College of Design Student Blogs

January 2012 Archives

Much Ado about A Lot of Stuff

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It's the third week of class, and I already think that this semester might be even more hectic than fall semester! And I thought I barely survived last time!

This past Wednesday, I was appointed the Art Director in my Magazine Editing and Production class. Basically what that means is that I'll be responsible for everything visual in the magazine--the design, assigning photography requests, finding art, and maintaining copyright info. It's going to be insane.

Also, I was recently appointed the Lead Designer of the National Student Advertising Competition here at the U of M. We had a lead designer, but due to some attendance issues, I'm the new guy! I'm very excited to step into this role. I will be helping to execute/mock up all of the ads we produce in our campaign, as well as designing the book that we have to turn in to the American Advertising Federation (AAF). I recruited one of my graphic design friends to help me with this project--my design buddy Lindsey.

Last week in Advanced Typography, we were creating books of different typographic layouts of a single letter. I had the letter O. All I could say was, "Challenge accepted." I'm really proud of the final result, and my classmates appreciated that I didn't back down from a seemingly boring letter!

Last update is that I'm trying to hash out what to put in my portfolio as I graduate. I'm working on this with the help of Greg Pickman (whom I mentioned a couple entries ago), and I also have an informational interview with an art director from the advertising agency I want to work at on Sunday. Hopefully I will be hard at work at that soon!

PS we just found out this week that the commenting feature wasn't working correctly on our blogs. I'd love to see some comments for things you'd like to hear about or see! This is for you, after all!

Graphic Design B.F.A.


My final assembled book for Advanced Typography. You can see it closer in this pdf.

Window Shopping


One of the great things that the College Of Design provides for its student is The Mentor Program in which they match students with a mentor that works in their field of interest. This program allows juniors and seniors to gain personal direction, knowledge, and understanding about the industry they will be working in before actually entering it.

The awesome thing about the 5-month program is that it has minimal structure; students and mentors get to choose what they will be covering and when they will meet up. Students typically meet with their mentors once or twice a month and go over the specific topics they decided upon; these topics vary and include anything from networking, building a portfolio, and whatever else the mentor and student find necessary.

My mentor is a business owner who gets to travel around the world and work in design management. I am actually meeting with my mentor today, Wednesday, February 1st. We are planning to get together at the Mall of America to grab lunch as well as to visit stores. We are going to go to stores, which are doing well, and store that are doing not so well. Observing their store layout and displays, she will be developing my visual merchandising skills by teaching me how to understand which tactics work and which don't. I am very excited to venture out and learn from someone inside the field.

Store windows will be just one of the things we will be observing
(photo credit:

Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Landscape Architecture within the U of M

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Those of you who have already visited the U of M might already have taken notice of the great features of Landscape Architecture located right on the U of M grounds, but for those that haven't here's a quick over view.

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First things first, the University Mall which is arguably the focal point of the Minneapolis campus is a place of constant movement and interaction which provides a great place for students and faculty alike to get out and enjoy the outdoors! Landscape Architecture has so much to do with the interaction and movement of people and the Mall is a great place to relax and study this.

Next up is the Scholars Walk which bisects the University Mall. The walk serves as a connection point from the Alumni Center to the opposite end of the East bank (meaning it intersects with The Mall). It makes for a pleasant walk and is loaded with numerous seating elements if you have some time between classes and choose to take a rest.

I could go on and on, but the last item i'll highlight is perhaps one of the greatest and most overlooked attributes of the University of Minnesota. The Mississippi River. It runs adjacent to campus and gives students a great chance for recreation. It has also sparked a large design competition via the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition!

Everything from very historic landscapes to modern ones dedicated to education to landscapes which are still to come can all be found in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota!

Hope you enjoyed this quick over view and be sure to do some exploring on your own when you're in town. There's a hidden gem of Landscape Architecture found between Vincent Hall and Murphy Hall that i'll let you find for yourself (It was actually designed by one of the founders of the Landscape Architecture program at the U of M!)

Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture - May 2013


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The work for NASA has been continuing! So far its been a lot of reading and research, but this week we started the hands on part of the project which was awesome! Our assigned mini project was to create a circuit that would power two LED devices and would be powered by some sort of switch. The switch was to be of our own design using a variety of medium from conductive fabric and thread to metal snaps and tape.

I created a circuit powered by a battery pack, complete with a resistor and two LEDs that lit up when the switch was connected. I created my switch by making a type of arm with velcro and conductive fabric. Check it out below!



Above is a picture of my complete circuit with the lights lit up! So excited! As you can see, I used conductive thread throughout the entire circuit to create a complete path for the electricity. The other shot is a close up of my switch. I then used a small piece of conductive fabric (actually woven metal/silver fibers woven together) to create a connection that was detachable for my switch.

