College of Design Student Blogs

August 2012 Archives

Belvederes of the Mississippi River of course!

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So most of the people out there are familiar with the word Belvedere, for one reason or another. I remember when I learned the meaning and origin of the word for a landscaping class....that's right, I am a little embarrassed to admit that I did not know the true meaning (not the "brand" many of us know) of belvedere until I was in college, darn public school system! Italian in origin, literally meaning beautiful view, but can also be referring to a structure built to command a view. These views are not always highlighted on a guidebook and sometimes are unbeknownst to travelers. If your looking for some out of the norm experiences and photo ops it is a great idea to stop by random spots marked on the county roads that you take as you traverse Minnesota and Wisconsin. There are a great deal of historical landmarks that the towns and counties have preserved and care for so that you can get a look at the natural beauty the midwest has to offer.
I went on a couple small trips recently. Last weekend I was in northwestern Minnesota by Brainerd and the Pequot Lakes .
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If you have ever driven up through the North/Northwest of Minnesota you know the incredible amount of lakes that surround the roads and towns that poke up between tall swampy prairies and tall deciduous forest remnants. If you get a chance to take a drive you must go! Its gorgeous.

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Earlier this week I went on a motorcycle trip with my Pops in the exact opposite direction. We drove down South on the East River Road through downtown St. Paul, past the bluffs and caves that bring you to where the Mississippi and the Minnesota River conjoin. The views are amazing. Luckily for us the roadways have been established with multiple roadside oasis's that really capitalize on the belvederes. The sculpture in my photograph was created from objects found in the Mississippi River and the whole park has been restored with native regional plants. The park is not highlighted from the road very well, but it is one of the first rest stops off of WI-35 once you past Prescott.WI. We then continued Southeast to Pepin, WI. A small town that has a 3 mile wide water border including Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River. Be adventurous when you travel. You never know what is out there for you to see. I had a wonderful trip and it is well worth the sore back I have as a result of a 5 hour motorcycle ride. Thanks Dad!

Home sweet home, back to McNeal!

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blog photo.jpgIn the past week my schedule has been shaken up and changed completely, but for the better I'd say! Like I mentioned in a previous post, my internship ended two Fridays ago. And the following Monday, I went back to my job at the Student Services office in McNeal Hall over on the St. Paul campus. It's great to be back because I missed all of the lovely ladies (and Sean, our Graphic Designer) who work there. It's also nice because I've been getting back into a routine schedule of going to work at 8am and finishing up at 4:30pm. I enjoy working full time in the office during summers because I can leave my evenings open and plan on a set schedule. It's nice having work study through financial aid because it provides me with the opportunity to land jobs like the one I have.

Since being in the office this past week, I've done a lot of work with Lucy Reile, the College to Career Coordinator. We've been getting things rolling with the mentor program that CDes offers. The mentor program was created for Juniors and Seniors in any of the 7 majors that the College of Design offers. It's goal is to bridge the gap between professionals working in the design industries and students who are studying to become designers. The Kick Off is coming up in October, so it's a good thing we're getting a move on now.

Besides working, I've just been trying to enjoy the last of summer, working my retail job, and trying my best to get prepared for the upcoming school year. I move out of my apartment on Friday, and then I'll be moving to a house with six other girls, so a lot of work will go into making sure all goes well.

I'll have another post in two weeks (first week of classes), so until then!

Ashley
Interior Design

Book Shopping!

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Summer is ending and it's about that time to start buying books, and other school supplies, for the coming school year. Folders, notebooks, and pencils are straight foreword purchases, but when it comes to buying textbooks, there are a few options to explore.

When purchasing books, many students opt to buy from the school Bookstore. books.jpg are a few options when buying from the school's store: buy the book new or used, rent the book, or in some cases buy a digital version of the text; your choice of purchase depends on your personal preference of value. Buying a hard copy, new or used, will typically ensure you some money back at the end of the semester, during book buy-backs, renting will lower the price of the book during the initial purchase, but yields no cash-back at return, and the digital purchase also lowers the price initially but requires no return since there is no physical copy of the text.

Though a large amount of students do buy directly from the school's Bookstore, because of the ease of finding books, some students choose other options. Students sometimes buy from or trade with other students who have the books pertaining to their upcoming class. This can be convenient, but sometimes difficult, especially when you are a freshman. Some students even buy books from off-campus retailers such as Oak St. Textbooks and even Amazon.com; this also has its benefits but can also be difficult depending on time of purchase.

