Professor Emerita Becky Yust didn’t intend to pursue a career in academia. Originally set on becoming an interior designer, the advice and support she received from professors led her to pursue a career as an educator. During her time in higher education, Yust has served as a professor, program chair, department head, and even the College of Design’s interim dean. Over the course of her career, she’s mentored countless students, faculty members, and staff, helping them to find their own paths. After almost five decades of service, Yust celebrated her last semester at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in May 2022. In this interview, she reflects on her career, the challenges she faced, and shares advice for academics and designers.
From tackling the user experience design of the Metaverse to developing customized pediatric respiratory masks, our faculty are conducting research across the design fields and beyond. This spring, 12 faculty members received grants from the University’s Imagine Fund, which supports innovative research in the arts, humanities, and design fields.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a physical heart defect that begins in the womb, impacting around 40,000 children born in the U.S. each year. Seeking to improve education for diagnosed children and their families, Drs. Amr El-Bokl and Gurumurthy Hiremath (Department of Pediatrics, UMN medical school), partnered with the Product Design program, where they collaborated with undergraduate student Levi Skelton (Product Design) and Dr. Carlye Lauff (Assistant Professor, Product Design) to create a product for teaching children about CHD and easing parental stress.
Keeping goods in a circle of reuse is one of the easiest ways consumers can help reduce waste and save money. But understanding product life cycles and the positive impact of reuse can be daunting for consumers who want to get started. Retail merchandising students in RM 3124: Consumers of Design joined forces with the Hennepin County Choose to Reuse team to research solutions for helping consumers prioritize reuse over purchasing new.
You can’t break something that is already broken. Understanding this piece of wisdom is the first step in the process of repair and part of the foundation for a new freshman seminar in the College of Design, DES 1408: Dare to Repair.
Launched in fall 2020, the College of Design’s Design Justice Initiative was founded to create space, policies, and practices within the college that support the inclusion and retention of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other historically underinvested communities. A year after its founding, the initiative has launched a number of events and programs to help forward its work.
In 1972, Clinton Navarro Hewitt was hired at the University of Minnesota and quickly promoted to Associate VP of Planning. For the next 37 years, Hewitt would shape the U of M’s campuses across the state through dozens of landmark building projects—including Scholar’s Walk, David M. Lilly Plaza, and the Weisman Art Museum—and impact the lives of countless students and colleagues. To celebrate his career of building community and expanding the field of landscape architecture, the Department of Landscape Architecture has worked with the UMN Archives to create the Clinton N. Hewitt archive.
The concept that science can and should be accessible to all is the grounding principle behind the Science Communication Lab at the University of Minnesota. Founded to provide interdisciplinary internship opportunities, the lab has consistently attracted College of Design undergraduate students interested in creating stories or media that make complex research and scientific topics accessible to the general public.
A collaboration between student-group AIAS Freedom by Design and the non-profit Settled has led to a brand new storage shed for the future Settled community at Mosaic Christian Community Church.
The College of Design is thrilled to have three award recipients featured in the 2021 Alumni Award Affair presented by the University and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA). All three recipients will be recognized during the UMAA Alumni Awards Affair on Thursday, September 23.