College of Design Student Blogs


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Happy Summer!

Finals are over and summer is finally here! I am now officially halfway through college. I spent my first night of summer vacation having nightmares about forgetting to submit papers, but it feels great to know that I don't have any more assignments due.

I will be spending part of my summer as an intern at Martha O'Hara Interiors, a small residential firm just outside of Minneapolis. I'm excited to learn more about residential design! Based on our conversations so far, it sounds like I will be sitting in on client meetings, working with design teams, managing the library, and tagging along on site visits and photo shoots. It sounds like a really great learning experience.

greatlakeslogo.jpgThis internship is unpaid, which is common for small firms, but there are many ways to get funding from other sources. I applied for and received funding from the Great Lakes Grant through the U of M. The Great Lakes Grant is great for students doing unpaid internships because it allows them to gain the experience without worrying about finances. It is a short and easy application, and it's definitely worth the effort.

I hope everyone else is as excited about summer vacation as I am! Hopefully the nightmares will subside once it sets in that it's finally summer.

Interior Design

Final Project Time

Hi everyone!

I'm in the midst of final projects, and it's a busy time! Every time finals season pops up, I seem to learn how much I can really accomplish in a short amount of time and never fail to amaze myself. As I've shared before, I'm currently working on a group project for a Fraser Clinic that will be located in Woodbury, MN. The project is due this coming week and its a crunch! The key to final projects is to not get behind. It's always my goal to finish my projects early to avoid all-nighters in the studio or computer lab. I haven't had any yet this semester, so its definitely still possible. I have had to spend some full days in the computer lab though to get to this point. Below I've included a rendering my group created for our project. This is the developed design of the reception area I previously shared with you, and I'm really proud of it!

Reception.jpg I've also been doing internship interviews throughout the past few weeks. I'm now waiting to hear back, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to land an internship for the summer. I'm looking at some small residential firms near where I live to learn a little more about residential interior design since our projects lately have been commercial projects. This way I can see if residential design is what I'm interested in or if I would rather go the commercial direction.

I hope everyone is having a great finals week and finishing off the semester strong. I think we're all ready for summer!

Interior Design

Studio IV Final Project

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on a final project to design a Fraser clinic. I thought I would share a little more about the project to give you all a sneak peek of what the sophomore interior design students are working on for the Studio IV final project.

This group project is part of a Perkins + Will pro bono project where students at the U of M collaborate with Perkins + Will to bring Fraser a clinic design that will support the needs of its clients. Fraser is a clinic that works with children with ASD (or autism), and also supports the parents who spend so much time there.

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We're currently in the design development phase, which means we have developed a concept and are now working on making selections and developing our final design for the space. We are working with Revit, a professional computer program, to create our designs and renderings.

I've included a photo on the right of a rough, preliminary rendering of our initial ideas to illustrate the concept of rendering with Revit and how realistic it looks.

So far, we've had a couple of meetings with both Perkins + Will and folks from Fraser who have come in to look at our designs and provide feedback. Working with clients this semester has been really great because it made the process a little more challenging and helped us with real-world applications. We are working on things that will actually be built, so our designs may become a reality. It's really exciting to think about!

There are only about three weeks left in the semester, so it's almost crunch time. It's time to work hard and finish strong!

Interior Design

A College of Design Hidden Gem

Final projects have officially started and summer is just weeks away. My final studio project is another group project, and we are designing a clinic for Fraser. Along with finals comes a lot of job searching. My classmates and I have been gathering projects and putting final touches on our resumes and portfolios.

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One service that I've found helpful in assembling my portfolio is the Imaging Labs in McNeal Hall and Rapson Hall, where students can go have professional photos taken of their projects. I'm not sure how many students actually know about the Imaging Lab, but discovering it has been amazing for me. They take great photos and it's really easy! The quality of the photos is much higher than cell phone images with dull lighting and shadows, so it's definitely a great asset.

If you're a design student at the U of M, the Imaging Lab is a valuable thing to know about, and it's just two floors down from the interior design studios. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the service and taking your projects there as soon as possible so you can use your summer vacation to put together a portfolio.

Have a great couple of weeks everybody. Summer will be here before you know it!

Interior Design

Another Field Trip

Spring break is drawing to a close, meaning we are on the home stretch to summer now!

The other week for my materials class (IDES 2613), my classmates and I toured Tile by Design in Plymouth (located in the NW section of the Twin Cities metropolitan area).Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 1.52.47 PM.png
We went to talk about different kinds of tile as well as their benefits and aspects, such as durability, clean-ability, etc. We learned about natural vs. polished surfaces and the differences between types like terracotta, porcelain, ceramic and so on. We also got to explore the showroom.

My favorite area was the space featuring future tile trends. There were some unique items and interesting combinations. I Instagrammed one of the displays in that section (on the right) that shows a chevron pattern using colored tiles with the appearance of wood. This is just one example of the interesting tile textures, displays, and colors that I have never seen or thought of before.

It was a fascinating tour, and I suggest a tile showroom visit for anyone who is interested in interior design or wants to learn more about tile products. The employees were so supportive; they were excited to share information and show us around. It was a great thing to experience in person rather than learn about in a classroom or online.

Hopefully everyone has/had a great spring break; time to get back to class!

Interior Design

Capella Tower Tour

This past week, I went to my first International Interior Design Association (IIDA) event. IIDA is a professional organization for interior designers that provides professional development and networking opportunities and events. It also offers a great student discount, and I encourage any interior design student to take advantage of it.
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I recently attended an event organized by IIDA that featured a tour of a newly renovated space in the Capella Tower downtown Minneapolis. It was fascinating, and many of the designers who worked on the project led the tour. Some of the amazing features in the new space can be seen in these photos. Another cool feature included a fireplace that functions as a fountain in the warmer months.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 2.41.20 PM.pngIn the photos, you can see the chain curtains that were used with RGB LED lights, which could be programed to make any color or even change colors. There was a custom ceiling made of felt panels that also used LED lights to change colors. The wood material on the left is actually tile that was used in the locker rooms of the Steele Fitness center. It was a really cool material that gave a warm feeling in a damp environment.

