Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

Wk 7: Phase II Reflection

Response due at the beginning of class 10/01.

Studio DJ Design Development Working Drawing Presentation

Studio DJ Design Development Working Drawing Presentation

Congratulations on a successful project into the design development stage.  All the Studios are moving along very well in this project and I am please with your thoughtful and developed design solutions. There are two things I’d like to address to continue working on as a class:

A. ) Developing your verbal design language to effectively discuss your designs.  This takes time, but before you talk about your designs from now, you’ll need to prepare your presenations, practice your language to best describe your design. 

B. ) Knowing your product and talking about product attributes, etc….Please expect me to become more inquisitive about your material/product selections and please be prepared to know that product as if you were the sales rep for the manufacture.


Please take some time and answer the following reflection based questions:

1)  Please discuss your experience of working with a project under budget.

2)  How have the in-class critiques helped or hindered your project advancement? 

3)  What have you learned about receiving critiques of your work? 

4)  What have you learned about critiquing your colleagues work?

5)  What strengths did you bring to your group for the design development stage? 

6)  What are your areas of weakness that you need to focus on for improvement as we head into phase III?


Filed under: Sustainable Design

18 Responses

  1. Lauren Lee says:

    1) Unfortunately, I have not been able to work with the budget very much. I am the CAD/Renderer, so much of what I have been working does not concern the budget. From the outside looking in, it seems product selection within this tight of a budget has been a little more time consuming than I thought it would be. (One of the products we have had a difficult problem with has been flooring choices which are within our budget.) While we have been exposed to many different companies, I believe our general product knowledge is lacking. A large majority of what we have been exposed to has been high-end products, so looking for less expensive items has been a little more challenging; however we are pushing through and finding product.

    2) I believe the in-class critiques have been beneficial for Studio KW. On several occasions we have had preferences (floor plans, concept boards, color choices,etc.) which we preferred, but after the class analysis, our design is brought into a different light. After looking at a project for so long, fresh eyes can always provide new insight. On occasions we have taken the class’s advice, and on other occasions we have decided to side with our original concepts. These critiques have not only strengthened our design, but our presentation skills as well. While we have taken public speaking classes, presenting a proposal to a client or senior officer is a completely different skill which has to be learned.

    3) In our critiques, we have learned what style of presentation our class prefers; however we can not base our entire design and presentation on one focus group. I think one of the strongest concepts we have learned from them is to stand by our design and support it with a strong voice.

    4) After watching all of the critiques, I feel I have developed a sharper eye when it comes to designing a presentation. When a studio presents, I do not “search for something wrong,” but I do look at the design in hopes of giving positive feedback to them. I believe that if I can improve my eye while critqueing, my presentation skills will be sharpened and will be benefical to Studio KW’s project.

    5)In Studio KW’s design development stage, I believe I brought a sharper eye. I tried to look at the project and improve my creative skills. I tried to create boards which where easy to read and understand. As mentioned in the review after the first critique, I still believe I bring the element of technicality to the studio. I checked measurements, input and translate ideas into CAD and presentation boards, and drew and rendered.

    6) One of the areas I need to work on focusing more on my job and being less concerned with what else is going on in the group. I have a strong personality, and I usually like to have my hand in every element of the project. I trust my group members completely, but I need to focus more on my job and let Katie do her job because it is fantastic at it!

  2. Laura M. says:

    1. It’s been a little difficult working under budget with using energy Star and more sustainable products. Products that are more sustainable tend to be a little more expensive. Finding products that are Energy Star or Water Sense labeled was probably more difficult than find product that met our budget. I didn’t have experience in our project using a budget with decorative items like paint or flooring, but I have had that experience in the real world before and it’s not very easy or fun. Finding paint that has very low VOCs and is reasonably priced is really difficult.
    2. I think the in class critics help us see outside of our design ideas and encourage us to see better. Looking at our projects so long makes everything blur together and having outside opinions opens up our eyes again. I like to see what other people’s opinions are because I may see something I couldn’t before. Its also better to get opinions from more people rather than the few people in our group. We have taken the design that the class liked and have been able to push forward those designs.
    3. I’ve learned that a group of people, who haven’t seen what we’ve been doing, are able to present an unbiased opinion toward our presentation and design. They aren’t trying to hurt our feelings or bash purposefully bash our design, so I know their help is very valuable. At first I may not be able to see why they like something and not the other, but I eventually see what everyone else sees and I can improve from that design.
    4. I have learned to give constructive criticism and I know that they welcome any feedback we can give. If I don’t like something, I’ve learned to give a suggestion in place of what I don’t like. I’ve learned that they welcome any ideas and then go on our suggestions. I’ve learned the polite and proper way to give constructive criticism and not just say I don’t like something.
    5. I’m not sure what strengths I brought to the design development stage. Maybe my knowledge of universal design that I have gained over the past months. My knowledge has possibly helped correctly push the design forward. I would be able to say “no we can’t fit a wheelchair there” or “we need to raise this or lower that countertop.” I think that knowledge has efficiently helped us design a better universal home.
    6. I really don’t know how to say that I don’t like a decorative or design aspect that someone suggests. If something is ridiculously expensive that we need to focus that money somewhere else, I’m not sure out to accurately get that across. I need help being able to step up when I know we need to do something different. I feel like I always have to be nice to hurt someone’s feelings but I need to know how to get things across without being rude. I’m trying to help our group and not hold them back. Our group members have very good ideas and I want to keep encouraging those great ideas without someone feeling like I’m stepping o their toes. I try to be helpful as much as possible. I’m also not too great with choosing furniture placement and I need to really improve in that area.

