College of Design Student Blogs

February 9, 2015

REVEL Senior Fashion Show

This past Saturday was the REVEL Senior Fashion Show! Revel-1.jpg If you attended the show, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you missed it, well you missed a really great show. It's always exciting to see the final collections from the seniors in the program. I find it inspiring to see what they think of and how they make their concepts come to life.

To the seniors, I'm so proud of the work you guys put into your collections, and congrats for completing your collections and putting on a great show! The senior show is a great example of how the Apparel Design program at the U of M prepares you to develop your style and aesthetic as a designer. For example, this year's show included pieces ranging from clothing for a rock band, to go-go dancers, to bridal.

The fashion show is mostly for the seniors, but I want to give a shout out to the juniors and sophomores who also Revel-2.jpgshowed a piece. Great work! There are definitely some amazing emerging talents in these groups of students. I can't wait until next year's show! I know it's going to be amazing, not just because it will be my senior collection showing, but because of the talent I've already previewed from this year's show. If you missed it this year, make sure you go next year. I guarantee it will be one to remember.

Great work to everyone!!

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 1:26 PM |


Hello readers!

My architecture studio in Copenhagen brings together students from a number of universities and with different backgrounds. Some students are in the pre-architecture program here, and they come from backgrounds such as art history to theatre art. This made our first project very interesting.

My group was made up of two architecture students, including myself, an interior design student, and an art history student. Even between the other architecture student and me, there were many differences in our education and what we have learned thus far. This created a very dynamic group because we all had different strengths to contribute. I think this element of study abroad is another learning experience in itself. Although my next two projects won't be group projects, I am still working with students of other backgrounds during studio. Being able to listen to the ideas and thought processes of another design student is fascinating.

Vitra_C.-Richters_16.jpgThe purpose of our first project was to become familiar with buildings that we will be visiting later this month as we travel to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. My group and I were analyzing the Vitra Fire Station on the Vitra Campus in Germany. Check out all of Vitra's exquisite buildings here. The building was very interesting to study because its design is very abstract and unique. The model was challenging, but with (a lot) of precision, it turned out beautifully!

Later this week the architecture students will be taking a trip outside of Copenhagen to other cities in Western Denmark. I'm very excited to see the architecture outside of the major city and learn more about the lifestyles there. Make sure to follow UMNDesign's Instagram for more updates on my trip!


Posted by Margo at 1:12 PM |

February 8, 2015

Up's and Down's

A few months ago I blogged about receiving my acceptance letter from The Fashion Studio at Kent State. I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to go. However, life throws curveballs at you every now and then. I'm sad to say that I will no longer be attending Kent State's Fashion Studio in Fall 2015.

You might be asking, why the sudden change? To keep it short and sweet, here is what happened: I (realistically) looked into my financial situation and decided that this program was too expensive for what I was willing to pay.

It's truly an amazing program and I would highly encourage all students to look into it! In the end, it just wasn't for me and that's ok! :)

Instead, I've decided to focus my energy on obtaining an internship and steady career with Nordstrom. I work full time at Nordstrom in addition to going to school full time (yes, it's possible. I promise.). Nordstrom is a company I would love to grow with. Therefore, I dedicate a lot of time and energy into my sales and other tasks. I'm working toward my dream career and I couldn't be happier.

Remember: When one door closes, another door opens.

This is a photo of Manhattan I took on my recent visit to New York--I will always love this city!

Stay positive,
Retail Merchandising

Posted by Bethanie at 10:45 PM |

The search is on...

Hello Everyone!

One of the requirements of the graphic design program here at the U of M is completing an internship before we graduate. So now that my portfolio has been updated, my resume has been critiqued, and my cover letters have been written, it's time for me to start applying for summer internships!

In looking for internships, I'm mainly using four resources: GoldPass,, LinkedIn, and good old-fashioned networking.

GoldPass is the University of Minnesota's very own job-listing site created exclusively for students and alumni--yet another perk of going to school here!