The tour also included great food (chocolate-covered strawberries and shrimp), which is a sure way to get college kids excited! The event drew many professionals as well as students studying interior design at a number of metro-area schools. I had a great time and highly recommend that anyone thinking about studying interior design, or currently doing so now, look into IIDA and its events!

Interior Design

Supporting U

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

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

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

Best wishes to all,

Interior Design

The Adventure Continues

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

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

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

I hope everyone has a great spring semester!

Interior Design

Textbook Shopping!

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck on the textbook search,

Interior Design

Internship Search

It's winter break and for many people that means the start of the search for a summer internship. I know for future students this may not be the first thing on your mind as you're considering colleges, but I think it's definitely something that you should take into account! A school that supports your search for an internship and eventually a job and career is a school you want to be a part of.
The internship search can be stressful for a lot of people, but I have discovered some great tips and resources that can be helpful to find something you will really enjoy doing.

  1. 1. Informational Interviews. The first thing I suggest is taking part in some informational interviews. This is such a great, informal way to learn more about an organization, its work environment, and if you would enjoy working there. A lot of places will be very willing to talk to you as a student and let you see what they do on a daily basis. I HIGHLY recommend taking part in one of these. It can be intimidating at first, but from personal experience, I promise it is nothing to worry about and will be a very rewarding experience. The link above provides some information about informational interviews and tips for conducting one.

  1. 2. GoldPASS. A great resource the U of M offers is GoldPASS. It's a job search platform for students and includes job and internship opportunities from employers who are interested in hiring University students.

  1. 3. Resume help. The U of M provides career services that offer a lot of help preparing your resume for potential jobs. They provide tools such as networking information and mock interviews. Taking advantage of these resources is a great way to make sure you're prepared before an interview or submitting an application.

The job hunt can seem daunting, but if you're organized, prepared, and take advantage of the great resources at hand, it can be an easy, stress free, and exciting process. I hope this helps you out either in your future search for an internship or job, or even just to get you thinking about what the future holds.

Hope you're all having a fantastic holiday season!

Interior Design

Fall Semester Is Over!

Hi everyone,

Well, it's already that time of the year--winter break! I was lucky enough to have all my finals done by Saturday and don't have any taking place over finals week. It feels great to have it all done, as these last few weeks have been jam-packed with things to-do and stuff to worry about.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 7.18.34 PM.pngThe other week my codes class (IDES 2613) went on a field trip to the new Microbiology Research Facility being built on campus and looked at how they are using codes in the construction of the building. To the left you can see a photo of me and some classmates outside of the site. We received a hardhat tour of the site and it was really interesting!

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After that it was time for me to get down to studying and finishing up projects. My big final project, for Interior Design Studio 3, was to design a chair showroom (seen on the right). It was a lot of work, but I was able to get it done on time and created something I am really proud of! After turning it in and finishing my final exams, it has been a great relief to be to-do free. It actually feels a little weird, but I think I can get used to it!

I hope everyone is finishing their semesters strong and best of luck on final tests and projects! Have a great winter break!

Interior Design

Getting Home for the Holidays

The holidays are here and it has been a busy long weekend of friends, family, and food! I know some students come to the University of Minnesota from far distances and I thought I'd share some tips on getting home from college for the holidays or just a weekend.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 12.59.25 AM.pngSometimes getting off campus and going home is just the break you need to get away from school to-dos or just to get some home-cooked meals. The U of M has a service called Zimride, which is a ride-sharing service for U of M students. To the right is a map from the Zimride website showing the different rides and destinations available. I personally haven't used it because I grew up close to the U of M and usually can be picked up, or I hear of rides by word of mouth (another common way to get rides home). But if you're struggling to find a ride, or you're driving and want some people to pitch in for gas, it's a great service to check out!

I also know of some people who use the Megabus to get back home. If you haven't heard of it, it's a bus system that goes to many different destinations and tickets can be secured for very good prices. So be sure to check that one out, too.

Hopefully these tips can help people planning their rides back home for winter break. Only a couple more weeks!

Interior Design

The Snow is Falling!

It has begun...the snow is falling and we can now say that winter is here. Some of us have grown up in Minnesota and snowy places like this, and others students are coming from places in which they have never encountered snow before. Either way, the U of M has some tricks up its sleeve for avoiding the cold and hopefully I can help you stay warm by sharing them!


First we have the campus buses. I've mentioned how convenient they are in previous posts and I can't emphasize it enough--the buses are lifesavers! Not only can you get on the Campus Connector to go to the St. Paul campus, but there are Campus Circulators that are perfect for getting you shorter distances. The East Bank Circulator and St. Paul Circulator travel throughout campus, the Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator goes between East and West Banks, and the Weekend Circulator runs until 2 am to safely get you around campus on the weekends. These buses are so convenient and easy to use, and can really save you on colder days.

Second is the Gopher Way. Totally underestimated and unknown by many, the Gopher Way is a series of tunnels and paths that students can use to get around campus indoors without having to face the elements. There's an online map and PDF that offers information and shows exactly where the tunnels and paths are on all three campuses. You can get you pretty far without having to go outside. Take a look so you can start taking advantage of it!

Apart from the obvious solution of bundling up against the cold, I seriously recommend exploring these great options for getting around campus in the winter!

Stay warm!
Interior Design

So Busy!

It's post-midterms and things are really starting to get busy around the U of M. There's this project and that project, this exam and that paper, and it can be a lot as we get closer and closer to the end of the semester. The work can add up and it's important that we don't let it get the best of us!
There are so many ways to manage all these to-dos and the stress that comes with them. Boynton Health Service hosts a Cirque De-Stress event focused on giving students a break from the stress of the semester and an opportunity to have some fun. It's a free event at Coffman Memorial Union that features aerialists, high-wire walkers, clowns, jugglers, and more. It's a great way to get away from the stress for a little while!

