Sustainable Design Project Reflection
In the sustainable design project, I think I grew the most in initiative, which is weird because last semester that was my struggle. There was a time when I was watching my group members tighten a cable clamp and it wasn't supposed to be tightened, so instead of letting it slide until they found out, I jumped in and stated the problem. I felt I grew because when I noticed something wrong or thought about a better way to do something, I didn't just let it pass by and say, “Oh it will be fine”. I actually took the time to talk to my group members about it and solve the problems to make our project beautiful.
But, I struggled with independent research. I couldn't do anything without my group members. I was working on painting and my group left to help another group, and when they left I just didn't feel as motivated to paint. If I didn't have my group with me, I wouldn't have gotten anything done. I need to grow in independent research so that when I do need to do something on my own, I can succeed.
We did hit some bumps in the road, however. When we started thinking about hanging our owl house in the tree, we noticed that we didn't have enough cables and they were not the right length. So mygroup and I came up with a new idea of how to hang it in a different tree using the materials we did had.Overall, there wasn't really a problem we couldn't solve.
When I started this project, I thought success would be beautiful-- an owl house with a garden on top and bottom. We wanted it to be cross wired to trees so it was suspended in the air, lots of color and aesthetically pleasing features, and to have a luxurious interior with lots of room inside.
Now success to us is the product that we come out with. We are happy and proud of what we made. We think success is what we make. We came pretty dang close to what we had in mind at the beginning. We got a little stressed when it came down to the last few days of the project, so we took a few shortcuts (not recommended).
This project was amazing and opened new doors for students. If I had to give advice to a student going into this project I would tell them not to worry or stress, just take your time and problem solve. If you start to get frustrated just step back and look at your project in a new way. We had a lot going on when we had to hang a 50 pound box in a 60 ft tree, but we always found new ways to complete it. You can flip your thought process and find new ways to solve problems.
The sustainable design project was probably the biggest freshman project of the year. All of the freshman split into groups based on their ideas for a design. Each group was going to make a sustainable addition to the campus. When I got into my group, we all were interested in the owl box design. I thought the project was going to be super fun with just a little frustration, which it was. I also thought it would be super beneficial for our school.
The sustainable design field trips really helped me get a feel for what sustainable design is and how to see things in a new perspective. The turtle lake refuge was the field trip that really got me thinking about how sustainable design is going to start getting more and more important as our society continues. The guest speakers were a good help, but the visuals I got on the field trips helped a lot more.
After this project sustainable design to me is being able to create something that can be used over and over for generations to come.
We did empathy interviews where we asked teachers and students about their experiences at animas. I got about 4 interviews done. I asked the people three or four simple questions and recorded there answer. A lot of the answers to my questions were about how students are trashing the campus. Leaving trash and defacing school property. This kinda sparked my vision of making something beautiful.
Before i started the owl house i had no idea that is what i wanted to do. I started out with an idea for a skate park. Then me and one other student joined the owl group because it was something special and different. When i joined and we started brainstorming ideas, my head was filled with ideas because it was such a broad subject.
We just had a very small idea if what we really wanted to do, so we came up with something remotely in the ballpark and just got to it. We started right away with getting all the wood for the structure and cut them. Then we put everything together with little issue. Paint was next. This was by far the longest process of the whole project. We had a few mistakes so we had to let the paint dry so we could re do it. We attached the cables to the coroners and it was ready to hang.