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Higher Education : Development News

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"Inspired at Blu" brings student design to downtown Mpls

Now showing on the large digital wall in the swanky lobby of the Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown is a selection of work by Michelle Bowitz, a senior in the graphic design BFA program in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. In a novel collaboration, the hotel and the college have created an artist-in-residence program called “Inspired at Blu.” Bowitz was the first student artist selected.
About her work, Bowitz says: “Curiosity and motivation keep me learning and growing as a designer everyday. All of my work speaks to who I am today; pulling from personal experiences and techniques I have learned throughout my years studying design. Minneapolis has been an incredible source of creativity and inspiration. I’m extremely excited to continue my life’s journey living, working and exploring in this beautiful city.”
Every six weeks, Blu’s digital wall — a design focal point in the hotel lobby — will come alive with a different student’s display. “Inspired at Blu” will rotate through all of the design programs in the college, including architecture, landscape architecture and product design. After Bowitz's graphic designs, "Inspired at Blu" will show work from the college's apparel design program. The collaboration is the first between a hotel and the college.
“It is important to us that our guests experience a true sense of place when they visit and we wanted to not only elevate that experience, but also further connect with the vivacious art community that Minneapolis boasts,” said Steven Lindburg, general manager, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown, in a press release. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the College of Design, University of Minnesota, to provide emerging artists a platform to showcase their original art within the city.”
The jurors who selected Bowitz’s work include Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown management; College of Design faculty; Emmet Byrne, design director, Walker Art Center; Heather Soladay Olson, founder and marketing director, Soladay Olson | Marketing for Creatives; and Barbara Redmond, creative director & designer, Barbara Redmond Design.

Later this spring, the hotel hopes to expand "Inspired at Blu" to gallery spaces in the skyway to show 3D work.

At Normandale Community College, a $1.5 million data center is in the works

Like many other schools, Normandale Community College, which serves Southwest Minneapolis and beyond, is faced with an increasing demand for technology.
To deal with that, and to give the school a competitive advantage, Normandale is planning a new $1.5 million data center.

This month, the design phase for the center will begin, while the school is still looking for a construction manager, according to Ed Wines, the school’s vice president of finance and operations.

The data center will go into a 20-foot by 28-foot space that's currently a classroom in the College Services Building.

It'll be a "hub housing network servers and blades that provide Internet, telephone, and other digital services for the campus," he says via email.

That's needed because the school's 400-square-foot "server room" has run its course. "It has become entirely inadequate due to the increased use of technology and a growing college enrollment over the past decade,” Wines says.  

A report from the Eden Prairie-based Parallel Technologies, Inc. states that the existing facility is over-taxed when it comes to power and cooling.

The improved data center will provide “more reliable service, an increased connected transmission speed, space for scalable growth, and space for collaboration” with affiliated institutions, he says.

In the long run, it'll also help the school save money, improve server system efficiency, and keep pace with technological advances. It puts Normandale in a position to “expand online resources, improve support for instructors, and provide a marketable resource to attract new students,” the report also states.

“Creating a more robust and reliable data center on campus provides the school with ultimate control of their environment and the ability to provide shared services to other MnSCU campuses” in its network, the report goes on to say.  

The center will open this November.

Source: Ed Wines, vice president of finance and operations, Normandale Community College
Writer: Anna Pratt
2 Higher Education Articles | Page:
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