College of Design Student Blogs

December 2011 Archives

Enjoying Winter Break

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Happy Holidays! I have had a very relaxing winter break so far, despite the lack snow. I recently returned from being with my family near Windom, MN (the southwest corner of Minnesota). I had a great time and ate way too much food, which was to be expected. Although there was no snow to speak of, the lake was still frozen so I got to slide around a bit which was fun. 

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My roommates and I decided to make good use of our time off of school yesterday, so we took a trip to the Walker Art Center. The Walker is an internationally recognized modern art museum, and has some really great stuff inside! Thursdays are free courtesy of Target!


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There are so many things to do around town that I'm really looking forward to doing some adventuring before getting back to the grind! The Twin Cities are really one place where you can't get bored, there's just so much to do!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Christmas Break.... A time for updating.

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Hi everyone,

Hope you are having an enjoyable holiday season. I was able to make it home (to Freedom, Wisconsin) for christmas and had a fun time seeing a lot of family I had not seen in awhile, including a cousin who recently got engaged... Exciting! Now I am looking forward to getting in a bit of Ice Fishing as well updating my design portfolio! portfolio_photo1.jpg

While a bit daunting, christmas break offers a great opportunity to update a portfolio because all of the work you have completed the fall semester is still fresh in your mind. You have received feedback from your professors and know exactly what needs to be fixed (which is much easier to sit down and do when you don't have to worry about homework!) This also gives you a good chance to do some proper file management and organize your files (as well as back them up on an external hard drive, which I highly recommend.)

There are a number of online "how to" guides for creating a portfolio but I prefer to create my own template because in a way a portfolio is yet another example of my/your creativity and skill. I fill my portfolio with examples of a wide range of work from proposed zoning based around environmental requirements to full design projects that shows my design process from start to finish. I also try and sprinkle in an independent project to show a bit of outside work. Currently I am using a project I completed at my summer internship last year.

Creating/Updating your portfolio this time of year is also convenient because the application process for summer jobs/internships is right around the corner! Luckily the U of M has its very own employment search engine called Gold Pass. I found my internship last year at the Ramsey Conservation District there, so trust me when I say it is an invaluable resource!


Hope you all enjoy the rest of your breaks! Until next week...

Eric Maass
Bachelors of Environmental Design - May 2011
Masters of Landscape Architecture - May 2013

It was a cozy Christmas this year,

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qtreeandbulb.JPGAnd a good one, overall. Usually, when the holiday season rolls in, there is a mediocre amount of excitement in the Ochiagha household. My family and I anticipate the season, but no one is too incredibly excited. This year though, things were a little different. I'm not sure if we caught the holiday bug, but Christmas vibes were in the air. While me and my brother were away at our colleges, my mom and dad got the house decked and jazzed. Usually, I'm in charge of putting up the tree and decorating it, but I'll admit, my dad did good work. Another thing that was different about this year were the legitimate presents under the tree. This hasn't happened in years because usually all that goes under there are two envelopes addressed to my brother and I. Inside of these envelopes, a nice chunk of change, and the end, Christmas is over. Like I was saying though, this year we had so many gifts under the tree because everyone in my family went out and bought tangible gifts for each other.

qmomandme.JPGI got my dad two sweaters, my brother a faux-leather jacket, and my mom a Chi flat iron. Everyone was very pleased with their presents! In return, I got a cozy and plush blanket, a pair of diamond earrings, and 100 dollars of FlexDine. I laughed when I saw the FlexDine certificate because I was so surprised my parents even remembered that was a thing. FlexDine is basically campus dollars that can be spent in various food places on campus. It's especially nice because it's linked with your UCard and it's untaxed. Looks like lunch is on my parents for the next month at least!

How's your holiday season going? Comment and let me know!

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

End of the Semester

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Well, the holiday break is upon us and it's time to relax, reflect, and prepare. It seems like this semester flew by in a flash. I've made it through my family gatherings, and now I must prepare for the AIAS Forum in Phoenix. Forum is a international conference held annually over New Year's. Last year, Forum was held in Toronto, Canada. Two years ago, our chapter hosted it in Minneapolis, which was very exciting!

