Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

Wk 4: Phase 1 Reflection

Response due at the beginning of class on 9/10 by each individual (not a team answer).

Congrats on finishing the first stage of your Cottages at Hilltop! The learning objectives for the first stage of this project were as follows:

  • Establish a design team that works together, has trust and can advance the project by sharing work responsibility.
  • To develop an understanding of a sustainable design team.
  • To work within client restraints while simultaneously improving on the clients existing design agenda.
  • To focus on the design process of planning, programming and schematics.
  • To focus on floor plan relationship (adjacency) to the site plan.
  • To design an efficiency size floor plan.
  • To begin working with the complex concept of sustainable design.
  • To begin working with a type of sustainable design which is LEED for Homes.
  • To design a presentation concept board that focuses on programming and process.
  • To build confidence in your design agenda (i.e. your ability to explain why you made the design decision you did).

Your assignment for Wk 4 is to reflect on the work  you’ve done during these past four weeks.  Please answer the following 4 questions:

  1. List the skills you have developed or improved that are beneficial towards your career interests?
  2. What are the benefits to working in a team on this project?
  3. What  skills have you contributed in the group (can be everything from your technically skills to organizational skill to your diplomacy, etc..)?
  4. You’ve had 4 weeks worth of exposure to sustainable design concepts – what are your current thoughts regarding sustainable design?

Please be sure to take the time to enjoy your accomplishments thus far on this project.  You’ve all been patient with the allowing the design process to build and you’ve been very present in your current tasks.  I’m looking forward to beginning Phase II of the project and starting Design Development.


Filed under: Residential Interiors, Sustainable Design, Weekly Assignment

18 Responses

  1. Kimberly Love says:

    1) During the past few weeks, I have learned to be out of control of the design, which in a class of individual projects is an eyeopener. In entry-level positions especially, I wouldn’t have free reign over designs I helped create. Knowing how to give up a little of the possession is a trait I will have to use once I begin my career. Patience comes with that too. Also, I’ve done a lot more research than I had before. For either of my avenues (set design or historic preservation) I will have to do a lot of research for each project. I am comfortable now with places to look and ways to use the research. I liked being LEED PM because I think LEED certification is important, and if I begin historic preservation, I would definitely like to be certified, so I’m learning what LEED is all about and how to implement the requirements into the design.

    2) I think everyone in our Studio KP was pretty pleased when we got further in to the programming and floor plan stage and realized that with four brains working on one problem, we were able to come up with good ideas quickly because we had four different ways to approach it. When one person had an idea, we would try it out and could determine quickly if it was going to work, if it didn’t we went to the next suggestion. Some of the group members came up with ideas that I would have never thought of. We had an even mix of right brained and left brained people and that helped come up with the best plans.

    3) I’ve been told by my group that where they have big ideas, I pull it back down to reality. I think this is my major contribution to the design of the cottage. As designers, we allow our creativity to run rampant. After my internship this summer with a designer/contractor, I have been focusing on how feasible my cool ideas are, in execution and in price. I want to make sure that our design ideas can be accomplished before we get too far down the road and figure out there’s no way to do it, so I look at everything from every perspective – building, materials, resale. I think I also like putting personal touches on things (that may come from my former yearbook editor mindset). I wanted to see if all of the fonts were the same- between the board and the LEED manual to make sure there is cohesion.

    4) I think sustainable design is essential in the progression of design. It’s important to understand what effect the built environment has on the planet, but it is even more important that people who are concerned about environmental issues such as global warming and diminishing natural resources can afford to contribute to the cause. I think that decreasing the production costs and and increasing awareness will help sustainable design to flourish. Green design has been deemed, for lack of a better phrase, a type of “tree hugger” aesthetic full of hemp, boho bags, and soy. I believe sustainable design has come far enough that t includes everyone that has a typical traditional, transitional, or contemporary style.

  2. Katherine Platzer says:

    1. The main skill that I have developed has been learning to delegate tasks to my group members. I am usually uncomfortable in telling people what to do or how to do things. But in my career, I will be working in a group setting and will have to be able to tell my fellow designers my thoughts and opinions on the work that has been created. I am also learning what information is important to file and what information is not so important to keep. I am also learning to trust myself in the decisions that I make and I am starting to be confident in my reasoning for certain choices. I have also learned that the system that I use to organize must make sense to my group as well because they will be constantly using that information.