  3. Tiffany Ward says:

    1. Because I have been so preoccupied with CAD work and preparing presentation boards for Crit #2 lately, I have not had much experience working with this budget yet. So far, I think my group as a whole has only had minimal frustration working within the budget. I think the guiding philosophy has been to save money in more generic areas such as toilets, so we will be able to splurge on some unique pieces that should give the home more of a custom feeling.
    During my internship this summer, I worked with Ms. Lauritzen on a pretty tightly budgeted project. Our budget paperwork was much less complex than the ones we are coordinating in class because it involved only one room, and I actually enjoyed the process. I look forward to working with budgets more in the future.

    2. I think the in-class critiques have helped with our group’s project advancement because it forces us to think about someone else will perceive our concepts and ideas. Meredith, Katie, Alice and I are completely in cahoots about our vision, but the critiques push us to make the next considerations about how to explain our ideas to someone else and how someone with different tastes and preferences may understand the design.
    From the critiques I also see how important it is to know your reasoning and explanation behind your decision and why you particularly chose those products. I have realized that part of being a good designer (and ultimately salesperson) is believing in your idea.

    3. Even though I still cannot say that I enjoy critiques, I think it has been good preparation for the design work world. I won’t always get my client’s design right the first time, and I need to learn to take someone saying, “Well, I’m not really sure I like that” and separate it from being about me personally. I’ve also seen Katie and Meredith defend some of our design choices really well, and like I said above, I think it is important to fight for my design in some instances. I want to learn to feel out that line with clients like I do with my classmates—where do I say, “Okay, we can make a change!” and when it’s appropriate to say, “Let me tell you a little bit more about this before we rule it out.”

    4. Critiquing everyone else’s work has helped remind me that there’s usually always a bright spot to the concept, and similarly, there’s usually always something that can be improved on. I believe in starting off critiques with something I like, and then making suggestions for improvement. By starting off in a positive light, I think people feel more like we’re on the same team versus us against them.

    5. In the design development stage, I hope I helped my group find ways to showcase some of the standout features of our design. For instance, by thinking to use the Blum organization chart we learned about in Kitchen and Bath class, we were able to 1) sound professional and confident in our space planning, and 2) were hopefully able to better explain the situation to the client. Additionally, I think the decision to show three orthographic renderings of possible office floor plans were more effective than one rendered perspective for the same reasoning.

    6. I definitely feel like I need to step up my presentation skills. Even though I usually feel like I know what I am talking about on the inside, sometimes I have a hard time expressing that knowledge to someone else. I have always been a big fan of warm, friendly professionalism, but I also want to be able to sound confident and knowledgeable in my designs. I am glad we are having a chance to practice and improve our communication skills before graduation.

  4. addison ruffin says:

    1. Working on this project under a budget has been a great experience. It does add another level of challenge but it makes the project more realistic. I am no longer living in a fantasy world and specifying any material I want. It is a very helpful thing to lean and it will help me in the future when I need to prepare designs under a budget.

    2. The class critiques have helped me greatly because they have taught me how to defend my designs and know when to modify my ideas. Also it has taught me how important it is to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the design. The class has had great ideas about what types modifications to add to our project and I think their opinions have benefited the project greatly,

    3. I have learned a lot about receiving critiques from this class. I am open to accepting both positive and negative feedback and I have found that the comments from my audience have been very helpful. I have learned that you have to know when to defend your work and when to accept good ideas from peers. The critiques have really begun to prepare me for eal life experiences.

    4. I have learned that when critiquing the work of others you have to make sure to word your critiques in a constructive way. You definitely don’t want to offend the presenting group. It is important to consider all aspects of the design when critiquing. You have to make sure that the comments you make don’t just cater to your personal tastes. You also have to consider function and make certain that the design must appeal to the general public.