Over one thousand students from around the world attend this conference. Each day consists of workshops, tours of buildings and firms, design competitions, seminars, and famous keynote speakers. Evenings are spent mingling with other students and professionals in the hotel or out on the town. On New Year's Eve, there is a Beaux Arts Ball. This year the theme is celebrating the 1920's so flappers and feathers are a must!

Since I am president of the Minnesota AIAS Chapter, I will be attending a lot of meetings and presenting a seminar about Freedom by Design. In addition to those meetings, I was appointed to serve on a national committee, the 2011-2012 AIAS Elections Committee, which will keep me pretty busy.

Follow me on Twitter @HollyEngle to get the latest updates from Phoenix!

Holly Engle
Architecture, B.S.

Printing Fun

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One of the greatest classes I have ever taken at the University of Minnesota was a Freshman Seminar on printing. I took this class my first semester of college and it was one of the best class choices I've ever made. Freshman Seminars are specifically designed for first-year students. This is awesome because, it give you an opportunity to interact with other students and faculty in a smaller classroom setting, making it super easy to connect with people. I actually met one of my best friends in my freshman seminar; and had I not taken the class we might have never met otherwise.

Not only did this class help me meet people, it also taught me many interesting things; some of which were, how to use a printing press and how to screen print. It was very intriguing to learn about the history of the printing press as well as how to operate one. There was a lot more to it than I expected, but it was fun. Learning how to screen-print was my favorite out of the two, partly because we got to make t-shirts of our own design. It was fascinating to see how graphic t-shirts were made and also have the ability to make one yourself! Taking a Freshman Seminar was a great experience for me and I highly recommend taking one. There is so much that is gained: knowledge, skills, relationships with factually members, and new friendships. You can only benefit!
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(The t-shirts I made)
Sasenka Curic- Retail Merchandising

The Importance of Freelance Work

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So I decided this week to talk about freelance work. I've had the opportunity to do quite a few freelance projects during my time here at the U.

The first freelance project I was asked to do was a promotional card for one of the CDes academic advisers for a dance performance he was doing. That one was super easy, and the only freelance work I've done that I wasn't paid for. That was winter break of freshman year.

I didn't do a project again until spring semester of my sophomore year, when I was asked to design some posters for a Modern African History course. That summer, I was asked to create the marketing materials (read: gigantic poster) for the U's team in a national food science competition creating a new food product.

The following winter, Chris (the adviser) was doing another performance, but this one was a collaborative performance in New York--that one was a little trickier, but all three parties really enjoyed the outcome.

Last spring, I volunteered to do some public relations work for a lady one of my professors knew who owns a PR agency in California. I was running around this really interesting trade show for a full day, and at the end of the day she asked me to take on some web design work for her. I'm still doing that to this day.

The point of this entry is that in lieu of having a real job, it's important to start getting your name out there as soon as possible. We talked about the importance of freelance work in our design career planning course (DES 3201), that just in case you shouldn't find a job right after graduation, pick up small jobs wherever you can to show that you're still designing.

Hopefully I won't have that problem!

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design BFA

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Samples from an electronic portfolio I've assembled: the Modern African History poster and Chris Schlichting & Ursula Eagly's performance postcard.

Project Displays

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While walking around Mcneal Hall on the St. Paul campus, where I spend most of my time, a sight you often see is various student work on display. As a student in the College of Design, I really feel that the University and teachers/professors really try to make it evident that they are proud of your work. They do this by displaying work from different classes prominently around the building. This is a fun way to show off your work, and to also be able to get a glimpse at what is to come for you in your major. Upper level classes work is often on display and you get to see what you have to expect later in your college career. Another fun aspect to this is that you get to see what your other fellow design, but not specifically apparel, classmates are doing in their classes and how it relates to your own work.