Both LinkedIn and allow you to create a profile and then have both the option of matching you with potential internships and employers and also allowing you to search for companies.

Finally, I've been trying to use my network of friends, family, classmates, and professors to see where they may have interned or worked in the past, or what connections they may have. As it's always said, "It's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know."

It's a long process, but it will be so worth it in the end. Internships are such valuable experiences, and I can't wait to start mine no matter where I end up!

Until next time,

Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 7:37 PM |

Supporting U

This past week, I received a surprising outpouring of support from the U of M. There was an unexpected death in my family and as much as I don't want to talk about it right now, I thought it would be important to share how much the faculty and students at the U of M care.
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I had to go home immediately and have missed about a week's worth of classes. I emailed my teachers and they were all primarily concerned about my well being, not me missing class. I hate getting behind in classes--even if I'm sick for a day, I worry about getting too behind--but all the responses from my teachers really put me at ease. It took some stress off of me for the time being. I'll have to do a lot of catching up when I go back this week, but the teachers and my advisers have made it clear that they are there for me and will work with me to get back on track.

Missing projects for studio is hard. There's a lot of work to do and little time, so missing a week puts me in a really tough position. Luckily, I have a great group for the project we're working on at the moment and they have really stepped up while I've been away. I haven't been totally off the hook for the project, and I wouldn't want to be. But they have been really understanding and have communicated to me what I should be doing and what they're taking care of back at school. I also have great friends at school who are taking notes for me and keeping me posted on what's happening.

The U of M has given me so much support. We never expect these kinds of things to happen, but knowing that people out there care and understand is a comforting thought. I'm so thankful for all the support I've gotten this past week. There are facilities and programs available to students such as the advising and support team which includes advisers. There are also counseling services available to students. The students and faculty at the U of M are great, and this experience has just reinforced that for me.

Best wishes to all,

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 12:26 PM |

January 26, 2015

So Far So Good

I hope everyone's first week of the new semester went well. It's crazy to be back at the U of M, getting back into the swing of things with classes, and seeing all the familiar faces again. It feels great to be with my College of Design family and especially my Apparel Design Class of 2016. NASA-logo.png

It's going to be busy, but there are some exciting things to come from this semester. In my Visual Merchandising class, we'll be working on window displays for the Weismann Art Museum and doing a competition for Target. The winner of the Target competition will actually get a monetary reward! Money is always exciting! In my Apparel Design studio class, we'll be working on projects from NASA, which will culminate in a trip to NASA in Houston to present our projects! Yay!! A trip to NASA!!

Then there is the fast approaching Revel Senior Fashion Show. The show will be on February 7th, 2015, so if you haven't gotten your tickets, get them fast! I'll be showing my tailored jacket, and from what I've already seen from the seniors, it should be a great show.

Here's a link to get the show information and how to get tickets:

I'm so glad that there are great opportunities like these, provided by the College of Design to its students. It's going to be a great semester, so until next time. Hope to see you at the show!

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 1:13 AM |

January 25, 2015

Hej from København.

Hej from København!

Today marks one week since I arrived in Copenhagen. It has been such a long week, but an absolutely wonderful week! During the first few days, we had orientation and fun things to do around Copenhagen to get us better acquainted. Classes began on Thursday and I am excited to dive into them! My architecture professors have such exquisite backgrounds, I am so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from them and gain a new perspective on my design work.

retro-oval-dining-table-dm9900.jpgDenmark is a fascinating country in more ways than I imagined. I thought there were a lot of bikes in Minneapolis, but Copenhagen has eight times more daily bike commuters! So many bikes! I've also been learning more about the equality here in Denmark. The typical Danish dining table looks a lot like this image. If you are familiar with New Nordic Design, you will recognise the sleek and minimal design of this table. What is so interesting as to why Danes fancy this table is because of its more oval shape -- it doesn't allow one person to be at the head of the table. Since every human is equal, it would be out of place for one person to be seated there. It is incredibly intriguing how a culture can influence design, and how design can influence culture. This is something I find very interesting, and I look forward to learning about how this stands true in Danish culture, and finding ways on how this is also true for American culture.

