After many sessions of brainstorming, we have all amassed a mountain of design ideas, and begun to evaluate them. To help sift through our many ideas, we have employed the Pugh analysis. In order to do this, we figured out which attributes we thought were important, such as cost, longevity, ease of assembly and the ability to protect. All designs are different in their own ways, so we needed a base level to compare all things to. As a base, we compared all the designs to current wood frames used in museums. Within each criteria, the new design could receive a +, – or 0, if it was apparently better, worse or the same as the museum’s frame. Although this can simplify things because some designs may be much better than others, we need to further narrow our options with more analysis.
After the first round of analysis, we all had designs that not only had varying scores, but also varying differences. Using these scores, we were able to combine different ideas, so that one design could improve on the shortcomings of another. After a series of revisions, we’ll finally narrow down to ten ideas. From here we’ll be able to further narrow down our designs by the importance of each category.
As the first week of EDAAC draws to a close, I think about all that has been accomplished. Despite the fact we only learned two weeks ago that we’d be a part of this program, we’ve already jumped into the project. It can be daunting to think that we’ll be able to devise a useable solution for painting storage and transport. As this is the second year of EDAAC, we can look to last year’s results and see that they were able to achieve success, so we should also be able to do the same. Since we are tackling a different problem than last year’s team, this gives us the ability to follow our own path and create unbiased solutions.
Although we’ve spent the week learning about the problem and how to use the engineering design process to solve it, the most important work we’ve done has been developing as a team. Our team is made up of people with different ideas and backgrounds, as we represent majors including Bioengineering, Art History, Chemical Engineering and Anthropology. We all have something from our areas of expertise to contribute to this mutually foreign project. Not only do we come from different backgrounds, but we’ve never worked together before. Since we only have nine weeks to complete this project, we need to constantly work on our team skills, which we accomplish every morning as we always start off with a teambuilding exercise.
Despite the amount of learning and research we’ve already done, we’re all anxious to learn about the specifics of the project. Perhaps when we actually see the pieces of art that we’ll be dealing with, everything will begin to fall into place. It won’t feel as complete as when we finish, but at least we’ll know what we’re shooting for.