    5. I am definitely confident in my designs. I bring a knowledge and understanding of the craftsman style to the project. I have worked extremely hard to familiarize myself with the elements of craftsman décor. I am committed and willing to work extremely hard to accomplish tasks for the project. I researched and spent countless hours picking materials and making sure that they fit the needs of the home. Also, I developed renderings that clearly displayed my ideas for the kitchen, office, and living room. I think that I have improved the project with my contributions.

    6. My number one weakness is presenting my ideas to the class. I need to work on my ability to convey ideas concisely and professionally. I will certainly practice my presentation skills and try to have a professional and improved conversation next time I present. Also I think I will work on time management skills. I spent a lot of time rendering and I need to learn to be faster so that I can spend more time on other things. I look forward to improving.

  5. Katherine Platzer says:

    1. Working with a project under budget has been very different from any other project that I have done. Being a PM, I am constantly working on it and changing items and numbers. But I actually really like it. It is a puzzle to me and is something that I can always work on. It is helpful to have a budgeted project because I was unaware of any pricing of materials. I have never had to look up that information before and sometimes it is shocking! Pricing has never been an issue and now that it is, it is a little more challenging. But I do like working with numbers, so sometimes working on the budget is a fun experience for me.

    2. The in class critiques are very helpful. Sometimes things are pointed out that we had never noticed before. It helps to have people that are seeing it for the first time because our group has been looking at the ideas for a while now and we can look over important things. Also, the class has given us great feedback and I feel like we have taken that advice and improved greatly. It definitely helps us work through some problems that we were struggling with.

    3. I think that it is interesting how the class can be divided sometimes in their opinion. Half the class agrees and half the class disagrees. This just shows that sometimes there is no right or wrong answer. I have learned that critiques are not personal, they just try to bring a new light to the project. I have also learned how important it is to know your design and know the reasons for making my decisions.

    4. In critiquing my colleagues work, I need to say more than “I like that style.” I must articulate why I like it, and be able to explain that to the group in a way that they can understand it. I also need to say it in a helpful way. Both positive and negative feedback is important. Also, as a designer, sometimes I need to take myself out of the designers world and look at the presentation as a potential buyer or client because between a client and a buyer, needs and ideas are different.

    5. In the design development phase, since I am the PM, I feel like I was good motivator for my group. Since I wasn’t necessarily making material and product choices, I kept the group moving and tried to help in whatever way possible. I also tried to keep most product selections in budget, even though the budget is not finalized, I wanted to keep us grounded with prices.

    6. I can be a person that gets stressed out easily, so heading towards phase III, I am going to try to not be so worried. I also have not spoken too much in the presentations and critiques, so I believe that I should work on my presentation skills because I know that I get very nervous public speaking anyway.

  6. ellie christopher says:

    1. I really wish that I had the chance to get to work with the budget some more. I have realized working within my group that I can tell when something is beautiful, but just won’t work in the budget. I think it would be interesting to see the dynamic of going back and forth between what you want and can’t have and trying to make it work by sacrificing something else along the way. I would also like to improve my product knowledge across the price spectrum. Since most of our projects while in school don’t have a budget, we use all the top of the line items, and I feel like i don’t know any companies that market to a larger target audience.

    2. I believe that the in-class critiques have greatly helped our project as a whole. It’s good to hear that the things you were trying to express can across, and it’s very helpful to understand what fell short. I believe that with every critique all of the groups presentations both visually and verbally have improved. I loved the fact that our presentation was better received by the class, and it showed that all of our hard work is paying off.

    3. I’ve learned that I am very open to receiving critiques from other people. I’m not one of those people that takes a critical comment personally. I have looked at these experiences as a positive way for our classmates to tell us what they took from our presentation, and in the long run their comments will only make our project as good as it can be.

    4. At first, it was hard for me to critique my friends work, but the more I realized that their comments were helping our group the more I wanted to help theirs. I want to give my opinion on how their presentation came across to me to make sure that they are expressing the things that they want to.

    5. When it came to our design development stage, I tried to help assure David that his vision was great and I tried to fully understand what he wanted to show to the client because I did all of the renderings. It was my job to make sure that I put a face to his vision, and that it was correct. I hope that I can be more of a technical force behind this group as we more forward as I will be doing all of the CAD.

    6. When it comes to my weaknesses, they are mostly mental. I have a hard time expressing what I am feeling and I feel bad asking for help. I get a little possessive over the things that I want to do, and sometimes it’s hard for me to let go of that control. I have tried hard in this project to let this go, and I did ask for a lot of help with the space planning, and the look of the exterior elevations. I think that I can be a very important part of this group if I let go and let live!