There are quite a few options when it comes to buying textbooks and your choice of purchase lies on your idea of value and convenience.

Happy Book Shopping!
Sasenka -Retail Merchandising

Two Weeks until School, the Countdown Begins.

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Hello again,

Classes are only two weeks away. Be sure to purchase books and supplies ahead of time. We have our own University of Minnesota Bookstore located in the ground level of Coffman Memorial Union. Check it out!

If you are a first-year student, get excited for Welcome Week. This six-day event will prepare you with everything you need to know about surviving college. You will have an opportunity to reconnect with your advisor, get to know professors in the College of Design, and make a deeper connection with your peers. Did I mention that you, class of 2016, will be making a big "M" at the TCF Bank Stadium for the Class of 2016 poster?

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Class of 2013 Poster

While you are on campus buying books, be sure to check out Weisman Art Museum (WAM). It is located between Coffman Memorial Union and Washington Ave Bridge (or the WAB). However, no one is actually calling the Washington Avenue Bridge "the WAB." I only call it the WAB because it is next to the WAM. However, I have been convincing a number of first-year students to call it the "WAB." We will see how successful that was when the semester starts.

Back to the topic, the WAM was voted as the best museum in the Twin Cities by City Pages 2012. It was designed by Frank Gehry, the world famous architect who also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bibao. Admission is FREE to students and public. So, take advantage of all the great things on campus. My minor is arts, and it is wonderful to be in Minneapolis where art and design is everywhere.

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(left) Weisman Art Museum exterior, (right) facade of the WAM along the path to Washington Avenue Bridge. Both drawings are from class ARCH 3301: Design for Drawing in Architecture.

I can't wait until classes start. See you at school in a few weeks!
Beau S., Architecture B.D.A.

6 Tips for your Freshman Year of College

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New places, new people, more responsibilities- freshman year of college can be a bit intimidating to some, but regardless of whether or not you are extremely excited or a little bit hesitant to start your first year, you will make a lot of mistakes and learn a ton during your first year. Here are some of the biggest things I took out of my freshman year of college:

1) Don't always hang out with friends you might know from high school. There are tons of awesome new people to meet!

2) Develop a relationship with your professors. Be engaged and ask questions. This is especially important in design because the class sizes are low and you will likely have some of the same professors more than once during your 4 years in the program. In a class of less than 20, it is not good if you develop a bad relationship with the professor.

3) Go to your professor's office hours! If you want to get a leg up on a paper, design project, or upcoming test, go talk to the professor at their office hours! Most professors are willing to give you much more help (i.e. answers to upcoming test, specific critique and advice on what to change) during their office hours. Going to office hours also helps to develop a relationship with your professor.

4) Explore! Go out and check the residential neighborhoods surrounding the U and beyond. There are a ton of awesome parks, places to eat, and things to do in the Twin Cities. Take advantage of it! Get around using a bike from Nice Ride or get a U-Pass to take advantage of city wide busing at a huge discount. Here is a cool swing bridge south of St. Paul that I took a picture of while exploring on my bike last week.
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5) Join a U of M student group or an intramural sport. The great thing about intramurals is that most people are in it simply for the fun. I had not played soccer since elementary school yet still had a ton of fun playing with a team we formed in my dorm freshman year.

6) Call your parents! I know it can seem a little uncool to call your parents a lot - especially freshman year, but your parents miss you... plus, if your mom is anything like mine, she is more likely to send you packages of goodies when you call her a lot.

That's it for now!

Sean M.
Graphic Design

Goldstein Gallery Exhibition

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Hello everyone, hope all is well! Summer is wrapping up rather quickly, and its still very busy for me and all my design friends! I'm very excited to have been informed that two of my pieces will be showcased in an exhibit in the Goldstein Gallery this coming Spring! The exhibit is called "Redesigning Redefining Fashion" and displays fashion and clothing made of unconventional materials and garments that are convertible and change in some way or another.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Goldstein Gallery, it is an amazing art and fashion gallery and museum on campus, located in McNeal Hall on the St Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. The gallery typically shows two to three collections or exhibits a year, ranging from historical work from a specific time period or region, to focusing on a certain designer or costumer's work. If you're on campus, do make sure to check it out! There is always something new to see and the staff are open to answering any questions and to show you around. Find more information about the gallery here: http://goldstein.design.umn.edu/

The two pieces I am showing are described and pictured below!