Other ways to manage stress include an efficient use of time and helping your mind get away from it all. I've found that a great way is to get together with classmates to work on projects. They understand the stress because they are going through it too, and it can help make getting all the work done a little more manageable and pleasant.

The most important thing to remember through this stressful time of the semester is that it will end, we will survive and make it to winter break, and you can do it!

Interior Design

Happy Homecoming!

Hi everyone!

This past week was Homecoming. I know you're probably all familiar with Homecoming week, football, and dressing with spirit, but Homecoming at the U of M is another story! There are many different events to mark the celebration, including a lip sync competition, step competition, flag football tournament, and the Homecoming concert.

On Friday night, TCF Bank Stadium was packed for the Homecoming concert and it was really fun. Iggy Azalea performed with opener Walk the Moon. Iggy performed all her hits including Fancy, Black Widow, and more.

Saturday followed with the football game against Purdue University. It was an intense game with a final score of 39-38, with the Gophers winning of course! This win puts the Gophers at 3-0 in the Big 10 play for the first time since 1990. The win also makes us bowl-eligible. Go Gophers!

It was a big week for students and fans, and we all can't wait to see what Homecoming will bring next year!

Interior Design

Exploring Minneapolis

As important as getting to know what campus life is like at a school, it's also really important to think about the surroundings off campus! I've been assigned a project in one of my classes (ARCH 3711) that includes going to two places in Minneapolis for research of social behaviors. My two assigned places are Cowles Dance Center and the Guthrie Theater.

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Cowles led me downtown, where there are so many events and different restaurants to explore during a night in the city -- especially concert venues (Target Center, First Avenue, etc.) that hold shows for many big names in the music industry. There is also the Holidazzle Village in the winter that is a fun excuse to get out into the city for a night.

My visit to the Guthrie led me across the Stone Arch Bridge which surprisingly, I had never actually been to before, despite living right outside the Twin Cities my whole life. It was a beautiful walk and there is so much to see, especially entering the Mill District on the western side of the river. The Guthrie Theater building is open to the public and has some great views of the city. I recommend exploring it even if you're not going for a show!

Above is a photo I took from the campus side of the river, looking out to the city during sunset after my day of exploring. I recommend getting to know the areas outside of campus, because for some reason, I hadn't much yet. So get out there and explore!

Interior Design

I'm Famous!

FullSizeRender.jpgOkay so I'm not REALLY famous... but through my Instagramming and blogging for the College of Design, one of my photos has been published on a magazine cover! Emerging is a magazine by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Design that tells stories of students, alumni and faculty. It's a free magazine and and you can check it out here (that swirly pink picture, yeah, that's mine! And there I am holding it up!). For those of you considering the life of a design student at the U of M, it's a great source to see what's been going on in the College of Design and the kind of things students, alum, and faculty at the U of M are up to!

Who knew that this photo I posted early in the year was being looked at! I guess that just means that you really want to put your best foot forward, and present work that you are proud of and is the best it can be, because you never know who will be seeing it!

Interior Design

I'm Employed!

Hi everyone!

I'm now officially employed for the summer at Hom Furniture! I'm working as a Design Assistant which is a new position and includes a variety of things. It's an awesome opportunity for me because it's an actual job and it's in my field. Just after one year of school I have a job! I can't even believe it myself. I'm going to be learning so much this summer working with customers to help them choose furnishings for their houses and even participating in house calls for customers working with the designers. I'll also be assisting with setting up and laying out the store displays and visuals. It will be a great mix of things that can help me see different aspects of interior design and a little bit of business mixed in there too!Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 5.39.00 PM.png

The best advice I can give for looking for a job now or in the future is being persistent! It takes a lot of work reaching out to companies and people and expressing your interest in their company. Determination is the key!

I've just completed my first week which consisted of training and now I'll really be getting going and I'm looking forward to it! This job is the largest time commitment of a job I've had and it's also the most grown-up job I've had! It's a little scary but it's an amazing opportunity and I'm so lucky!

Hope your summers are off to an awesome start!
Interior Design


My freshman year of college is officially over! It's summer and I'm writing this post sitting out in the sun. It feels great! But the end of the year didn't come without finishing up a lot of work

First of all, there were finals. Those speak for themselves. With a few hours of studying I was prepared and ready to go. They went pretty well I think but of course you never know for sure until you get the grade back! A lot of people were moving out of the dorms all week and it was really weird seeing people go and the year coming to an end.

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There was also portfolio review. On Monday all the pre-interior design students went in for an hour to set up our portfolios and display all the work we had done this year. On the right you can see my display. That day the faculty of the department looked through all of our work and a few days later I got an email saying I had passed! I'm now officially an interior design major!

After the stressful week of finals, portfolio review, and moving out. It's great to not have to do anything. I have a second interview coming up at Hom Furniture later this week and soon I should know if I have the job for the summer!

Wish me luck and have an amazing summer!

Interior Design (officially!!!)

Finishing Off The Year

Portfolio review and finals week are just around the corner! It's the last week of classes and for the next three days I'll be working to finish up final projects and prepare my portfolio.
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For interior design studio we just turned in part one of our final project (pictured on right) and now we are building our 3D models to turn in Wednesday! Once it's done it'll look awesome and be worth all the time invested in the final project. Color class is finishing off with a final design and the preparation of our complete portfolio with all the class projects. Then comes the time to gather all the projects over the course of the year and put them together for portfolio review!

There's a lot to do these last two weeks that I'm here and I'd be lying if I said it was smooth sailing and I'm not stressed. I'm very stressed! But time management is key to making it through finals and portfolio preparation. Here is a short list of suggestions for time management that I think are helpful in staying on track so that those all-nighters don't actually have to happen!

I hope everyone is finishing off the year strong! Just keep in mind that summer is ALMOST here, we can do it!