In the next few weeks we will start to use our knowledge gained in the above activity to brainstorm and being prototyping for our actual NASA projects. My group's project is all about e-textiles, so we will for sure be using a lot of circuity, etc. I can't wait to share more with you all!

I hope to see all of you at the Dean's Reception in February!

Lucie, Apparel Design

School and Friends


It is the second week of the semester and everyone is starting to settle into classes. We have survived the first week and are now ready to attack the new semester. So far I am really enjoying all of my class, I am particularly eager about Marketing (MKTG 3001), Visual Merchandising (RM 3243), and Dress, Society and Culture (RM 4212W). These classes are some of the required classes for the Retail Merchandising program, and not only do they seem like they will be interesting but very useful as well. I can't wait to see how these classes develop and all that I will be learning in them.

Another thing that makes these classes wonderful is community. Because the Retail Merchandising program is not an overwhelming large program, it is super easy to make friends within it. I can honestly say that I have had at least a few familiar faces in almost every one of my classes. Since my freshman year, I have not only become acquainted with most of the retail majors from my grade, I have also developed some really close friendships as well. One of my really good friends from the program and I even started a fashion blog together.
Developing a community is very important, whether they are in your major or not. However, having a group of friends that you are able to study, network, and relate with is very beneficial, both for your time in and out of school.

This is my friend joe who I have the fashion blog with, he is one of my closest friend within the major.

-Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Welcome to the 4th Floor: Interior Design Central

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The fourth floor of McNeal Hall is home of the interior design department at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I may be biased when I say this, but it's definitely my favorite part of campus. This is for many reasons, but to name a few, it's where all of my interior design peers have thir studio courses, it's where all of our resources and supplies are located, and it's where I am able to produce my best work.

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Room 475 is our resource room. It contains many supplies, material samples, tools, and drafting tables. This room is holds studio classes, but it is also available for students to have work time.

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Below are some photos of another studio space in Mcneal, room 475. This is where my studio section meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

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In the hallways we have bulletin boards that keep us posted on University and Design specific information. There are also lounge areas, lockers for storing portfolios/supplies/projects/etc. The instructor offices are also at the end of the hallway for easy access.

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If you ever wanna see it in person, you can arrange a tour here!

Until next time,
Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

New Resources!

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Winter break was an exciting time for the Office of Information Technology in the College of Design apparently, as they opened a new lab in McNeal Hall!

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CDes' new open lab in McNeal Hall!

I had the fortune of going down to visit this new lab the other day when I was working on an advanced typography assignment, and didn't realize the software I had at home wasn't compatible with the new software in the labs.

This probably sounds like a problem, but the fact that the College of Design keeps us up to date on industry-standard software is really great! I'm just at a point in my career that I don't want to buy Creative Suite 5.5 when I spent the money on Creative Suite 5 last fall.

Anyway, this new lab is really a great resource because the large format printing area is much more spacious now than it used to be. In addition to about a dozen iMac workstations, there are also a few open spaces in the desks with access to power strips and network cables where you can plug in your personal laptop to get a quick charge and internet!

One thing that used to be a big problem, especially for Graphic Design students, was that the printer in the lab wasn't color calibrated properly. Well, later this semester, they're going to have a color calibrated monitor set up in the new lab where we can preview the colors we'll be getting from the printer in order to avoid paying for print jobs that don't look as good as they should.

It's probably really geeky to be excited over a new computer lab, but I am anyway! Check out the CDes-IT post about the new lab at

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design B.F.A.

In Today's Market, We're a Hot Commodity

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foreclosed-house-300x225.jpgThe last decade has shown us all how heavily the housing market influences our nation's economy. Advances in technology and communication have given rise to an increasingly complex home lending industry, surpassing previous regulatory standards and sending America into an economic recession. While signs of recovery are being observed, unemployment is still widespread and overall economic growth is slow at best. While many of today's college students fear they will be diving into an uncertain job market upon graduation, most of us housing students aren't so worried.

Regardless of economic conditions, housing-related expenditures consistently make up over one fifth of our nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - it is something that makes up a significant part of nearly every household budget. America's housing stock has proven invaluable to our economy, and the recent housing crisis has only increased the demand for the handful of us who have devoted years to facing these tough housing issues. There will always be jobs in housing, and our skills are needed now more than ever in both the public and private sectors.

Whether it be rewriting fraudulent mortgages to help families stay in their home, assisting in the development of affordable housing, rehabilitating neighborhoods, or guiding public policy - there is a lot of work to be done, and a lot of opportunities to be had. Design is all about problem solving, and housing is something that is constantly being re-assessed to maintain the vitality of our nation. It's actually pretty exciting.

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.


Community Service Learning

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First thing you're probably wondering is "what is Community Service Learning?" Community Service Learning allows students the opportunity to acquire important new knowledge, skills, and civic competencies while providing services to distressed urban and rural communities. Community Service Learning is taking place throughout the country as well as here at the University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota's Community Service Learning is quite extensive in that this past year alone it was a part of over 100 courses taught at the U of M. These classes were offered from introductory level courses up through the more advanced courses.

