College of Design Student Blogs

April 14, 2014

Kick Back & Relax

After being in the crazy, fast paced lifestyle of Istanbul for over a month, our Spring Break trip to Cappadocia was well needed. As much as I have come to love the city, I found myself missing the natural landscape and activities like hiking, swimming, and exploring. The first place we went was Ürgüp where we stayed in a cave hotel. The entire surrounding landscape varies greatly from Istanbul by being composed of villages that have carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits.
The best part is that you are allowed to climb and explore them as you wish. As much fun as that was, my favorite activity there was the sunrise hot air balloon ride we took. I won't deny that I was extremely nervous, however it was the best experience of my life. Floating above a landscape that I'd never seen anything like, surrounded by many other balloons made the experience feel as if it was something out of a novel.
After spending a few days there, we headed to Kuşadası to spend our time on the beachfront swimming and getting some sun (maybe too much sun). I loved relaxing and swimming in the clear, blue water of the Aegean Sea and taking a day trip to Ephesus. The trip to Ephesus not only sparked my interest because of the Library of Celsus but also because it contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated. I loved having the opportunity to walk through an active dig site and see excavation in process.
Overall, my Spring Break trip was exactly what I need. It was a chance to have a small break from a stunning city to see more of a country that I did not know much about before coming. It's sad for me to think that I have only a few weeks left before I come back to Minnesota, so I will have to make the most of the limited time I have left!

Landscape Design & Planning

Posted by Theresa at 4:59 AM | | Comments (0)

Magazine Makeover

Since I first began the Graphic Design program here at the U, one of my biggest interests in the field has been editorial design. I'm specifically interested in the visual composition of books and magazines, and I would love to pursue a career at a publishing company or work in-house for a major magazine.

After nearly two years of looking forward to it, I'm finally getting the chance to work on an editorial project. In my Typography class we are currently redesigning the cover, contents page, and two spreads of an existing magazine. For my project I chose to focus on First for Women magazine, which is in serious need of some design TLC. The magazine's content primarily consists of health-related articles and promotes a positive lifestyle among its wide age-range of female readers. For the purposes of this project, we were instructed to alter the magazine's target audience to make it a bit more specific. I chose to go with a slightly older demographic, focusing on health-conscious, active women between the ages of 40 and 55.

The original aesthetic of the magazine was very overwhelming and cluttered, with bright colors, huge fonts, and loud graphic elements that changed on every page. My goal was to tone down the design, make it more organized, more legible, and much more pleasant to look at overall. I redesigned the masthead to serve dual purpose as a framing element and gave the magazine a fresh color scheme to emphasize the health aspect of the publication. Before and after images of the cover are shown below:


Let me know what you think in the comments below! I'd love to hear your opinions!

Graphic Design

Posted by Kate at 12:12 AM | | Comments (0)

April 13, 2014

Planning ahead, and it feels so good!

Planning ahead, and it feels so good! Planning ahead, 'cause I understood. There's one perfect fit, and homework, this one is it. I am so so excited 'cause I'm planning ahead, hey, hey. (Do you get it? Did that work? Feel free to sing the previous lines to the wonderful tune of "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb)


Anyways... We are coming down to it! There are only 5 weeks left in the semester, including finals week. And it's exciting, not because school is almost over, but because I feel like I have already learned so much, and there is still so much more to learn!

Obviously, I'm very excited about my little calendar and all the planning ahead I've been doing with my highlighters.

I've got plenty of exams and papers due before school is over, but that's not a negative. I see it rather as a period of time when I get to learn so much about so many different things. In the next few weeks I have papers due on the following: the foreclosure crisis and its impact on North Minneapolis, the perception of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad, informal settlements in South Africa, and multi-family housing development in North St. Paul. As for exams, those will be on the various topics of global housing, management and development, residential construction, and international social work. Housing Studies is such a cool major as it is so diverse! I never get bored :)

Stay sharp :D
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Posted by Karly at 9:06 PM | | Comments (0)

April 7, 2014

WAM Student Design Competition

There is about 5 weeks left of classes before finals week. It' s kind of crazy to think that the semester only has that many weeks left! With the end of the semester just around the corner, this definitely means that extra work and motivation is needed to get there. Here's some exciting news; everyone in my studio class was accepted into the Weisman Art Museum, Elements: Student Design Competition! The show is inspired by the Weisman's exhibition, Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined, which is what my non-traditional materials project for my studio class was created for. The show is in 2 weeks and I still have to put on some finishing touches to my piece, on top of the other projects and homework for the my other classes. 5 weeks, till the end of the semester, seems like so little time, and then it sometimes it seems like forever.

