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emerging fall 2017 vol. 12, no. 1

from the dean


Dear Alumni and Friends

of the College of Design,

It is with great pleasure that I join the College of Design this fall as its new dean. I would like to thank Becky Yust for all of the excellent work she has done as interim dean. Thanks also to Tom Fisher for his dedication as dean during our college’s formation and in the years that followed. I am confident that from the solid foundation these leaders have established, the college will continue to emerge as a preeminent hub of creativity and learning. Through meetings with the search committee and many of you this past winter, I have come to understand that the College of Design is building on our rich history of excellent programs while moving in new and exciting directions. The work of our students, faculty, and alumni is steadily improving the quality of our natural, designed, and social environments both locally and globally.

Photo by Heather Evans Smith.

Architecture graduate Gauri Kelkar’s work to build a birth waiting house in Sierra Leone is a compelling example of our global impact (page 6). Kaamil Haider’s (B.F.A. ’17, Graphic Design) senior project on reimagining Somalia’s design aesthetics highlights the important role design can play in defining a nation’s identity (pages 8–9). Closer to home, recent interior design graduate Julie Irish is researching how to design schools that help children with autism spectrum disorder develop their own wayfinding abilities (page 5). I have also come to appreciate the lasting bonds that are forged at the College of Design. The jubilant reunion of the School of Architecture’s class of ’67 is just one example of the strong ties that are fostered in our community (page 11). A crucial part of this sense of connection is the support our alumni and design community give our students and faculty. This year Betsy Vohs (M.Arch ’04) will receive the University’s Alumni Service Award in recognition of her volunteer service to our college (page 11). We are grateful to Betsy and many others who continue to reflect the ethos of the college through their service and creative work. The efforts of everyone at our college have generated a unique and enticing place—a place where a variety of disciplines, students, faculty, and staff can thrive, while doing our part to reflect the University’s aims and values in the world through design. I look forward to seeing what more we can create in the year, and years, ahead.

Amelia Narigon and Trevor Miller


Calee Cecconi

copy editor

Sharon Grimes

college leadership

Carol Strohecker, dean; Marilyn DeLong, associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for research and engagement; Kate Maple, assistant dean for student services; Trevor Miller, assistant dean for advancement and information technology

academic unit heads

Missy Bye, Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel; Joe Favour, Department of Landscape Architecture; Marc Swackhamer, School of Architecture

college of design advisory board

Stuart Ackerberg, Michael Alexin, Dan Avchen, Maurice Blanks, Roberta Bonoff, Mark Butler, Jay Cowles, Pat Cummens, Jo Davison, Kelly Gage, Mary McNellis, Tom Meyer, Sandy Morris, Dave Norback, Paul Reyelts, Mark Swenson, Gary Tushie, and Burt Visnick

our mission

Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, the College of Design at the University of Minnesota leads, innovates, and educates in the full range of design fields by researching ongoing and emerging issues, exploring new knowledge, and addressing and solving real-world problems, all while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable, and collaborative design thinking. Emerging is published fall and spring semesters by the University of Minnesota College of Design for alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college. This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please call 612-624-9751. Send address changes to Emerging is available online at The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.


Carol Strohecker, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean College of Design


On the cover: (Top) Project by recent B.D.A. graduate, Michael Canniff. (Bottom) work by Mikaela Armstrong and Kellen Renstrom from the DesignBats exhibition at the Larson Gallery.

Emerging Magazine > Fall 2017  

Stories about alumni, students, and faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Design.

Emerging Magazine > Fall 2017  

Stories about alumni, students, and faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Design.