Don't forget to keep up with the College of Design Instagram for posts about my adventures around Copenhagen!

Hej hej,


Posted by Margo at 5:03 PM |

The Adventure Continues

I previously wrote a post on the importance of exploring Minneapolis and getting out and about. Now this recommendation probably doesn't sound quite so intriguing in the winter, but the winter has amazing things to offer, too!

Recently, I went to the Sculpture Garden, next to the Walker Art Museum in an area of Minneapolis called Uptown. The Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, more commonly known as The Cherry & The Spoon, is such a staple Minneapolis landmark. You can't live in the city and not see it! It's by Claes Oldenburg and is as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer. The Sculpture Garden is free to visit, so there's really no excuse not to go.
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Another great winter activity - Minnehaha Falls (photo on right). Located in Minneapolis, this 53-foot waterfall is surrounded by limestone bluffs providing beautiful views. It's a large park space and is a great way to get outdoors. It offers spectacular hiking in the summer and unique winter sights in the colder months -- the waterfall freezes solid! The park is easy to access and is also free, so again, why not go take a look?

We've been lucky enough to have some really nice weather lately and it looks like it will continue for a little while longer. I encourage everyone to take advantage of it and get outside. These outdoor retreats can be such a great break from homework and good ways to get some fresh air.

I hope everyone has a great spring semester!

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 1:07 PM |

January 22, 2015

Back to Business!

Welcome back, everyone!

Spring semester is in full swing and I couldn't be more excited to share with you the classes I'm taking!

I'm taking Macroeconomics, Career and Internship Preparation, Softlines Analysis, Dress Society and Culture, and Design and Visual Presentation.

My favorite part about being in the Retail Merchandising program is that I'm exposed to both business classes as well as design classes. By majoring in Retail Merchandising you will also be getting a minor in Management. Courses I've taken previously that relate to the Management minor include Management, Marketing, Microeconomics, and Human Resources. These classes are through the Carlson School of Management.

This semester, I'm really looking forward to my Design and Visual Presentation course. I'm taking it online and I will be learning how to use applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

I'm nervous about my Macroeconomics course because I previously struggled in Microeconomics. However, the professors at the University of Minnesota are great and they want all of their students to succeed, therefore I know I will be fine! My professor stated on the first day of class that he is very flexible with his office hours and will hold review sessions for exams on Sunday and Monday nights - how awesome!

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Style on,
Retail Merchandising

Posted by Bethanie at 8:06 PM |

January 21, 2015

Portfolio Progress

Hello Everyone!

Classes have officially started again, but as winter break wrapped up, I was able to check off a major goal on my to-do list for the break. I FINALLY finished updating and polishing my online portfolio!

When creating my online portfolio, I actually used two different websites. My main site can be found on Weebly and my secondary site is on Behance.

While it is definitely not necessary to have two websites, they serve different purposes for me. My Weebly portfolio is designed like a webpage and allows a lot more freedom to make it my own, as well as to integrate personal branding that you would find on my resume, cover letters, and other application materials.

My Behance site on the other hand is designed more as a collection of my work. The advantages of this website is that I can see how many people are viewing each of my projects, and it allows users to "appreciate" projects as well. Finally, having a Behance allows me to connect it to the Behance app I have on my iPad so that I can also have a digital portfolio to bring into interviews.


Some other sites I've heard designers are using include Squarespace and Cargo Collective, but I do personally recommend either Behance or Weebly! Both are free and very easy to use.

Until next time,

Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 7:01 PM |

January 12, 2015

Pre-departure Thoughts.

Hey Readers!

This is my LAST post from the United States! It is the craziest thing to be able to say I will be in Copenhagen in less than a week. This is something I have been waiting for since 2009. As a freshman, I had hoped to study abroad sophomore year. Then, after transferring, I was hoping I could do it my junior year. Now here I am, senior year and finally studying abroad. If it doesn't work out the first time, do not give up!