The competition is on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 and you can go to the site to find more information about the show.


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

Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 7:25 AM | | Comments (0)

April 6, 2014

Quad Came, Quad Saw, Quad Conquered

Hello again!

This past weekend the AIAS Midwest Quad event hosted by AIAS Minnesota took place in Minneapolis. Fourteen of the AIAS Midwest chapters were represented this past weekend at the conference. It was great to see old friends made at previous conferences and make new ones. There were many first time Quad attendees there and many veterans. Ryan Gann, our Midwest Quad Director from IIT, has been to seventeen AIAS conferences and his final one was ours. We received numerous compliments from our guests including that they liked the hands on approach to our track sessions. We mixed networking with professionals, guest presentations, construction tour, firm tours, technology workshops, etc. We also were complimented on our dance - many said this was one of their top, if not favorite, AIAS conferences they have attended. The Beaux Arts Ball, themed 'White Out Brite Out' was the event everyone was waiting for. Even Goldy made an appearance!


We provided neon party favors, a photo booth with colorful and creative props, black lights and an amazing DJ. University of Minnesota alumn and now public interest design leader, John Cary, was our keynote speaker during the ball. He gave a thoughtful and inspiring presentation on designing with intention (designing for the user by the user). He ended his speech with a surprise costume for the ball - an Evel Knievel outfit. 4


The photo below is from the Council of Presidents Meeting. The national AIAS president, chapter presidents, vice presidents and future members interested in a leadership position attended.


The event was an amazing success and I am glad all had a wonderful time. Now, back to focusing on studio.

Until next time,
B.S. in Architecture

Posted by Jen at 8:50 PM | | Comments (0)

About A Month To Go!

Here we are, a month away from the end of school! I'm almost done with my freshman year of college and I really don't know if I'm happy or sad about it. I guess it's just a big mix of emotions! One-fourth of the way done with college!
Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 11.04.30 AM.png
This last week was quite the week for me. I returned from spring break with a nice fever to start off the week back at school. Being sick at school was definitely one of my biggest worries leaving home but with the help of Boynton Health Services, I'm alive and well to tell you all about my experience! I ended up with a fever of 103 degrees and ended up going to urgent care in Boynton where I was tested for a few things. I instagrammed a nice picture of the doctors office (to the right) while I waited for some results. I was given medication and started improving quickly and after a few days of waiting for lab results, it turns out I had some weird form of strep. I felt completely better two days after starting the medication and it was the biggest relief to have that sickness go away. Now I guess I know I can survive being sick at college! Now everything is well and I'm back to being healthy.

Finals are coming up along with portfolio review so it's going to be a very busy last month of school but I'm just looking forward to summer and nice weather! I'm also still on the job hunt for summer employment in a job in interior design which is another thing on my list of to-dos but if I manage my time well enough, this last month will hopefully be a piece of cake. I've had some fun visiting my friends at their colleges these last few weekends. It's been really fun and it's interesting to see the differences between each school, I definitely suggest visiting friends when you're all off in college! Not only is it good to see a familiar face but the chance to experience different places is so interesting. But now after my little time of travels, it's time to hunker down and get to work on projects, papers, and studying!

Good luck to everyone as we all finish up the school year! We'll make it to summer, don't worry!

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 10:39 AM | | Comments (0)

March 30, 2014

CMYK Magic

Last week in my Surface Design class, we were introduced to our next big screen printing project! The goal is to design and create several prints of a poster using a technique called "color separation." This process mimics four color process printing, where small dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black are placed on the paper in multiple layers that combine to create the illusion of many more colors.

For my design, I chose to create a modernized travel poster using large geometric shapes and photos from my high school trip to Barcelona. After finishing the design, I separated it into the four process colors using the split channels tool on Photoshop, and then created a bitmap out of each channel. This left me with the four screens shown below that layer together to create my final image (on the far right).


