Tag Archives: school

Finding a Way with Interior Design | Q&A with Julie Irish

Julie Irish (Ph.D '17, Interior Design)

When Julie Irish (Ph.D ’17, Interior Design) was asked to design a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) she made the surprising discovery that there was little design research on the topic. This was the motivation she needed to conduct her own research into how to design schools that are not only friendly for children with ASD, but help children […]

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Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum partners with Target on back-to-school collection

Bill Moran, typography lecturer in the College of Design’s graduate minor program, is currently the artistic director at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and has partnered with Target to produce a back-to-school collection for the retailer.

The museum houses the world’s largest collection of wood type, with 1.5 million plates of graphics that include crowns, roaring tigers, 1950s movie posters, circus imagery and countless letters and numbers. Graphics from the museum will appear on pencil cases, handbags, pajamas and clothing for boys, girls, men and women in 1,755 Target stores nationwide beginning July 10, 2011.

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Furi School Project update

Ever wonder if what you do in school will actually make a difference? Andrew Blaisdell (MArch, 2010) is leading the design for a school and clinic complex outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Furi School Project seeks to ensure that the buildings be sustainable, replicable, prepared for worldwide information empowerment, and financially and environmentally self-sufficient.

Currently in Furi, safe drinking water, electricity, and medical care are a 45-minute walk away and the existing school is a 15-foot by 10-foot mud structure. The proposed complex will serve as many as 300 students from neighboring communities during the day, and function as an adult education facility at night. Surrounding communities will have the benefit of safe drinking water, local medical attention, and educational resources on agriculture, horticulture, and human health.

Wosen Kifle, a Minneapolis resident and native of Ethiopia, contacted the College of Design for assistance with this project. Ozayr Saloojee (Architecture) mentioned the topic to Blaisdell who explored how some of the Furi Project goals can be realized on the site for his final master’s project.

As the design moves forward, the Furi School Project needs further funding and research assistance, particularly with regard to human-centric sustainable technologies that are appropriate for the community and region.

A benefit dinner for the Furi School Project will be held on November 7, 2010 in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hotel Minneapolis.

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Job opportunity: University Law School faculty lounge redesign

The University’s Law School is hoping to get some advice on redesigning its faculty lounge and has asked if a faculty member of advanced graduate student would be interested in the project. There is a small amount of money available for this project. Interested? Contact Francesco Parisi (Law), parisi@umn.edu for more information.

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Blaisdell helps design Ethiopian school and Tanzanian clinic

Andrew Blaisdell (MArch, 2010) realized a unique opportunity when Wosen Kifle, a native of Ethiopia and current Minneapolis resident asked the College of Design in 2009 for help designing an elementary school and clinic complex on his family’s land in Furi, outside of Addis Adaba, Ethiopia. Blaisdell took on the project and is advised by Ozayr Saloojee (Architecture). Last spring, Blaisdell was sponsored by the School of Architecture and the college’s dean’s office to visit Furi to assess socio-cultural and material conditions. He wrote his master’s thesis on the topic of technology and its influence on the design of education spaces.

“The primary results of my research were that students of all kinds learn best through curiosity, not compulsion, and that they are capable of teaching themselves an incredible amount through small peer groups if the teacher changes his/her role from captain to co-conspirator,” Blaisdell told the University News Service. “The design for the Furi School attempts to allow for this hands-on learning through a number of loosely connected and easily transformable spaces within a cohesive structure.”

Blaisdell continues to be involved in the design of the Furi School and is also involved with a second design project in Africa, working on preliminary designs for a new cancer treatment center at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center outside Moshi, Tanzania.

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