Here are a few shots of different work I have spotted around the building during the past few weeks:

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The above is a photo of the 2nd floor display of my Trend's class (I blogged about this project last week!) final projects.

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This photo is of a surface design studio's projects. All design majors take some type of surface design courses, so you definitely have this to look forward to!

Finals are over, Home at last!

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caffeineoutofdecaf.jpegWhew! What a relief to finally be done with finals! I had my last one on Wednesday morning, bright and early at 8 AM. It was kind of nice because I had two finals on the last day of each class for my Design Thinking (1101W) class and Drawing (1311). Then I had my Interior Design (1601) final/presentation on Saturday morning. From then until Wednesday, I had plenty of time to study for what was probably one of my harder exams. With all that time, I spent my days in various study spaces on campus including Coffman, Walter Library, The Purple Onion, Espresso Expose, and my cozy, little apartment to name a few. Hard work payed off because my exam was a breeze! Not because it was easy to begin with, but because I tactfully studied. For instance, the day before the final, I met with my professor Dr. Kim Johnson and she help me to review. She also gave me two good pieces of advice which were simple but powerful. One being to get lots of sleep for the night before, and two being not to have any caffeine before the exam. I listened, and I felt great the next day! Well rested, well prepared, and ready overall. I'm definitely applying those two tips to my semesters to come because they really worked!

Grades are due from professors on December 29th, and I'm pretty excited to start seeing what I got for final grades in all of my classes.

Happy Holidays Everyone! Talk to you again soon :)

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Studying Abroad?

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Tonight, one of my best friends came back from studying abroad in London; and I got to hear about all of her wonderful experiences. While in London, she interned at a fashion agency that did brand management for a high-end designers. One of those designers was an up and coming high-end designer named Ronen Chen. Through her internship, she able to attend many events, some of which were London Fashion Week and an invite only Alexander McQueen sample sale. She states that both of those experiences were some to the best she's ever had.
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(My friend Jana in London!)

I have also been thinking of studying abroad in London, and hearing my friend's stories only confirmed my desire to go. I only decided that I wanted to study abroad earlier this year; my plan is to go the fall of 2012. When I made this decision, I was uncertain if it going work out because a lot needed to be figured out. I immediately scheduled a meeting with my advisor, this turned out to be very beneficial. While speaking with her, I discovered that studying abroad was a definite possibility. I have been on track with my major and classes so even though I was fairly late in making this decision, it would not set my graduation date, spring 2013, back at all; especially, if I maintained a certain level of course work, 17 credits per semester. We wrote out all of the classes that were required for me to graduate and set up what classes were to be taken each semester. We even figured out the classes that I would need to take while in London. Speaking with my advisor was very helpful and made my dream of studying abroad next fall even more real!

Hope this got you thinking!
Sasenka Curic- Retail Merchandising

Christmas Presents and Camaraderie

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prints.jpgMustache: that was the theme for my relief, screen, and digital processes final, which also turned out to be a great holiday card! This class was by far one of my favorite classes ever. It gave me a chance to reassess my abilities as an artist outside of architecture. The first assignment was a self-portrait. After failing miserably at that, I stepped up my game and spent numerous hours carving multiple blocks to create Zamingo (half-zebra, half-flamingo). This project taught me time management because my hand started to go numb after a few hours of carving. Halfway through the semester, we switched into screen-printing, which was by far my favorite. I enjoyed the process of screen-printing more than woodblock because it was instantly gratifying to produce work and super-easy to make multiple prints. Thankfully, I never seriously injured myself with my carving tools. Safety first!

Although it was held in Regis Center for Art on West Bank (completely out of my bubble), I took pleasure in looking at student installations and touring the Katherine E. Nash Gallery as much as possible. The U of M has an exceptional printmaking studio that provides ink, paper, and tools. The class covered block printing (using both wood and linoleum) to screen-printing. I even learned a few tricks so I can screen-print at home! These new techniques I learned can now be used to facilitate my studio work. For now, I will continue making Christmas presents for my friends and family. Click here to see more artwork!