CMYKbitmap.jpgI found this process to be extremely interesting, and loved seeing how just four hues could create a nearly endless spectrum of color. If you look closely, you can see how the individual layers of CMYK combine to create something completely different. I've included a close up of the gray section here on the right so you can really see how the separation works. It's such an interesting perspective, and it really changes the way you view color within the screen printing process. For any screen printers out there, I would definitely recommend giving it a try!

Graphic Design

Posted by Kate at 7:25 PM | | Comments (0)

What's Live/Work?

This semester in Housing Development and Management, all of our coursework has revolved around live/work housing. But what is it? Live/work housing is workspace combined with living space, where work and home are unseparated. A common example is the artist loft; the artist works at home by creating a masterpiece right next to where she ate her morning bowl of cereal.

But, there are far more types of live/work housing than just this. A few of us will be presenting Monday and we'll be teaching the class about the different types and tenures when it comes to live/work housing. It is not always multi-family, leased, but also single-family detached ownership, multi-family Cooperatives, townhome conversions, and the list goes on and on...





Above are some pictures showing how diverse live/work housing can be.

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Posted by Karly at 3:34 PM | | Comments (0)

Spring's Here to Stay! (crossing my fingers)


With April 1st just around the corner and warmer temps, I'm hoping/praying that spring is finally here to stay! I don't know about you, but this extra freezing winter was really starting to put a serious dent in my motivation to study, or do anything that required me leaving my heating blanket, really.

Of course as a retail merchandising student, springtime for me means changing out my winter wardrobe for spring essentials, but it also means the semester is coming to an end. I have found in my last three years of college that this time of year is often when we lose our motivation and ability to really stay focused. Trust me, I've been there! I have found some great resources though for staying on track with classes to make sure I finish strong.

1. SMART Learning Commons
This is a great resource if you're looking for extra one on one help with classes. I've
used the SMART learning commons for my previous math and science classes and
the individual tutoring was so valuable.

2. Center for Writing
I have taken so many writing intensive classes during my time at the U, so this
resource has really come in handy! I visited the center for writing during my freshman
year and since have become more confident in my writing abilities. This is a great
place to go if you're looking for help with your writing, whether it's brainstorming
topics or editing.

Check out Onestop for other useful academic support resources.

We're approaching the home can do it!!

Stay Fabulous,

Posted by spric007 at 10:33 AM | | Comments (0)

March 24, 2014

Guest Speaker!

Guest speakers are the best! While lectures, textbooks, and homework are essential to the learning process in college, I believe guest speakers are too. Guest speakers allow those of us in housing studies a sneak peek into the complex world of housing. It is so cool hearing about potential career fields that we might enter into after graduation.


In my Housing Development and Management course, the importance of guest speakers is fully recognized, with guest speakers coming in each week. Today, the Vice President of Housing Development at Aeon came to our class. Aeon is a nonprofit located here in the Twin Cities. Aeon develops affordable, multi-family rental units. You can learn more about them at, and check out their vision statement!

Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Posted by Karly at 2:43 PM | | Comments (0)

March 23, 2014

Typography Time!

With spring break officially over, it's time to reluctantly return to reality. Although this past week of relaxation has been fantastic, no classes means no new work to show here on the blog. Since I have this extra time on my hands, I thought I would get you up to speed on one of my favorite classes - Typography.

In the past few weeks we've moved past classic typefaces and basic type anatomy and began looking more at how to establish hierarchy and emotion through type. A lot of our in-class work has involved laying out type based on specific axes and grids, but we've had a bit more freedom in our individual projects.

The project below is one of my favorites from the class so far. It's a promotional poster for the Design Culture Now lecture series and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. The only requirements for the poster was that it include all necessary information about the event, organize it in a readable manner, and be created solely from type. Since the event is geared towards designers, I wanted to give the poster a sophisticated feel while still using a creative organizational approach. The slicing diagonal effect that I chose really gives a strong sense of movement acts as a visual puzzle to keep the viewer engaged.


If you have any thoughts on the final poster, let me know in the comments below!

Graphic Design

Posted by Kate at 11:28 PM | | Comments (1)

March 19, 2014

Spring Break!