I have personal experience with the Community Service Learning department from a course I took spring of my junior year. The course was taught through the Geography department and gave the option to complete a Community Service Learning Internship as a way of fulfilling one of the course requirements. I applied and received a spot on the group that would be working with Seward Redesign. Make a long story short, not only did I fulfill a course requirement, but I also received an additional credit by completing the Internship.


Have a good week!

Eric Maass
Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture - May 2013


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IMG_1906.JPGGood news! I get to design cabins in my final studio! The first assignment is to build a cabin sleeping four people out of SIPs(Structural Insulated Panel) that can be transported in a Ford F-150 pickup truck. My main goal for this project is to have the least amount of panels. In my first attempt, I succeeded with an 8' x 8' floor plan. One flaw with this design is that most small wood stoves will produce too much heat for this space, so I must research different types of stoves. When we are finished with this project, we will be displaying it at the Lake Home and Cabin Show in February at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Spectators will vote on the best cabin. Wish me luck!

IMG_1913.JPGOur next project will be working with a client to design a cabin on Lake Vermilion, which located in the Iron Range of Minnesota. From February 3-5th, we will be snowshoeing to our sites near Lake Vermilion. While we are there, we will measure the site and visit other cabins. The great thing about this studio is working with a real client. Although we won't be building our final designs, it is important to learn how to converse with clients. Pro Tip: shadow an architect often to learn communication skills.

I hope all of you are looking forward to the Dean's Reception in February!

Holly Engle
Bachelor of Science, Architecture


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I promised you some exciting news last week, so here it is! This semester our studio class will be working in collaboration with NASA engineers and designers to create prototypes of garments for astronauts to use on the Mars mission! I cannot wait! My team of two classmates and myself will be focusing on electronic textiles that the astronauts wear while inside the space station or shuttle craft. This is called a flight suit, an example of the current suit is below:


As you can see, its rather bulky and unappealing, aesthetic wise. The astronauts wear these constantly while in the shuttle and they can be awkward to wear when trying to work. Because of the anti-gravity everything floats in space, so the biggest obstacle to this project is to create quick attachment and detachment of controls, tools and displays to the suit. These have to have power supplied to them through some sort of attachment, as well as other conductors to transfer data.

I worked on an e-textiles project similar to this last semester. I blogged about the solar powered bag I designed and created a few weeks ago. I will be using some of the knowledge I gained in that project while working with NASA. If all goes well, our solar bag design will be shown in the international convention in Newcastle, United Kingdom this summer! Here is a shot of the promotional poster with our design featured!


This project with NASA will span the next three and a half month and will end with a convention in Houston, TX. Our class is being flown down to speak and present our prototypes! An amazing opportunity, I cannot wait to jump into the design process!

I will be sure to keep you updated!

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

A Few Loose Ends..

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A few blogs ago I promised you all a final picture of the model my group member and I created for our studio final. Well, here it is! This model is made of MDF Board. The side of the buildings were painted to ensure continuity and give it a nice sleek and clean look. studio_model_pic.jpg

Again, we used various 3d modeling computer programs and the CNC Router in the CDes Digital Fabrication Lab We used this model as part of our studio presentation. Pairing it with a number of analytical drawings and real life renderings (like this one!) traffice_large_space_Aerial_poster_filtered.jpg These additional figures are important to ensure that you properly get your ideas across to your professors (or in a few years, to your clients!) The image to the left was created using a FREE program called SketchUP and Adobe Photoshop. A person is able to creat in Sketchup a real life 3d model of his/her project. It also has tools that allow for shadows to be cast (you define the day/time to cast certain shadows). You can then export a 2D graphic from sketchup and bring it into photoshop to add some finishing touches. You'll find that bouncing between different programs to create a single image is useful and very necessary. Luckily there are classes that teach you all about these computer programs, so no need to worry about that.

And now begins a new semester! Take care everyone.

Eric Maass
Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture - Map 2013

Working Out On Campus

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I have just recently decided that I need to start getting into better shape. So far all I have been doing is using the elliptical in my apartment and walking almost everywhere on campus. However, next week I am planning to start working-out at the University Recreation Center, which we on campus call The Rec. I am slightly embarrassed that I have only taken advantage of this place a few times, especially because it has so much to offers.

The Rec. has much exercise equipment available for use. A great variety of cardio equipment and strength training machines dominate the first two levels of the building, which is located on the Minneapolis campus. The basement holds a pool in which students and other members are freely allowed to use on a daily basis. Also, the top floor holds gyms for recreational sports and games. My favorite thing about the The Rec, however, are the fitness classes offered. Every semester a free weeklong trail of all the fitness classes is offered to students and members. Attending these classes typically costs about $5 for a daylong pass and $55 for the semester; is the only extra cost when using The Rec. However, during this specific week, which is called "Jam Week," all classes are free. This is so that we can check out which classes we like or don't like without having to pay for them. The classes offered range from dance to yoga to cycling. This year I'm going to try out as many classes as I can and find some great ones to stick with.