Interior Design

The Job Search

My search for summer employment continues and it's getting very close to the end of the year. I'm so determined to find something involving interior design for the summer but I didn't expect it to be so difficult! Since I'll be home for the summer, I've been searching for places near my house and I was actually amazed by all the interior design places around me!
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My search started with Google and turned up with quite a few firms. My mom had got this magazine for me called Artful Living, it's a local magazine that features interior design, architecture, cooking, and fashion. The photo to the left is of the cover of the latest issue incase you want to check it out! They feature an online version on their website as well for you to take a look at! It's a huge modge-podge of things but it included a lot of names of interior design firms in the Twin Cities area!

After my research, it's time to start contacting the places. I'll be sending out my resume and portfolio, hopefully landing a summer position for myself! The Career & Internship Services is a resource at the U that can help students in their internship and job search. They can help you put together a resume and portfolio which increases the chances of landing a job because of your impressive portfolio! I'll be using their advice when I reach out to these companies.

It's getting closer to the end of my freshman year! Portfolio review is getting closer and closer and finals are approaching quickly too. As much as I want finals out of the way and to be able to enjoy the summer weather, I'm sad to see it coming to an end. I still have three years but it's amazing how quickly this first year has flown by! There's still a lot to do but I'll be making the most of the end of this year! Good luck to everyone on finishing up the year and wish me luck with my job search!

Interior Design

About A Month To Go!

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

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

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

Interior Design

It's Spring Break!

Hi everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Interior Design

Things Are Getting Real!

image.jpegAll the pre-interior design students are venturing into the world of texture and pattern this month! Our latest project has been a challenge to find fabrics and other textures and patterns to use with an analogous color scheme. We got to use the big wall of resources in the studio (pictured on left). It's been sitting there full of fabrics all year and now we get to use it!

It's been really fun rummaging through all the things scattered about and picking out some really fun pieces and I even got to put to use finding furniture pieces to hypothetically reupholster!

Although this project has been very time consuming it has also been really fun! It's an enjoyable thing for me and there's nothing better than getting to do homework that you actually find fun! I'm currently working on the layout of the final boards and I can't want to have it completed and see it all put together. You've just got to love that feeling of holding a completed project, I know I do!

Check out the UMN Design instagram where you can bet I'll be posting photos of projects and things were working on in the interior design program!

Interior Design Pinterest for Designers!

Hi everyone!

I recently found out about this great website perfect for interior designers! Whether you're just looking to kill some time or looking for furnishings for a project, its a really cool website. It's called It's a website a lot like pinterest (one of my favorites for killing time). Basically, you search an item and get a huge list of different things and you can 'like' them and design your own rooms by making boards. It's really cool and I can see myself spending a LOT of time looking at it.

We're just starting a new project in IDES 1602 and I think this website will be of use for me! We are just starting to use color and pattern in our designs and we also get to select furniture so you can bet that I'll be searching stuff on this website and I'll probably spend a lot more time than necessary searching for the perfect pieces for my project!

Fun Fact: the previous interior design blogger, Ashley, was recently featured on the website! Click here to read about her as she answers questions about her experience as an interior design student at the U of M!

Interior Design

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

After a month off of school for winter break, getting back into the routine of classes and college can be stressful. I know I was just getting adjusted to life at home again when I came back to campus to start the spring semester! A new schedule can be intimidating, especially being a first-year student, but the key is to prepare yourself beforehand! It's the second week of classes now and I'm already quite adjusted with my schedule!

U-of-M-Campus-Connector.pngI have classes now on West Bank and in St. Paul. I live on East Bank so I'm not so familiar with these other areas of campus. I'm really relying on the bus system this semester to get me to these other areas of campus (it's a lifesaver, especially in the winter). It's important to understand and become familiar with it because once you understand the Campus Connector (pictured on left) and Circulator systems, navigating campus becomes much less daunting. I also like to prepare for a new schedule by looking at the Interactive Campus Map to know where the buildings I'm supposed to be going to are located. Last semester I was on East Bank and in St. Paul so I'm now experiencing life over on West Bank two days a week. After this semester, I'll be a pro at navigating all 3 areas of campus which is quite an achievement I'd say.

Another new experience I'm having this semester is taking an online class. I'm really learning how important time management and organization are. Take a look at Karly's post about the wonders of keeping a daily planner! I know mine is going to be attached to my hip this semester.

Figuring out how to navigate campus according to your personal schedule is a great thing to do ahead of time. Also, keeping a planner is another component to a successful and less stressful beginning to the semester. Going into new classes confident and prepared make the transition back into the school routine much more manageable!

Interior Design

Getting Acquainted!

Hi everyone! I'm Megan and I'm a new blogger for the College of Design. I'm a first year student just starting my second semester at the U of M and I'm a Pre-Interior Design major. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, knitting, and crafting with my friends (I spend a LOT of time on Pinterest...). I'm so excited to share this blog and all my experiences as a design student at the U of M with you!


I'm from Plymouth, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. I'm not the kind of person who knew all along where I wanted to go and choosing a college took me a long time. Being undecided of my major at the time, I knew I wanted to go somewhere with a lot of options of majors for me to choose from. After considering cost, financial aid, location and, of course, school colors... I decided on the U! To the right is a photo of me when I received my acceptance letter!

Being a crafty person, my friends and family have told me that interior design would be right up my alley. I've always had an interest in it, it's been my answer for years when I've been asked what my dream job is. However, last semester when I began at the U I was undecided in the College of Liberal Arts. During the first week of classes I went to my advisor and changed my major to Pre-Interior Design and transferred into the CDes. Ever since, I've been confident in my choice and major and am really enjoying taking classes related specifically to what I want to do!

Follow my and other students' stories and experiences at the U and CDes by using this shortcut: for easy access to the blog site.

Interior Design

Cliches like 'bittersweet'...