Hello everyone!

It is spring break week at the U and Rapson Hall is quiet, but not too quiet. Although many students are on vacation, Rapson Hall still has many working away on projects. I, myself, have been catching up on midterm review comments. My final project for sound studio will mimic historical warehouse characteristics, while introducing a few modern approaches to building structure like glass and steel. The goal is to follow the organized patterns and datum lines of the surrounding warehouse buildings, then, introduce program and create a new order of window openings that follow the program.

The photo below portrays the idea I am trying to recreate, but on a residential scale.

I have been also using spring break as time to continue planning the details for Quad. There are only two weeks left until the event! My registration committee and I visited the Marriott hotel to finalize our plans and layout for Friday's registration. I also visited HGA's office to pick up some of the swag for our registration swag bags. Planning will continue right up until the day of the event. I am excited to see all of our guests arriving from the other AIAS Midwest chapters. Friends from IIT, Milwaukee, Chicago, North Dakota, Kentucky, Lawrence Tech and more will be coming in to experience the event.

I hope everyone is enjoying their break as well!

Until next time,
Jen Cunningham
B.S. in Architecture

Posted by Jen at 11:07 PM | | Comments (0)

March 17, 2014

Calculating Heat Loss... and having so much fun!

In my Systems Approach to Residential Construction course, we learn about how safe homes are built. We look at what is required in order to create a high performance house. The house is a system of interactions between occupants, the mechanical equipment, and the building structure.

Courtesy of Professor Bob Seavey

We are currently working on a project where we are calculating a house's heat loss. With the blueprints as pictured below, we are measuring and calculating the area of various surface types such as concrete, wood, and glass. While it is a long and complicated task, it is actually a lot of fun.



Stay sharp :)
Karly, Housing Studies B.S.

Posted by Karly at 11:46 AM | | Comments (0)


Spring Break!! I bet you all are wondering what magical and exotic destination I chose to spend my spring break. This year, I decided to spend my spring break here, in the Twin Cities, working and getting ahead on some of my projects. Yes, I'm a little jealous to hear all the different places that my classmates are going to, but I feel like staying put is just as relaxing and fun as going somewhere. I don't have to deal with travel and I can sleep in the comfort of my own bed. Plus, this city is still filled with fun things to do, which is definitely a bonus when living here. So, if you think that you are required to go somewhere for spring break and be crazy, believe me, you don't. Staying home in the Twin Cities, is just as fantastic!


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

Apparel Design

Posted by tranx671 at 9:15 AM | | Comments (0)

March 16, 2014

It's Spring Break!

Hi everyone,

Spring break at the U has begun! After a week of midterms and projects I'm getting a well deserved break! Although I wish I could say I'm venturing off to some exotic location, I traveled the 20 minute car ride home. But I won't complain about a week relaxing at home with good food and no homework.
To the right is a picture I took of the city as I left Minneapolis for break and posted on our UMNDesign Instagram.

Some of my high school friends will be coming home so getting to see them will be really nice! I also get to spend time with my parents and my dogs and get to sleep in my bed in my own room. College has really made me appreciate the little things when I come home! There's something about the food at home that just can't compare to anywhere else. I wish I had known to appreciate it more before college but now getting it when I come back makes it so much more special. I've prepared a list of all my favorites and I can't wait to have them at home! There's also the luxury of showering without shoes which I never knew would be as satisfying as it is.

I'm also trying to find a summer job related to interior design. I'll be at home this summer so I've been researching places close to home and hopefully they'll have a job opening! I wish I had some website I discovered that helped me out but in all honesty, good-ol google was my friend in this search. I was amazed to find out all the interior design businesses within 10 minutes of my house, I had no idea they were there! It would be so awesome to be a first year student and be able to do a job in my desired field! Wish me luck!

Although it's definitely not a tropical beach, being at home is all the vacation I need this break. It'll be relaxing, easygoing, and, best off all, it won't break the bank! Hopefully it'll be productive and successful with the job search, we'll see!

I hope you all are enjoying your spring breaks and the spring weather here. Looks like summer might come after all!

Interior Design

Posted by mill6185 at 5:16 PM | | Comments (0)