Description of the Project In the beginning of the project, my initial thoughts revolved around beautifying our campus because I always thought the campus has looked bland and “trashy.” In our first sustainable design field trips, I noticed all of their locations were aesthetically pleasing. I connected this with an excess of trash cans and recycling locations. Then I connected this to our school and how we could remove the excess of trash that was all over our campus. Finally, I realized that we have only two trash cans outside, resulting in lots of effort for students to put away garbage. As mentioned above, my main take away from the field trips and guest speakers was the large amount trash cans and recycling systems that kept their location clean. The time I noticed this was at Mana’s Soup Kitchen, where I noticed they had trash cans all over the perimeter. With the excess of trash cans I assumed that people were more inclined to clean up their mess than leave it. At Turtle lake Refuge I also noticed a distinct lack of trash on their property, even though they were right next to a road. Overall I made the assumption that more trash cans equals a clean property. Based on what I’ve learned in this project, the definition of sustainable design is the idea of designing a product or an environment to fit the needs of a society in the most ecological and safest way. The google definition states, “ Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability.” As you can see, my definition and the one on the internet are similar, this is because I believe that sustainable design is way of thinking rather than a physical object. Outdoor/Final Prototype Description The empathy interviews and observations helped me gather a list of needs and values that we implemented into our design. What I gathered from Ainsley, a freshman, was a need for nature, a clean environment, and more accessible trash cans. Our trash cans are a direct product of these needs and values. The trash cans both clean up the campus and are in locations around the school with nature. The first thing we did when beginning the actual buildings was an all school clean up. After our empathy interviews and observations we began our ideation process. I took advantage of the freedom to have many ideas about my trash can. I came up with mixing it with recycling and compost, making it animal proof, securing it to survive against nature. Out of the ideas I came up were combining the trash can with a recycling can and building a “cage” around it. These ideas allowed for beautification of the trash can system too. I came up the idea of using pallets to cage the trash cans because It would be easier and less labor intensive. Also the Juniors exhibition left hundreds of pallets without a home. Once Ethan and I began on the building of our project, I soon became the leader and came up the idea with using pallets. For example, I organized the pallets into a little area and separate them into singular ones. Then I painted the trash can with Ethan’s help. I painted recycling and trash logos to show where the trash and recycling go. Then I got Ainsley‘s help to paint little flowers and a sun on the side. I did this because there was a need for beautification around the school. We had planned the locations before hand to be where most people gathered outside, these included by the river, next to the west wing, behind the west wing, and behind the east wing.
Left: In this picture you can see the labels and the flower that was placed there. Also I painted the white floor boards.
Reflection Questions 1. Throughout the project, the 21st century skill I grew in was effective communication. As the leader in my group, effective communication was essential. I had to explain exactly what we had to do each day, how we would do that, and what materials we need. On our first day of building, I had to explain how the “cage” was built and where we would put them around the school. I personally feel that being an effective communicator is essential to being a leader. As there was only 2 people in our group, it is obvious that one would become the leader. 2. Throughout the project, the skill I needed to grow in was letting others take charge in the group part of the time. As stated above, I found myself in the position of the leader of my group, so I took charge the entire project. This resulted in Ethan not being able to make important decisions such as where they went and paint job. Ethan eventually got to decide on the paint job of one because I was sick for two days. While being a leader led our group to success, It’s possible we could have been even more successful if Ethan had had a more defining role in our group. But beside my sick days, I forgot to give Ethan a larger role. 3. In the course of this project, we had two minor problems that came up, one being sharing the limited supply of tools. In total, there was about five drills for the entire 9th grade class while working on the project. Our group alone needed two, one for drilling and one for screwing. This problem came up on tuesday last week, where the tree house group took all the drills except one. The way we solved the problem was to switch bits on the drills to fit the job at hand. Though it would have been slower, we could have also used a screwdriver. While drills are expensive, more drills or even better, initiative to share could increase productivity. Plus this problem only slowed us down on that day, but perhaps our two drills decreased productivity for another group. 4. The second problem that came up was that I got the flu for two days. This was following the lack of drills that slowed our progress, so for two days, not too much got done. Though I had a cough and sore throat on monday and tuesday, I still tried my hardest to work. But on wednesday through thursday, I was in bed, far away from my trash cans. But Ethan persevered and managed to complete the paint job of the one near the river. Overall, we weren’t unable to solve the problem, but it did slow our progress down for 2 days. Even though we had a sheet highlighting what needed to be done, those two days didn’t have much planned on either one. Now I understand both the benefits of smaller groups and the drawbacks. One drawback is that in case of an emergency, there is not many people who can keep the group steaming ahead. 5. In the beginning of this project, success in our eyes was completing several aesthetically pleasing trash cans in various locations. And for the most part, we are successful because we completed several trash cans in various locations. But only one of the three completed has a beautiful paint job, one has an unfinished black paint job, and one has no paint whatsoever. Plus, we ran out paint on that trash can, so it has a half-half paint job, resulting in a pretty ugly scene. Now I believe we could have finished the one without a paint job if I hadn't been sick. If other groups hadn't ruined it for the rest of us, we had another day planned to finish both of the unfinished paint jobs. Next time, I will strive to be in a larger group, but not too large, to complete more at once. 6. The advice I would give to a student who is about to begin this project is to choose a reasonable project that you can actually complete, don’t work with friends, and prove to your teachers you’re a reasonable young adult. I noticed that the groups who tried to complete large projects were the groups who ended up goofing off. My group successfully completed our goal because it was a reasonable one. Even though I worked with a friend on this project, I again saw the groups who worked with friends didn’t get much done. From a young age we are taught that with great freedom comes great responsibility. This is most true with Animas High School where we are given freedom to create beautiful work, but if you goof off, it will be taken away.