(Photo Credit:

Sasenka -Retail Merchandising

The First Day

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I realize that my readers are all anxiously awaiting the Tuesday after Labor Day to have their first day, but I wanted to share how excited I was about my last "first day" today.

The first week of classes is a thrill no matter whether it's your first or last semester. Obviously after one term, you've made friends that you try to stick with (I like to call them "Design Buddies," i.e., the people that mutually keep one another from having nervous breakdowns on occasion). On that first day of class, though, no matter who you're with, it's always fun to look at your syllabi and get excited about all of the new skills you'll be gaining.

I started my day with Advertising in Society today. It was a pretty small class at about 35 students. Then I spent four hours at work. Then I spent an hour and a half at the National Student Advertising Competition.


Nicholson Hall, where my Advertising and Society class is held.


Walter Library, where I work.


Relatively empty Campus Connector on the way to St. Paul.


Coming up to McNeal Hall for my evening portfolio class.

Finally, I got to the class I'd been waiting for all day: Graphic Design Portfolio. All I can say is that Greg Pickman is hands down the most useful, informative, and generous graphic design faculty member on the planet. He'll stretch and challenge you, but not to the breaking point. He's the most enthusiastic and helpful person I've ever learned from. He gives you crazy ideas and then helps you figure out how to execute them.

Best person to learn from. EVER. And he's an adjunct faculty member right here at the U of M.

Back to this notion about the first week being really exciting, though. In high school, you pack all the new stuff into one day and then it's done. In College, you can have a whole bunch of new things in a week depending on your schedule. For example, tomorrow I have a completely different class load: Ice Skating, Advanced Typography, and Magazine Editing and Production.

Plenty to be excited about. Two "first days" for the price of one.

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design B.F.A.

Studio Recap

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Since I'm starting my final studio course tomorrow, I would like to recap on some past studio projects that I found interesting and fun. Beginning fall 2010, Studio I dealt with a community park in the Cedar-Riverside community. We had to design a park containing a community center, seating, and covered areas. After making some paper diagrams, we created plaster models. Working with plaster is beautiful, difficult, messy, and rewarding. It is an experience everyone should attempt. It allows a student to think about the negative space (creating the formwork) and material. The final product was a park made out of museum board and plaster.

Studio II was taught by an amazing professor, Nat Madson. His ability to create worthwhile assignments that were both rigorous and complex was impressive. For my favorite project, we were assigned certain categories. My category was Brading the Experience, a collection of taxidermied animals on the Isle of Wight in England. My mission was to design a museum on campus that would contain these animals. I focused on how the animals were displayed by creating a hallway with heads and a study room containing the rest of the animal's bodies. The museum was designed to be placed between the Recreation Center and Cooke Hall. During this project, I was able to experiment with acrylic, spray paint, and design.

Photo Sequence of Space

Being an architecture student at the University of Minnesota has allowed me to have fun, be creative, and learn about practical design. I'm excited to see what Studio IV brings.

Until next week,

Holly Engle
Architecture, B.S.


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bloggy1.jpgIt went so well! I got plenty of sleep the night before and woke up well rested and ready to start my day. It's nice because my roommate and I both have 8:30 AM class in St. Paul on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We woke up at about the same time, got ready, had breakfast and coffee, and then hopped on the campus connector St. Paul bound. We arrived on the St. Paul campus with time to spare so we were both about 10 minutes early to our first classes of the day. I liked being early to my first class because it gave me time to settle down and get my note taking materials prepared. I also got to do some socializing and catching up with fellow students that I hadn't seen in about a month which I enjoyed!

Today I had my Interior Design Lecture and Studio (IDES 1602) and I also had my Foundations of Color studio (GDES 1312). Everything went really well in all of my classes--nothing out of the ordinary, just your usual syllabus review and get to know you stuff.

In IDES 1602 lecture, we went over the Elements and Principles of design and then during studio, we got our first assignment. In GDES 1312, we did some general get to know you stuff, then we broke into groups and each created a design out of sample paint chips which was an interesting and refreshing task! Here's a picture of my group and our paint chip design!

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Tomorrow I have Fundamentals of Management (MGMT 3001) and Multichannel Retailing (RM 2215). MGMT 3001 will be my first class on the west bank in over a year, but I'm definitely excited for the change of pace! Afterwards I'll head back to good old St. Paul for RM 2215 in Ruttan Hall.

