Our group found that there is a large market for consumers looking to express their identity without becoming brand-centric. While there are many companies that offer a personalized touch or individual design, most lack a truly unique expression of oneself. Consumers struggle to find a balance between personal comfort and distinction. We believe the solution to this complication is to put the creation of the product into the customer’s hands. Our idea is to create a business, which will act as a middleman between self-expression and quality tools to do-it-yourself. Below you will find the results our brainstorming:

ديسمبر 2nd, 2010 by

Innovation Idea-Research

2 ديسمبر
2010

RESEARCH

Further exploration of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA for short:

History:

  • MARTA is the ninth-largest transit system in the United states
  • It was originally designed solely as a bus system in 1971 but now has developed into transit system enterprise with a bus system and rapid transit system that consists of 48 miles of rail track with 38 train stations.
  • MARTA operates in Fulton and DeKalb County with two stops in Cobb County.

Birth of the Breeze Card:

  • A token-based fare collection system was available for commuters prior to the “Breeze” card conversion.
  • The “Breeze” card system was implemented in September of 2006.
  • The card system proved to be a quick success, and the token system ceased to exist immediately after the implementation.
  • The card system offers two options:
  • 1)  Limited-use ticket for visitors and other “light” users (with an additional 50 cent fee required)
  • 2) Extended-use card for frequent MARTA users who need load time-based passes (with is $1)
  • MARTA operates 365 days a year

Government Control:

  • MARTA is a multi-country agency that is governed by a board of directors
  • This board of directors consists of representatives appointed from the city of Atlanta and counties of Fulton and DeKalb
  • The highest position at MARTA is the general manager and chief executive officer

Safety:

  • MARTA has had two fatal accidents, both in 2000.
  • In addition to these accidents, MARTA trains have derailed four times.
  • In 2007 MARTA had three separated escalator accidents that injured at least 11 people.

Going Green with MARTA:

  • MARTA takes more than 185,000 cars off the roads every day
  • MARTA’s entire bus fleet uses clean fuel technology, which significantly reduces air pollutants in the Atlanta region
  • GO MARTA!!
ديسمبر 2nd, 2010 by

Starstrukk | Additional Research

2 ديسمبر
2010

Our field research gave us an idea of consumer’s needs to express their individualism and some qualities they look for when shopping. To expand our understanding of this market we must analyze merchants who have already ventured into mass customization. We strived to grasp the pros and cons of each business model and began to brainstorm how they could be improved.

NIKEiD is the most well-known online service offered for customization of Nike products, primarily shoes, and was launched in 1999. Over the years it has expanded tremendously, allowing customers to choose the colors and even fabrics used to produce their own Nike shoes in various styles. You can even add logos and lettering then store your design in personal online locker. In 2007, the company began to introduce NIKEiD studios to give consumers a unique design experience, which includes design consultants.

Threadless is essentially an online t-shirt community. Users are asked to submit designs for scoring by the community and every week the winning designs go into print. There is truly an incentive for good design because if yours gets printed you’ll receive $2000 in cash and a $500 gift card. In addition, if your design wins a bestee award or is reprinted you are rewarded once again. The site is always full of one-of-a-kind individual designs.

Bang-On is both an online and retail custom t-shirt store. We actually have one located here in Little Five Points. The service allows you to go into the store, choose a design from a massive flip-book, choose your t-shirt color, and watch it get pressed while you wait. This is similar to the NIKEiD studios, but you have the ability to walk out with your product, which is not yet feasible with shoes.

Takeaways: Each model has several qualities that we collectively liked or disliked. NIKEiD allows you to add lettering to most shoes, making it truly individual. Unfortunately others can also buy your design though and there is no way to get rid of that infamous swoosh, which is great for “sneakerheads,” but not us. Threadless is extremely clever because their designs are chosen by their consumers, meaning there is a market before the shirt before it even goes into print. The downside to this is that although the design is individual, it will be mass-produced. Bang-On appears to be the best option for custom t-shirts, but the options are limited and the price is undesirable.

ديسمبر 2nd, 2010 by

Field Research

1 ديسمبر
2010

Pink albatross creeps on people (all in the name of research).

Clusters happen around power outlets, cause hold ups, congest flow, impede traffic.

People want to move to other places, they don’t want to be stuck beside the wall.

