The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and the School of Engineering at Rice University have selected four students, Kristi Day, Caleb Brown, Nicole Garcia, and Rhodes Coffey, for the 2009 summer internship. We will be working with Dr. Matthew Wettergreen of Caroline Collective and Dr. Maria Oden, Professor of Engineering Education, on a multi-disciplinary collaborative design project with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). Our project is to develop custom storage solutions for priceless works from the museum’s permanent collection and to establish a curriculum for a course that will be taught at Rice in the fall, adapting our multidisciplinary approach to solve other community problems.
Our first step will be to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges that exist in the field of conservation through vigorous research. We will examine all aspects of the problem to identify challenges we will encounter throughout the design process. We will also be attending talks and lectures from conservators and experts in the field, some of which work at the MFAH, to see real world conservation in action and to understand more of the real world problems faced by preventative conservation. Finally, we will be working with actual artifacts from MFAH and constructing effective storage solutions for those pieces.
Other important aspects of this project include working as a team, and having input from other groups. In order to ensure that we are working together as best we can and to foster creative thinking, we will participate in daily team building exercises. The Rice Center for Civic Engagement will be facilitating our relationship between Rice and the outside world. We will attend weekly meetings where we will have a chance to hear from community members as well as other students who share our title of Center for Civic Engagement Fellows. Here we will learn about their different projects, as well as provide up-to-date information about ours. During the summer, we will also be enrolled in the Innovation Norway course taught by Dr. Brad Burke of Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Jones School of Management in order to gain a better understanding of business and entrepreneurship practices.
As a multi-disciplinary project, we will be utilizing a digital workflow process that incorporates several online tools. Our website, edaac.rice.edu, will showcase all of the work that we complete along with daily posts about team-building activities and pertinent media. Within the digital workflow process, several websites will be employed to organize and publish our ongoing work. Delicious will be used to organize online bookmarks, a wiki page will be used to brainstorm and organize team thoughts, and Dropbox and Google docs will be needed for document sharing. Youtube and Vimeo will be used to store videos of the process while Flickr will be used to store pictures. The goal of the digital workflow process is to more efficiently manage our ideas and resources while also displaying our final results in a more visible spectrum to those interested. For more information about digital workflow, see our post.