I'm sure tomorrow will go just as well as today did, but wish me luck!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Class Variety

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Its back to school time! Today was my first day of the spring 2012 semester. Today I had two very different studio classes. One, "Studio IV", specializes in wearable technologies and technical design, while the other focuses on surface design with regards to fabric. I love the variety of studios here at the University! It is a great way to be able to explore your interests and talents while at school and decide what really interests you to pursue further. In our wearable technologies studio, we are going to be researching, designing, testing, and prototyping different aspects and garments with regards to space and flight (More on that next week, my class has a very exciting opportunity that will be taking place through the University in the spring!!!)

The other studio, my fabric surface design class is also very exciting. The cool part about having a full surface design studio available to you as a student is that you get to explore the other side of the clothing you design: the cloth itself. Utilizing a lot of the same principles and techniques you learn in your other design courses you are able to use various media to dye, print, alter, etc your own fabric. This is especially interesting from a clothing design student's perspective because fabric choice and placement on the body is key to a successful design. Having the chance to create a garment out of a textile you created as well is a great opportunity given to us by the University.

Here is a picture of some of the fun techniques we experimented with today in my surface design class! It is called "Shibori Stitching" and it is an ancient form of resist dyeing.


Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design

...and Classes Begin!

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Today marked the beginning of the Spring 2012 term here at the U of M - it feels great to be back in the classroom. I'm expecting this semester to be both challenging and intellectually stimulating, it will be my first term where all of my classes are offered through the College of Design (all 15 credits). Here's a list of the courses I am taking this semester:

- Housing Policy (HSG 5463)
- Design Fundamentals I (ARCH 1281)
- Architecture and Ecology (ARCH 4561)
- Understanding Housing: Assessment and Analysis (HSG 5464)

The first day of classes often aren't much more than brief introductions and syllabus-related things, but we dove right into the material in my Housing Policy course. Housing Policy is a required course for housing studies majors, but is taught primarily as a graduate-level course. While this may have made me nervous hearing this as a freshman, our professors have very much prepared us for graduate courses in our first few years of the housing program. The fact that I know what the professor is talking about in class makes me feel like I've come a long ways in the last few years!


Stay warm, it's getting cold out!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

Getting Ready for My Final Semester

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As January 17 approaches, I've become pretty nostalgic for my good old U of M. I took a walk to the West Bank across the Washington Avenue Bridge on Tuesday, which is something that I haven't done very often since I moved away from Middlebrook Hall. I just happened to need to go over there to file some paperwork at the Hubert H. Humphrey center, and it was so nice out that I walked on the south side of the bridge, just like I did all those late nights coming home from Marching Band, intramural volleyball, Wednesday night rehearsals, Applebee's, the Superblock, Comstock, Taco Tuesday, Pasta Thursday, or goodness knows where.

I smiled as a passed the Shoe Tree, which everyone throws a pair of shoes into when they feel they need good luck on their finals (found that out this past semester). Obviously with all campus lore, there are multiple version to hear...I'm sticking with that one. I'll be throwing a pair of old Marching Band shoes that don't fit me anymore into that tree at the end of this semester, but not because I know I will need luck on my finals. It's because those shoes carried me through two seasons of Marching Band before they didn't fit my feet anymore, and I will never wear them, or march in that band, ever again.

This week, I don't have any campus resources to share, because I don't believe there are any for this situation. Perhaps the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (I lied, here's a link:, which student membership in gets you 10% off most supplies at the bookstore, but maybe turning down that path now would bring reality too soon.

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design B.F.A.

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My friends Kassie, Corey and I having a sleepover on the floor in the Middlebrook 10th floor social lounge on our last night of freshman year on my broken futon mattress, the shoe tree from below, and the view out the window of the "wedge" of the second floor of the Middlebrook New Addition (circa fall 2009).

Time really flies!

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I can't even believe it! Classes are in less than a week. In my last few days of freedom, I'm doing my best to balance work, relaxation and preparation for the new semester.

I've been working in the office like usual over break which has been nice. It's definitely been very quiet in McNeal the past few weeks since students are on holiday, but that provides staff with time to get ready for next semester. Mostly, I just work on projects for office personnel and advisors, and sometimes if there's nothing else, I get to read or work on my own things. I've also been working at Urban over break. It's been crazy in our store with the holiday season, and especially around New Year's Eve since so many girls were looking for dresses! Things are settling down there again though, and my work days are more enjoyable again.

I've definitely been relaxing a lot too. Last week I was sick and basically bedridden, so I lounged like a champ. All day, everyday for at least three days. I felt like such a bum, but now that I've regained my health I've been combating the laziness with trips to the rec center and walks around the neighborhood with my roommate. I'm feeling revved up for the new semester because of being well rested and getting into the habit of working out.

And speaking of the new semester, I've been using spare time over winter break to get prepared and situated for the next semester. Two weeks ago I nailed down my absolute final schedule for spring, so I'll be taking Fundamentals of Management (MGMT 3001), Interior Design Studio II (IDES 1602), Multichannel Retailing (RM 2215), and Foundations of Color (GDES 1312). It's going to be an interesting, but tough semester. Today I plan on picking up my books and school supplies, and overall just organizing all things school related. I plan out cleaning out my laptop too just because I think getting stuff like that out of the way now will decrease distraction when school is in session.

