A Closer Look: Changes in Cina Hall

A Closer Look: Changes in Cina Hall

The remodeling of Cina Hall is almost finished. While there are still developments to come, those walking through Cina’s first floor are taking in noticeable changes, including the floral print on the floor, the bright orange coloring and the accent wood pieces.

The large flowers on the floor of Cina are representative of traditional American Indian beadwork and are similar to the symbol the American Indian Studies program uses.

These designs weren’t made in haste or on a whim, but rather were thought out and purposeful.

Photo by  Brett Groehler/UMD Photographer

Photo by Brett Groehler/UMD Photographer


“There was a large group of us from different departments who worked together on the idea of connecting and bringing together an American Indian focus to Cina,” Jill Doerfler, American Indian Studies Department Head, said.


“It’s iconic,” Doerfler said. “It introduces a contemporary vibrancy of Native cultures today.”

Orange is the prominent color that runs through the hallway. It complements both warm and cool tones in the design, an important point in the decision to use that color.

“The color was pulled from the dark bark wood display in the hallway and is used as an accent, primarily on the eastern walls, to evoke the sunrise. It reminds us to start each new day with optimism,” Doerfler said. “The color orange creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.”

The wooden accent wall that displays the bark wood was sustainably harvested, an important aspect of the renovation.

“It adds an architectural feature and brings texture to the wood panels while adding natural elements,” Doerfler said.

At the end of the hallway where Cina meets Humanities, currently blocked off due to continuing construction, there will be a bar-type study area for students. The bar will consist of maple from a fallen tree.

The flooring that connects Cina and Humanities was laid down to look like basket weaving, another representation of Native culture.

Other details to come of the Cina remodeling include a student study area with chairs as well as a conference room that will display all of the flags of the tribal nations in Minnesota.

“The goal was to create an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable atmosphere for Natives and also provide opportunities for non-Natives to be exposed to a Native presence on a regular basis,” Doerfler said. “The design reminds visitors that American Indian programs and peoples are a significant part of UMD.”

Phase one of Cina is complete, but there is still more to come. As the American Indian Studies program takes residence in Cina and is now visually represented in the building, the incorporation of the American Indian Learning Resource Center and the Tweed Museum to Cina Hall is a long-term goal.

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