Next week, I will be in Phoenix attending the 2011 AIAS National Forum!

Happy Holidays!

Holly Engle
Architecture, B.S.

A Typical Conversation with Non-Majors:

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As housing studies students, we often joke about how most people react when they ask what our major is. Here's how it goes:

- "So what are you majoring in?"

- "Housing studies."

- "What?"

And then we proceed onto various attempts of explaining our coursework in a nutshell. Some will say that it is similar to a real estate development degree, others will say it's a lot like the urban studies program with a more residential/design focus. One truth that can be said is that housing studies is very multidisciplinary, which ultimately produces very well-rounded graduates who get real jobs with their undergrad degree. Our core housing coursework relates the human need for shelter to various fields of study in sociology, technology, finance, management, entrepreneurship, public policy, sustainability, design and building science. And that's before we branch out into our concentrations. This is why us housing studies students often have difficulty providing people with a brief explanation - we just know that there's a lot to learn and a lot of work to be done.

Anyways...I'm completely done with fall semester! It feels quite relaxing to be done, but definitely hasn't brought about the massive amounts of free time that I've been anticipating! No school = more availability at my work. At least I'm keeping busy and making money! The household puppy, Chester, clearly has different priorities.
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IMAG0028.jpg I want it to snow again so we can use the ice rink in our yard! Happy Holidays!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Finals of a Design Student

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The semester is over! And I am almost done with my finals! The stress is just about subsiding and everything is wrapping up rather nicely.

As a design student most of your final projects and presentations, for your design studios and classes, will be during the last week of the actual semester or during the designated finals week, which is the week following the end of semester, with a "study day" in between. I had my second to last presentation today and my final studio presentation is this Wednesday. Juggling your studio presentations and projects with your general education class finals can be a challenge, but part of the true college experience is learning to manage your time and prioritize. It may seem daunting at first glance, but trust me, you will be just fine!

The final presentation I had today was for my Retail Trend's Forecasting class. Today we showed off my group's hard work in our fashion photo shoot magazine spread, forecasting fashion trends. We created an 8 page spread using clothing, etc we forecasted would be trendy in the next season using techniques we learned throughout the class. Overall, we were very pleased with our final product and got good feedback! Here is a page from the spread!

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One of the best things about final presentations in design studios is the chance to see all your classmates' work. Everyone falls into their own place and style and the projects always show this diversity and uniqueness. Its also a great bonding moment for everyone, because you're done!!

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

My Winter Break Bucket List

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This year, as I know I'm a procrastinator, I chose to put a sticky note on my desktop on my Mac to actually accomplish some things during winter break this year. I have a lot planned, including:

Clean off my Mac desktop (screenshots from design projects, stray word documents, photos shared via e-mail, etc.)
Build the new Kappa Kappa Psi website (WAY overdue)
Build my personal website (an unpleasant chore that must be done if I hope to become employed)
Clean my room (does someone actually live in here?)
Clean off my flash drive (well hello design projects from fall of junior year)
Crank out a bajillion ideas for my senior honors thesis project
Clean out my e-mail inbox (650 messages dating back to January 2010...)

This all gets back to the all-important idea of productivity. Because I'm super busy and armed with opposable thumbs and a smart phone, I plan my life in Google Calendar. Fortunately, U of M students enjoy the benefits of Google Apps accounts--so even if you don't have a smartphone, you can at least use Google Calendar to help remind yourself of how bad you are at meeting your own deadlines!

This bucket list is actually really important for me to accomplish this year, though. I'm trying to psych myself up for Agency life, getting things done and being happy and content about it. I have about 14 days to get all of this done. Wish me luck.

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design BFA

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My overcrowded desktop and inbox (which is down from 599 messages earlier this evening!).

Pecha what?

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So this week was pretty much the culmination of my fall semester. I have a final in my 5000-level Psychology of Advertising class next Wednesday, but that doesn't really count--it's all multiple choice.