Also, plugging oneself into the wall, and having all of your wires and equipment out is like marking out your own turf, blocking yourself from the rest of the environment.

so how can we get ppl free? so they can study where they want, when they want, how they want, without having to relocate every time their battery life dwindles.

then like, if we’re in the middle of lecture, and we need to charge our lap tops, we can just whip this out and extend our battery life.

just think… if you were stuck in the middle of that lecture and your battery died.  It’s terrible–personal experience.

–pink albatross

ديسمبر 1st, 2010 by

TechTastic: Additional Research

30 نوفمبر
2010

Below is qualitative research we collected through interviews to offer insight into possible solutions outside of a redesigned floor plan.

Interview with Freshman Dorm Resident

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCI33ZihO-0

Interview with Freshman Dorm Peer Leader

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AX5jix0jBE

Interview with Freshman Dorm Hall Director

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1vbhWW74Ew

Interview with Suite Resident

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G4Y09qPfaI

Interview with Suite Resident Advisor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kX3hi4G_cw

Interview with Apartment Resident

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ODfTHJaq30

Interview with Apartment Resident Advisor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC83FUuKmDo

نوفمبر 30th, 2010 by

Recycling Research

28 نوفمبر
2010

Recycling facts in the nation:

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) – used when calculating national recycling figures

–        includes common household throw-away items such as food scraps, package wrapping, grass clippings, and even bigger items like an old microwave, sofa, or refrigerator

–        not taken into account = items such as hazardous, industrial, and construction waste

–        U.S. waste reduction improving, but overall MSW continues to rise

–        1980 – 2005 — U.S. MSW generation increased 60 percent = 246 million tons of trash created in 2005; 2 million less than 2004

–         Organic materials make up the bulk of wastes that go into landfills. Around 35% are paper and cardboard, while yard trimmings and food scraps total about 24%

EPA plans to calculate Recycling Statistics every 2 years – last time in 2008

–        Facts & Figures: http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2008rpt.pdf

–        Data Tables: http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2008data.pdf

–        2007 general data:

  • Recycling, including composting, diverted 85 million tons of material away from disposal in 2007, up from 15 million tons in 1980.
  • Recycling and composting rates recovered 33.4% of MSW.
  • There were approximately 8550 curbside recycling programs active in the U.S. in 2007, compared with 8875 programs that existed in 2005.
  • Container and packaging recycling increased to 40%.
  • 42 million tons of paper products were recycled, approximately 55% of what could be.
  • 64% of common yard waste was composted (leaves, grass clippings, etc)
  • Batteries are recycled at a rate of 99%

–        2005 general data:

  • recycling trends positively increased from 2003
  • Recycling and composting rates recovered 32.1% of MSW (79 million tons). 32.1% is higher than before but still way too low
  • ~8,550 curbside recycling programs existed throughout the United States; lower figure than the 8,875 programs in 2003
  • Composting programs (recycling of leaves, grass, and other organic items such as food) jumped from 3,227 in 2003 up to 3,470
  • Container and packaging recycling increased to 40%
  • 62% of yard waste was composted
  • 50% of all paper products were recycled = 42 million tons
  • 1990 to 2005 – the amount of MSW going to U.S. landfills has decreased by 9 million tons and continues to decrease each year

Competition between states can encourage recycling

–        Electronic recycling programs

  • Oregon has a bottle deposit where you receive five cents back for each bottle you take to a deposit facility. The recycling areas for Oregon are everywhere and are easily accessible in places such as grocery stores.
  • Gallup, New Mexico has a recycling program for plastic bottles where you’re paid one cent for each pound of plastic bottles you recycle

Keep America Beautiful Inc.

–        http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

–        National volunteer-based community action & education organization dedicated to helping people improve their community’s environment

–        Network of over 1000 organizations

–        Addresses challenges with 3 focus areas:  litter preventionrecycling and waste reduction, and beautification and community greening

Other helpful things:

–        http://earth911.com/ – local recycling finder; specific to type also

–        http://www.epa.gov/epahome/whereyoulive.htm – regional as decided by EPA

Recycling across campuses nation-wide:

One of the main organizations that is currently pushing for on campus recycling is called the College and University Recycling Council (CURC) and it began in 1992.  It is a sub-section of the National Recycling Coalition.  The main purpose of the CURC is to help educate campuses about how to recycle and the importance of recycling.  The CURC has provided many initiatives for colleges to initiate recycling programs such as national awards and grants.  The CURC is also a helpful resource for colleges because it provides information about ways to recycle, such as a program where colleges can get contracts with soft drink companies so the company helps pay for can recycling programs.

