Category Archives: From the Dean

A Gift with Global Impact: Support Design Global Outreach

[Update: September 6, 2013]Because of alumni and friends like you, we met our goal and raised $5,280 for Design Global Outreach. Thanks to your support, apparel students started the school year with an amazing surprise – materials and supplies fully funded by donors! This week they began designing school uniforms and other garments for children in need in Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa. Thank you. You’ve given our students the unique opportunity to make a difference, not just on campus, but on a global scale.  [Update: August 27, 2013]We’re almost halfway to our $5,000 goal, but we still need help. I teach the Technical Design Studio that will make dresses and school uniforms this fall and I want to share…

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Design for Minnesota > Thanks for Your Support

[Update: June 28, 2013]Our students need your help today. Big decisions are being made about their future right now. Our budget year ends on Sunday and I’m working hard with staff around the college to secure funding for our most important student projects, like the Design Duluth studio. We’re close, but we need your help to meet our goal of raising $2,000 to offset research costs that normally fall to students. Will you support Design for Minnesota?You’ve heard from Tom and Trevor about the vital work our students are doing to promote a more resilient and sustainable Minnesota. I know you care about our students and I know you stand with us. Your past support has helped us get this far. Will you…

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Minnesota Vikings Stadium Design Revealed

Hundreds of people were at the Guthrie Theater on Monday night when officials unveiled the proposed design for the $975 million Vikings stadium. Dean Fisher, co-chair of the new Minnesota Viking stadium’s Design Implementation Committee, spoke with Twin Cities Business, Minnesota Public Radio, MinnPost, Finance and Commerce, and the Star Tribune about the space, which will span 1.6 million square feet and seat over 65,000 people for NFL games and 73,00 for special events. According to the ESPN, it will have the largest transparent roof in the world.  Tonight on #tptalmanac:Tom Fisher @mndesigndean talks about dramatic new @vikings stadium design 7pm @tpt#vikings– tpt Almanac (@tptAlmanac) May 17, 2013 More stories from the College of Design: ASLA-MN’s Top Award Goes to…

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Dean Fisher Shares Southdale's Story in the "10 Buildings that Changed America"

A new PBS documentary, "10 Buildings that Changed America," turns the spotlight on Edina's Southdale Center, built in 1959 by Austrian-born architect Victor Gruen. "And no, it's not because of the food court," quips the Star Tribune in a preview this week. The documentary includes an interview between College of Design dean Tom Fisher and WTTW host Geoffrey Baer on location, talking about the early days of the mall, when men wore suits and women got dressed up with high heels and pearls. In the early days, Southdale's Garden Court was a conservatory with birds and ponds, and the building was air conditioned in the summer using water from Lake Corneila. "Southdale's model of turning the shopping center inward…

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A Debt-Free Semester Next Fall?

[Update: April 8, 2013]Thank You for supporting Design without Debt! Because of gifts from alumni and friends like you, one lucky student will soon receive a scholarship to cover a whole semester of tuition! You’ve given one more student an incredible opportunity – the freedom to focus on education.We will be sure to update you and our blog later this spring with news on the lucky recipient of the Design without Debt scholarship. If you missed the chance to give, you can still contribute to scholarships at z.umn.edu/designscholars.Regards,Tom Fisher, Professor and Dean, College of Design [Update: March 29, 2013]We need you now. We’re close to meeting our goal to raise $6,250 – the full cost of one semester of undergraduate tuition – and every gift…

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[Video] The (Design) Failure of Bridges and Economies

Things May Happen, a new documentary video series exploring culture, the future, and the human condition, interviewed Dean Fisher earlier this year on the topic of fracture-critical systems. Dean Fisher’s new book, Designing to Avoid Disaster: the Nature of Fracture-Critical Design, is a call for architects, engineers, planners, and citizens to recognize the error in our thinking and to understand how design thinking provides us with a way to anticipate unintended failures and increase the resiliency of the world in which we live. Follow him at @MNDesignDean and in the Huffington Post. More stories from the College of DesignThese Boots Were Made for … NASA?Design Studio On the Road: Visiting San FranciscoDon Ganje (BLA ’73) Named ASLA Fellow…

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The Network Society & Our Mentor Program

Dear Colleagues,This evening, the college kicked off its mentoring program in the McNamara Alumni Center, where 233 students, 205 mentors, and 101 employers gathered to share information and get to know each other. The college supports the mentoring program, one of the larger ones at the university, because of the value it brings in furthering the education of our students and in keeping our disciplines connected to those who will one day work with and employ our graduates.Learn more about the 2012-13 mentor programAs I looked out over the crowd at McNamara, I thought about a talk I gave earlier today to community members and school leaders in Hopkins about the rise of what the sociologists Jan van Dijk and…

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Monday Minute, October 22, 2012: College Advisory Board Recap

Dear Colleagues,Last Friday we held our first college advisory board meeting of FY13.  Thanks to those who participated in the day and in its planning.  There are a couple items that struck me during the day that I wanted to share with each of you.One, our board members were continually impressed by how our college has come together over the last 6 years.  Many have been on our board since day one and each time we meet they find new and interesting things to be excited about.  That is a testament to each of you and I thank you for your hard work and dedication in that combined effort.Two, when I asked the group what they need and look for…

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Monday Minute, October 15, 2012: Redesigning Higher Education

Dear Colleagues, It was great to see a number of you at last week's workshop Design Thinking for Higher Education Innovation. For those who were unable to attend, our College joined the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and the University's Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education and its Center for Integrative Leadership to put together a sold-out workshop, led by Virajita Singh of CSBR.The workshop generated a lot of creative ideas, many of them focused on making higher education more nimble, flexible, and adaptable to meet the rapidly-changing needs of students, the workforce, and society. The event also showed how many of the challenges we face in our college are not uniquely our own. As we look at changing demographics, student…

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Monday Minute, October 1, 2012: Design and Business

Colleagues,I wanted to take the time this week to bring you all up to speed on some of the conversations the College has had regarding the intersection of design and business.As set forth in our vision, we need to ensure our students fully understand the triple-bottom-line (people, planet, profit) aspect of their work.  We do an excellent job with the people and planet side, but the profit part probably needs more work. We have talked about this in our leadership discussions over the last year – specifically our retreat this summer – and I look forward to telling you more about this during the college assembly later this week. Over the last week alone, in conversations I and others…

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