What I was really worried about getting done were my final deliverables for Graphic Design 4: Integrative Campaign and Graphic Design Senior Seminar. For GD4, I had to put together a presentation covering all four of the design phases we went to, and make sure it didn't take longer than 10 minutes to present. I also had to design and order a book that is the culmination of the project, but includes all of the work that we went through instead of cutting it down.

Senior seminar was a different story. I'm not a fan of this presentation format, but I had to put together what's called a PechaKucha. PechaKucha (petch-ah-kuh-cha) night started in Tokyo in 2003 as a way for young designers to get together to share information very quickly. It's 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, and your slides automatically advance. You may or may not get pulled off the stage if you run late (apparently my professor had been at one of these things that people had to stop talking right at 6:40, the length of the presentation).

People reading this may be four years away from fulfilling these projects, but I think it's helpful to know about ahead of time. Maybe PechaKucha is a speaking format you're familiar with and quite enjoy. If you haven't heard of it, you might be able to find some on YouTube!

Next week: Winter break!

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design BFA

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My note cards for my final presentation in GD4. I'm done!!

Crunch Time

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As many students are plugging away countless hours in many of the libraries on campus, I find myself watching the hours tick away in studio (16 hours and counting so far today). It is that time of year when deadlines for final projects have come. Students work late into the night and while this sounds awful, its actually quite nice being able to work amongst your peers. The time goes by much easier when you're able to work around a group of people compared to sitting in a quiet room all alone. It is also nice because this allows you to bounce ideas off of your classmates making your designs even stronger. Next weeks post will be full of the details of my final project, for now here's one perspective i've done for my final design. traffice_large_space_Aerial_for_blog.jpg

Have a great week!

Eric Maass
Bachelors of Environmental Design - 2011
Masters of Landscape Architecture - 2013

Final Projects

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Most classes have final exams, but there are some have final projects instead. The past two weeks I have been working on a couple of final projects: a photo-shoot editorial for my Fashion Trends class (ADES 3217) and a brand development project for my Retail Promotions class (RM 4216). Both projects were very time consuming but they were also a lot of fun. I definitely prefer projects to tests.

For the photo project, my group and I were to develop a fashion spread; we had to find models, strategically plan outfits, and create a theme and storyline for the shoot. Wanting to venture away from the norm of female models, my group decided to create an all male fashion spread; we enlisted our closest guy friends to be our models. The theme for the shoot was "Work and Play"; we dressed our models in business and business casual attire, while photographing them in various locations around Minneapolis. We wanted to create the idea that these men were skipping work to have some fun around town.
Here is one picture from our fashion spread.
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The other project was more of a research project; we were to develop a brand and determine successful ways to marketing it to our "target consumer". Through, the assignment was mostly writing based; it also had some fun and creative elements to it. Being required to create an actual, physical ad, my group decided to create a billboard advertisement; and here it is below.

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Have a great week!
Sasenka Curic - Retail Merchandising

Final Studio Review!

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for IMG_1609.JPGLike most things in life, a semester of studio work boils down to a five-minute presentation in front of professional architects and your sleep-deprived classmates. Thankfully, the architecture studio professors understand your excited, sleep-deprived emotions. Each studio professor brings an assortment of beverages and food for students and professionals to enjoy.

The day of my review began at 1pm in Rapson Courtyard. My studio professor had already set a scheduled time for each group to present. Since our studio was working on a project in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood, members of the community were invited to attend. Dayton's Bluff is located north of St. Paul. Our site was located next to Metropolitan State University. Getting feedback from prospective clients during the review was exciting. My group's project was commended for focusing on creating a community on our site. All of our sleepless nights, long talks, and redesigning, finally paid off in the end.

390819_10150511697026113_162269036112_11084109_889436514_n.jpgPro Tip: No matter how tired you are, don't forget to dress to impress. I would suggest business attire (no jeans).

The day was filled with intelligent dialogue, questions, and proposals. Overall, it was an experience you can only receive from a great school!