    2. One of the main benefits of working in a group goes back to the old saying “2 heads are better than one”. Usually when someone has an idea that doesn’t work, someone else can come up with a similar idea that does work. We also have a couple of people in our group that can keep us grounded. Overall, specifically our group has a great mix of talents. Each person works off of one another and the great ideas keep building and building. Also, coming from all different backgrounds, we all have different experiences from our personal life. So we can all brings different things to the table and help fill in some information that might be missing from other group members.

    3. I think the biggest thing that I have contributed to my group is the organization aspect. I love to stay organized and I think that I have done a good job of keeping up with the paperwork and necessary items needed to further the process. Also, I like to think that I can keep my team stress level at a minimum. I am good at constantly reminding them of what a good job we are all doing and how we should not be worried. I also think I am more of the technical person than the aesthetic person which helps a lot being a PM. My group has given me great information and I think that I am able to tie all the pieces together to create a cohesive idea that the whole group can understand.

    4. As Megan stated in the beginning of the semester, I am trying to think of sustainable design as just “design”…not another aspect of design. It should be something that is implemented in all homes and shouldn’t be thought of as a different type of design. It is also a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. There is a lot to think about when designing a sustainable/LEED home and I now know that i have a lot more to learn. I have learned that there are so many technical aspects and it is not just black and white. Although sustainable design can be complicated at times, I do think some of it is common sense and things that as human beings, we would want to implement in a community for other human beings to live healthy and satisfying lives.

  3. Lauren Lee says:

    1. The most valuable asset which I have gained over this experience is the ablity to work with others effectively. I believe both Kimberly and Katherine where hinting at the idea, and I could not agree with them more. Unfortunatley, we have not been able to work with others on very many projects during our education, and this experience has taught me to trust my group members completely. It has been a challenge for me personally since I like to have my hand in everything, but after working with my group, I trust them completely. I have enjoyed working as Studio KW’s CAD/Renderer; the girls in my group are extremely supportive and are able to give constructive critcism which not only betters the project, but betters me as a designer. So far I have been able to work on my speed in AutoCAD, and this was also my first time creating a complete digital board.

    2. As I mentioned previously, I believe learning to work within a group is a vital skill to have in today’s work force. While interning, I worked with individual designers on projects; however in the middle of the week, the multi-family department would have a meeting and discuss design issues. Not only were all of the designers able to display their ideas, but they were able to get feed back and ideas would be placed on the table to better the design. On several occasions, a couple of designers would work on a large job. I was able to see that two people working toward a design concept can create more functional, efficient, and creative designs than an individual. All-in-all Studio KW has been able to work together to create well thoughtout designs. We have been able to bring all of our design ideas and style and incorporate them in our concepts. Whenever one group member is looking for inspiration, another is able to offer a work of advice.

    3.Studio KW is a well-balanced group; each person brings a different talent to the design table: Katie brings organization, Margaret brings curiosity/intuition, and Addision brings creativity. I believe I bring technicality to the team. I am quick when it comes dowtn to inputting information into the computer and making sure all of the loose ends are tied up in the final product. I am sure to check calculations in the computer to ensure the structure is correctly assemebled and designed. I also work with the team to make sure the final product expresses the final design in the correct fashion.

    4.As time goes on, I am becoming more and more interested in “sustainable” design. I was a little wary of the idea in the beginning; however as I learn more about the concept, I understand that “sustainable” does not exactly mean “green.” It encompasses so much more than that. We have to not only look into what and how materials are implemented, but how the overall design effects the client. I have also learn that it is important to create spaces which can be used for several different purposes which can accomadate several differnt types of family sizes and backgrounds. “Sustainable design” can mean several different options, and the actual sustianablity can be assocaited many different elements, such as location, surrounding communities, materials used, how the home is built, etc. I see the importance of the design concepts, and I would like to implement sustainablity in all of my designs.

  4. Addison Ruffin says:

    1) The number one skill that I have developed through this project is the ability to work on a team/ in a group. We have never had a project in which we were able to work together and i think that this skill will be invaluable when it comes to the future and my career. I have learned a lot about taking and giving direction and that is something that i think will be particularly useful in the years to come. Also, I have improved my ability to take criticism and to make adjustments to my work based on the suggestions of others. I have realized the importance of completing tasks that you are in charge of and being on time for meetings. So far this experience has been very helpful!