Cliches like 'bittersweet' are really the only way to describe the end of my blogging career for the College of Design. That's right folks, this is my last blog. It's been such a great time writing and taking photos to document my experience as an Interior Design student here at the U, but the end had to come some time... I'm not graduating for three more semesters yet, but as I come towards the end of my years in school, I am transitioning. In particular I'm becoming more involved at my internship which has been a great run so far. I'll definitely miss being a blogger and it was a hard decision, but it also creates a great opportunity for a 1st year Interior Design student named Megan. She'll be picking up the Interior Design blog starting the first week of classes (which is literally right around the corner!) Thanks very much for reading, subscribing, commenting, and connecting with me - I've genuinely loved every minute.

So long and good luck!

interior design

Winter Break: Done and To Come

Winter break so far has been lovely, and now that I'm reaching the halfway point I'm reflecting on everything I've gotten to do so far as well as thinking about what else I want to accomplish while I've got this free time on my hands.

Up until this point, I've been interning full time which has been incredibly rewarding and enriching. I've been able to get involved in more project work - some of which is local! (Can't wait to check out those openings sometime down the road.) I've also had time to spend time with old and new friends, pin on my Pinterest boards, and cook some tasty meals.

Going forward, I really want to spruce up my apartment with some cool DIY projects and just give the place a lift. I also want to work on my online portfolio and update the look and content of my resume. I foresee some cozy afternoons in coffee shops on the horizon...

What have you been up to over break? Anything interesting on your winter break to-do list? Let me know!

interior design

Feels good to be done.

diy-project-updated.jpgAnd just like that, fall semester 2013 is over. It was busy, crazy, fun, exciting, stressful, and full of so many experiences that are molding me into a one-day interior designer. It's fun to watch myself grow, change, and morph. I'm especially lucky because I can look back at my old blog posts to see the transformation.

Now that it's officially winter break for me, there are a few things on my plate. For starters, I'll be interning full time at Cuningham Group and I could not be more excited! I loved being there full time during the summer because I can really get involved in projects and I feel even more apart of the team. In addition to interning, I'll also take time to relax, cook more, do some cool DIY projects, and create a better study environment inside my apartment.

What plans do you have as the holidays approach?

Interior Design

Hey finish line, is that you?

I cannot believe the end of my semester is just a couple weeks away. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that I walked into my first interior design class at the U of M, and here I am wrapping up the end of my 5th semester. Time flies.

In order to make sure I stay on top of things and finish the semester strong, I have a few study tactics to live by. Here's a quick breakdown...

1) Make lists. Personally, I utilize Todoist. It's a fantastic mobile app that lets you make lists and organize by class/project/etc. and prioritize each task. This is the first semester I've used it and I definitely notice a difference in my academic performance and time management.

2) Utilize your peers. These are folks you'll see for quite a few years. Make friends, support one another, and build a community so you can have fun when you're working together in the classroom.

3) Balance life with school/work. In other words, it's okay to have some fun! I make sure I have a healthy dose of fun in the mix which helps me stay happy.

creative exhibition.jpg

(This photo is from Cuningham Group's Creative Exhibition. I love interning there and the event was tons of fun!)

That's all for now!

Interior Design

What's up Doc?

construction docs.jpgIn my studio course (IDES 3606), we're making progress on construction docs that are due at the end of the semester. A lot of times, people think interior design is just about picking colors and making stuff look cool, but it is SO much more than that. Yes, there are fun elements when brainstorming designs and developing ideas, but once those solutions are determined, how are they built? Designers and Architects have to create construction documents that can communicate and articulate the intended design. Depending on the size of the project, these document sets can range in size from being around 10 sheets to 100 or more.

Each student in my studio is creating document sets based on their NEXT office design solutions. It's a great experience getting to see a project all the way from beginning to end and I look forward to completing my drawing set. It'll be a great portfolio piece to show that I'm a designer who also has technical capabilities.

Chat soon.

Interior Design

The Perks of Technology

Today was the big day! My Interior Design Studio VI (IDES 3606) peers and I presented our unique and individual design solutions for the Steelcase NEXT competition. Throughout this project I have learned SO MUCH about various softwares including Revit, InDesign, and Photoshop as well as file management sites such as Google Drive and Netfiles. Check out my renderings that I did in Revit and enhanced in Photoshop - I won't lie, I'm pretty impressed with myself!


Between trial and error, help from peers, and online tutorials I was able to boost my finished product. These resources are always very accessible so it's just a matter of putting the time in to soak up the knowledge.

Let me know what you think!

interior design

Sustainability can be cool!

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reclaimed materials.jpgSo here's a quick catch up on the Steelcase NEXT design competition...

My design solution is progressing and I'm really happy with how it's all coming together. A big focus of the competition is to incorporate sustainability in the finishes/materials/fixtures as well as the practices of those working in the office.

Nowadays when you hear sustainability, everyone goes "yeah yeah yeah..." because it's become a buzz word, but I promise you that sustainability is cool!

For my office design, some of the ways I've incorporated sustainability include using raw materials such as such as reclaimed wood, reclaimed brick, sealed concrete and exposed HVAC ceiling systems.

Sustainability can also be incorporated by having dishes stored on site so paper plate ware and plastic cutlery don't get used and tossed everyday.

I'll continue to keep you posted!

interior design

What's NEXT?

NEXT is a design competition organized by Steelcase, a manufacturer of office furniture. Our big semester project for Interior Design Studio VI is to design a new age office space for fictional company, "NEXT". This is an individual project that we've working on for the bulk of the semester - definitely a great way to get hands on design experience through the entire process. There are lots of super cool prizes and perks that come with winning this competition (including fame and glory, of course), so I'm working hard to come up with a successful design solution. It's been nice having the competition incorporated into coursework so that we have studio time in class for critique, etc.

I'll keep you posted as I progress!

Interior Design

If I summed myself up in a paragraph...

IMG_1030.JPGHi! My name's Ashley and I am a junior in the interior design program at the U. I am originally from Brooklyn Park and I chose the U of M because it's located in the heart of the Twin Cities. I stay very busy and in addition to being a student, I also intern at a local architecture firm, work for the college of design as an Events and Communications Office Assistant, and serve as the Vice President of the Interior Design Student Association. I often get asked, "How do you do it all?!", and the answer is I love being involved and I thrive off of a jam packed schedule. Somehow I also still manage to have fun! The photo is of me and my good friend Daveen adventuring in Uptown Minneapolis. I look forward to blogging this year and I hope you look forward to reading! Bookmark this link to and stay tuned!