Have a great week!

Holly Engle
Architecture, Bachelor of Science

Time to be Awesome

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While many students on campus are preparing themselves for those important final exams before winter break next week, my course schedule brought crazy time a week early this year. It just so happens that for me this fall (for the first time in my college career) there will be no cumulative final exams, but rather a week-long marathon of final paper deadlines, final presentations, and other random things. Never before in my life have been more busy/not even close to being bored, but the final results really make me appreciate everything I have learned this year how much I will miss this lifestyle when I'm older.
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Today, I woke up early and handed in my final project proposal for my Technical and Professional Writing course on the St. Paul Campus. Definitely put that one off until the last minute, but a job well done. After a bit of frantic material-gathering and finishing touches, I went to my final Designed Environment lecture and handed in summaries from various guest lecturers from the College of Design's annual lecture series, a sketch book informally illustrating our experiences with the semester's coursework (my very first experience trying to sketch things that aren't in the margins of my notebook, as you can probably tell from the pictures), and a somewhat dramatic eulogy paper commemorating the death of a building of our choice (which was actually more challenging than I had originally thought, it's kind of strange writing about a building as if it were a person who died). Tomorrow will be similar with a final presentation, but my hard work so far this semester has paid off so far and it has been very rewarding! Best semester yet!


Jesse LaMaack, Housing Studies, B.S.

Exciting news y'all!

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blogpic.jpgI declared a minor in retail merchandising! I am so excited!! Such a minor focuses on some of the business aspects of fashion. The reason I chose this minor is because it's good fit for my interests and personality as well as my major. After I graduate, I'm not 100% sure what I want to do, but I could see myself doing store planning or something else that ties fashion into interior design. I honestly might even add on the fashion studies minor because it would only add a few more credits onto the retail merchandising minor and it would bundle up more of what I love into one awesome package.

Overall, I am just so happy that I'm finally getting to figure things out academically! I've been stressing up and down this semester trying to solidify my track, and through the use of many resources and lots of thinking, I was able to shake things out and nail something down.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I'm pretty much a regular in the Career & Internship Services office for CDes. In addition, I've been meeting with my adviser, Wanda and talking to other office personnel where I work. My boss, Lucy Reile, the College to Career Coordinator, has helped me bunches!! She's gotten me in touch with multiple professionals and I've met with a few to do informational interviews. Informationals have definitely been one of the most crucial and helpful things I've done to help with figuring things out.

Now that I'm on a clear track of interior design with a retail merchandising minor, I feel I have plowed a path to success. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me!


Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Engineers and Designers

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Over the past semester a group of apparel design students and I have had the unique opportunity of working with a team of engineering students to create a line of handbags, suitcases and backpacks that use solar power to charge a cell phone or other usb adaptable devices.

This project is technically part of a class I am taking called a directed study. A directed study is typically a 1 credit class where you meet with a professor and work on a project over the semester on your own time. The one on one time with your professor mentor and independent work is a great way to diversify your portfolio by working on something you wouldn't normally design.

For this project we broke out into teams of two to three students to design and create the bags. My team decided to create a suitcase type of bag for a designer or stylist to carry all their tools in: rulers, scissors, pens/pencils, makeup, etc. The most difficult part of the process was designing around the solar panel itself as well as the box used to charge the cell phone/other device. We created a pocket on the back of our bag with a cutout panel for the solar cells to fit into. Below is a few shots of our finished bag!

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A directed study at the University, like I said before, is a great way to diversify your portfolio and make you stand out as a designer. This experience has really opened by eyes to what possibilities are truly open to you as a designer; not just apparel/clothing! Check out the opportunities that other students have had here: http://apparel.design.umn.edu/

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

Well, IDES1601 has been working and chipping away at our last project of the semester. The task of this final assignment is to design a yoga studio for women. Asides from that, our instructors have let our minds run wild! We get to determine the location of the yoga studio. We get to choose how many people it will serve, what type of atmosphere it is, what colors might be used. Last but not least, we get to plan all of the interior space including the floor plan!!