  7. Margaret Reid says:

    1. It has definitely been interesting working with a project under a budget. It makes it difficult to have the freedom to design a home that you envision because costs always gets in the way. At first it was more of an issue for me to find Watersense, Energy Star, and green products that fell within our budget, but I have gotten the hang of how to go about finding the products and the best sites to go to that are reliable and fit within our budget. I would completely understand the budget even more as a PM, but I already feel that I have a better grasp on how it works.

    2. I think the in class critiques have for the most part helped our advancement in our project. Hearing an outside opinion on what people like and don’t like is very helpful. Sometimes when you are looking at your project for so long you really need to hear feedback from people who have not been looking at the ideas for so long. We have gotten ideas from the class that have not crossed our mind before. The in class critiques are really what have allowed us to narrow down our ideas into what will be our final outcome.

    3. I have learned a good amount when receiving critiques from the class. Every comment really is helpful whether is may seem negative or not. The more feedback you get back the better because you know how outsiders are seeing your work and how the client may feel if you were showing the boards to them. I like getting opinions from others more so than I would have expected because I now see how helpful it really is.

    4. I feel that I have learned a good amount from critiquing others work and I get more comfortable with it every time. I feel that I have learned what catches my eye and what might not so much. I am more aware of what aspects of a floor plan may make it look better. I especially feel that critiquing other boards has been helpful in making me understand how important the layout of the board really is. Although I am not the CAD/Artist person in my group, it is still very important for me to know for the future.

    5. I feel I have helped in numerous ways throughout the design development stage. I made sure to continuously work with the LEED manual to understand my responsibilities in this project. I always like to want to feel like I understand my role as LEED PM completely. By doing that, I was able to successfully find products and come up with ideas. Although not all products were final for this past critique, I worked with Addison to choose products that were either Energy Star Qualified, Watersense certified, or “green” in some way so we could begin to choose products that we wanted in to use in our home. I also researched into what makes a space plan sustainable so we could work this into possible layouts throughout our home. Sustainability is something that was very new to me before this, so my desire to understand it more has contributed to our group because I try to understand it as much to my ability.

    6. There are a few things I need to focus on for phase III. I need to try not to feel so overwhelmed at times because I tend to freak myself out a little when it comes to finishing my work. Although I always get it done, I still tend to stress. I also need to speak a little more and contribute more of my ideas because it is easy for me to get caught up in all of the LEED information.

  8. Mhyria Miller says:

    1) Although I haven’t been working much with budget being the LEED PM, I have noticed when specking out various ENERGY STAR and WaterSense products, they tend to be more expensive. Our designer has done a good job staying under budget and hasn’t run into to too many problems thus far. I think working with a budget is a great experience because in the real world that’s what it’s all about.

    2) The in-class critiques are very helpful. The ideas and feedback we have received has helped our project continually improve and move forward. Without the critiques and outside perspective on our project, I think it would be easy to get stuck and/or settle with various components of our design. There has been a good balance between defending aspects of our design and taking into consideration and implementing suggestions the class has given us.

    3) I’ve learned that being critiqued isn’t always a negative thing, rather a positive reinforcement. I think the feedback and unbiased opinions we’ve been given has only helped our design move in the right direction.

    4) When critiquing other people’s work I believe it is important starting off complimenting an aspect of their design you like before stating something you think they can improve on. Also, when giving a suggestion it’s important to make sure it is given in a positive, easy to understand manner, so they’re excited to implement it into their design, rather than frustrated and overwhelmed.

    5) During the design development stage I was focused on the LEED aspect of the design and working with the LEED manual. I wanted to make sure I had a good bit of knowledge on sustainability so I could contribute when it came time. I was readily available for any suggestions I could give with space planning and am now actively involved in product selection that meet the various requirements for gaining LEED points.

    6) An area I could work on more would be to react better under pressure. A lot of times I know what I want to say and how to say it but when it comes down to it, I just don’t like being put on the spot. This is something I feel I’m getting better at, but definitely could use some improvement.

  9. Ashley Sellen says:

    1. Working with a project under budget has been an interesting process. I am so used to finding things I like and specing them out without so much as a glance at the cost. I would have to say that working with a budget has been an extreme eye-opener. I never knew certain things for a home could be so expensive. I like the challenge of finding certain products that are on the lower end of the budget so I have a better chance of getting the things that are most important to me.

    2. The class critiques have proved to be a great tool in our design process. I like having the feedback from everyone and getting a general consensus of what everyone likes or does not like in our design. After staring at something day in and day out, you become somewhat immune to your design. It is nice to have a a whole new set of eyes see you designs and layouts and get their perspectives on things. They have helped us in so many ways that I believe the critiques are crucial to the success of our group.