Until next time,
Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Campus Visits

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For over two years now, I've had a on-campus student position with the Admissions Visit Program. Since I started up work again this week after a short holiday vacation, I thought I would talk to you all about campus visits here at the U of M. While many of you have likely visited and toured a college campus before, a visit to the University of Minnesota as a prospective design student will likely be a memorable one!

Not only is the U of M one of the largest schools in the nation, it is also among the most comprehensive. With so many colleges and schools to see on our big, beautiful campus, our campus visits offer specialized visits to each of our freshman-admitting schools on Mondays and Fridays during academic terms and summers. Even better, we offer two different College of Design Visits--one for students interested in architecture/landscape design and planning, and another for prospective design, housing, and retail students.

These visits include a general information session, campus and residence hall tour of the East Bank Minneapolis Campus, an information session given by the College of Design, and a facilities tour (Rapson Hall on East Bank for architecture and landscape design and planning, McNeal Hall on the St. Paul Campus for design, housing, and retail majors).

After being a tour guide for a year and now the training coordinator for the visit program, I can tell you first-hand that a lot of work goes into campus visits because we want you to personally experience the U of M and picture yourself as a student there. Each college and school here has its own feel, and specialized visits to the College of Design are great because prospective students can see for themselves how unique and personable we really are. I strongly recommend it, I bet you'll be impressed! We're working hard behind the scenes to ensure you have a great visit!


Hope to see you all at the Visit Office!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.

New Semester!

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Winter break is coming to an end and though it has been wonderful to have 3 weeks off and rest, I can't wait to get back to school and start the new semester. This semester I am taking 20 credits, which is not something I would necessary recommend because it could end up being a tad overwhelming. But, since I my sudden decision and consideration to studying abroad next fall, I felt that it would be a good idea to have a little security in still being able to graduate on time by taking more credits then I would typically. The credit-load that is required for to be a full time student is 13 credits, however your advisor will most likely recommended that you take 15-16 credits; this is the perfect amount because it is both manageable and keeps you on track with graduating on time.

The classes that I am registered to take this semester are Dakota Culture and History, Horticulture, Marketing, Computer Literacy and Problem Solving, Visual Merchandising, and Dress Society and Culture. Though six classes may seem like a lot to handle, I must say that two of them are actually offered online, making it more manageable if use my time wisely. Taking online classes does have its benefits and opens up your schedule a bit, but it can also be harmful to your GPA if you procrastinate; that is why it is essential to stay on track and be organized.

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-My schedule for the semester, not including Computer Literacy and Dress Society because those will be done online.

Until Next Time,
Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Holiday Vacation

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Hola from Saint Martin!

Right now, I am on vacation on the tropical island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean. Saint Martin, approximately 37 sq. miles, is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two sovereign nations - France and The Netherlands. Traveling around the island has made me appreciate Minneapolis in spite of its harsh winters. The lack of building codes, garbage management, and water quality are masked by the beautiful ocean and foliage.

In 1995, Saint Martin was hit by Hurricane Luis, resulting in 7,000 people left homeless, ships sunken or run aground, and three towns without power and water. Damage from the hurricane can still be seen today. If you're a tourist, you probably focus on the beach and attractions that the island offers. If you were like me (trying to find a solution), you would be very interested in projects the University of Minnesota is working on. Each spring, a group of Architecture graduate students spends eight weeks in Haiti to design schools. This program helps design buildings that will be loved and cared for over generations. Also, the apparel design students assembled over eighty garments for school children in Haiti. The garments were bright and beautiful! These projects within the College of Design are helping change the world. Just think of all the other projects/programs the University of Minnesota has to offer!

Next week spring semester begins. This will be my final semester so I'm looking forward to the hard work and fun it shall bring.

Holly Engle
Architecture, B.S.

Back to school! Almost...

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Break is quickly wrapping up and thoughts of school, classes and homework are slowly creeping back into my thoughts. Going back to school for spring semester is always a mix of feelings. On one hand, it never feels as if the winter break was long enough, and on the other it really feels like you haven't seen your college friends in a long time. Its nice to get back into the swing of things like classes.

My routine for back to school consists of a few points:

1) Buying books. This can be a complicated process, trying to figure out if you want to rent or buy books and from what sources. The bookstore offers text books to rent or buy, either used or new. I suggest buying all your books used if you can; they can be a lot cheaper and usually just have some highlighting or notes. Renting text books can be helpful if your'e sure you aren't going to want to use the book after the semester: like with your general education credits. I would highly recommend you buy all your design/fashion books, you will definitely need them throughout your education. (Find more info at


2) Schedule: Figuring out the fastest and easiest way of transportation around the campus can be daunting, but it really will help to walk around through your schedule before the first day of classes, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.

