Monday Minute, January 23, 2012: Collaborative Workspaces

Dear Colleagues, Last Friday, I joined a group of our students on a tour (put together by our College to Career Coordinator, Lucy Reile) of CoCo, a collaborative workspace in the former trading room of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, beautifully restored by adjunct professor Bob Mack. It offers a glimpse of how many of us will work in the future. In comparison to today's office, the CoCo space shows how we will interact with colleagues (more collaboratively), communicate with each other (more digitally), dress in the office (more informally), and arrange and occupy workspace (more flexibly and fluidly). With research suggesting that the self-employed may constitute as much as 40 to 45% of all workers by 2020, we need…

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Monday Minute, January 17, 2012: Welcome Back

Dear Colleagues, I hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. It's terrific to see students, faculty and staff back in full-force as we kick-off 2012. As I mentioned at year's end, I believe that 2012 will be a defining year for our College. With President Kaler half-way through his first year at the U, and with our new provost, Dr. Karen Hanson, set to take the reins next month, I'm extremely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the entire University in the coming year. As a reminder, RFP's for investments in our vision, visibility and vitality are due on Tuesday, January 31. Again, if your idea helps advance the vision of the College, if…

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Christopher Ochs (MLA and MURP '06) Appointed to Serve on the Transportation Committee of Saint Paul's City Planning Commission

Christopher Ochs, ASLA, APA (MLA and MURP '06) has been appointed to serve on the Transportation Committee of Saint Paul's City Planning Commission. Ochs is a landscape designer and project manager for a local landscape design-build company. He has been recognized with multiple residential design awards by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and was awarded the HWS Cleveland Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects-MN chapter for demonstrating the potential to be a leader in the profession. Ochs chose a career in landscape architecture following a ten year career in freight transportation. His broad knowledge of the ecological, urban, and rural landscapes is based on his experience in the built environment and numerous travels in the U.S….

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Turning Suburban Blights into Community Hubs

Natalie Ross (MLA '11) was shortlisted for her project "Combat Concrete" in the Strip Appeal ideas design competition. An online vote is taking place now through January 16th to decide the Public Choice winner. Architects, creatives and the general public were asked to propose innovative ideas for the aesthetic reinvention and adaptive reuse of small-scale strip malls in their local neighborhoods. Ross submitted work inspired by an Urban Design Studio class where she investigated a strip mall located in North Minneapolis along Broadway Avenue. Ross worked with Juxtaposition Arts – a local non-profit promoting art and entrepreneurship among youth in North Minneapolis – to understand the space better. Juxtaposition's concern about the lack of fresh food in their neighborhood,…

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College of Design Students Driven To Discover

College of Design students are competing for scholarships with 30-second videos illustrating what they're driven to discover. The competition, open to all undergraduate students and majors, asked participants to explain how the University influenced their search for knowledge and self-discovery. All submitted videos are posted on the University of Minnesota's Facebook page. Voting runs now through January 17th. A total of 16 scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $1,000 will be awarded to the videos with the most "Likes" on Facebook. Good luck to participating students from the College: Caitlin Dippo Marilena Mihai Oana Mihai Hannah J Preble Jordana M Reece Kiley J Schmidt Joel Valdez Sondra Vine Nathan S Wong Yichu Wu Learn what inspires them here!…

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Landscape Architecture Students Reinvigorate University Avenue with the Starling Project

The project's name is a metaphor: starlings are birds that use existing nests. In an effort to revitalize vacant storefronts along the Central Corridor light rail line, students in the Landscape Architecture program are playing matchmaker. The Starling Project aims to bring property owners and local community organizations together for month-to-month opportunities while University Ave is under construction. "The economic downturn has led to a surge of entrepreneurial thinking in all fields," says co-founder Ben Shardlow in a press release. "Many individuals and groups are nimble and flexible enough to benefit from having a space month at an attractive price, and new enough to prefer that to a longer contract." The project organizers, including Landscape Architecture student Kristen Murray…

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Joyce Feller (Housing Studies '96) Promoted to Federal Veterans Administration

Joyce Feller (Housing Studies '96) had been working for the Department of Defense as a Program Analyst (Civilian), at the Wisconsin Joint Force Headquarters in the Manpower Directorate. Her education in Housing Policy transferred to other governmental and policy areas. For her work as a civilian she was awarded a commendation from the Department of Military Affairs. In December, Joyce was promoted to the Federal Veterans Administration at the William S. Middleton VA Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. She is an Executive Management and Program Analyst in the Nursing Division. Joyce has worked with county, state (Minnesota and Wisconsin) and Federal governments to include the IRS, Department of Defense and HUD. She has developed policy in the areas of Affordable…

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Apparel Design Students Support Haitian Kids One Stitch at a Time

The December 2010 earthquake left thousands of Haitians without basic needs like clean water, food, or clothing. To alleviate these difficult living conditions, students in Sherri Gahring's Apparel Design class partnered with U of M alumna Karen Moen to assemble over 80 garments for children at the Grace Village orphanage in Titanyean, Haiti. "The apparel design students gained experience using their beginning assembly and design skills to make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate," explained Gahring, "27 students created 42 sundress and 43 jam shorts…which were delivered [to Haiti] by Karen Moen and her team in late November." The project started in late 2010 when Gahring met Moen to brainstorm service learning and outreach projects. When…

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Your Gift of Shelter, Their Mission Continues

Thank you for your support! Because of your generosity, we surpassed our $10,000 goal to help extend our initiatives with local Habitat for Humanity projects. Your gifts, in large and small amounts, will provide funding to continue developing projects like our Zero-Energy Home – researched, designed, refined, and developed by two College of Design architecture classes – and Habitat's Restores, which involves our retail merchandising students. We also have two housing studies faculty serving as advisors for the University's Student Habitat for Humanity Chapter. Your gift will provide additional hands-on, real-world experiences for our student and furthers our mission to address and solve real-world problems, while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable, and collaborative design thinking. To continue giving the…

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Fifth Graders Take College Course in Design

This December, Terry Wiley's fifth grade class at Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul, MN took their first college course in design. As part of a new initiative at the college to keep creativity vibrant in children, the Student Services team, led by Lori Swenson and Nikki Mumma, at the College of Design "adopted" the entire class. Last Wednesday's gathering was the first of many planned for the future to help the students learn first-hand about the College of Design and how thinking like designers can help them with problem-solving. The first exercise of the morning was orchestrated by Tex Ostvig, coordinator of Kids on Campus. Ostvig jumped in with the kids and talked about the importance of…

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