    2)The number one benefit of working on a team is the amount of available brain power! There are so many fresh ideas. Everyone can work together to solve problems and the process becomes much easier. Also, it becomes evident early one that certain people are best at certain tasks. This is very helpful because each task can then be done very well. Team KW has been doing very well as far as dividing tasks and being involved in the overall process. The different opinions that working in a team provides will ultimately lead to a unique product.

    3)Each team member has made their own contributions to the group. For example, Lauren is VERY good at CAD and has made our drawings look amazing! My contributions have been in the design stage. I have worked laboriously to produce working floor plans that meet each of the given requirements. I have been organized and timely with my work and i think that has helped my team to stay on track. I have provided the team with research on other floor plans and presented those ideas to the group in order to suggest advancements with our finished floor plan.

    4)I think that sustainable design is more necessary than i had imagined. I have now realized that each and every thing that we do as designers and as people has an effect on the world around us. Also, I have realized the importance of educating the public about sustainable practices. This idea became especially important to me when we considered the fact that just because a product says it sustainable, doesn’t mean it is. The ideas of considering the shipping costs of items to determine some of their impact on the community is key. Sustainable design is available in a wide range of products and for variety of styles. I hope to continue to find more and more of these products and be able to implement them.

  5. Tiffany Ward says:

    1. Since beginning the Cottages at Hilltop project and jumping into our group work, I definitely feel like I am more prepared to work in a design team setting. I am admittedly not the best at dealing with “group work;” my type-A, control freak personality tends to worry way too much about all the aspects of the project instead of just trying to handle my portion of the work to the best of my ability and trusting the rest of the group members to handle theirs until they call on me for help. I feel like our group has established a nice stride though, and I feel much more relaxed and comfortable. I think we’ve found a nice balance between being there for each other but also staying out of each other’s way.
    Additionally, I have learned so much about the research and planning portion of design. I always knew that as a designer it was important for me to cater to my client’s needs, but now I realize that those needs go way beyond aesthetics. In the future, I will need to think about a multitude of issues—site location in relation to amenities, upkeep of materials, even to the background of why my client might be doing a remodeling job in the first place. I never realized the familiarization aspect of the design industry was so in-depth.

    2. No doubt, there’s just entirely too much work to do for one person to be responsible for all of this information. When I was doing my internship this summer, my coordinator and I were both working on one room remodel, and there was a lot to deal with between the two of us. I cannot imagine doing this Cottages and Hilltop project by myself or with just one other person. For one, I am not great at all the skills required on this project. I could do well enough with LEED to get by I think, but Alice is passionate about the topic and is doing a much better job than I could. Same with Katie and Meredith—they have an eye for organization and aesthetics! Maybe I could get these tasks done but not as well as they have. Also, the team work dynamic has been important to our planning phase. When roughing out floor plans, we started out individually doodling, and then, we all sat down together and flushed some issues out. It’s amazing how we all have had the same classes at UGA, but we all see design so differently. Hopefully, the collaboration will make for some interesting plans!

    3. Obviously, I hope my team thinks I have done a nice job with AutoCAD because that is my favorite part of design. Additionally, I hope that they saw that I do not feel like I am above any sort of work that will help the group out. Whether it was volunteering to do case studies, brainstorm about power point slides, or organize the sketches, I tried to be willing to do anything I could to help out. Finally, I hope my team felt like I was willing to compromise. Again, my type-A personality likes to get “my way,” but my team members are such smart competent designers, I usually always wanted to compromise with them to get to the best design.

    4. How do I feel about sustainable design? That is an interesting question that I thought about driving home last Friday. Right now, I probably have a love-hate relationship with LEED. Honestly, I think LEED is overly complicated. For me, it’s just not user-friendly enough yet. When I think about it, it probably is not supposed to be. That’s why we have LEED Project Managers, to keep things dealing with sustainability in check so everyone does not have to. But I just feel as though LEED is not even friendly enough to inspire enough people to check into it. I believe in high standards, but just maybe all the pre-requisites are too demanding. I would actually like to see another agency introduce another set of standards that are—while maybe not as prestigious—more amiable to the average Joe. I think we as a whole society have to work to change our issues with sustainability; it can’t just be all about a select few who are gung-ho. It has to be simply “important enough” to the masses.
    With that said, I am very intrigued by LEED. I think it is a well thought out campaign that could be an asset for my in my future endeavors. I am working on finding a deeper emotional connection to sustainability. As I wrote in one of my essays, right now, I try to employ sustainable habits when it is convenient for me. I would like to get more conscious in the future, and really start thinking and doing things in a sustainable manner for the greater general good.

