May 28, 2010

brought to you by the letter eff

(via yes please)

Last night, along my fellow group members, I presented my senior design project. We spent the past 2 quarters (since january) designing a 3 story commercial/residential structure with the help of a consulting engineer at a private firm. One of the things I learned: despite 4 years in college we knew surprisingly little about how to actually design a building. that's what you get from a research based university. Also because of our lack of experience and limited time, decisions had to be made on what we would actually do. We started out ambitious but the last month or so was a scramble. "wait don't we need to consider this?" "we really have to do calculations for ALL of that??" and our engineer (who is awesome and I feel like I learned more from than most of my classes) said "learn the concept, do one calc/drawing to show that you thought of it and move on". 

As we prepared for the presentation it became a time of "eff it". "crap we forgot this" "what if they ask a question about that" . It was about prioritizing the important foundation and basic structure (puns...unavoidable?) of the project and all the tiny little details that were unnecessary fell by the wayside. We got our point across. We showed drawings for a three story structure. One girl and I designed a foundation in under 2 weeks (aka I put in about 18 hour days at school for the past 2 weeks, hence my hiatus and those hair posts were scheduled). But in the end we had something we were all really proud of and the presentation was perfect.

I'm kind of hoping this level of prioritizing and letting things go has trained me a little for wedding planning. In the end it's about the marriage. Just like this project was about a safe structure that met the requirements. Maybe we didn't calc out the balcony or draw up the mechanical units but we thought the foundation plans were a bit more important. So for the wedding if we don't have programs or meticulously drawn chalkboard signs it will be because we decided to allocate more time to the actual getting married part, because it took priority.

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