Right Back At It

Thumbnail image for IMG_3567 (1).jpgJust like that, summer is over and without missing a beat we're right back at it with the first day of classes among us. Every summer I get anxious as August nears its end because I feel like I've forgotten how to be a student, but every time the first day of school strikes in the beginning of September, I hit my stride again. I find that as I progress in my program, school days feel more like work days because our projects and topics of study become more realistic and reminiscent of the real world. Through my internship this summer I got a real good sense of the real design world so I've come to know what it looks like and I am recognizing it more and more in the curriculum.

This summer I worked full time as an Interior Design Intern at Cuningham Group, an architecture firm located in Minneapolis. It was a rewarding, eye opening, and lesson learning experience that I am so glad to have under my belt. The knowledge I took and will continue to take from that internship are directly applicable to life and school and I feel like I got a crash course on what my life could be. Throughout the summer I was able to work on several projects as well as familiarize myself with products, materials, and finishes through my work in their library. Internships are not just important, but quintessential for success and I'm happy to say I'll be continuing my internship with them into the school year. If you'd like to learn more about how I landed my internship, check out my blog post on it here.

I'm involved in a lot including Interior Design Student Association where I am the Vice President, Cuningham as an Intern, and the College of Design Student Services as an Events and Communications Office Assistant as well as a Blogger. As the semester goes on, I hope to keep you informed and updated on my coursework, internship, community involvement and life in general. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!


Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design

P.S. It was so fun meeting many of my readers throughout the summer at events like Sneak Preview! I hope to see you all in the future - don't be a stranger!

Woah! I feel like an adult!

The weird part is I woke up one day and it just kind of happened. I woke up and just felt like an adult. Let Thursday, May 16th, 2013 go down in history.


A huge part of this sudden adulthood comes from working full time at my internship with Cuningham Group. I wake up at 6:30am Monday-Friday and work until 5:00pm. I get an hour lunch break in the mix of things where I can do a variety of things including grabbing a bite, sitting outside in the St. Anthony Main or Northeast areas, running errands, or working through it if things at work are busy enough. It's a big adjustment to make in comparison to life as a college student, but I'm really loving it so far.

The biggest difference in working full time is that once you show up to work, you're going and going and going from 8:00am-12:00pm, then you take your break (an hour), and then you come back and you're going and going and going again until approximately 5:00pm. After that you go home and have a huge chunk of free time until the next day and you also normally have a weekend that includes little to nothing about work, just emails here and there. Life as a college student goes all day, but it has lots of ups and downs mixed in. You go to class, then have a break to cruise BuzzFeed on your laptop, then you hop on the bus and head to your next class, then maybe you meet with your group about a new project that was just assigned, then you go home and watch some quality television followed by a coffee shop session to plow through your homework.

Both lifestyles are cool for different reasons, but having some variety in the summer months by actually having a set schedule of the things I must do is really nice. Other things that have me feeling like an adult include recently turning 21, applying for my first credit card, signing up for a gym membership, considering 401k options and starting auto-payments for my student loan debt (the last two with the help of my boyfriend who happens to be a business student).

Growing up is hard at times, but I won't lie and say it isn't fun too!

Ashley Ochiagha
Interior Design



935307_10151366712212187_836550953_n.jpgThis past weekend I made my big debut as a model! It was a super exciting experience and I hate a lot of fun.

I was modeling for RED: [Super] High Fashion, a fashion show put together by a group on campus called Fashion & Business, or FAB. They work hard every year to create a theme and concept for their annual fashion show. From there they recruit apparel designers (many of them are students from the College of Design). The designers find their models and create their looks, then after all of the fancy show production details are set, it's time for the runway! This year each designer created three looks: one superhero, one villain, and "the cape". It was really cool seing how every designer had a different take on the three looks and the end results were so impressive.

I love being in the College of Design because I have met so many amazing people from various majors. Because we're such a tight knit community, I'm friends with students from all of the different majors. That's how I met Tess Ross, the designer I modeled for and if I hadn't met her, I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to model in a fashion show.

It was such an awesome rush of endorphins and I really loved the whole experience. Hopefully I'll be able to model again sometime!

Until the next one,

Interior Design

Grants and Giving Back

Over the past two weeks, my Interior Design Lighting Codes & Safety class worked on a project where we designed a mobile television set for a TV show locally filmed called Imprisoned Show. The show's host, Bukola Oriola, is a survivor of human trafficking and she interviews relevant guests in each episode. In addition to interviews, she hopes to expand the topics of her show to include international cooking segments and outdoor filming among other things. Because the show is revving up to take on more topics in addition to being produced more frequently, they needed a new set design which is where my class came in.

379821_10151584968051113_1393484004_n.jpgMy professor, Dr. Abimbola Asojo, received a Fairchild Topical Issues Grant which is why this project will be able to go from an idea to a reality. Thanks to grants like this, amazing things can be produced within our community. Because of the work my class put in and the Fairchild Topical Issues Grant, Bukola and her team will now have the designs and funding to get an awesome mobile set which will allow them to enhance and improve Imprisoned Show.

It was hard designing a mobile set, but such a huge learning opportunity! We visited the TV studio she currently films at located in Blaine, MN. There, we learned some of the basics about lighting a TV set. Some of the things we had to consider were cost and global flattering of a wide variety of skin tones. We did photometric calculations to determine the amount of lighting and we research to figure out different equipment we would need.

The most rewarding part of the experience was when we Bukola and some of her team visited our class to see the proposed design solution presentations. (see photo)

If you'd like to learn more about her show and how you can make a difference, please visit the Imprisoned Show Facebook page and "like" it so you can stay up to date with their progress. I should also mention that Imprisoned Show has a fundraiser coming up in June! More information about that can also be found on the facebook page.

