Recap of Monday and Tuesday

On Monday, we did an initial Pugh Analysis of all of our designs to weight its possible use for the team selected piece La soriddez. In order to do a Pugh Analysis, we first came up with some evaluation criteria. These criteria are important in the storage for the piece and are features that we think the final solution should include. Examples of some of our criteria include: breathability, visibility, ease of use, and contact with piece. Then setting the original packing solution as a baseline for the analysis we rated each design with a 1, 0, or -1, as respectively being better, the same, or worse than the current solution in the evaluation criteria.  From this, we were able to eliminate many of the weaker designs from the pool of possible ideas. Once this was completed, we broke up into teams of two and completed an initial Pugh Analysis of all the designs for possible use for our individual pieces. The initial analysis was very labor intensive as about 200 designs had to be analyzed for each of the five pieces.

Today, the team spent some time working on a presentation for our CCE meeting. In this presentation, we included who was on the team, what our goals for the summer were, some of our daily activity, and what must be done to complete many of our goals (including the Pugh Analysis).

Recap of Week 4

The main goal of week four was to refine and complete our design and analysis phase report. All of Monday was dedicated to this report.
On Tuesday, we had an extended meeting at the MFAH with Julie Bakke and Wynne Phelan. During this meeting they answered most of the remaining questions needed to complete our report. These questions were about the specifics of our piece selections. They related to us materials that absolutely could not be used in our storage device as well as some materials that would be preferred or acceptable. After this they took us to see all of the pieces. We then took further data as to the structural dimensions of each piece and determined approximate weight and materials. We also discussed more specifically the concerns related to each piece and the history behind the art.

Tuesday afternoon, we attended the weekly Center for Civic Engagement Fellows meeting. At this meeting, Dr. Stephen Klineberg spoke about “The Changing Face of Houston.”
On Wednesday, we compiled the information we received from the MFAH and incorporated it into the report. In the afternoon, Anthony Locastro and Ben Esquivel gave us a tour of 360 Art Services. 360 Art Services is an art packing and crating company in Houston. It is currently one of the companies that is being used by the MFAH. On this tour we received an inside look at how some pieces of art are being stored for transport. Because the pieces come in all different shapes and sizes 360 must consider each piece separately and listen to the needs of their client to properly customize a crate and safely ship each piece. 360 uses a variety of archivally-safe materials and their crates are currently a recognizable red with the 360 logo.

360 Art Services

360 Art Services

On Thursday, we had a question and answers meeting with Dr. Corey Rogge, of the Rice University Chemistry Department, where she answered the remainder of our questions. All of these questions were very specific to the materials that our pieces are each made out of and how these materials degrade, outgass, are conserved, and effect other materials around them. Dr. Rogge also gave us some historical accounts about the science of conservation. It is interesting to note that much was learned from the opening of King Tutankhamun tomb in Egypt by observing how those ancient artifacts had been preserved for centuries underground.

Thursday afternoon, we attended our second Innovation Norway Entrepreneurship class. During this class we recapped reading from The Innovators Dilemma and The Art of the Start. After the recap, Michael Lowe, President and CEO of OrthoAccel Technologies Inc., gave a presentation on the history of his startup company and how they are reaching for success. Along with his history he gave helpful advice as to how to organize and start your own business based on solid ideas and good communication.

Friday, James Springer, of the Library Services Center, gave us a tour of the off site storage for Rice’s Fondren Library collection. They have a modular storage system organized by size. Every book and box is barcoded and shelved. Their storage is climate controlled and all of the books are stored in custom built acid free cardboard shelving units. This storage system has proved to be very efficient and space saving, and is the type of storage Julie Bakke has relayed to us that she would like for the museum.

Rice Library Service Center Storage

Rice Library Service Center Storage

Innovation Norway Course

Today we attended the first lecture for the Innovation Norway course in entrepreneurship.

To start the course, we did a brief overview of the Rice Alliance Life Science Technology Ventures Forum. We discussed the best and the worst elevator pitches.

In general, the highest rated elevator pitches were all very personable and relatable. They each stated what the product was, who the target audience was, why their audience would want it, and finally they all clearly stated what they wanted as far as investors and money. The lowest rated speeches tended to be difficult to understand. This was either because they were too technical or simply poorly explained. Most of these forgot to mention what they wanted or how there product would be useful. One of the speeches even failed to mention what he sold. It is also interesting to note that the top and bottom three were the same for both the professional judges as well as the student judges.

This main lecture in this course went into detail about how to write a business plan. This included all of the topics that should be mentioned. In writing a business plan it is also important not only to write it for the well being of the company, but also to appeal to any possible financers. In making a business plan there are two big rules of thumb to follow. The first is that you must ensure credibility. This includes referrencing your entire business plan and making sure that all of your referrences are reliable and recent. Secondly no matter what business you are going into or how new your product is, you must always have competition. Competition, although it appears to be a bad thing, it is possibly one of the best things for your company. Competition shows that your idea and business  is a good one that there is already a need for what you are selling, only your business is going to make it better. Along with all the necessary mechanics of the business plan, these two rules of thumb contribute to making your business look attractive to financers as well as giving you a strong guide to where your company is and where it is going.

Team Building Exercise: Balloons

June 1, 2009

Today we participated in three team building exercises, all of which involved regular balloons.

For the first exercise, we were each given separate balloons which we filled with air and tied. We competed to keep the balloon in the air the longest using only our breath.

The second exercise was the same only we paired up in groups of two and attempted to keep the balloon in the air together competing against the other groups.

The final exercise was a race, in which we paired up and held the balloon between our neck and the neck of our partner. Making sure not to drop the balloons we ran to cross the finish line to try and finish first.

Things that worked:

1. Exercise 1

  • keep the balloon low
  • blow hard
  • stay under the balloon

2. Exercise 2

  • face the other person
  • have a high initial toss
  • blow hard underneath the balloon
  • try to also blow it forward toward your teammate

3. Exercise 3

  • stand back to back
  • link arms
  • try to move your feet in unison
  • run with one person going forward and the other going backward
  • if you can carry your partner on your back you get extra points!

What didn’t work:

1. Exercise 1

  • not blowing any air
  • not aiming the air you blow

2. Exercise 2

  • same as exercise 1

3. Exercise 3

  • running sideways