College of Design Student Blogs

September 20, 2014

The First Review of 2014

Today was the first Review Day of LA3001 "Understanding and Creating Landscape Space." This class is all about creating models. After a couple semesters of drawing and creating two-dimensional art works, it is so rewarding to be able to create three-dimensional spaces that you could imagine occupying.

In this studio-based class, we are instructed to take inanimate objects and use them as inspiration for creating a space. I chose a leaf and a pine cone for my first project. We had just over a week to create a still life drawing, a contour line drawing, an abstract two-dimensional plan, and finally, a final model. The final model had to be inspired by the original objects, but in an abstract way. The drawings were stepping stones for reaching our final product.

Pictured is a view of our studio space and the class during the review, and some photos of my work. I was intrigued by the way the pine cone fanned out, and by the topography the leaf created. I morphed the two together to make the pine cone into the wave motion of the leaf. Review Days in studio classes are like tests. You get your chance to share your work, explain your thought processes, and receive critiquing.

The following link has some TED talks about using nature as inspiration for design, also known as biomimicry:

Landscape Design and Planning

Posted by Allen at 6:29 PM | | Comments (0)

September 19, 2014


Hello everyone!

My name is Margo and I am a third year student in the Architecture program here in the College of Design at the wonderful University of Minnesota Twin Cities! I am beyond excited to share my experiences with you this year. This is my first year in the Bachelor of Science program, so everything is just as new to me as it will be to you. Before we dive into everything that this University has to offer, let me tell you a bit about my background:

-- I have wanted to be an architect since I was nine years old. I love being immersed in the design culture that the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis have.

-- I LOVE to travel! So much so that I decided to have the world on my arm permanently :) I will also be studying abroad in Copenhagen in the spring!

-- I am a mother of a 2.5 year old cat named Nathaniel P. Archibald.

-- I have a lot of interest in Sustainability, so I'm a bit of a green freak.

-- I enjoy going to concerts, and Minneapolis is great for doing just that!

I love living, working, and being educated in a city as phenomenal as the Twin Cities. The possibilities are endless. Keep on board with my blogs through this year!



Posted by Margo at 6:20 PM | | Comments (0)

September 18, 2014

I'm Famous!

FullSizeRender.jpgOkay so I'm not REALLY famous... but through my Instagramming and blogging for the College of Design, one of my photos has been published on a magazine cover! Emerging is a magazine by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Design that tells stories of students, alumni and faculty. It's a free magazine and and you can check it out here (that swirly pink picture, yeah, that's mine! And there I am holding it up!). For those of you considering the life of a design student at the U of M, it's a great source to see what's been going on in the College of Design and the kind of things students, alum, and faculty at the U of M are up to!

Who knew that this photo I posted early in the year was being looked at! I guess that just means that you really want to put your best foot forward, and present work that you are proud of and is the best it can be, because you never know who will be seeing it!

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 6:27 PM | | Comments (0)

September 16, 2014

Ringing in the New (school) Year!

Hello, all!

I'm Bethanie and I look forward to allowing you to see into my world as I work through my junior year in the Retail Merchandising program in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities!

Before we dive into this exiting journey, I wanted to share a little information about myself!

-- I love fashion, photography, and makeup. One day I hope to combine these three interests of mine into a career where I can style photo shoots for magazine spreads.

-- Living in a big city is a must for me! I enjoy going to school at the U of M because I love being in the heart of Minneapolis. Minneapolis has a lot to offer, I never find myself bored!

-- I work at Primp Boutique as a Stylist. I get to express my creativity daily in addition to making women feel beautiful and confident in their clothes.

-- I love animals (especially cats) and I have a big heart for bettering my community. I enjoy volunteering both on and off of campus.

-- Traveling is my passion. Despite my fear of flying, I enjoy visiting new places and learning about different cultures. This past summer my Mom and I took a trip out to New York City. I would highly recommend visiting The Big Apple if you get the chance!


Style On,
Retail Merchandising

Posted by Bethanie at 10:02 PM | | Comments (0)

September 11, 2014

College: Round 4

Hello everyone!

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My name is Leah, and I'm a senior graphic design student in the College of Design.

I never thought I would end up at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and I never could've imagined how much I would fall in love with this school, but let's back up a bit.

I lived in a suburb of Minneapolis my entire life and couldn't WAIT to get out of Minnesota after high school. I decided to start my college adventure all the way down at the University of Tampa. However, I quickly learned that not all programs are created equal (and how much I really loved Minnesota), so I decided to come back home and applied to the U of M as a new Transfer Student.

Fast-forward a few months and I was accepted to the College of Design as a Pre-Graphic Design major. I could not be any happier with where I ended up. I could go on forever about why I love the U of M and College of Design, but I'll save that for another post. In the mean time, keep checking back here to find out what I'm up to this year, and I hope that through my experiences you too can fall in love with the U of M!

Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 10:56 PM | | Comments (0)

June 9, 2014

Summer Projects

Classes have ended for a couple of weeks now and we are in the full swing of summer break. Even though I don't have any classes anymore, it still seems like my projects are never ending. I guess this is what I can expect if I want to own my own business creating my own clothes and creating outfits for clients. One of the projects I just completed was for the lead singer of the local band, Little Band, which he needed for the Rebel, Rebel event at First Avenue. It was an awesome experience, because it really tested what I've learned so far in my education on how to pattern and doing adjustments while doing fittings with him. I am very happy to say that, yes, I actually learned things while here. I am also working on some shirts and a costume for other people, which is going to help me spread my name out there as a designer. Another great thing that has happened, is that I received notification that I have been accepted into the study abroad program at Central Saint Martins in London for the fall 2014 semester. This means I have a lot to prepare for that this summer as well. It may be summer break, but I sure know how to keep myself busy.

Here's a pic of the outfit I help create on stage at the Rebel, Rebel event.
Little Man.jpg

Make sure to follow my blog at and also look for my pics on the UMNDesign Instagram!

Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 2:03 PM | | Comments (0)

June 8, 2014

Summer Time

water lilies.jpgSummer is in full swing and so is my internship at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. I was excited to work there and I can say it is the highlight of my summer so far! Getting dirty and being hands on with the plants is a wonderful way to spend my days. My favorite job so far is working out front in the water gardens. I get to wear tall boots and long gloves and help place the water plants in their place of the design. One of the most unique plants in the water gardens are the Victoria water-lilies. These lilies are native to the Amazon River and can grow up to 9.8 ft in diameter! When I'm not at my internship I am exploring the cities with my friends and working at my job on campus at the Herbarium of the Bell Museum. Having a job on campus is really nice to help keep you on schedule and to give you a little extra spending cash for activities. To search for jobs on campus you can click here and follow a link to the U's employment page. Good luck and enjoy your summer!

Landscape Design & Planning

Posted by Theresa at 10:45 PM | | Comments (0)

Wild Internship!

With a few weeks of summer under my belt, I'm comfortably settled into my role as Graphic Design Intern at the Minnesota Zoo! I spent the first week learning the ropes of the zoo and working on a few smaller design projects for various exhibits. More recently, I had the opportunity to create several large pieces for the Butterfly Garden, which will be opening for the season next weekend! It's really exciting to see my designs around the zoo, and to see children and their families actually interacting with them. One of my recent projects (shown below) is a digital display for the zoo's butterfly conservation campaign, which is located at the entrance to the zoo right in front of the cashiers' desks.

The other interns and I are encouraged to walk around to the different exhibits, and we've gotten special tours of behind the scenes areas where they keep the animals when they're not on display. In the future, my boss even plans to arrange an event for us where we can interact with some of the animals up close! So far it's been an amazing experience, and I can't wait for the rest of the summer!

This will likely be my last post of the season, and I'm not yet sure if I will be returning in the fall. If that's the case, I'd like to thank you all for reading and wish you a wonderful summer!

Graphic Design


Posted by Kate at 8:25 PM | | Comments (0)

I'm Employed!

Hi everyone!

I'm now officially employed for the summer at Hom Furniture! I'm working as a Design Assistant which is a new position and includes a variety of things. It's an awesome opportunity for me because it's an actual job and it's in my field. Just after one year of school I have a job! I can't even believe it myself. I'm going to be learning so much this summer working with customers to help them choose furnishings for their houses and even participating in house calls for customers working with the designers. I'll also be assisting with setting up and laying out the store displays and visuals. It will be a great mix of things that can help me see different aspects of interior design and a little bit of business mixed in there too!Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 5.39.00 PM.png

The best advice I can give for looking for a job now or in the future is being persistent! It takes a lot of work reaching out to companies and people and expressing your interest in their company. Determination is the key!

I've just completed my first week which consisted of training and now I'll really be getting going and I'm looking forward to it! This job is the largest time commitment of a job I've had and it's also the most grown-up job I've had! It's a little scary but it's an amazing opportunity and I'm so lucky!

Hope your summers are off to an awesome start!
Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 5:14 PM | | Comments (0)

June 4, 2014

If I May Call Myself an Intern

Hello everyone!

I am back for one more post before the new blogging crew arrives. To catch you up on these last couple weeks, I have been working at BWBR Architects in St. Paul. Their main location is here in St. Paul (and has been for over 100 years!) and they have recently opened a smaller location in Madison, WI. I found out today that BWBR first started in the Endicott building two blocks away from their current location. The building they were in was designed by Cass Gilbert and at the time there were 24 architecture firms sharing space in that building!

The internship has been so much fun! I have been working on a team (we have a project manager who oversees the stages of the design, interior designers who work with the interior architects on the inside of the building, and architects who work solely on the exterior of the building). The team works closely with our quality assurance department, the clients, and other companies like mechanical teams, electrical teams, plumbing, structural and more. I have been helping create callouts of building details, annotating documents, placing symbols and keynotes, working on redlines and more.

Next week I will temporarily help another project by going to the site and measuring rooms and double checking that dimensions and objects in the existing building are correct in the Revit model BWBR has created.