  6. Laura Murdock says:

    1. I have developed better researching skills that will help me tremendously in my career. I have not only improved my research skills, but I have learned how to narrow my search field and really narrow down wht I need to know and what information I need to have. I have improved on researching fields I know very little about. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from LEED and what LEED is about. I have also learned how to work well with team members and how to communicate and help each other out in each area. My time management skills have improved and I have distinguished the appropriate amount of time needed to worj on this assignment. I believe I have improved working with others design ideas and incorporated each persons thoughts and ideas. This is the first collaborative assignment I’ve had in design and I have finally learned how to work with many design ideas and what works better even if it’s not my design.
    2. The benefits of working with a team are as I discussed, benefiting from sharing everyone’s design ideas and how to take helpful criticism and develop from that. I’ve learned that letting someone else help with research is okay and help is always welcome. I use to like to do everything on my own, but now any help not only is encouraging but others may find something I never would have by myself. I believe that working on a design with many people rather than alone creates more ideas and better design schemes. Others have ideas I never would have though of, but that ended up working better than my design idea would have. Group members are able to share things about the research that we didn’t know and I can share things that I know as well.
    3. I like to get things done generally in a timely manner, so I have not held my group back. I like doing research and finding materials that will be helpful. I like doing the research because I can apply what I don’t know to my own personal life and my future career. I believe we all have great ideas and we communicated very well with each other. I was able to apply my knowledge and personal experience to universal design and what helps and what doesn’t help. With my experience I can see what will work better in a design and what would possibly hinder a universal design.
    4. Sustainable design is something that we will always be developing to apply better products, more durable products, and less harmful products to our homes and environments. It is something that will never be a thing of the past, but we will hear of more and more about better ideas and concepts to apply in our homes. I believe that everyone likes something that lasts longer and something that we’ll get our “money’s worth” out of in the long run. Even those who don’t pay attention to enviromentally friendly products will still want a product that lasts longer and performs to it’s highest potential. I never would have thought of wasted space before, but I’m more aware of these design concepts and maximizing my space for the best of my benefits. I don’t feel I understand everything there is to know about sustainability, but I feel I have a good general understanding of why it’s important and why we should apply them to our designs.

  7. Ashley Sellen says:

    1. I feel as if I have imporoved upon my organizational skills as well as my design skills during this four week period. I have learned to look at the whole picture instead of just the floorplan. In order to have a great design, you need to think about the building as a whole. That was something I had trouble with in previous projects. I was single-minded. During these past four weeks, I have opened my eyes and realized that the design process is not just coming up with a functional floorplan. It is about making the floorplan work with the exterior you are striving for, as well as the outdoor environment. I know that in the coming weeks I will better my design process and continue to learn things I would have never thought of in the past.

    2. Personally, before this project I did not like to work in groups. I thought it was too hard to coordinate with my hectic schedule. Now I have an entirely different perspective. I love working in a group in this project because without other help, it would almost impossible to complete the work in an efficient manner. It also helps in the design process. When planning the floor plans, it is always better to have the combined ideas of a team rather than just one person. WIth the efforts of a team, answers to different design elements can be found easier. One person might see something that someone else does not. It makes for stronger, more sustainable solutions. As cliche as it sounds, four minds is truly better than one.

    3. I feel as if I have contributed reliability to my group. I have not been one to not be able to meet on the weekends or at night. I always respond to messages saying that I can meet whenever and that it wasn’t really up to me to make the decision as to when we could meet because I would be there regardless. I know people have other obligations sometimes, but I feel as if I have been a reliable source for my team. They know they can count on me to be there with my tasks accomplished. I do not take this project lightly, and I feel as if it shows through my work ethic and outcomes.

    4. I believe sustainable design is an integral part of design today. Resources are being used up too quickly, and replacements are becoming hard to find. Sustainable design teaches the practice of preserving resources so we do not one day run out and wonder what to do next. Through these four weeks, I have expanded my knowledge on sustainable design, and I look forward to continuing my education on it. There are many aspects to sustainable design that I would not have thought of before this class. I would not have dawned on me that the exact placement of rooms in a home have a direct correlation to how sustainable the home is. I know that by the end of the semester I will have a better but still broad idea of sustainable design, as there is still so much to learn.

