Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 1

Well, this is going to be a really interesting course.

I won't go into every detail but, like I had thought, it was interesting working with students from other disciplines. Well, actually, the architects in the course had methodologies pretty similar to the designers. A very hands on, try it and make prototypes, it's ok to fail while you work out the final design kind of thinking. It was cool to see and it makes total sense that both the architecture school and the art & design school share a building. The engineering prof, Max Shtein, made an interesting point about the disparity of knowledges that the different disciplines had, say he started talking about 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, only 2/3rds of the class (designers and architects)would really understand what he was talking about. But if he asked us to differentiate some equation, probably only 1/3rd (engineers) would know what to do. ( Wonder if can do that anymore, doubt it).

On an unrelated note, go to Professor Shtein's page (link on his name) and check out his picture, looks like a high school yearbook photo. Love it.

We had a mini one day exercise where we were split into teams (2 engineers, 2 designers, and 2 architects)and we had to move sand from location to location (using gravity) leaving a certain amount of sand at each location. It was actually quite fun, and used materials that we creative types are quite familiar with, cardboard and duct tape primarily. The sand started up high and worked it's way down to the different locations. We were judged on things like efficency, durability and spectacle. We went big on the spectacle part. We made a sling shot to shoot the sand up to a funnel that divided the sand out and moved it through tunnels to the different locations. It was awesome. So much potential for failure, but so cool.

Testing the angle sand would slide down cardboard at.

Matt and I were responsible for the slingshot, we tested the tension needed to throw a cup full of sand 4 feet. Answer, quite a bit.

Building the sand holders, like 5 minutes before we presented. It was tight, but worked!

So our design worked, but we were penalized for having to much human interaction. Basically we ran out of time to build a support structure for our funnel and tunnels and had to hold it up ourselves. Out of the 4 teams, ours was actually the only one that really worked and successfully got the sand to each location. I think that was because, besides the slingshot, we actually kept our design simple. Since we were working with cardboard, we kept the whole thing simple with minimal moving parts and thus, once the sand was in the funnel there was less of a chance for cascading failure. You know, once we got past the whole flinging sand thing.

We are now moving on to Arduino, a computer processing language I think. I've had no experience with this at all and I'm a bit nervous/excited. We have to make LED's light up for homework. Here we go!

Thanks for reading!

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