1) A full length gown made of recycled materials like water bottle labels, broken cds, etc.

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2) A convertible dress with an adjustable length and color of skirt and belt.

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Be sure to check out the exhibit when it opens this spring!

Lucie, Apparel Design

Happy to be Back in Minneapolis!

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After a random and eventful summer away from metropolitan life, it feels great to be back in Minneapolis for the conclusion of break. My roommates and I are keeping pretty busy in this calm before the storm that is late August. Lots and lots of packing, cleaning, organizing, internship hunting, and preparing for the start of classes. Amongst all of this bustle, my friends and I have taken some time to go on some scenic walks nearby (such as the Stone Arch Bridge, below) and also a bit of frolfing in St. Paul as well. I also paid a visit to the East Bank Campus on Sunday; the Northrop Auditorium was just as beautiful as always despite the major renovation work going on inside.

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On a different note - A friend and I had a discussion recently that got me thinking (in hypothetical terms) about my own housing preference if I were to buy a home (for myself) right now. No, I'm definitely not in an active pursuit of homeownership now or in the very near future - but if that were to be the case (and maybe will be in a few years), I would most likely choose a one-bedroom condo in in the recently renovated Midtown Exchange Building. This massive building on the corner of Chicago Avenue & Lake Street in Minneapolis built in 1928, owned by retail giant Sears Roebuck until it was vacated in 1994 and sat empty for over a decade. Even today, the Midtown Exchange is the second-largest building in Minnesota in terms of leasable space (Mall of America took the top spot 20 years ago). After a pig push for investment and funding from major civic leaders, the building was renovated into the Midtown global Market on the bottom floor and has residential units on the upper floors. The immediate surrounding neighborhood is observed to be an "up-and-coming" area of Minneapolis, and is in close proximity to the city's major business and commercial centers. The condos are also super affordable now as the housing market recovers, especially considering they are almost new and a part of a local historic landmark. Maybe some day...

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http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rich0661/architecture/2006/09/post.html, http://www.ryancompanies.com/projects/midtown-exchange/

I hope all of your summer breaks were both fun and memorable...almost time to bust out that fall jacket!


- Jesse

Housing Studies, B.S.

August Activities

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August has arrived and so far it has been a lot of fun. I've left my perch in Sioux Falls indefinitely to spend some quality time with my family before heading back to the Twin Cities to prepare for my last year of school. A few days ago, my parents hosted our annual croquet tournament at our lake home. Although my croquet skills were subpar at best, it was great fun catching up with family and old friends.

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Right now, I'm Jefferson, South Dakota visiting my Memeré and Peperé (Grandma and Grandpa). Jefferson is a tiny little town of about 500 people near Sioux City, Iowa. It's definitely an interesting place to visit, as it is a good example of the issues we learn in school about rural housing. While on a walk around town, I took a picture of the St. Peter's Catholic Church, which is the oldest Catholic Church in South Dakota.

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Other than those bits of news, I'm excited to get back to Minneapolis in a few weeks to reconnect with my friends and prepare our move from our place in Dinkytown to our new house in the Southeast Como neighborhood. Time sure is flying by!

- Jesse
Housing Studies

And All the Great (ahem..free) Things in Life

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Hello again!

I got older! "...More than half way to 40 years old," said one of my students. My birthday was this past weekend, so I celebrated it with a trip to Walker Art Center. The day I went was the first Saturday of the month, so my trip to the Walker was free!

Walker Art Center is one of the "big five" museums for modern art, what a prestige recognition! It is located in the heart of Minneapolis with the Sculpture Garden right next door. If the Walker is the chips, then the Sculpture Garden is definitely the salsa. They are great on their own, but they are better together. The new edition of walker that you see below was designed by a Swiss architecture firm, Herzog & de Mauron. The façade is aluminum mesh panels which were designed to look like crumbled paper/fabric. Also noted, the polka dots sidewalk in front of the Walker. I'm in love!

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Walker Art Center, Cherry Spoon (Sculpture Garden), Green Walls in the Conservatory (Sculpture Garden)


The current exhibition at the Walker is Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s. Unexpectedly, Homeless Vehicle Project by Krzysztof Wodiczko is also on display. This great piece was created to be the voice for homeless individuals in New York City. I wrote a research paper about it in my ARCH 4150 class, so I was excited to see it in person.