Since I've had the desire to study abroad for so many years, here are some of the reasons I haven't given up on it, along with some excuses I've heard from others and my rebuttal.

-"It is so expensive." Yes, college in general is expensive. But there will never be another time in your life where you will get the opportunity to drop everything and move to anther country for six months, and pay so little. If you take away the cost of tuition, living and travelling abroad during college can be so cheap. You get student deals and discounts, housing, and maybe even a food stipend.

-"It just doesn't fit into my schedule." There are loads of opportunities to 525079_10151996825162715_638774270_n.jpgstudy abroad: semesters, J-term, May term, and summer. Students typically aren't taking classes during three of those options anyway. Three weeks abroad is better than no time abroad. I went to France for a week one year during spring break, and even that short amount of time was enough to change me. Plus, as students at the U of M, we are all provided with advisers who are here to help us map out our four-year graduation plans. Mention your interest in studying abroad at the first meeting and they will help you plan courses accordingly. Advisers are great!

-"I don't know another language." You would be surprised how many study abroad opportunities are taught in English. My school in Copenhagen is taught in English, even though most of the professors are Danes. A number of my architecture friends are headed to Istanbul, where they will be taking classes in English. The U of M is a huge school with so many resources spread throughout the world. You will easily find a program that is the best fit for you. Check out all the programs here.

-Last but not least, a bit of my advice. I know I am a little different by saying that I love change, but I do, and I am so excited for all the changes that are going to be happening over the next few months. I'm not just talking about changing my where I live or who I hang out with, but more so how I am viewing the world and my education. Only a handful of my architecture peers take the opportunity to study abroad. But I believe those who do are only adding to their education. Architecture is a global study, and it is refreshing to one's work to be able to study elsewhere and with a variety of professors. The work you produce will be unique and will give you the opportunity to stand out. Studying abroad is meant to be a learning experience in all aspects of one's education and life. And as students who are eager to learn, why not study abroad!?

I am saying all of this pre-departure, so we will have to reference it again in May. But having this mind-set for six years has brought me to this point, and I could not be happier. Farewell to my friends, family, colleagues, and America! Denmark, here I come!

"Traveling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer." -Unknown


Posted by Margo at 10:13 AM |

Here We Go Again

Hope everyone had a great New Year's celebration and are sticking to their New Year's resolutions. I didn't make any resolutions this year. Mainly because I usually don't start one until two weeks into the new year, and then it only lasts about two more weeks after that. Plus, I've just been busy concentrating on putting myself back into the working mode at all my jobs.

Student jobs at the U of M are definitely a lifesaver, because they will usually have your position waiting for you when you come back from a long period of leave. I'm definitely grateful for having them; so if you are in need of work during the school year, definitely look into jobs at the University. For the rest of the break, I'll continue to work and try to replenish the money that I spent in London. Then in little over a week, the new semester begins again!

It's exciting and scary at the same time. I'm excited to see all my fellow classmates and to catch up with everything they've been up to in the past semester while I've been gone. I'll be showing one last piece for the senior Fashion Show before it becomes my senior Fashion Show. I begin research for my senior line this semester (a scary and exciting topic of its own). Then on top of that, I've accepted a position to be a TA for this semester's Fashion Illustration class. I can't even begin to express how honored I feel that they think my illustration skills are strong to offer me this position. I guess I better enjoy as much of this break as I can, because it looks like next semester is going to be a busy one.

A great view of downtown Minneapolis from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

How to dress for Minnesota winters.

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 6:26 AM |

January 11, 2015

Textbook Shopping!

Winter break is coming to a close and spring semester is quickly approaching. As everyone is getting back to campus and ready for school, we all realize we have one very daunting task ahead of us--the search for textbooks. I sometimes have to buy about eight textbooks a semester, so I thought I'd share some of my tried-and-true resources to help you with your future textbook searches.