Other programs have been enacted to encourage colleges to promote recycling on campus; in 2001 a competition was created called RecycleMania.  The challenge was to see which campus recycled the most and had the least trash, proportionally over a 10-week span.  The competition has grown rapidly since 2001, beginning with 2 schools and now up to 510 in the 2009 competition.  Programs like these are helping to get college campuses interested in recycling.

Waste reduction programs on campus are not just limited to recycling aluminum cans and plastic bottles, however, many campuses are coming up with innovative ideas to cut down on food waste, paper waste, and other on-campus items that could be reused instead of thrown away.  Campuses have made simple changes, like offering documents and news bulletins online rather than printing handouts and flyers.  Many schools, including Georgia Tech have made two-sided printing the default setting on printers to cut down on paper waste.  Other ideas for conservation include a program enacted at the University of Wisconsin known as the Solid Waste Alter-natives Project Shop (SWAP); unwanted furniture and office supplies are collected on campus then swapped with other universities.  This innovative idea follows the thought that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and takes this idea to the university level.

One of the main ways campus recycling is being promoted is through online resources and grassroots campaigns where environmentally-conscious students can go to get information about how to enact recycling programs at their own schools.  Programs like the Grassroots Recycling Network or Zero Waste aim to provide resources to help students encourage recycling on their campus.

Student Interview: Caroline Swartz

>What university or college do you attend?

> University of Miami

> Do you recycle on a normal basis?
> Yes
> If not, what holds you back?
> n/a
> Are you familiar with the recycling options your school has to offer?
> Yes, we have recycling bins around campus.
> Does your school keep you informed on how and where to recycle?
> For the most part, I feel informed. I have seen the bins at various locations around campus and flyers and posters promote students to participate.
> Do you feel like there is incentive for you to recycle at your school?
> Apart from helping the environment, nothing else is offered. It just makes you feel good and like you helped.

Read the rest of this entry »

نوفمبر 28th, 2010 by

Field Research Innovation Project

28 نوفمبر
2010

Alternative Sustainable Transportation

Oldschool

Jason Leonard, Chris Sovchen, Kyle Jennings


Field Research

Each member of our team conducted various field activities. Jason investigated transportation via MARTA trains and busses. Kyle investigated transportation via walking and scooters. Chris investigated transportation via cars and bikes. We also asked some people using these methods for some extra opinions.

Questions

1. How often do you use these methods of transportation?

2. Is it efficient?

3. Does it affect you or others? (Bystanders, the environment, etc)

4. If you could improve this method what would you do?

Kyle

Walking

  1. I use this everyday to get to and from classes.
  2. This method is efficient for getting to and from places that are close together. Far distances take much too long to get to and way too much effort.
  3. Besides when it is really hot outside or super cold, it’s nice to walk to and from class. It gives you a breath of fresh air and some time to relax.
  4. This method requires no improvement whatsoever.

Scooter

1. I use this method one to two times a week to get across campus or to the CRC.

2. It is very efficient, I am able to get where I am going quickly and easily.

3. This method pollutes the environment as it uses a gas motor. It is also very loud and sometimes scares bystanders. It also annoys some people because you zoom around them.

4. If I could improve this method I would probably replace the gas motor with an electric motor. I would also put in designated paths for scooters.

Chris

Bikes

1.  I use this method of transportation about 3 to 4 times a week.

2.  It is easy extremely easy and efficient to get to class. It also allows me to get some exercise.

3. People are walking are often annoyed by bikers “Hogging” the sidewalk and cars also get annoyed but other than that it doesn’t affect anyone.

4. I would want more bike racks around Atlanta. Also, the building of more bike paths on the roads and streets.

Cars

1.  I use a car about 4 times a week when picking up fraternity brothers or just having a long distance to travel.

2. I hate driving in Atlanta; the roads are extremely confusing as I am not from here. Also, the traffic is horrendous.

3. Besides just being another car on the road and making the city more crowded it doesn’t affect anyone.

4. I would want to somehow make a benefit for carpooling possible also maybe more parking.

Jason

MARTA

1.  I use MARTA everyday to get to school.

2.  MARTA is extremely easy for me to use. I get to school on time everyday because of it. It’s cheap and I don’t have to drive.

3. No

4.  More trains running at the busier times in the day. I sometimes just miss my train and am stuck waiting for another.

Busses

1. I use the busses after I get off MARTA to get to school.

2.  The busses are also very easy to use. I simply get at the MARTA station and it takes me right where I need to go. It is a very efficient system that the city has in place.

