 AM |

May 3, 2015

I'm a Published Author!

Hello everyone!

Since finals are upon us, I thought I would share a little bit about the final projects I've been working on.

My final project for photography was left fairly open-ended, so I decided to combine my love of typography and photography by photographing typography I've made out of various objects.



By the time I'm done, I should have 20 of these!

My surface design/screen printing final project was also left up to us, so I decided to create a set of personal stationary that I can use during my job search once I graduate. By the time I'm done, I will have made business cards, thank you notes, envelopes, letterhead and even a pencil case I sewed out of fabric I printed on.

Finally, and perhaps the most exciting final project of the semester is for my thesis class. I have written papers about my thesis topic throughout the semester, and for the final project, we turned the papers into a book that we designed and self-published. I got the hard copy in the mail this week, and I have to say, I'm really proud of the final product.




My final project is about the Minnesotan Identity, and I proposed a rebrand of our state and its image. While writing, I was inspired by a discussion at the Walker Art Center last November.

I still have a bit of work to do, but I'm so close to being done!

Until next time,

Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 7:59 PM |

Final Project Time

Hi everyone!

I'm in the midst of final projects, and it's a busy time! Every time finals season pops up, I seem to learn how much I can really accomplish in a short amount of time and never fail to amaze myself. As I've shared before, I'm currently working on a group project for a Fraser Clinic that will be located in Woodbury, MN. The project is due this coming week and its a crunch! The key to final projects is to not get behind. It's always my goal to finish my projects early to avoid all-nighters in the studio or computer lab. I haven't had any yet this semester, so its definitely still possible. I have had to spend some full days in the computer lab though to get to this point. Below I've included a rendering my group created for our project. This is the developed design of the reception area I previously shared with you, and I'm really proud of it!

Reception.jpg I've also been doing internship interviews throughout the past few weeks. I'm now waiting to hear back, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to land an internship for the summer. I'm looking at some small residential firms near where I live to learn a little more about residential interior design since our projects lately have been commercial projects. This way I can see if residential design is what I'm interested in or if I would rather go the commercial direction.

I hope everyone is having a great finals week and finishing off the semester strong. I think we're all ready for summer!

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 5:16 PM |

Designed Landscape Project

Hey Everyone!

Finals are officially here! It seems like each semester goes by faster than the last. It is hard to believe that after a few more projects and papers, I'll be half-way done with college. Last week I presented my final project for LA 2302. In this class, we learned about computer representation for environmental design and became familiar with programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Sketchup. Although I'm not great with computers, I learned so much from this class that will help me in future courses and jobs.

For the final project, we were asked to combine everything we learned in a representation of a designed landscape. I decided to continue working on a riverfront park that I designed in a course last semester. Using mostly Illustrator and Photoshop, I created a rendered plan and section view of the space as well as an exploded axon. We built a 3D model of the park in Sketchup for a previous assignment, so I was able to further render graphics from this in Photoshop to create two perspective views. I think using Photoshop is really fun, and I enjoy depicting how people can experience spaces.

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I mentioned earlier that I don't have the best luck with computers, so naturally I experienced a minor complication while working on my project. As I was finishing up my perspective views, my computer froze and started flashing. After a few hours at the bookstore and a new hard drive cable, I was able to continue working. Thankfully the tech people at the bookstore were very helpful and all my files were saved in time for my presentation.

Cameron Zuck
Landscape Design and Planning

Posted by Cameron at 2:33 PM |

Cisterns, Project 03

Happy May, everyone!

In just a few short days, I will be finished with my second architecture studio! Much like Studio 01 at the U of M, the last project of the semester was quite long, as we spent over eight weeks working on the project. This semester, project three is about creating performance spaces, such as dance, theatre, or music, in existing cisterns within a park in central Copenhagen. I had never seen a cistern prior to this project, so it was really fascinating to research them and learn about their history. The cisterns are incredibly large, dark, and cold, so creating a performance space within the cisterns is very unique.

I have an interest in historical preservation, so I find this project insightful and relevant to what I hope to do in my future career. For my project, I decided to work directly with the cisterns and a number of the programmatic elements within them. Other students in my studio find the cisterns difficult to work with and are planning their structures near or on top of the cisterns. Once I experienced the cisterns, I thought it was a very cool place, but I thought it could perhaps be used for something more unique than its current exhibition space. The cisterns are part of Copenhagen's history and I believe they should be a place for people to freely visit, which is why I chose to work within the cisterns.

I am not completely finished with all of my renderings, so here is an image of how the cisterns currently look.

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Posted by Margo at 5:50 AM |

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 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.

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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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!

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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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,

Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 3:47 PM |

April 7, 2015



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!


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.


Go to 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.

Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 3:08 AM |

April 5, 2015


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,

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:

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!

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 11:48 AM |