    3. I have learned to better take criticism. People have different views on different things, and it does not necessarily mean they are right or wrong. People are different, bottom line. What they have to say is not a personal attack, and should not be taken that way; it is simply their own opinion. I have learned to take their criticisms to heart and think about them when working on further development of the design. I may not use some of their ideas, but they are definitely in the back of my mind when I work with our design.

    4. I have learned to really study other’s designs, to not just glance at them while passing. Not only can you find things that you might not see working at its full potential, but you can gather ideas of your own for your design. I feel as if critiquing other design’s helps both parties. It helps the other group by giving your opinion, but it also helps your group by making you critically think about design.

    5. I feel as if I brough a sense of aesthetic to my group. I am the designer, so it is my job to have “the vision” and try to convey that vision as best as I can to my group. I had a picture in my head, and I was able to create it and pass it along to my group so they could try to get inside my head as best as they could. I also feel as if I brought my work ethic to the group. Everyone has been working extremely hard on this project, and I believe our strength as a whole is our work ethic. We take comments and try to implement them as best as we can and as quickly as we can so we can move on to other areas of design.

    6. I feel as if my weakness is trying to make my vision apparent on the boards. It has been quite a challenge trying to figure out the best way to showcase our design. There is something that is not translating, but we are striving to correct it as best as we can.

  10. Meredith Tannehill says:

    1. Having a project that requires us to keep in check with a budget is definitely different previous class assignments we have worked with. It is extremely challenging but a good challenge for me personally. Because we are forced to stay within certain limits finding product has reached new heights as my choices have narrowed. This requires that I expand my research abilities and get more creative with my designs. It is definitely frustrating to find out that a material you really like or item you love in the design is impossible to work with because of tight constraints. However I have more knowledge of what materials and such are out there in case I should need them for future projects.
    2. I think that the class critiques are extremely beneficial to everyone’s projects and become a good way to practice giving feedback to others after seeing a project for the first time. I love to hear what others opinions are of our project because it causes the group to look at the project in another light apart from what we have been seeing since day one. After working with an assignment for so long it is easy to get lost and wrapped up in your own thoughts blinding you to the reality of it all. It is a good way to practice taking criticism from others before we step out into the real world. Knowing how and when to defend your case is important and this is a great opportunity.
    3. I have learned that everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter if they stand corrected or not. Even if the majority rules a specific opinion, it is my opinion that matters. As long as I am confident and firm in my decisions then I should stick with my ways. It is hard to hear from others that what you thought worked nicely doesn’t look good to them but you learn to take what they said and use or drop it. It is important to never take any comments personally and never hold what someone says against them –after all the criticism should be about the project and not you as an individual.
    4. When dishing criticism to classmates I think it is important to thoroughly think about your comments before speaking them and that is simple to avoid confrontation or hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally. It is imperative in my opinion to have a full understanding of what exactly it is you are offering advice about and be professional when doing it.
    5. As far as the design development stage goes I think that I have a good understanding for what design “look” I am going for and successfully convey that to my group. I offer my opinions about the design and leave plenty of room for their feedback and suggestions as well. I feel that I have very good time management and will get the job done for my group when it needs to be completed.
    6. I feel that my biggest weakness is stressing over the entire project as a whole. I know that we are in good shape and stay in line with our schedule but I just panic through some of it because I feel that I am falling behind on my part or standing up to par for my team members. Going into the next phase I think that I need to talk with my members more about how we are doing overall and if I am pacing myself at a good speed. Hearing these things easy my nerves and calm me more when I am reassured.

  11. Alice Knowlton says:

    1) Prior to this class I had had no experience with working with a budget. It has made the design process more challenging, but also more rewarding because when you find a product that fits the budget and is similar to the look you are going for it is quite exciting. In my internship this summer we never had to work with a budget, so when I had to pull fabrics or help pick out furniture I never had to look at price. As this project comes to an end, I feel more confident with working under a budget.

    2) Before this class I used to dread class critiques. I am quite reserved, so I have never been able to give a good, constructive critique to any of my classmates before. I also used to take offense to some criticism, but now I see at as opinions and suggestions of the class that I can implement later on. Either way, I see criticism much differently now than I did before. I also feel like our class has given great feedback on everyone’s designs, which has been extremely helpful throughout the project.

    3) I have learned not to take anything that anyone says offensively. I know that no one in my class is trying to attack me or my design when they are giving me feedback. I feel much more comfortable with class critiques than I ever have before.