This is such an exciting time in the year for us interior design students because we're getting a chance to apply everything we've learned throughout the semester to one big, comprehensive assignment where we can show off our knowledge, skill set, and overall ability.

I decided to name my yoga studio "Twist 6 Yoga Studios". In my opinion as well as others' I gathered through research and interviews, the word "twist" encompasses a fun vibe while simultaneously reflecting what the body does when doing yoga. The "6" comes from the concept of having two small yoga rooms in my studio where parties of six or less will be able to do yoga in a private, and more intimate setting.

At this stage, I'm nailing down a solid plan of what I want my floor plan to look like. From there, I'll be able to decide on preliminary placement of furniture, lighting etc.

Below are some pictures of my progress so far!

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Until next time,
Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

On the fourth day of Finals...

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My professors gave to me...four final projects and a week to get them all done.

No, I'm just kidding, it's not that bad. Finals can be a very overwhelming time, though, and there are several resources on campus that can help get you through them.

First of all, the SMART Learning Commons (https://wiki.umn.edu/SMART) offers peer tutoring services throughout the semester. Way back in the day when I was in precalculus, I went to a tutoring workshop and also a special event they held before our final exam.

Secondly, speaking of special events before final exams, SMART hosts an Exam Jam event every year to help students get started early on studying for their exams. Check out the flyer (pdf) to learn about it.

I know that personally, when I was in my math class, I thought the idea of visiting a tutor was a little degrading. We're all young and proud and think we're invincible at some point in our lives, right? Really, it's no big deal; students work together to work through the tough spots in your courses. AND I felt so much more comfortable and prepared going into my exams!

The beauty of Graphic Design coursework, though, is that our progress can't really be measured by final exams. It can, however, be measured by extremely lengthy final projects that will totally break your grade if you don't work hard. My advice is to start early and work often! Get a little done every day, and don't stop working until the creative juice stalls. Take a break for a little while, and get back at it as soon as you can.

I'm going to go work on my final project for Graphic Design 4: Integrative Campaign now!

Patrick Puckett, Graphic Design BFA

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My final project group for Journalism 4263: Strategic Communications Campaigns.

Wintertime on Campus

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We have finally been getting some snow here on campus, as of last Thursday. Don't get me wrong; winter is definitely not my favorite season, but I do enjoy a good snowfall. Snow is one of the things that helps me bare the cold; it's so beautiful and almost makes campus seem magical. The weather this year has been mild, I've only had to wear a fall coat up until recently. Even though it can get pretty chilly sometimes, I love walking on campus during wintertime. But for those of you who don't enjoy cold, weather walking, I have some good news. The campus connector bus stops are short walk away from nearly every building. Some stops even have heat lamps to keep you warm and toasty.

But whether you enjoy the cold or not, it's understood that you will definitely need the right gear to keep you warm; so here are some of my go-to winter tips and tricks:

Hand Warmers: These are awesome! You can stick them in your gloves and they warm your hands right up!
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Tights: This one is mostly for the girls, but in the winter I always wear a pair of tights under my jeans. The extra layer provides some insulation, which is really nice.
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Long Coats: I never knew how much of a difference a long coat makes, until I got one. It keeps your upper legs covered from the cold!
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And Of Course Your Basics: hats, scarves, gloves, and boots
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Stay Warm!
Sasenka Curic - Retail Merchandising

There's no "I" in Team

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Being in school should prepare you for the real world, hence the emphasis on group work. The professional world consists of collaborating with coworkers in the firm and around the world. Architects also have to work with engineers, landscape architects, and other professionals to accomplish a holistic design.

In my current studio, we are working in groups of four on a housing project in St. Paul. Working together can sometimes be difficult due to schedules, transportation, and working. Being in one building (Rapson Hall) is convenient and helps make life a little easier. In addition, we are given an adequate working area that provides us space to make models, discuss designs, and use 3D software in the computer lab.