It's great that interior design can contribute to such a wide variety of arenas. I never knew I might work on a TV set design for a show about human trafficking, but the fact that I can make an impact in my own special way for a really great cause warms my heart and makes me excited for future opportunities to help!

Until the next one,

Interior Design


eda34829410d384cc518d827bbeba9ab.jpgI haven't mentioned anything about this in earlier posts because it was all so tentative, but now that I've officially had my first day interning, I feel like I can tell you that I was recently hired as an Interior Design intern at Cuningham Group. I cannot begin to express my excitement and overall happiness.

Some of you might wonder how I landed an internship in the first place. Good question. The answer is NETWORKING. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again - it's all about who you know. The power of networking is incredible and it got me an internship at a dream firm.

It all started back in February... I attended an NEWH Speed Mentoring event where I was able to cycle around to different tables and chat with designers and sales representatives for a little less than 10 minutes each. In that short period of time I was able to leave a lasting impression. Because of that impression, about a month later I got an email letting me know Cuningham was in need of an intern ASAP. I sent over my resume and online portfolio and I guess you could say the rest is history because I interviewed and got the job.

I am eager to see what the future has in store with me, but I am so happy and excited for the way things are lining up. I'll try to keep you guys posted about my internship experience!

Until the next one,

Interior Design

Let's Build Stuff!

Today in my interior design studio, we focused on concept development for our current museum design projects. Concept development process work can include coming up with concept words, sketches and even 3-D models. It's fun to think in a conceptual, abstracted way and really break through to a new way of brainstorming.

IMG_2368.jpgIn the photos I've included you can see a lot of group work happening. Our museum project is broken up through the class so each group (made of 3 or 4 students) will design their own museum. Group work is always appreciated during school because it is very rare that you will work on projects alone once you are at a design firm. Being able to learn the skills necessary to successfully work in a group now are essential for thriving as a professional. Some of these traits include compromise, communication and being able to take in criticism.

So far I've really enjoyed working in my group! I'm working with Sean and Ashley and we are gelling really well together so far. We utilize technology resources like Google Drive and Facebook so even when we aren't face to face we are able to continue the design process and share our ideas with each other. Our generation is so lucky because we have so many ways to communicate with one another outside of class and it really shows in the finished product because every element of the design solution is especially well thought out.

We've still got some work to do before the end, but I'll keep you posted as we work along!

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Spring Cleaning!

Spring-Cleaning.jpgIt's April 8th today and even though the weather isn't shining quite like spring, that doesn't mean I can't get a jump on spring cleaning. Spring cleaning falls into a lot of different sectors of my life. It's anything from my closet and wardrobe to the files on my computer. For me, it's nice to take a break about mid-semester to tidy up my life a little bit since things can get hectic from time to time.

Last night for instance, I cleaned through my closet and dresser to start pulling out my warm weather threads and to start stowing away my heavy duty sweaters and hoodies. It's gotta warm up sometime soon so I'm making sure I'll be ready when it does! I also sorted piles of clothing I would like to part with and could potentially sell at consignment shops like Buffalo Exchange and Plato's Closet or clothing that would be good to donate to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

Recently I also bought a new computer and I have been working to transfer over my data and organize it in a neat and practical manner. As a design student, I have a lot of large and important files on my computer and organizing those is key to my efficiency. Since I'm also working on my portfolio and my website, archiving past projects has become essential and adds to why organizing my computer is so crucial.

Besides those major projects, I'm also doing basic things like cleaning out my office space in Student Services, my locker at school, and my car. If I do a little each day, I think I can be done by the end of the weekend. Wish me luck!

Interior Design

Research can be fun too!

WAM.jpgWhen most people think of research, they tend to cringe. To be honest though, I think that's just because they don't know how much fun research can be! In my Interior Design Studio IV and my Lighting Design, Codes and Safety courses, we have been introduced to the concept of precedent studies. A precedent study is basically initial research on a topic to help you develop a solution for a current project. In this case, we are doing precedent studies on existing museums to help us better learn about what works and does not work for museum design, the crucial elements that must be included, and the newest innovations.

My studio group of three students including myself decided to design a museum that would house various types of sculpture. We are required to do three precedent studies (one in person and two online) so we split them up amongst ourselves. I took the in person study and visited the Weisman Art Museum on campus. This museum was perfect for our initial study because it housing a dynamic collection of sculpture ranging in size and medium.

While at the museum, I was able to interview staff and snap a number of photos. The next step will be to organize and depict my findings in a informative report.

Research like this is fun because it is directly applicable to a project I am currently working on. It's also always fun checking out museums and new exhibits, so I really can't complain about a homework assignment like that!

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design

Need a Study Option?

When crunch time rolls around, it's crucial that I have the right place to hit the books and get down to business. For me, the location really depends upon my mood. What's great about the U of M campus is that there is a dynamic blend of study spaces fit for everyone and every mood.

When I need peace and quiet I always head to Walter Library. It's located on the East Bank of the U and is fairly central because Coffman and Dinkytown are nearby. Usually, I'll plan to grab dinner somewhere and make sure I'm fueled and ready to work hard. It's nice because Walter also offers tutoring so if I ever get hung up on my homework I always have a place to go for help.

Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are another great option when I want to get a lot of work done but in a lighter, more casual way. I really enjoy changing it up so I frequent many different coffee shops in the area. Some of my favorites include Espresso Royale, Purple Onion, Dunn Bros, and Caribou. Studying in a coffee shop is nice because you can invite a friend or a few and make it a social experience that is also productive. You also can't go wrong when you've got a constant source for fresh brewed coffee and yummy pastries.

As a design student, the studio is near and dear to my heart. When I have a big project, the studio is the perfect place to go to spread out and jump in. It's great for group collaboration, but it's also nice when you are working individually because you have a lot of space to get focused and really run wild with your ideas. I typically head over to McNeal Hall because the 4th floor is like interior design home base. I find that coming to work in a place where my classes are held helps me to keep focused.

