Week 5

Based on your life experience, skills and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?

There is a process to every project or design. First things first I always write down the design constraints to the problem. This helps me keep focused on the task at hand and what’s required for a fool-proof design. From here I make sure I have all the right tools for the job. I learned this from my dad who learned it from his. My grandfather used to say “If you don’t have the right tool for the job, go to the store and buy it.” It seems like a simple saying, but if you do not have the necessary tools or skills, odds are the the final result will be half-assed. From there I attack the project head on and get help on the problems that arise with whatever resources are available such as friends, books, or the web. Finally, I’ll get it reviewed by a superior for criticism and validation.

How will you validate your project concept, technology, usability, operational / business model?

I’ll validate my project the same way millions of people validate their decisions in life, by ensuring my work will positively affects more people than it harms. In the scope of this project, there is not much room to harm people, otherwise it would not be an effective sustainable development project. But to positively effect people for this project, we must complete the project to it’s end and its goals from the beginning. If we fall short on our goals it will be like we abandoned the women of the Co-op in Paradise Village, and that is a failure. For validation we must complete the task we set out to do and anything more than that is a plus.

Articulate your philosophy of engagement with communities, partners, and markets.

I am often described by my family as a “nice boy.” But what classifies nice? Being polite? Respecting others? Sure, but I strive for more than that. I want to be the type of person whose actions are impact hundreds in ways that people don’t often see. I enjoy the recognition for doing the right and honorable thing. It helps fulfill aspects of my ego, but its not my primary motive. Its the little things and attention to detail that go a long way. That being said I believe that compassion and awareness are cornerstones to my philosophy of engagement. One needs compassion to be dedicated and focused on benefiting those involved. Awareness goes along way because the needs and requirements of a project may not always be clear, but its my responsibility to be aware of all factors that make my projects go smoothly.

Week 4

Give three examples of how you can use nature as a model / mentor / measure for your own designs (and life).

As an electrical engineering student a lot of my projects and homework deal with circuit and design in general. I can use the complexity of the design of nature to inspire well-crafted but complex circuit designs. More importantly, the wonders of nature can clear my mind and distract me from my designs which would improve my creativity and efficiency in the long run. Nature is a mentor for my life in another way when I’m out skiing. When skiing on an impressive mountain you can be as creative as you want to be but you always must stay in control which is true always in life.

Pick one of Life’s Principles. Explain how you might apply it to your work and life (could be unrelated to your GSIF projects)

Resiliency is a very important factor for engineering. An example of resiliency in electrical engineering is a project my father worked on. His company got a job working for three different hospitals in the Bronx. Their role was to integrate generators into the the circuiting and power lines for each hospital as well as interconnecting the power lines of all three hospitals. The purpose of this was that if one hospital lost power, the other two hospitals could reroute power to the other. This would prevent the hospital from having to move patients and lower the risk of death of critical patients. This investment from the hospitals could save them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How do you envision integrating the Cradle to Cradle Design concept into your project (and life)? Give one compelling example.

The Cradle to Cradle idea is directly ingrained into our project. The idea I took from the video was that resources follow a cycle and will always become useful for something else.  For Project Plastikan, we plan to build machines that will turn plastic waste into valuable goods. We are using plastic waste as the input to our machines, plastic waste that was previously used for water bottles, detergent bottles, bins, etc. So we have created goods from plastic, but can these goods be reused for anything else? Well the beautiful thing about plastic recycling is, is that you can recycle plastic forever as long as it remains properly sorted.

Give three examples of something very interesting you learned from a friend that was a completely alien concept to you.

-One thing I learned first hand was the freeze-dried meals are actually quite tasty. A family friend of mine is super into hiking, camping, and adventure. When he goes camping he’ll often have freeze-dried meals for dinner where boiled water is the only addition you need.  There are a few meals that aren’t too tasty (lasagna), but some are delicious (beef stroganoff).

-Life can be better from some people with drugs that are often frowned upon. A friend of mine lived a long life of drug use, especially nicotine, followed by a very long stint of being sober.  Post the sober period he retook nicotine use because he was able to maintain a better mental state and general happiness with nicotine. This mentality is definitely not the norm or the suggested path but interesting that it worked for someone.

-Third one is that Zion Williamson, a freshman basketball player for Duke University, would be the second heaviest player in the NBA if he joined right now. This blew my mind because this guy can dunk the ball with such easy as he can jump and extend his hand well above the rim. He weighs in at 285 pounds which is insane for a 18 year old kid.