  8. Katherine Ward says:

    1. Along with almost everybody else, being a part of a team on a project is going to be very beneficial in my career. We haven’t had to do group work until now and I was a little skeptical. I was afraid that we were going to but heads, instead we have pulled together extremely well. My biggest feat to overcome is not being able to have my way or to put my two sense in everywhere. This is always going to be the case too and I feel like it is a good lesson for me to learn now and have experience with before I enter my career.

    2.I think that the biggest benefit is that everybody brings something different to the table. We are collectively a creative group of girls and we have been good about balancing each other out. It is amazing that we have never had to take on the specific roles that we are in now and yet I feel like we all chose jobs that are suited to our abilities. As a group, studio KW, we are all extremely thoughtful and considerate of one another and everybody is always willing to help, even if it isn’t in their ‘job description’. Every idea has been contemplated and approved by the group as a whole, and I feel like we will come up with a design and a project that we will all be pleased with.

    3. In phase one I have tried to contribute to the group as much as possible but I feel like my major contributions are yet to come. I feel like I am good at delegating work and time and I have tried to stay as organized as possible even though that has never been one of my strong suits. I look forward to farther into the project when I can delve into the budget, I definitely think that it will be an area that I have the potential to excel in.

    4. I was a huge skeptic of anything referred to as ‘green’ design or ‘sustainable’ design. To be honest I wasn’t familiar with how in depth the philosophy actually went and I was always sure that it was a fad that wouldn’t last. A way for car companies to sell hybrids or liberals/hippies to get elected. (Not trying to offend anyone just being honest) If you aren’t studying about it or aren’t in a field that deals with it, than there aren’t many ways out there that you hear about it. Now that I have actually began to learn more about it, to put it simply it comes as a no-brainer to me. I feel like I have a very good understanding of the concept and it just makes sense. Keep in mind though I realize that there is so much more to learn and that the LEED ‘stuff’ goes very in depth, but as of right now, that is where I stand.

  9. Margaret Reid says:

    1. I have learned a lot of new skills since the start of out project for Cottages at Hilltop. I have especially learned a lot when it comes to LEED for Homes and the certification process. I came in not knowing much about sustainable design and LEED, which is why I wanted to be the LEED PM. I now feel that I understand more about how to rate homes for LEED and how to go about researching sustainable/green products. I also feel like I have become even more comfortable with working in a group. Throughout my whole experience in this major, this is the first time we have worked in groups. I did not really know how it would work but it has worked very well and I feel that I really understand how to get my job done, as well as help the other members of Studio KW.

    2. The main benefit about working in a team on this project is that you can get much more done in a certain amount of time because we all have our own responsibilities within the group. Although the amount of work we have due on certain due dates seems overwhelming, it is much easier to accomplish with three other teammates. Another advantage of working in teams is having multiple opinions. There are many more ideas flowing with more than one person, so we come up with a lot of creative ideas.

    3. Everyone in my group has contributed many skills to our project. I specifically have done a lot of research on green products that have third party verification. I wanted to become familiar with what companies to trust. I also read six case studies and took notes on them because it helped educate me on certain sustainable projects which help me as the LEED PM bring interesting ideas to the table. Addison and I compiled a list of potential companies we will use in our home that I felt saved a lot of energy through my research and that she felt would look good in our house. I also wrote up information on LEED for Homes for our board so that I could understand as much as possible and compiled as much as possible for the LEED for Homes Manual.

    4. I feel a lot more exposed to sustainable design after these four weeks and I know I will be learning a lot more. My overall opinion on sustainable design is that it is a growing idea. People are not at all as aware as they should be about sustainable design (including myself before this class.) Now that I understand more about sustainability and LEED certification my interest in it has grown immensely. I think it is something that will catch on more and more once people realize how much energy is really conserved. I am excited to learn more about sustainable design throughout the course of this class because I know that there is still more to know.

  10. ellie christopher says:

    1. I have learned to take a step back from trying to control every little aspect of the design and allow my fellow team members to assert their ideas and opinions. It has been interesting for me to not have control of all aspects of the design, but I have learned that when four different people with different ideas and thinking processes work together that the solution to a problem can be quite wonderful. I was surprised to watch how fast our group came together to make it all work. I think this project has been great for me in the long run because it will better prepare me for working with coworkers in the future.

