Tag Archives: tom fisher

Design without Debt

Student support has never been more critical. Today’s financial burdens on our students are real. Supporting scholarships not only relieves students from financial worries, but gives them the freedom to dream big and push the limits of their own education. Making a gift today to honor Tom Fisher’s nearly twenty years as Dean is the perfect way to build off […]

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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 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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Designing to Avoid Disaster: the Nature of Fracture-Critical Design

Dean Fisher discussed fracture-critical design at the 2012 TedxUMN conference.A new book by Dean Thomas Fisher, Designing to Avoid Disaster, draws a connection between recent catastrophic events like the collapse of the I-35W bridge and the flooding of New Orleans, and fracture-critical designs: structures that are susceptible to complete and sudden collapse should one part not perform as intended. In New Orleans, the failure of the levees during Hurricane Katrina illustrate why a system lacking redundancy–a duplication of critical components–turned a minor failure into a major catastrophe: "While Hurricane Katrina certainly stressed that system with high winds and waves," writes Fisher, "the flooding of the city came after the hurricane had begun to subside. The levees, weakened by the…

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College of Design Launches Search for Public Interest Design Director

Today the College of Design officially launched a search to find a director to lead the Colleges' socially responsible or public-interest design initiatives. Public-interest design lies at the intersection of design and public service, and it represents a new approach for the delivery of design services to people in order for everyone to live their best lives regardless of their socio-economic background. "We see this as part of the emergence of a public-health version of the design fields," says Tom Fisher, Dean of the College of Design and pioneer in the public-interest design field. "Design has long had a medical model of practice, serving the needs of individuals, organizations, and communities that can pay designers' fees. But just as public-health…

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Help Shelter Return to Haiti

Shelter is a feature-length documentary about the growing socially-responsible design movement. The producers are highlighting the role designers, architects, and engineers play in making the world a better place with humanitarian design. By telling these stories, they hope to inspire others to design for good. They're currently in production and need your helping funding their project, including follow-up interviews with residents and volunteers they met in Haiti last summer.Help Shelter return to Haiti by donating to their Kickstarter campaign. Along with telling extraordinary stories of courage and invention, Shelter will feature this interview with Dean Fisher. They also interviewed architecture students Abby Kurlinkus and Brent Suski who spent eight weeks in Haiti working with Architecture for Humanity in 2011. Donate…

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Monday Minute, March 19, 2012: Congratulations Landscape Architecture Head Lance Neckar

Dear Colleagues,While I realize many of you have already heard the news, I wanted to take a moment to publically congratulate Lance on his new position, beginning this fall, as the founding Director of the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College. Lance has provided over 25 years of leading landscape architecture and design research, teaching and thought to his students and colleagues at the University of Minnesota. From his time as associate dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and director of the Metropolitan Design Center, to his current leadership position as head of the Department of Landscape Architecture, he has been a tireless advocate for his discipline, and the University, and I'm grateful…

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