May 1, 2008

The Twin Cities Influence on Design in the Target Corporation-Lindsay Offermann

Target is a major corporation that is based locally in the Twin Cities. Because the company’s headquarters are here in the Twin Cities, it is only natural that the surrounding areas influence the designs of the company. Many local design companies have had a hand in creating the images and designs seen throughout Target stores. Companies such as Werner Design Werks, which is based in St. Paul, have contributed to in-store concept design as well as brand design. Minneapolis based companies like Duffy and Partners and Charles S. Anderson Design, have developed design schemes, packaging, and product designs for numerous items seen inside Target stores. In addition to local design inspiration, Target takes advantage of many professional designers to create lines for the company such as Isaac Mizrahi and his clothing designs, and Michael Graves designs for domestic products. Target is dedicated to good design and as a result an important aspect of the company is “Design for All?.

Cultural Influences in Public Transportation

Public transportation in the Twin Cities is used by many people each day. For this reason it is necessary that the transportation is designed for the people and that it reflects the culture of the people that use it. There are many different aspects that are important to the culture of the Twin Cities. Four of those aspects have been adapted to the buses and Light Rail provided by Metro Transit in the Twin Cities. All public transportation is accessible for people in wheelchairs, people with bikes, travelers, and people who are conscious about the environment. Because of these three aspects, public transportation has become an important element in the everyday lives of many of the inhabitants in the Twin Cities, which lessens congestion on roads and highways.

April 10, 2008

Design for Health and the Environment - Amanda Schactner

Eating healthy and having a balanced diet play a large role in the quality of life. As people are becoming aware of America's alarming obesity rates, health and nutrition are becoming more substantial. Eating organic foods is a phenomenon which is slowly becoming more popular. Currently very popluar in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, eating organic food is not only a habit, but more of a lifestyle and culture. Minneapolis is growing to see more organic food stores, restaurants, and is joining the bandwagon to a healty lifestyle. The design of organic foods within the Twin Cities has a lot of potential. In the future, people may be eating only organic foods, and I think that it is vital to design a way in which organic foods along with preservation of the Environment can be incorporated into every day life. Also, the design of organic materails incorporated in everday material will help to secure a more environmentally friendly future. Minneapolis is a booming metropolis, and I believe that with proper design, organic lifestyles will flourish.

Term Paper Topic - Urban Vinyl: Where Artists and Collectors Meet

Two weeks ago, we went and visit Robot Love, which is a place where Urban Vinyl are sold as well as many individual's pop arts are shown. Urban vinyl has appeared only in the last decade that would merge art and design. Not only does the artists create urban vinyl for artists, but for collectors in general. There are so many people in the world who collects figures, and with urban vinyl as a new 'hot-toys,' there's already impacts of social change and pop culture awareness. Urban Vinyl has shift the idea of sculpture/molded figures and 2D images into one, thus creating another new original art and design that would impress everyone.

Robot LOVE Link:

Local Design-Michaela Ostertag

The IDS tower is the tallest building in downtown Minneapolis with 57 floors. It was designed by Philip Johnson and his firm Johnson/Burgee Architects. Construction began in 1968 and finished in 1972. It is located at 80 8th Street South. The IDS tower is made out of steel and glass, and is known most for Crystal Court, a plaza located on ground level off of Nicollet Mall. This is a great plaza, not only do you feel welcome, but it is absolutely gorgeous. Water falling from the ceiling (105ft) in one portion of the plaza muffles the noise for those sitting at nearby benches. The water is caught in a large circular basin that is central to the planters with greenery and lights. There used to be an observation deck, but was closed to the public in 1994. The building is a prime example of strong stable modernistic design. It is what defines the Minneapolis skyline at night.

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Local Design-Lindsay Offermann

The original Guthrie Theater, built in 1963, was once an example of unique design in the Twin Cities. The theater was conceptualized by Ralph Rapson, a leading architect that influenced the modern movement. The Guthrie Theater featured a thrust stage that was designed by Tanya Moiseiwitsch. The distinctively designed stage had 7 sides and allowed the audience a more involved experience with the actors. The seating radiated from the center of the theater and vaulted upward to just under the ceiling-hung acoustical panels. Sadly in 2006 the original Guthrie Theater was demolished and in its place is a park and land used for part of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. A new Guthrie Theater was built in 2006 along the Mississippi River and was designed by architect Jean Nouvel.

April 9, 2008

Local Design

Bamboo Design is a very successful Graphic Design firm in Minneapolis. The desingers for Bamboo have done work for a wide variety of companies such as 3M and Target. All of their designs include bright colors, geometrical lines, and bold words that are easy to read. From looking at the client list, you can tell that this graphic design company is well distinguished in the whole Twin Cities area. They have also done a lot of work for local companies, such as restaurants around the Minneapolis area.

here is an example of some work they have done for the Target corporation,
it is a campaign that Target is using for Mother's Day.

Local Design- Kari Haugen

SInce the beginning of the museum in 1934, the Weisman Art Museum has been a teaching museum for the University of Minnesota. Frederick R. Weisman, a Minneapolis native, and noted philanthropist, gave generous amounts of money to fund the creation of the building. Architect Frank O. Gehry designed the museum’s structure along the Mississippi River. Home to the museum since 1993, this important architectural achievement has become a landmark for the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.