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Homeless Vehicle Project by Krzysztof Wodiczko

There were tons of activities going on during Walker Free First Saturday, including this Sisters' Camelot Bus. The Sisters' Camelot is a non-profit organization working to create sustainability and fight hunger in the Twin Cities. They gave out free organic vegetables and fruits with no string attached. When I asked about their intention, they said "food is a basic human need, and everyone should have access to healthy organic food." They gave me quite a bit of vegetables and bread, so I made myself a birthday meal with it. It made my day to see people working to help each other and the planet.

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Sisters's Camelot Bus, free organic food I got :)

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Making organic kale and potato chips, turkey baguette with Thai cucumber salad using bread and veggies I got.


Walker Art Center & the Sculpture Garden admission: $ 0
Organic food form Sisters' Camelot organization: $ 0
Getting free stuff on your birthday: priceless


See you next blog!
Beau S., Architecture B.D.A.

Growing Through Internships

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Hello friends!
Hope you all are taking full advantage of this last month of summer and having lots of fun! Even though summer is closely coming to an end, I feel as though it's just starting for me. My internship with Kohl's ended, just this past Friday, and now I have tons of free time to do whatever; I'm am definitely not used to it yet. As nice as it is to finally start my carefree summer, I'm already starting to miss my internship; I feel as though I did a lot of growing there. I now see why it's a requirement for Retail Merchandising major to have an internship and why so many people recommend doing more than just one. This internship really showed me the areas that I excel in, but also exposed the areas that needed grow in. The experience also gave me a better understanding of what I want, and don't want, out of my future career. It was great to develop both personally and professionally! My recommendation: Do as many internships as possible before you graduate, you only stand to gain from them!

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(Photo Credit:http://www.fargomoorhead.org/assets/templates/fmcvb/uploads/things/kohls2_t.jpg)
My internship was a management internship at the Fargo Kohl's store,
it was lots of fun and I learned so much from it!

Sasenka -Retail Merchandising

NASA Published!

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Our NASA projects are still in full work mode, being shipped all around the world for symposiums, presentations and events. Its super fun to hear back from these events about how our projects were received and what the response was. Dr. Dunne attends most of the events as well so we get some direct feedback straight from our professor, plus other professionals in attendance. As I mentioned in my last post, our projects were on display in Long Beach, California for the Convergence conference I attended with other students. The projects' latest travels take them to Newcastle, United Kingdom! I cannot believe that my project has been overseas! The event was the International Symposium of Wearable Computers, held annually. Our projects were all well received and our paper, which we wrote about our project and the design process, was published in the adjunct proceedings from the symposium. This is the second time our project has been published professionally!

Below is an image our of project on display at the symposium.

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Looking forward to this next semester, I have started thinking more about my senior line and what I plan to design and create. I've been researching and interviewing with my target market (women ages 22-35, sizes 8-16) and planning out more specifically what makes sense for my line. I also have been sketching a lot and am loving what I am coming up with. In apparel design school work and keeping up never ends, but its a part of the game and if you're meant to do it, you love it. Which I do!

Lucie, Apparel Design

August Already?

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The beginning of August definitely crept up fast, and now I can't believe school is a literally a few weeks away. On one hand, I'm wondering where the heck my summer went, but at the same time, I've been busy. I've had weeks of fulltime work scattered throughout the summer as well as a part time sales associate gig. Then there's my internship, and oh yeah, that social life thing. It's no wonder the majority of my summer came and went in the blink of an eye.

back-to.gifWith the school year quickly approaching, I'm trying my best to make the most of my time by being as productive as I can be. Below, I've created a little end of summer to-do list complete with explanations for each item:

1) Pick up books and supplies. This is important because I want to beat the rush. There's nothing worse than hitting the bookstore days (or the day before) classes start and finding yourself in a swarm of other last minute student shoppers. The other problem with waiting until the last minute is the fear of the bookstore being out of stock on certain supplies, etc. It's best to go as early as you can and take care of business so you can avoid any hassle for later.
2) Plan snacks and meals. If you're planning on living in the dorms, then you actually don't have to worry about this much or at all. And even if you don't live in the dorms, there's always the option of purchasing a meal plan or Flexdine so you're always covered when it comes to on-campus dining. Since I live off-campus, my plan is to find recipes I like and cook on the weekends, then I'll also purchase Flexdine for those unplanned snack attacks.
3) Clean out my computer and all of its irrelevant files. This is a good idea because going into the new school year, I'll have lots of new assignments, projects, and notes on my computer and I'll want them to stay clean and tidy. By cleaning out my computer, I can also delete old files that I don't need anymore so I can save on storage and potentially enhance the performance of my computer. It's a simple way to get a fresh computer feel without spending a penny.