Communication is essential when working in a group. Make sure that you set a schedule and create deadlines for each group member. Pro Tip: Take turns at being the leader of the group so that everyone can take on some responsibility and gain leadership experience. It is essential that group members hold the other accountable for their responsibilities. Remember to talk to your group members often and learn from them. The most important things you can learn during school are not necessarily in a book. Finally, remember to have fun! Having fun is important because it helps group members relax and remain productive while building rapport and unity, making everyone more motivated to do their share. If you don't spend time taking a walk to Dinkytown for food or coffee, you might miss out on advice or a new friendship.rapsoncourtyard.jpg

Wish me luck on my review tomorrow!

Holly Engle
Architecture, Bachelor of Science

Final Project.... in progress

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So the semester is beginning to come to an end the final project for my studio course is starting to take shape. I spent the better part of the weekend (never thought i'd see the inside of the college of design at 4am on a saturday!) preparing the design my studio group and I came up with to be milled out onto our base boards by the CNC Router in the College of Design Digital Fabrication Lab. It was a bit of a headache but the attendants there were patient and helped us get through it.routing studio final model.<img alt= Attached is a picture of the baseboards beginning to be milled out by the CNC Router. The router uses a "wire mesh" generated by a program called Rhino from contours created from an autocad file. The CNC router was able to generate our landform model and then router in the locations of roads and paths. All in all a pretty cool process. From here we'll begin to place the buildings on the site (life scale our site covers 4,800,000 sq ft or 110 acres and is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota) and accentuate the different spaces we've designed (regional boardwalk trail, central plaza, numerous public spaces, etc). I'll be sure to upload a picture of the final model!

Have a great week!

Eric Maass
Bachelor of Environmental Design - 2011
Masters of Landscape Architecture - 2013

Promoting Independence

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It has been a busy but great week here as the semester is rapping up. A major highlight was a few days ago when I was given the opportunity by one of my professors to attend the UMore Park Academic Mission Advisory Board meeting, where I gave a short speech about our UMore Park-related work in the housing studies program.
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I mostly spoke about a project that I'm working on right now in my Promoting Independence in Housing and Community course, which focuses on creating and re-creating accessible and sustainable communities that support healthy aging. This is a huge subject of interest with the up and coming Baby Boom generation and a largely inaccessible housing stock throughout the nation. It has been great using the UMore Park project as a real-life example of developing for independence, and I felt proud to have been chosen to speak to the developers and Academic Mission Board.
In other news, my roommates recently decided to build a small skating rink in our yard in Dinkytown, which I'm fairly indifferent about. I'll post a picture of the finished product next week; it's really quite something. Winter is here!

Stay warm,

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Getting Around

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I am currently a Junior at the University of Minnesota, and as most upper-class students do, I currently live off campus in an apartment I found myself. This does means I am farther away from campus and therefore my classes and day-to-day activities. Because of this, my morning and evening commute is a bit longer than most freshmen experience. My apartment is close to St Paul campus, which is where all of my design and retail merchandising classes are held. I spend most of my time on St Paul campus, because as an upperclassmen, almost all of my credits each semester are design related. I do have to venture over to East Bank a few times a week for general education classes as well as for my job, but St Paul is definitely my top visited campus.

As far as transportation, I do have a car, but it is used solely for groceries, trips to the mall, etc. As far as my transportation during the week to class and work, I always take the bus, via Metro Transit. You can check out the Metro Transit website here, there are tons of bus and light rail routes, so you're sure to find one that gets you where you need to go. http://metrotransit.org/maps-schedules.aspx

I have a Upass (pictured below with my Ucard) which is a pass, only for university students, that allows unlimited bus and light rail rides for one semester for only about $100 dollars. This is a great deal if you plan to bus to/from class or around the city. I have renewed and used my Upass every semester since I moved off campus, and it makes travel super convenient!

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Consider using public transit like I do when you move to the University, its cheap, convenient, and better for the environment!

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

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