    2. I think that working with a group is very rewarding. I was amazed with the different ideas that my teammates had that I could never come up with. I think that we have a great mix of people and thought processes. I admire the different ways that they approach a problem. I think that I will learn a lot from them at the end of the project, and I only hope that they feel the same way. It’s nice to have someone that can take charge and tall me what i need to get done without making me feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

    3. I’m not sure what I have really contributed, but I have tried to make sure that everyones voice is heard and that all ideas are tried. When you are in a group like this it is important to make sure that people’s personalities don’t dominate everyone else, and i think that i have tried to ease out some small problems that could have become a real issue later. I have tried to make our CAD drawings as professional as possible, but I know that there is always something that I can improve on. I hope that my group members will hold me to my best, and that I can do my best for them.

    4. I was a little hesitant to the whole green design thing because everyone that I have worked with in the past thinks that green design is a phase. The more time that I spend reading about it and being exposed to it the more I want to know. I am starting to think that green design is an important part of our future, and the more I learn about it the more I realize that it covers a lot of things that i would never have though of including.

  11. Mhyria Miller says:

    1) The main skill I feel I have improved on is taking orders from peers. Experiences I’ve had in the past have always allowed me to either be the one giving orders, or managing my own time. With this project, we have deadlines that have to be met, and our project manager keeps us on the right track. I’ve enjoyed this transition and think it is teaching the importance of being flexible, and working cohesively with a group.

    2) The benefits of having a team are immense when it comes to a project like this. There is so much information that must be researched and work that must be completed, that it would be impossible to do a project like this on your own. During the design process especially, it is always better to have more ideas flowing to come up with the best design possible.

    3) I’m a reliable person and always have my priorities straight. I believe this is what I have contributed the most thus far in our project. Also, I’ve begun researching LEED and green products. I’m searching for reliable sources to pull from, so when it comes to ordering our materials we’ll have a better understanding of what companies to trust and that have third party verification.

    4) I believe sustainable design is becoming essential to our design world. The past four weeks have opened my eyes to the possibilities of what achieving LEED certification can do for homes. The idea of sustainable design applies to everyone, even those who aren’t interested in the “green” aspect of design. Materials and products that are more durable and less harmful to homes and the environment, while saving clients money, is an idea that should attract everyone. Educating people on the benefits of sustainable design is something that must continue to happen for this idea to grow. I look forward to broadening my knowledge on the subject throughout the semester.

  12. Lila Wilson says:

    1. Since beginning Phase 1, I think I have improved in my ability to see other people’s ideas and concepts and incorporate them into my own. I feel like my feedback to my team improved throughout Phase 1 and I was able to work together with my team to form the floor plan, instead of just relying solely on one person in the group to do it.

    2. Working in a team is very beneficial because it adds new perspectives to the project and the process of working on the project as a whole. You are able to bounce ideas off one another and get feedback that you wouldn’t normally get when working alone. On solo projects you can hit a dead end of ideas but in a team there is always a fresh concept or new way to approach the project. Also working in a team in college is a good way to get used to the experiences you’ll run into in the real world.

    3. I think I have able to bring many good skills to our group. One reason I was chosen for the job of Project Manager was for my organizational and scheduling skills. I feel like my ability to give my team a detailed schedule of the tasks they need to perform helped the process of Phase 1 run fairly smoothly. I was also able to delegate well to my team the jobs that needed to be done and organize meetings among the group. One of the main things that helped my team out was my willingness to help everyone complete their tasks and understand the assignments they were given.

    4. I think that sustainable design has a few different stages ranging from easy to difficult. The LEED side of sustainable design is complex and takes some getting used to however I am surprised at just how easy it is to incorporate sustainable design into every project. Whether this is just in the appliances chosen or using space planning strategies in an effective manner, sustainable design can be easily integrated into every home. I think this a big misconception with sustainable design about how it is for “hippies” and means having to make drastic changes to homes that is far from the norm. Sustainable design can still be complex even without LEED but it is far more manageable than society makes it seem.

  13. Alice Knowlton says:

    1. I feel that I have obtained a tremendous amount of skills since the start of this project. I think my work ethic has increased significantly because I am working on a project that really interests me. Over the course of the first month, I really feel like a career in sustainable design is something I want to pursue. I have gained a lot of skill in researching case studies and products, which I think will be really beneficial later on. I have also really learned how to work as a team, which is critical in the interior design field.

    2. I think that this project is way too big for one person to work on it individually. Having a team of four has been the perfect amount, and has allowed us to meet project deadlines in a timely and efficient fashion. Working as a team is also very realistic, as many of us will be working in group settings in the careers we pursue. Working as a team also relieves a lot of stress and evens out the work load, so no one has significantly more work to do than another team member.

