Overall, I believe that the two best things about going through the experience of this project were getting practice at thinking creatively and solving problems. No aspect of this project had an easy answer and it was up to me to find a solution that would work. Sometimes these answers were harder than others to come up with, such as the method for hanging the boards on the wall and I am happy with the solution that I was finally able to design.
I am disappointed that I was unable to finalize permission and requirements from Housing & Dining and/or Facilities Management to move forward with this project, but my motivation is still strong! I really do believe in my vision for these boards to be great first-year engineering student projects next academic year, and also do not foresee any reason that permission will not be given. The project proposal that I have written should be adequate for a future meeting with Facilities and the Engineering Honors Program Director.
This is the main disappointment that I have with what I was able to design: the current metal picture frame lacks the ability to be highly customized. A big aspect of the original project intent was to make a design which would allow each floor’s board to be highly unique from each other. With the design that I ended with, I feel that the boards are still very unique, but it will be hard to make them highly unique from each other. There is no longer a way for these currently designed boards to allow for the sharing of personal stories based on the composition of the respective floor’s students.
Communication should always be a top priority in projects between multiple groups or entities. I might have been able to make more progress with setting up additional meeting if I had communicated my needs better to the Hall Director in my initial meetings and emails. Additionally, it is a great idea to never slow down while designing. Once a solution is found, or a road block encountered, keep moving!
Beyond continuing to see when a meeting with Facilities will be possible, all aspects of the future work for this project revolve around designing different frames for the glass. These different frames would be constructed out of different materials and most likely be easier to customize. A non-commercial metal frame is desirable because it will allow for greater customization by each future student team.