A Portfolio of Research Through Making

about me


A never-before explored insight of my history as it correlates with my quite possibly untrue and exaggerated memory.  Here, I have returned to my roots by writing a forty-page book that acts as a call and response expository of a song that I had the opportunity to author with five other talented ladies at Raquette Lake Girls Camp in the summer of 2015.


This piece taught me how to be reflective.  And through doing so, it helped me to have more appreciation of who and what I’ve become as a result of where I came from.


To hear my story, go ahead and start at page 1.  If the story is old news to you, then fast forward to the last couple of pages of the book.  Here, I have written a number of very deserved acknowledgements to some particularly special people in my life.  And at the very end, you will find a letter to my best friend of a dog.  The letter has helped me to come to terms with her death. 



why i write

design portfolio


A never-before collected composition of photographs and memories of my family’s dog named Holly Petersen.  She lived from October 25th of 2007 to August 31 of 2015.  Holly died because of an Autoimmune Disorder that progressively killed the healthy parts of her body. 


The hardest part about it all is when I forget that she’s gone.  I sometimes almost ask about how the dog is doing when I call home to my parents.  I cut myself off because I don’t want to break their hearts.  Other times, I think about finally going home for Christmas Break and taking the dog for a walk or sitting in front of the fireplace with her.  I start to plan out all of the things that we will do together when I get back but the list gets cut short when reality catches up to me. 


My biggest fear is that I will forget the little things about our puppy.  I wanted to know that the memories had been taken care of so that, rather than thinking of her in fear of loosing what’s left, I can remember her in comfort.  And this very book served as my opportunity to do so.


To hear her story, go ahead and start at page one.  If the story is old news, then feel free to forward yourself towards the end of the book.  Here, I’ve recorded some of the last encounters of our beloved dog.  They might find you as tearjerkers but those pages are worth your time to check out, I promise.

This is a chance to see me in another of my natural environments.  I love to write.  But I like to design, too.  My motivation for applying to Sweetland’s Minor in Writing program was to connect these two passions of writing and designing. 


Scroll your mouse over the “design portfolio” tab up at the top right of this page.  Under this tab you’ll find two options.  One is to look at my architecture design collective.  The other is a compilation of my design related writings. 

My name is Caroline Petersen. I am a sophomore in University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and a Minor in Writing student within the universities Sweetland Center for Writing.  

Over this past semester, I've spent a decent amount of my time trying to learn about how to learn.  And through trial and error, among a number of other alternative methods, I came to realize that I learn best through making.  So I made a lot of stuff these past few months and here, in this very portfolio, I have found a place for me to put all of this stuff on display.

I invite you to be critical of my collected works.  Also, though, I invite you to learn from my learning.  Let this body of "stuff" be as constructive for you as it has been for me.  


An expository on my experiences with writing.  Oftentimes, it is hard for me to know what I am writing about or why I am writing something before or during the process of drafting it.  For this piece, though, the opposite held true.  I really just had the chance to be analytical through writing about all of the other things I find myself writing.  

In short, I write for two reasons:

1. for storage of memory


2. for development and furthering of understanding.

And by writing for both of these reasons, I am able to achieve my grander goal of spreading positivity through sharing my stories.  Ultimately, I see my writing as something that is a concrete recollection of thoughts that I have articulated at times in my past.  I know, though, that my reasons for writing can and will change. 

Becoming and being a writer is a process of fluid concepts.  I am who I am and that changes from day to day and my writing style is a direct response to those changes.