    4) I feel much more confident giving feedback to my classmates because I feel like I have constructive and beneficial suggestions to give. I also feel that I can phrase my opinions in a way that isn’t attacking the other person.

    5) As the LEED PM, I worked close with the designer in helping to pick out products. After I got a feel of the kind of look she was going for, I started to research products that were sustainable and LEED-qualified and also fit the design style she was trying to achieve.

    6) I need to work on presenting. I have never been confident speaking in front of a class, so I think that I should start practicing before the next presentation. I do feel confident in the things I know about LEED, but for some reason when it comes to presenting my mind goes blank and I forget what I am talking about.

  12. Lila Wilson says:

    1. Since I am the project manager for my group I have been very involved with the budget from developing it to working with my designer to meet all of our needs. I’ve found the budget to be very interesting and actually somewhat fun. Since we’ve never worked with a budget before it is a new experience having to make sacrifices in order to get everything that is needed. I’ve also been working hard to work with the budget to get my designer all the items she really wants to be included as part of the design concept. I’ve also noticed the anxiety that comes with the budget as it begins creeping closer to the limit. I haven’t had to make my designer re-spec any products yet however that may still happen.

    2. I think the in-class critiques are helpful because there are 16 fresh eyes that don’t see your project every day reviewing it and spotting problems that you kept overlooking. The critiques are also good because each group gets some positive feedback as well which helps motivate the group and keep the design on track. The critiques have also helped us find out what our weak points are and how we should go about fixing them.

    3. I’ve always known that you shouldn’t take critiques personally however it is always hard to listen to someone criticizing your work without getting defensive about what is said. I’ve noticed however that it is easier to receive criticism within a group rather than individually. I haven’t taken anything personally that has been discussed within the critiques so I feel that I understand the point of a critique more now than I did in the past.

    4. I think I have a harder time giving a critique rather than taking it. I notice when people take the criticism personally and that makes it harder to give them feedback because they could become defensive. I also look at things from different angles during the critique rather than just how I see the project. I try to see where the group is coming from and how they are trying to convey their design so I end up being able to agree with them instead of telling them my personal feelings.

    5. I think I brought a lot of organization and delegation to the team. I was able to contribute to the design concept as well as keep the role of project manager and trust that my designer had the design under control. Throughout the process I was readily available to help and give feedback. Within my team I was also able to take an idea and show it drawn out on paper in the design we wanted.

    6. For phase III, I need to work on my critiques the most and speaking up if I have an idea. I also feel like phase III will test my patience and that will have to be something I work on with my personal character. Another weakness I have is that I tend to not ask questions and just try to figure the answer out on my own rather than ask a person of authority. This is something I need to work on in this project as well as with my other classes.

  13. David Estes says:

    1. This was the first time I had ever been introduced to a budget and it was more difficult to find product but, not as hard as I had expected. Some items I specced out did not work when prices where figured out ( a $19,000 backsplash), but it was not difficult to find less expensive alternatives. I enjoyed having to search and creatively find ways to keep my aesthetic will staying to my budget.

    2. The critiques stalled the projects advancement for a hot minute but then we were able to roll. The feedback that we were given was never too threatening to our design, but much needed. It gave us insight as to what worked and didn’t work for our audience. We then would get together and problem solve. I feel that it is important that we took peoples advice but never gave up our vision.

    3. I have learned that it is not a personal attack if someone has questions or concerns about your design. I learned that you must have your information and thoughts together and concise. If not, there will be confusion and not a clear vision of your design. Lastly I learned that you have to stand by your design and be able to back up every decision that was made.

    4. I learned that my colleagues want us to speak our opinions and let them know our concerns. It is important that they here the concerns and suggestions from us then from a client. Lastly I learned to look past my own individual style and see the positive attributes of the styles presented.

    5. I brought a concise and cohesive style for our design and I feel that it was implemented throughout this entire process. I (as well as all my members) have stepped up and helped out wherever help was needed within the group. I have tried to incorporate interesting elements and materials that will make our design stand out of a crowd while not going over budget. Lastly, I feel that I am trying to be understanding, helpful, and positive to all members.

    6. I need to work on not freaking out and setting small tasks that will help me reach my final goal of completing and making this projects as strong and memorable as it can be. I need to work on my speaking skills, articulation in speech, and product information. I really want to be on top of my game when it comes to our final presentation, so I will need to plan, practice, and succeed.