Hope this helps guys! Good luck with your back to school prepping!

Until next time,
Ashley
Interior Design

Pairing a Minor with your GD Major

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Something you may want to consider at some point during your four years studying graphic design is picking up a minor that will complement your degree. In this blog post, I will talk about several common minors that people will pair with their graphic design degrees.

Probably one of the most common minors that graphic design students will do is a Mass Communication minor from the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. This is a great minor to pair with your major, especially if you have any interest in the advertising world. I was initially interested in advertising, and while I am not as interested in pursuing a professional career in advertising anymore, there are still very many relevant classes you can choose to take in the minor. One of my favorite classes in the minor was called Pop Culture and Media. I am also excited to take Psychology of Advertising this coming semester.SJMC.jpeg

Another popular minor that I have looked into doing is the Business Management minor available from the Carlson School of Management. This minor is popular for people in the design world because the knowledge you learn from it can give you a better idea of how you might run your own business or manage yourself as a freelance designer in the future. If I have enough time, I may be trying to fit this minor in to my schedule.

Another minor I want to point out is the Information Technology minor available through the school of Computer Science and Engineering. I recently stumbled upon this minor when looking for an entry-level computer programming class that I could possibly take as an elective. The neat thing about this minor is that a few of classes overlap with design courses you are required to take or may take as a design elective (Computer Applications 1 + Computer applications 2's replacement, Digital Illustration and Animation). Several of the classes also overlap with the Mass Communication minor. After looking into the minor, I was very surprised to see that I would only need to take 2 introductory IT classes to complete the IT minor, something that takes at least 5 classes total for anyone without overlapping classes! For me it wouldn't make sense to not take advantage of this minor, so I plan on inquiring about it later in my college career when I have a bit more free time.

These are just a few of the minors that people often pair with a graphic design major, but there are more to explore as well. I highly suggest considering a minor during your studies at the U to learn a bit more about a topic you are interested in and possibly provide a larger number of job opportunities in the future!

Sean M.
Graphic Design

Just a moment of clarity....

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You know the amazing feeling that most of us get towards the beginning of summer when you have lots of idea of how your going to spend your new found free time. Even when you are working or in summer school there is something different about how you want to spend those precious days. This summer I had two options for work. I applied to HECUA Environmental and Agriculture program and Tree Trust Summer Youth Employment Program. Then I seriously weighed the pros and cons of both. Tree Trust I got paid and it has a landscape component plus youth work, which I am familiar with. HECUA involved visiting a variety of local farms, conventional and organic/sustainable. HECUA also offers an internship component, although it is not necessarily paid. I Tree Trust and a steady paycheck. I am happy I did this in my situation I needed to save up for some school stuff this upcoming year and payback some small debts I accumulated last spring. Money management is something we all must learn, and keep learning forever. One thing that I noticed with the route I choose for myself this summer is that I had a very limited schedule. Everyday M-F I work 8am - 4pm. I am responsible for 8 kids, which means I teach them by example. Skipping out on the days I really want to sleep in or go out of town for the weekend is next to impossible. Plus the time off really adds up (negatively to my bank account!!).
wall final for blog 6.JPG This is our 130' mod block wall in its finished form!

So this week my family came into town to visit. It was my 24th birthday as well. It was a crazy week to say the least with lots of planning around my schedule and me wishing I could be involved with all the daytime activities like matinees, swimming and lunches. But I could not. I am happy that my mom, sister and nana came to visit my work site the day after my birthday to meet my crew, see my project and bring me lunch.
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So fun and thoughtful, thanks to you Family! I have learned how to accept my summer for what it is, restrictions and allowances by having a good attitude, keeping myself energized when I have the time to go out and asking for those who have more free time to include me when they can. Its going to be a great first day off the job august 18th! Sleeping in, coffee, and a day on my tuchus at the beach

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