    3. I think that I have contributed a lot to our team in regards to diplomacy, organization, and moral support. I have learned so much about myself in the last month by working with a team. It has brought me a certain level of confidence in that I feel like I can confidently give my opinion or make a suggestion about something and know that my group will be supportive and constructive with their feedback. It has given me the confidence to talk more in class because I feel like I really know a lot of the information.

    4. I think sustainable design is a fascinating field and definitely a possible career path for me in the future. As the LEED PM I have had the opportunity to research sustainable products and homes and see what a profound impact they have on the environment. I think that this is such an important field to pursue, as well. With the ever-growing global warming concern and the need to save our planet, I think that sustainable development will play a huge role in the next few decades in hopefully thwarting global warming from getting worse. I am very excited about implementing some of the sustainable products and ideas I have researched into the next phase of our project.

  14. David Estes says:

    1. During Phase One I have gained and built upon skills that will be needed and used in my future career. Design is a process that is not always going to be as smooth as you would like or as predictable. You need to realize that there are many directions to go on the road of design and none are a dead end. I have been building upon listening and being open to all ideas in the group. Within my research organization has had to be taken to a new level and I am being very aware of its importance. Lastly I am learning how to clearly show my thoughts and ideas and then have a clear and precise reason behind every choice and decision.

    2. There have been many benefits of working as a team on the Hilltop Cottages. Every task and decision is done in a collaborative manner. This brings together the ideas and voices of everyone and creates the team’s individual edge. All members have different views and thought processes that spur innovation and creativity. Group members bring different talents and skills that are used to bring out the best quality of work possible. Respect and patience have made the team move smoothly in a positive direction. It will be a great way to prepare for future collaborative projects in our workplace.

    3. As the designer I have blended everyone’s design wants, needs, and concerns and created an idea that we feel very confident about. In our group I have tried to open up conversation to everyone on all topics of the project so they feel that their ideas are being heard and incorporated. I have been trying to bring concepts and ideas that are innovative while keeping in mind what is a design reality and what is a dream.

    4. I am much more passionate about sustainable design than I thought I would be. After doing research and seeing what all goes into sustainable design, I feel that it truly has impacts socially, environmentally, and personally. I know I have much more to learn but sustainable design is the way of the future and it is important to make that realization now. I really like that it focuses on much more than us and who we are designing for but on the communities and environment that is ours. I am interested to see where my feelings towards sustainability will go as the project moves forward.

  15. Brooks Johnson says:

    1. I have become more comfortable with specifying materials; I have become more comfortable with vendors and the products that they have to offer; I have gained a much better understanding of LEED; I have learned how to incorporate green products into my ideas for design; I have learned how to mesh many of the ideas from my group members into one cohesive vision

    2. We have had the opportunity to look after one another work so that we always stay on track; four ideas are able to come together to strengthen a concept; team members allow an individual to feel less overwhelmed and helpless when it comes to this project; with everyone working together, the end goal seems more feasible

    3. I have helped organize the binders in a cohesive way; I have specified product, and sorted through which type of appliances and finishes we need; I have helped prepare and organize the logistics for our presentation; I have helped complete the case studies; I have helped create a visual image of what our design concept is

    4. I want to learn more about sustainable design because I am not completely sold on the idea. I think the conversation that we had regarding square footage and LEED turned me off quite a bit, but I am willing to be open minded in order to hopefully become passionate about LEED. I think that sustainable design is a concept that will catch on within the next couple of years, and I am excited to implement what we are learning into the real world!

  16. Amanda Cook says:

    1. Through the first phase of this project I have already gained a wealth of knowledge that will help me in the workforce. First of all, I feel that I have already begun to improved my time management skills. Also, while working on the project I feel I have increased my understanding of sustainable design. And although I
    2. The major benefit of working in a team is the fact that you have multiple people with multiple perspectives to use when designing. It helps to have those people especially when trying to solve a problem. Also, with such a large workload it is helpful to have the work delegated out between everyone so that we can get the work done more efficiently.
    3. I think my ability to get the job done is what I contribute to the team. I try and get my portion of the project done as quickly as possible to the best of my ability. I also think I have creative ideas to offer as well as another mind to help work out problems.
    4. I think many of the sustainable design principles are very practical for the economic time we are in. Building homes with better insulation and more efficient appliances are two examples that help build a sustainable home. I am interested in continuing to learn about these principles throughout the semester. I think that in the future sustainable homes will be commonplace and as future designers we need to know the principles and ideas behind them to be successful.