  14. Katherine Ward says:

    1. I have found it extremely difficult working within a budget. It isn’t that our group has any far out design ideas that I can’t fit into the budget it is more about the stages within the budget and getting all group members involved on the same page. We have never had to work in a group before or on a budget and I think the combination of the two is more difficult than anything.
    2. I think that as a group, after a class critique we have done a good job to sit down and go back over what some of the comments have been about. We have listened to some and rejected alot more but none have gone unheard. Critiques really are an important part of the design process because it is easy to get stuck on one idea and not see its flaws because you want to make it work and our classmates comments have been able to open our eyes to some of those flaws in certain situations.
    3.I feel like any critique can be beneficial but it is important to make a decision for yourself and stand behind it regardless of anybody else’s opinion. I have realized that everybody is going to think and interpret things differently and rather than letting critiques bother you, you need to learn how to ‘sell’ your design in the best possible way.
    4.I have learned that my opinion doesn’t always matter. I feel like it is very important to critique on design that don’t work or have huge flaws. I almost see it as negative or counterproductive if you spend your time making comments on designs that work but you just don’t care for. I am not going to like everybody’s design but if it works and is functional than who am I to say otherwise.
    5. I feel like I have brought a very realistic approach to the design process. I can easily comprehend what is needed and through past work experience I feel like I have a good grasp on general knowledge of products and what they cost. Without really even going into the budget or starting the budget, I could provide a reasonable ballpark figure for what we should spend on a kitchen, for example. Now that we are in the budget phase I saw that for the most part I was extremely close. I also feel like I have held my composure very well, it wouldn’t benefit the team at all to have a PM that was freaking out under stress. I feel like I work best under pressure and hopefully I can prove that from now until the end of the project.
    6.I know that i have strong leadership skills but my organizational skills are a little iffy. Like I said I work well under pressure so I think that i procrastinate for that reason but it wasn’t just my project, so I tried my hardest not to procrastinate for my group but I feel like I could use a lot of work in that area. My biggest weakness though is by far organization, I keep things all in my head in a jumbled mess and I always manage to get things done and it makes perfect sense to me but I probably had a little communication problem with my group because of my lack of organization.

  15. Brooks Johnson says:

    1) Please discuss your experience of working with a project under budget.
    Its almost like a game when I am working under budget; its how big of a deal can I find, how much can I research something so that it works for our budget, how much money can I save here to then spend in another area. I think a budget is not only great experience for the work force, but also for life in general.
    2) How have the in-class critiques helped or hindered your project advancement?
    I enjoy hearing what other groups have to say, and I also enjoy watching how other groups observe our board. I think it is a good thing to have people stand by your board and critique it for a while, because that means there is options and choices about which way we can go with our project. If people didn’t critique our design, I see that as a problem in which we didn’t offer them enough material to discuss.
    3) What have you learned about receiving critiques of your work?
    I have learned to listen to their comments completely, and then rebut what they have said. I have a tendency to interrupt someone when they are giving me feedback; but I have learned that when receiving their critique, I need to be more open to other interpretation.
    4) What have you learned about critiquing your colleagues work?
    I have learned to give both positive and a negative comment when giving a critique. People tend to disregard what you have to say if its constantly negative/negative; so it is important to give positive feedback to encourage their design.
    5) What strengths did you bring to your group for the design development stage?
    I believe that I have the ability to make decision, and stand confident in what I choose. I enjoy organizing and pulling together material to provide the strongest list of products possible. I have also researched a lot of different products in order to help my PM work things into the budget the easiest way possible.
    6) What are your areas of weakness that you need to focus on for improvement as we head into phase III?
    I need to stand open for interpretation from my teammates; when someone offers another line to take a look at, I need to research that product and compare it with what I have already specified.

  16. David Jasper says:

    1. Working with a budget is no fun. I enjoy doing my work with no budget where I can spec an $11,000 refrigerator without a second thought. I do however think it is great actual experience. For most of us the chances of using Subzero and Wolf on every project are probably pretty low. By making a budget it helped me see what the actual price is of the things we spec everyday and how this relates to the overall cost of a house. Making a budget has been kind of limiting but really not that bad. It just adds an extra dimension to the product picking process.

    2. I think the in class critiques have helped our team a lot. Not only do our classmates give us great feedback but it allows us to see where we stand with the rest of the class. It makes us more competitive and forces us to try our best and produce great quality work. The critiques let us know how an audience feels about each of our designs. We have designs we think are the best but it is not the same thing. This outside perspective is what helps the design process the most. Instead of getting the feedback at the end of the project when there is nothing you can do about it you get the feedback when you are really able to put it to good use.

    3. The main thing I have learned about receiving critiques is not to take what is said personally but also make sure you are able to defend your design. There is nothing worse than not having an explanation for why something was done a certain way. I also have to realize that they are commenting and critiquing our work and we should not take that as a personal attack but really listen to what they have to say and look to implement it into our design.