3) Buy supplies: You will need a lot of supplies for your classes, from pencils and notebooks to sewing materials. I usually buy my normal school stuff at Target or the school bookstore before the first day of class. I wait until I have my first design classes for more specific design supplies; the professors will usually give you more detailed lists the first day.

Lucie Mulligan, apparel design major

The weekends during break have been very enjoyable for me. I have filled them by going ice fishing with friends and family, skiing at Lutsen Mountains and some preliminary internship searching. 393295_3001219913152_1341938026_33239949_368590846_n.jpg

As break comes to an end I'm thinking about everything I've done and how Landscape Architecture or Environmental Design is a part of it all. The lakes I fish are dependent upon a number of factors to ensure its health; nearby development, waste water runoff, water quality, etc. All of which I could have a part in as a Landscape Architect. The ski runs must all be graded to achieve the desired slope, there must be a pedestrian network to move people from place to place around the skiing resort and surrounding mountains. Again all of which can be completed by a Landscape Architect.

As you go about your day, look at the window. Chances are everything you see a Landscape Architect can have his or her hand in it one way or another. And no I'm not talking about your neighbors yard as you travel down your driveway! Think BIG, because Landscape Architecture can take you there!

Till next week everyone,

Eric Maass
Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design - May 2011
Master of Landscape Architecture - May 2013

Reporting back from Phoenix

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artmuseum.jpgIf you followed me on Twitter (@HollyEngle) this past week, you will know a little bit about my voyage in Phoenix, AZ at the AIAS Forum 2011. Since our generation is going to face numerous challenges surrounding climate change, economy, and other issues, SOLUTIONS was this year's theme. Becoming more engaged and proactive are the first steps to changing the world, which I hope all of you want to do. The keynote speakers included Jeffrey Inaba, Teddy Cruz, David Zach, and Brad Lancaster. If you've never heard of any of these people, especially Brad Lancaster, please Google them or click on the hyperlinks. They are truly inspiring.

On the first day, December 29th, a group of us participated in the scavenger hunt around Phoenix. After taking pictures in front of fifteen great architectural hot spots, we ran back to the hotel to find out we were two minutes from winning! We might have lingered too long in the Phoenix Public Library. The structural system is quite impressive.

IMG_1661.JPGThe next day, we took a tour of Taliesin West, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The tour consisted of the history of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the architecture school. The students spend their summers in Spring Green, WI at Taliesin East and their winters in Arizona at Taliesin West. In Arizona, they are encouraged to build shelters in the desert. Poisonous scorpions and snakes? No thank you!

The rest of my trip was filled with Council of Presidents events and Elections Committee meetings. These were great things to be a part of because I learned more about the professional world, networked, and represented the University of Minnesota. Pro Tip: When nominated for a position, accept.

Thank you to the College of Design for providing AIAS with the resources to achieve our goals.

Until next week,

Holly Engle
Architecture, B.S.

AIAS-MN at the New Year's Eve Beaux Arts Ball
Theme: 1920's

Housing Update

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aptt.jpgHello again! In light recent uncertainties in our nation's housing markets, I am pleased to report that in the last few months we have seen a substantial boost in residential development here in the United States. Jim Buchta of the Star Tribune recently wrote that construction spending in the nation has hit a 17-month high during this past November, both in single-family and multifamily home construction. This is great news, not only for our local and national economy, but also for us housing majors who are looking at real estate development as a future career path.

In other news, the City of Minneapolis has recently released the Downtown 2025 Plan, which is the city's new vision for revitalizing Downtown Minneapolis. The plan calls to double the downtown residential population to 70,000, establish a sports district on the west end, increase public transit, establish deeper connections with the University of Minnesota, end homeless, and others. I'm very excited that this plan is being called into action, and being taken very seriously by our mayor R.T. Rybak. Living in dense areas (such as Downtown Minneapolis) is becoming an upward housing trend in our nation, allowing people of all types to live close to transportation, services, culture, and other amenities which can enhance their lives.

That's all for this week, hope you enjoyed!

Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.



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So it's 2012 and one of my New Year's resolutions was to save money. I work two jobs, but it's crazy because I fly through money faster than I make it. This is mostly due to going out to eat far too often, shopping, and just not really managing my funds properly. Granted I pay rent and utilities, I should still have more money left over than I ever end up with. It's just my second year in college and my first year living in an apartment, but even so, it's about time I change my ways and form good habits for money management.

photo-1.jpegFor starters, I'm going to start investing more in groceries. Today my roommate and I went grocery shopping and each of us dropped quite a bit of cash, but at the end up the day, the money spent on groceries will go much farther than five dollar sandwiches and 10 dollar entrees. While grocery shopping, we also picked up a huge package of coffee grounds. I always find myself stopping for coffee and spending 2-5 bucks a day on my coffee. By buying the coffee grounds and making coffee at home instead, I think I'll save a bunch of money there.