  17. Anna Averett says:

    1. List the skills you have developed or improved that are beneficial towards your career interests?
    In working with a group, I have learned a lot about teamwork, and what it takes to be a successful group. This is our first time working as group, so it took some time to adjust, and divide up all of the tasks. Now, I feel like the rest of the project will go smoothly, because our team members are all supportive of each other, and everyone helps with each different part of the project. As CAD/Drafter, I’ve gained confidence in my design decisions to the point where I have confidence explaining them to other people. I usually don’t like talking in front of groups, but now I really don’t mind at all. I’ve also learned to take the ideas of each team member and incorporate them into our design. It was kind of difficult at first not to be able to have some control over all aspects of the design, but I’ve learned to trust my team and have confidence in their decisions. In the future, trust and confidence are important qualities to have as a designer, who is always part of a team.

    2. What are the benefits to working in a team on this project?
    As a team, we were able to combine all over our ideas, and form one strong design concept that had a little part of everyone in it. Teamwork is especially important in this project, since it is the first time we have worked with sustainable design. With 4 different minds working together, we were able to come up with one floor plan and design concept that was a combination of all of our ideas. Teamwork allows for several different perspectives on one idea, which would not happen if you were working alone. There is so much research to be done on this project, in many different areas, so it is essential that we work in a team. As a team, we are constantly exchanging and improving on our ideas, which will strengthen our final design.

    3. What skills have you contributed in the group?
    Everyone on our team has really come together and helped each other whenever extra help was needed. I’ve shown organization and reliability as the CAD/Drafter. Other group members rely on me to fix any technicality issues with our design, and I think I’ve been successful in that area so far. I’ve also been more confident in deciding what aspects of each of our design ideas are most appropriate and functional for this particular design, and incorporating them into our final design. Also, I have helped other group members in their tasks. Our team has been really successful in helping each other out, so everyone gets their job done.
    4. You’ve had 4 weeks worth of exposure to sustainable design concepts – what are your current thoughts regarding sustainable design?

    First of all, sustainable design is a huge, huge idea that is so much more than I ever knew! LEED is a great way for us as designers to break down sustainable design concepts. However, LEED is just a tiny aspect of sustainable design. I see sustainable design as another approach to life—its like changing how you eat to be more healthy: you don’t have to necessarily diet, you just must make smarter CHOICES when deciding what to eat—it’s the same with designing and choosing sustainable building techniques, resources and materials. Sustainable design is just a healthier way to build, and leads to a healthier indoor and outdoor environment. We must choose sustainable practices in construction that limit waste. In choosing materials and finishes, using reclaimed woods, and non-toxic paints and fabrics are key. So, sustainable design is all about making smart, responsible choices that are environmentally friendly.

  18. Meredith Tannehill says:

    1. I think that so far I have learned how to communicate honestly and thoroughly to my teammates my concerns, issues, and opinions concerning assignments that are due as well as putting in truthful input toward the project overall. Not only have I become more confident in my communication skills with my team but I have also learned that my team trusts me fully with the design concept and aesthetics we as a group are going for. I have learned to here everyone’s opinions and in one way or another incorporate and integrate all aspects into one project so that it appears as if there is one man behind the design.
    2. I think the most beneficial part of working in a group is the collaborating of all our ideas. In my opinion four creative brains are better than one and for that I feel our design is that much better. In the KLR group I love that my teammates can efficiently split the work that is fair to everyone. The cooperation in the group is amazing and makes the designing phase easy and enjoyable to be a part of. I have also had one or two “stressful” moments simply from being overwhelmed and my teammates are right there to ensure me that we are on track and doing a great job.
    3. As the designer of the team I feel that I have made clear to everyone I want the design to be a style and layout that everyone is pleased with. I am totally open to any suggestions and fill that the more input the better we will come out. If there has been an issue with any design I believe that I have done my very best to find a “solution” while still giving my group the look we are going for. It is important to me that as a team we have a selling point to our homes and as the designer approached my group to hear what everyone had to say.
    4. Honestly I have never been that interested in sustainable design but of the course of 4 weeks I have found myself getting more involved with the style as I have challenged myself to research (another thing I don’t like) items and products that are green. I find this style of design very tedious (as all designs are) but I have gained a greater appreciation for those who specialize in the area of work and who are doing their best to promote a healthier lifestyle.

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