2020(S10) Lecture:week 1

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Week 1 Tuesday

Challenge: Project Runway

Instructions: Today you will design, build (i.e. fold) and launch a paper airplane. Your goal is to make a plane that travels further than anyones (we'll be comparing the resting spots for all the entries). Working in teams of 3, choose one person to be the designer, one to be the builder, and one to be the launcher. You can talk to each other at all stages but be sure each person does the assigned job and that someone takes notes of your work together (decisions, uncertainties, disagreements, expertise etc). Your team may use the internet if you want. The designer has one dollar to spend and your team must keep track of costs. No refunds will be issued for parts you do not use. In the event of a tie, cost and aesthetics will serve as the tie breaker. Relevant materials cost:

  • paper is 30 cents a sheet
  • paper clips are 10 cents each
  • scotch tape is 5 cents per 1 inch strip
  • pennies cost 20 cents each
  • a pencil costs 10 cents
  • scissors are unavailable
  • a test flight before the competition costs 30 cents.

Your team has 20 minutes to design and build a plane for the competition. If you are not ready to launch at this time, you will forfeit.

Why are we doing this??

Once "project runway" has launched and the winning design team has been recognized, we'll work as a class to add more ideas, questions and thoughts to this list.

  • from 2008: "this was as an exercise in engineering. We had to solve a given problem with limited time and resources, while working effectively as a team."
  • from 2008: "We ended up using my design choice because I am more stubborn. This is not a great success story in terms of teamwork, but it did produce the best plane in the class."
  • from 2009: "to give us a problem we might feel is more approachable"
  • from 2009: "the most complicated design isn't always the best. Simple works"
  • from 2009: "how different all the plane designs are, even starting with the same materials."
  • from 2009: " I think it was difficult to decide on rolls"

Homework for tomorrow's studio session

Draft a letter. Address this letter to someone(s) you care about. Your letter should introduce and describe a real world problem or opportunity, one that you have inherited, identified, dreamed about, or otherwise encountered, and that you would like to solve or realize. Your letter should explain why you feel the problem or opportunity is important, and what the consequences of success might be. You can focus on more than one issue, but each issue needs to be explained. Please print and bring your letter to the studio tomorrow. Time to complete this letter: 1 hour MAX.

Why are we doing this??

We're looking ahead to the project you and your team will design this term...the first step is for you to decide what you'd like to work on. This letter should start you thinking about your areas of interest. The letter will also be a way to talk with others about things that interest them. Maybe you'll hear an idea you never considered and want to investigate it further. Maybe you'll find someone with very similar concerns.