LLASshowtitle.jpegEntertainment is essential in my book, but spending all my cash in order to have a good time simply isn't worth it. It's really nice because the U of M has a program called Live Like a Student Now So You Don't Have to Later (LLAS). On their website they have bits about financial advice, g ideas for what to do for fun and free (or super cheap), and you can even sign up for their mailing list to get emails containing tips, tricks, and updates.

Hopefully by cutting costs by grocery shopping more than going out to eat as well as doing things suggested by LLAS, I think I'll be able to save a hearty chunk of change. I'm so excited for this!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

Where to live?

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The past two months I have been trying to decide where to I would like to live next year; I have been debating living in a house in Dinkytown or stay in my current apartment building, Dinnaken. I like both for different reasons. I like the house mostly for its location in Dinkytown and because most of my friends will be living near by. Dinnaken, however, has a great location also, basically on Campus, and for its location is very affordable. I am having such a hard time deciding, but I will admit I am leaning more towards the house!

Luckily for those you who will be incoming freshman next year, your housing decisions will be more easily determined, assuming you want to live in the dorms all you will have to do is choose your top dorm locations on your application.

Here are the some great things about each dorm location and so you guys have a better idea of which you like best.

Superblock dorms: Frontier, Pioneer, Centennial, and Territorial.
• Great location right on the east bank, you will be right in the middle of everything.
• Most freshman will be living in these dorms so it will be a very social environment
• Right near Coffman our student union, which is practically the middle of campus, making it super easy to get around and get to every other location.
• Located right next to Dinkytown, meaning you are near some great restaurants and coffee shops. And because many people hang out in Dinkytown, something is always happening.
• It is currently directly on the Campus Connector bus rout, making it super easy to travel around campus and to classes.
• On the West Bank, which is great because as a Retail Major, you will be taking many business classes and the building that you will be taking them in is practically a block away from this dorm.
• On the St. Paul Campus, which is also awesome because we, Retail Major's, have many classes in St. Paul as well.
• Bailey also has my favorite dining center of all the dorm halls.

Hope this gives you all little bit of knowledge about what each dorm has to offer!

(me in my dorm room my freshman year)

Until next time!
Sasenka - Retail Merchandising

Doing Other Stuff

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As we're about a third of the way through winter break this week, I thought it might be appropriate to talk about the importance of hobbies and other activities while in school.

Frankly, if all students in the College of Design did was design, we'd have burned out a long time ago.

There are a few things that I like to do in my spare time. One of them is taking pictures. Last year, since I know I hate self-improvement New Year's Resolutions, I decided that I would take a picture every day for the whole year. Some people call these "365 Day Photo Projects." Well, I did it. I just need to get pictures from December 20-31 up in my Facebook album, and then I'll be all set.

Another thing that I like to do is color guard. I have been doing it now for over 8 years. This year, I'm too old to compete in A or Open Class winter color guard--I would have to participate in World Class because I'm 23 now. Because there are no World Class guards in Minnesota, and I've gotten relatively good at what I do, I'm actually teaching winter color guard at one of the local area high schools. I might have mentioned that before.

One last thing to mention that I do quite a bit of is taking naps. Sounds like a lame hobby, I know, but I LOVE sleeping. I take naps during the day because I know I do my best thinking from somewhere around 2 am til about 5 am. I try not to do these stints too often, but sometimes they are necessary.

Basically, what I'm getting at this week is to make sure to bring with you a couple things you know you like to do not necessarily to distract you, but to keep you from being bored with what you're actually going to school for.

Patrick Puckett
Graphic Design MFA

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My Picture of the Day from Christmas Eve, and an action shot at Winter Guard International World Championships last winter where my guard placed 11th in Open Class out of 36 competitors! (I should also mention that our stained glass inspired floor was thanks to my Photoshop mastery in enlarging images!)

Winter break, not just a break...

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Over winter break is a great time to relax and unwind after a very stressful semester and busy finals week. It is also a time to take care of some necessary college student related things that get put on the back burner during the school year. These can include selling back text books, buying next semester's books, getting your schedule all worked out: work and classes, meeting with your adviser about scholarships and other opportunities, etc.

Over this break I have been focusing on updating my professional portfolio on my website of designs and apparel I have created, and updating my resume to match. This can be time consuming, but it is important to maintain an up-to-date professional appearance while in school, a lot of opportunities present themselves when you aren't expecting them and it is best to be prepared. If you're interested in checking out my professional website, take a look here: (

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Another thing I have been hard at work doing is scholarship hunting. Most college students, like myself, will need financial aid to attend school. This can include federal and state grants, loans and other things like scholarships. A great place to start your scholarship search is on your homepage. ( There is a link on the left hand side linking you to scholarships that are available to you based on your unique circumstances and majors, etc. Apply for many! It never hurts.

Hope to see all of you at the Dean's Reception in February!

Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design