In this project our goal was to use knowledge that we had gained through guest speakers, and interviews with users of the current Animas High School facilities. We were given Sketchup a resource to design our shared space, and design our floor plans of the new school campus. We also had to come up with a detailed budget, and written proposal of what the features that we included in the design. We then used all of this information and tried the best we could to incorporate it into the design of a new Animas High School facility. We made rough draft presentations, and then presented and got feedback from the public in an exhibition. After that we made final posters based off of the suggestions we got. We learned also how to make realistic renderings of our Sketchup designs. We did this with groups of 4 students to in the end create a Photoshopped poster to be printed out, and presented to the board of directors of Animas High School.
We, the 9th grade students and Animas High school embarked on an epic project to design a new school for ourselves, our teachers, and our peers. In our student design project we first started by coming up with lists of different types of current users, and people who are impacted by the current school building. We then generated types of feedback that we would be looking for from these audiences to further our understanding of what changes, in comparison to our current school building, would be the most impactful. Then we took this feedback and created prototypes in Sketchup, floor plans, and popsicle stick buildings. We held an exhibition where we gathered feedback on our prototypes from the audience. We then took this feedback and incorporated it into our final designs.
During this process, I learned about the intricacies of human-centered design and through some frustrations learned that trusting the process can be quite helpful. What was frustrating about the process was how much prototyping goes into the final product. This was not something I really understood until I experienced putting just as much time and effort into the prototypes as the final product. I also learned a lot about how to create high quality renderings as well as how to use Sketchup well. Effectively (not always efficiently) create good looking spaces through 3d programs. These skills cannot be easily forgotten. I think I learned a lot about the more experimental types of sustainable building practices such as the ability to grow walls out of mushroom spores.
I think that this project seems to me to be the most in-depth and lengthy one I have ever encountered. I had to collaborate with more group members over a longer period of time than I had before. Through this process, I have progressed with my communication and continue to strive to improve the way I relate to group members. The times when I get calls from group members letting me know that my communications were not clear, really help me to recognize my shortcomings and improve. I think I can still improve my collaboration in group environments because I tend to be very self-centered, and not allow for others’ ideas. I think our group often was very confused about the best way to run the group because we didn't have anyone taking a strong leadership role.
I think that it is important that students around the globe get a say in the design of the space where they spend a large portion of their younger years. Although at this point this dream can not be achieved in many countries. I think could be achieved in schools around the USA and other more developed countries. In situations where students can choose how their educational space is designed and are asked to take into consideration not just their needs but the needs of other users as well, I think the space will better serve the needs of all populations. When needs are met in an authentic way, effective learning cannot help but follow.