On Tuesday some of the interns went on a site visit to see the ending stages of the Eagle Bluff Church in Woodbury. The church is scheduled to open in September, so at this point all of the foundations have been poured, windows and walls placed, carpeting is being laid, paint applied, ceilings being assembled, etc. Construction site tours are some of my favorite events to go to. It is a lot of fun to see how a building comes together during different phases of the construction process. Below is a photo of one of BWBR's construction architects who led the tour. One photo is at the main entrance to the church and the other photo is above the worship space in the catwalk.



I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer!

All the best,
B.S. in Architecture

Posted by Jen at 11:00 PM | | Comments (0)

June 2, 2014

Workin' for a Livin'

I started my summer internship today! For the next three months I will be working for the City of Minneapolis. I'll be doing what is called "field inspections", driving around Minneapolis neighborhoods and documenting violations such as tall grass, abandoned vehicles, and brush overhang. While it does not sound all that glamorous, it will be a great experience. The people I will be working with are really friendly, and I will learn what it is like to work in the real world. I have never worked 40 hours a week before, which is a little scary, but I know it will be a fun job nonetheless!


I hope you have a wonderfully adventurous summer :)

And stay classy :D
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Posted by Karly at 7:16 PM | | Comments (0)

May 26, 2014

Portfolio Polishing

Now that the semester is over, I've finally had some time to fix up my portfolio and make it look a bit more professional. I just added the photos from my last surface design project, which you can take a look at here. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, especially considering that they were taken on a coffee table in my living room using a bed sheet and a work lamp for some makeshift lighting.

For the projects that didn't include a printed component (or that I just didn't feel like photographing) I've began to create photoshop mockups that give the designs a bit more context. Mockups are great tools for graphic designers and allow clients to preview what a design will actually look like in its finished state. There are tons of mockup templates available online that you can download for free and use for your own projects. They're super easy to customize and only take a couple minutes to complete. Below I've included before and after images of a basic poster mockup that I recently added to my portfolio. If you'd like to learn a bit more about how to create your own, you can take a look at this online tutorial!

Graphic Design


Posted by Kate at 8:59 PM | | Comments (0)

May 21, 2014

What an Amazing Time it has Been!

Well, I cannot believe it but I am finally able to say I have graduated with my undergraduate architecture bachelor of science degree! I still don't really feel as if I have graduated. It seems very surreal - like I am just on another summer break and will be starting school again in the fall (some day I will be back to begin my M'Arch degree!). The graduation ceremony was wonderful. It felt bittersweet lined up in Northrop with all of my classmates (and the entire graduating class from the College of Design). The ceremony was filled with wonderful speeches as well as a lot of excitement as we watched our friends walk across the stage. Afterward, I posed for a photo with my closest friends from the program. I will ALWAYS stay in touch with them - I feel like I've grown up with them in a sense.


What do I do with all of my free time now? Well, I still don't even know! I am focusing on work and truly enjoying being able to get out and enjoy the beginnings of summer. I plan to stay involved in the architecture community as much as possible and I hope to return to Rapson again. I truly will miss my second home, but I wish the best for all of the students who still reside there. It has been an amazing time and a great four years filled with passion, tears, excitement, wonderful friendships and unforgettable opportunities.

I hope you have enjoyed keeping up with my blogs and I encourage you to continue following the architectural blogger for next year - they will be great!

All the best,
B.S. in Architecture

Posted by Jen at 6:58 PM | | Comments (0)

Round 2: Complete

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It's hard to believe I am FINALLY done with my Second Year here at the U! I encountered many new experiences this past year and successfully completed them. Now that I am more than half done with my undergrad career, I can honestly say I could not be happier with my decision to study Landscape Architecture, especially here at the U. Why is that you ask?

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1. The majority of my classes have around 30 students. This has allowed me to make valuable connections with other students and receive the help I need from professors. The support system I have formed here has been an important part in all of my successes.

2. The Twin Cities has many great opportunities to study landscape architecture through its comprehensive park system, but it also offers many chances for cultural activities. The museums and theaters are must sees!

3. I have had the opportunity the enhance my creativity and strategic thinking skills through the College of Design. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be drawing and sketching as much as I have! Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy about it. If you look at the two drawings on this page, you can see how much progress I made in my skills in LESS THAN ONE WEEK! During our study abroad program, we were sketching EVERY day. Some days I didn't want to, but I kept at it. The sketch on the left was my first in Venice and the one on the right was on the last day. To me, this shows that with a little patience and dedication anyone can improve their skills.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog posts this year as much as I have writing them! Have a wonderful summer, and make sure to get out and enjoy all of the places the Twin Cities has to offer.

Landscape Design & Planning

Posted by Theresa at 4:16 PM | | Comments (0)

May 19, 2014



I can't believe I'm officially graduated from the University of Minnesota! It was such a surreal day. I'm so happy that I was able to share this special day with my wonderful family and friends!


Posted by spric007 at 9:46 AM |