In addition to the places I highlighted, there are more study spaces on campus including the student unions, classrooms, and outside when the weather permits! Leave a comment and let me know where you like to study.

Until the next,
Interior Design

Spring Break: A Good Time to Get Stuff Done

So maybe I'm not going on that dream vacation over spring break to the Bahamas that I've ben planning since I was 10 years old... but I am staying in the beautiful (and snowy) Minneapolis for break. With all this free time on my hands, sure I could nap, Netflix, and not do nothing at all, but instead I want to do something I'll be proud of this break. I vow to be productive.

website clip.jpgIt's officially day one, and I have definitely stuck to my goals of productivity. This morning I had an informational interview at 8:00am with a professional from a local firm. After that I had another meeting with Frederic MacDonald, the Director of MCAE (Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence). After my meeting with Frederic, I went in to work at the Student Services office for a little over 5 hours in preparation for the Architecture Networking + Portfolio event, among other things. Now I'm sitting at Espresso Royale, a coffee shop in Dinkytown, and I'm working on my online portfolio.

It's been nice being productive because I have some flexibility and variety from my usual class schedule. Although I don't have to, I still make sure to get up early in the AM and not waste away my days.

Other goals for break I have include:
- working on my resume
- writing a paper for my Art History class
- updating my LinkedIn account
- etc.

We'll see how I do, but wish my luck! I'll keep you guys posted in next week's blog.

Interior Design

Bridge Design Project


I got some exciting news in my Lighting course today - new project! We had representatives from LaCrosse, Wisconsin come in today to talk to us about the bridge project we will be working on.

Basically, the city of LaCrosse is looking to add lighting elements to an existing bridge in the Riverside Park area. This bridge is a major focal point of the area and they are hoping to heighten it's relevance and overall presence. The representatives were very passionate about the experience they wanted the bridge to create and enhance.


It's fun getting a project that applies the skill set I have acquired through my interior design education thus far in a new, interesting way. I never thought in a million years I'd be designing the lighting plan for a bridge, but I can't wait to get started!

What's even cooler about this assignment is that if they like our designs, there's a very high chance they will be implemented. How awesome would it be to visit a bridge that had your design incorporated in it? That thought serves as further motivation to really push myself on this project.

I'll keep you all posted once I get a chance to start sketching and researching.

Until the next,

Interior Design

Presentation Day!

Ashley Ochiagha Lighting Prez.jpg
So it's finally the big day - we are presenting our lighting fixtures to the client! Since they are located in Dallas, Texas, we skyped the clients in and presented in front of the web cam as well as our class. We were also lucky enough to have Barry Kudrowitz, a product design faculty here at the university.

In addition to the presentation board I am posting, we also submitted our actual built fixtures and technical drawings. It's nice that we got to be creative, hands on, and technical all in one project. I feel that I really enhanced my revit skills through this project and I also had a lot of fun working in the wood shop to construct my fixture.

Working in product design is pretty high on my list post graduation, so I was really happy that a project like this was incorporated into the curriculum. I'm hoping before I graduate I'll have time to take a product design class or two to further supplement my interior design education.

Until the next one guys,

Interior Design

Groovy Stuff


photo.jpegOver the past few weeks, my Lighting class has been working on designing a lighting fixture. What's especially cool about this project is that we are collaborating with a company names Groovy Stuff located in Dallas, Texas. Essentially, they are our client and we are designing lighting fixtures that fit their look, feel, and style while incorporating our own point of view. Each student has been working on multiple prototypes for the project and we have been using Facebook to communicate with each other, our professor (Dr. Asojo), and the guys over at Groovy Stuff (Chris and Lee).

photo-1.jpegThe first stage in this project was sketching and sketching and sketching to come up with multiple prototypes and options for the company to choose from. We uploaded our sketches to the Facebook group we all share and we were able to recieve feedback. From there, the design process really took off because after each bit of feedback, changes would be made, new ideas would be born, and another set of sketches would be uploaded. Over the course of time, I came to a point where I was really happy with my design. I was able to share my sketches once again and explain my idea from a conceptual and functional standpoint. The clients seemed to really like my idea, so I decided to run with it!

Yesterday, our class met in Rapson Hall so we would have access to the wood shop and technology labs. I found my materials (lots of free, scrap wood!) and started talking with the employees of the wood shop to better understand the logistics of my lighting fixture.

So far, I have built a frame and stained it which you can see here. Maybe if I make more progress I'll do an additional post about it! Let me know if you guys would like that :)

Until the next one,

Interior Design

UROP: Giving Back to the Community

My professor Dr. Asojo and two 3rd year interior design students, Carol Erklouts and Tawana Terrell recently completed a UROP project. UROP stands for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. It is a program that allows undergraduate students to conduct research, learn independently, gain funding and be compensated for work. It might sound scary or intimidating, but it's actually fairly easy to set up. You just need to submit a propsal and find a faculty mentor. If you'd like to learn more about how to get started, check out this link.

For Dr. Asojo, Carol, and Tawana's UROP project, they worked on the interior and lighting design of a science lab for a K-8 school, St. John the Baptist Catholic School in New Brighton, MN. They began by conducting initial research which quickly became more and more indepth as they learned more about what the space would require for optimal functionality. Once the data was collected, the design process of a new and improved science lab began.

1.jpegThey attended a fundraising event that the school hosted and presented their design solution early in February. The design solution was so compelling, that it helped to secure funds so the project could go from a plan to a reality.

When I think about the impact interior designers have on the community, it really solidifies how important the profession is. This UROP project inspires me and I hope to conduct a project of my own this summer or in the Fall 2013 semester.

Oh yeah! And before I forget - if you are an admitted CDes freshman for Fall 2013, I hope to see you at the Dean's Reception this Saturday! I will be there with many other bloggers, faculty, professionals, and current students. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'd be happy to find you answers! You can also directly get in touch with Lori Swenson at 612-624-6250 or

Until the next one,

Ashley O.
Interior Design