    4. I have learned to try and word the critique as positive as possible. People seem to shut down or respond well depending on how you say what you are trying to say. It can be hard to find a balance but if you make something a suggestion or recommend that a group do something they generally respond much better.

    5. For the design development stage I think I was actually able to use my position a PM to help our group. If there was a decision that needed to be made that people were shaky on I was able to tell them to go one way or the other. I contributed what I thought about the design when it seemed necessary but that wasn’t too often since our drafter and designer had the designing under control.

    6. My weaknesses are that I need to be better organized and stay on top of people heading into phase III. I need to delegate better and make sure that people get things done on time. Of course these are thing that I am not good at myself which is probably why I am so bad at telling other people to do them. This last phase is where it all has to come together and while I am confident that is will I don’t want to be up for 4 days straight doing it all at the last minute, even though this is where our group excels.

  17. Anna Averett says:

    1) Please discuss your experience of working with a project under budget.
    As the CAD drafter, I have not been able to work a lot with the budget. However, I’ve seen my team working on trying to find products to fit in the budget, and its obviously very time consuming and involves a lot of research. I think it is important that we get experience with using a budget so we become more aware of the all of the various priced products on the market. Using a budget also gives us a more realistic view of specifying products. At times, it gets very frustrating if you have trouble finding the appropriate product to fit your budget, but afterwards, you will have many new product lines to add to your product/manufacturer library.
    2) How have the in-class critiques helped or hindered your project advancement?
    I’ve really enjoyed the feedback from the in-class critiques. I think they have been extremely helpful in moving our team forward, especially in these final stages. I think a third party perspective of our design ideas is important, because it opens us up to more options and new directions to take our design. In both critiques, we were surprised by the floor plan option and exterior the class preferred. However, it allowed us to rethink our plans and perfect them, so that we are now much more content with our choices. Also, these critiques force us to become confident in our design and to learn how to defend our design choices. Becoming confident in your design is very important and makes your design concepts much more concrete.
    3) What have you learned about receiving critiques of your work?
    I’ve learned the importance of hearing an outside opinion. After working on a design for so long, it is easy to become totally wrapped up in your own design and forget that there are so many other solutions out there. Constructive criticism helps me to open my mind back up and see things in a new light. This is helpful, because it makes it easier to make final decisions to defend them in the future. I’ve learned that I’m more open to criticism than I thought, and that often negative criticism can strengthen my design, if I use it correctly.
    4) What have you learned about critiquing your colleagues work?
    I feel that when I offer positive or negative criticism to my colleagues, I ultimately want to help them make the best decision for their design. It is important to be able to articulate criticism so that they don’t take personal offense. I think positive feedback is crucial, especially on such time-consuming projects like this one. Positive feedback encourages confidence, and everyone deserves some after such hard work. I’ve also become more aware of what kinds of design ideas and aesthetics are appealing to me, and which ones are not. This has encouraged me to try and look at another person’s design from various perspectives.
    5) What strengths did you bring to your group for the design development stage?
    During this stage, I really worked hard to combine all of the ideas from each member of the team and incorporate these ideas into our design. Being the CAD drafter is very time consuming and I feel that I brought dedication and confidence to our design. I wanted to make sure that our space plans and universal design details were technically correct and feasible. Also, I worked closely with the other members to help out where needed and make final decisions. When laying out the boards, I tried to showcase our design concepts and thinking process in the actual design of the board. Our team really came together and helped out in all areas whenever extra help was needed to complete a task.
    6) What are your areas of weakness that you need to focus on for improvement as we head into phase III?
    I need to learn how to better articulate my ideas for our design concept. Also, I need to work on time management, especially my addiction to procrastination. I would be much less stress and less tired. Also, sometimes, especially when working on CAD, I get so caught up in the details, when they aren’t always that important. I would save loads of time by choosing when to focus on the details and when I don’t need them. As for the presentation, I need to speak with more confidence and be able to articulate exactly what I’m thinking in professional design language.

  18. Megan says:

    I think this statement by Brooks is really interesting and a great point she makes that we should discuss at some point..

    Brooks wrote in response to question #2 “If people didn’t critique our design, I see that as a problem in which we didn’t offer them enough material to discuss.”

    And I can see her statement in two ways:

    (1) No feedback means people simply “get” the design. I know as a teacher and as a designer when I see a good floor plan, space plan or aesthetic, I often DO NOT have much say. In fact, it sometimes seems the less I have to comment means the more the design simply works.

    (2) I find when I have nothing to say about a design, that sometimes it means I’m so “lost” that I don’t even know where to start.

    I think it is up to the designer to interpret when a design has little critique whether that means the design “simply works” or if the design has left us “lost.” I do think that we as the designer know if it is a “simply works” or a “lost” response.

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