First of all, there's the U of M Bookstore, which sometimes can be the best deal for a book and, since it's right on campus, there are no shipping costs!

I also recommend looking online for textbooks, which can lead to some really good deals, saving you money and sometimes offering a quality book at a lower price. My first online go-to is always Amazon. Just type in the IBSN number of your book and then you can compare prices from difference people selling them. There are also a lot of online vendors such as Chegg, AbeBooks, etc. that can give you great deals on new or used books and rentals.

I've also recently found out about U-SWAP which is an online marketplace for students to post listings for textbooks and housing. This could be a great way to get textbooks from U of M students at a good deal. Some people probably are just trying to get rid of them and the incentive of a few dollars could really work in your favor.

I encourage you to check out these websites and see what kind of deals you can find. Sometimes it may seem the easiest to just pay full price for textbooks, but hunting for the best deal can really save you money. In my experience, it has been worth it!

Good luck on the textbook search,

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 4:24 PM |

The Wonderful World of TED

Hello Everyone!

With the lack of homework during winter break combined with the recent colder temperatures, I've spent a lot of time watching Netflix. I have also been doing something slightly more academic - watching several TED talks.

Before I started college, I hadn't been introduced to the world of TED and had no idea what I was missing. TED talks are fantastic! New talks are posted weekly and TED's home page proudly boasts more than 1,900 talks available on any topic you could ever dream up. Plus, they're all completely FREE.

TED talks

So to get you started, here is a list of five of my favorite TED talks from a few of my favorite designers:

1. Paula Scher -- Great design is serious, not solemn
2. Chip Kidd -- Designing books is no laughing matter. Ok it is.
3. David Carson -- Design and discovery
4. Tim Brown -- Tales of creativity and play
5. Milton Glaser -- Using design to make ideas new

Finally, here is a link to my all-time favorite TED talk. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's The danger of a single story is fabulous! While it's not directly about design, its message is important to remember simply as human beings, and can (and should) be taken into account upon designing as well.

Graphic Design

Posted by Leah at 2:42 PM |

December 28, 2014

Out of the Classroom Experience

Happy break, readers!

I'm down to three weeks until I leave for my semester abroad in Copenhagen. It is still surreal, but I am incredibly excited. As things are winding down, I've had to part ways with my first studio desk, and have my last day at my architecture internship.

I started at mattson|schuster last December and have worked there as the Architect Intern the past two semesters as well as throughout this past summer. mattson|schuster is a small, residential remodelling company with an office in Excelsior. Being that the company is quite small, I was able to get very hands-on experience. The designs were done between my boss and I, and as I continued to get more experience, I got even more freedom with the designs. As with any job, I learned so much when I first started -- codes, sizing, foundations, pricing.

What was really great about this internship is that I continued to learn throughout my time there. In the remodelling field, every home you visit is different. Customers desire different changes to their home, and each house has a pre-existing challenge that we either need to fix, or work around. That is one of my favorite parts about being in the remodelling business rather than new build; each project has to be different, because the existing structures are never the same. Below is a picture with everyone at mattson|schuster enjoying lunch on my last day! Check out some of the work from mattson|schuster here.


I have a very strong belief that internships are absolutely necessary to pair with one's education. This opportunity provided me with skills and knowledge that some of my peers don't currently have. Everything is not taught through coursework, and therefore, first hand experience is exceptionally relevant. Sometimes I got overwhelmed with balancing my internship and my coursework, but that is also a skill we all need to learn. Balancing a number of things is a struggle in college, but it makes it all that much more rewarding. Internships look fabulous on a resume, too! Even if you only work once or twice a week, or maybe 20 hours, it all adds up and shows your experience and commitment to your education and career choice.

The U of M has an awesome Career & Internship Services office, where students can go for free. I went there a few times last fall and received advice on my resume and more information on how to use the internship search. By December I had landed myself an internship!

See you in 2015! Happiest New Year!


Posted by Margo at 10:40 PM |