Mattamy Homes is a Minnesota home builder that started in 1978 and now builds homes all across North America. Each home is built based on one of the specific designs by both Homes by Chase and Mattamy Homes. Each house design is unique, and as the company grows, they have been adding more neighborhoods and customers. The designs of each house are altered slightly for each family to fit the needs of them individually. The designs of these houses stood out to me, because they seem to all be "cookie cutter" houses, or something you would find in a magazine.

April 6, 2008

Local Design

The ING ReliaStar Building is in downtown Minneapolis on the corner of Washington Avenue South and Marquette Avenue. ING is a global financial services company which provides banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services. The company that designed this building is Minoru Yamasaki and Associates. Minoru Yamasaki is a Japanese-American who was an enthusiastic "modernist�?. Most of his designs reflect the post-WWII era in the United States. The most famous buildings designed by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates were the World Trade Centers in New York. Many aspects of design that they used in the ING ReliaStar building could have been found in the World Trade Centers. The construction of this building was completed in 1964. This surprised me because this building seems like it could have been built about 5 years ago. This building contains 21 columns on the east and west sides of the building, and 9 columns on the north and south sides of the building. The reason that I chose to write about the ING ReliaStar Building is because I go downtown quite a bit and this building has always looked appealing to me. It was cool to finally find out what this building was used for and the history behind it.

February 16, 2008

Massive Change response paper, due next class, Feb. 20th

“The Massive Change Project explores the legacy and potential, the promise and power of design in improving the welfare of humanity.? (from the Massive change web site:

For this week’s written assignment I’d like you all to research Bruce Mau and Bruce Mau design. Look up the online exhibition of “Massive Change?: and consider the themes of the exhibition as well as the ones we read in the exhibition at Rapson Hall---manufactured housing, the legal system, and sustainability. Can you take one of these themes (either from the exhibit in Rapson Hall or from the online exhibition) and relate it a contemporary issue in Minnesota or in the Twin Cities. In what way could design be used locally to improve “the welfare of humanity?? What improvements are needed?

Write a response to this including a short description of Bruce Mau (who he is and what the “Massive Change? project is all about), followed by relating an aspect of life in Minnesota: Typed double space approx 350 to 500 words.

February 14, 2008

Cafe Bonxai = Art, Food, Design!!!

Okay... So I was also looking for art and design in the local metro. But, I was on a bus back from the Center of Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT) when I passed Cafe BonXai, a Hmong owned authentic cuisine of French, Italian, and Thai with the spices of Hmong chili sauce. After I got back to my room, I researched online in the journals and news from local newspaper to the website blogs. Here are two articles from local news on Cafe BonXai:

Hmong Today Local Newspaper:

MPLS ST.Paul Magazine:

This image is from the website above.

There are many more articles written on Cafe BonXai however, the interesting part of Cafe BonXai is not only the food, but the interior design. As the articles commented on Cafe BonXai's interior design puts a different spin in local cuisine on University Avenue. The cool blue with smooth color contrast walls brings a different atmosphere to the customers and the environment.

Personally I've been to Cafe BonXai once and fell in love with the place. Not only is it a place of classic and contemporary, but the location also sets a motion in changing for the good and claiming it's own identity in the cuisine and local art on University Ave.

For those who are interested and would like to go "visit" as well as enjoy a splendid meal the address is below:
613 University Ave. W.,
St. Paul, 5514
Phone Number: 651-644-1444

Graphic Design In MN

I was looking for an article that would support the academics of Art and Design. I found this article while looking for local design companies and such that brought me to this websites that emphasizes Minnesota as a top candidate for City of Design if one is considering design as a major or career.

The positive outcome that I’ve seen from articles and websites such as this article is that the population of design interest rises. There are now more various cultures that influence the design that is here in Minnesota, specifically from the students of the Universities and colleges in Minnesota. The article not only motivates design artists in displaying opportunities, but valuing the art in design and the designer.

Sorry No Pictures

The new Twins Ballpark is still in the process of being designed, and while the construction is starting, the finalized designs are still being debated.

Not only does the new ballpark give the Twins a place to play, but it will draw a great deal of revenue. The designs are being looked over trying to capitalize on the space that is provided, but the costs keep climbing. Overall, the monday made by the new stadium is going to cover and hopefully surpass the expenses put into designing and constructing the new stadium

Design in Minnesota- Michaela Ostertag

This article is on Eco-friendly tree houses created by Dustin Feider a local Minnesotan. The tree houses do not harm the tree because they are not attached directly to the tree. The tree house itself is suspended inside of the tree by cables looped around the crotches of the branches. There are no nails or bolts. Another cool aspect of the tree house is that all of the materials are sustainable and recycled. One of these tree houses will cost you around $20,000 which includes installation.

The social implications that go with this our quite good. It creates a place to gather with family right out the back door. It also allows for adults to reflect on their childhood and tell their children them. A tree house is a great place to bond, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. The economic implications on the other hand are kind of unrealistic. In Minnesota it really isn't worth spending $20,000 on a tree house where you will only spend a couple months hanging out in it.

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