3. No

4. Nothing I can think of.

Dijon- MARTA employee

1.  I walk to the MARTA station near my house and then get on MARTA to get to the station I am working at that day. It is usually the North Avenue Station.

2.  MARTA is very efficient we move thousands of people through Atlanta each day. This allows people to cut back on their transportation costs and is also an easy way for people to get through Atlanta without a car. It is also helping reduce some of the pollution in Atlanta as people use the MARTA instead of cars.

3. No, MARTA if anything makes life easier for residents as it is a way for them to travel around the city.

4. At the moment we really don’t have anything to improve upon. The system is about efficient as it can possibly be.

Mike-Bike

1.  I use my bike everyday to get to and from class.

2. It is very easy for me to walk out of my apartment and get on my bike and go to class. It saves me the time of having to go get my car and then trying to find a parking space.

3. People just get annoyed with bikers but they need to learn that we also have a spot on the road.

4. More bike paths!!

Will-Scooter

1. I originally used my scooter just for fun, but have found it to be one of the easiest ways to get to class.

2. It is very efficient as my scooter is small enough for me to fold up and take to class.

3. People sometimes get angry with me as I whizz by them but that’s about it.

4. Nothing really.

Jarred -Busses

1.  Not only do I use the MARTA busses to go throughout Atlanta, but I also use the Georgia Tech busses to get to class every day.

2. The bus system here is very efficient I can take a bus right to the building I have class in. I also save a lot of money on gas that I would normally have to use.

3. No.

4. Nope.

Toby-Cars

1. I use my car about once a week to get back to my house and see my family.

2.  Parking here stinks but other than that it’s a pretty efficient way of transportation. I am used to all of the traffic as I have lived here my entire life.

3. In the sense of pollution I guess I would be putting my fair share into the environment but that’s about it.

4. Just more parking and the widening of a couple streets.

When we compiled our experiences we found that MARTA is very efficient if you are near a station and where you are trying to go is near a station. The busses were also efficient but can get delayed in traffic, be crowded, and don’t always hold the friendliest people. Walking is very efficient if your destination is very close, but is a bit time consuming. Scooters are also very efficient in getting to where you need to go except they are loud, are stolen frequently, and require either gas or plugging in at night. Chris found that cars are also efficient except he found many problems. Traffic in Atlanta is terrible, he is also unfamiliar with the roads as he is not from here, and it can be very hard to find a parking spot. Bikes worked great. You can go anywhere on a bike, they provide a great source of exercise, and as long as they stay locked up they usually won’t get stolen. Bikes also do not require gas or a charging station; they are environmentally friendly which is what Atlanta needs. Also, you are able to bring the bikes on MARTA or place it on the rack on the front of the bus.

From our field research we found that bikes were the best method of transportation.

We thoroughly researched bike transportation. In Atlanta there are many public bike racks located across the city. All of the MARTA stations have bike racks. Also, many of the large office buildings have bike racks out in front of them. Most of Atlanta’s streets have bike lanes; there are also plenty of sidewalks to ride your bike on. Since 1974, Atlanta has been trying to make the city more bike friendly do the congestion of traffic and pollution. Through our research we have found that some places do community bike sharing or even more improved methods of this.

Furthermore, we discovered that in light of MARTA’s revenue issues they might in fact benefit from this program as well. Not to mention, they are already set up for this type of addition. They already have video surveillance, and a proxi-card that is linked to the owner. Therefore, setting up a bike rental at every Marta bus stop and station would be a sinch. It would also help alleviate passengers bringing their own bikes onto the trains and buses. The major flaw in the previous systems has been vandalization and theft, hence why the video monitoring is crucial. Not to mention, there is already a staff presence, making it a bit easier for bike rental transactions. Our ultimate goal is to incorporate this system on Tech campus, we also have a proxi-card system and a plethora of students without cars or bikes. Furthermore, it could be staffed entirely by students, with some of the proceeds being the main contributor of their pay. So, not only does this system provide green transportation on campus but it creates jobs as well.

Project Research

This idea developed in the Netherlands by Luud Schimmelpennick in the 1960’s. It was called the White Bicycle program it failed quickly as most of the bikes were stolen or thrown into canals. The idea was for the bike to be used for a trip somewhere and then left for someone else to use. This idea has been developed and improved over the last 50 years. It has spread to communities, cities, groups, and college campuses. There are many different categories in this type of sharing. There is unregulated where the bikes are just given out and left for people to be used. There is the deposit method where a deposit is made on the bike and then you get it back when you bring the bike back. The membership method is when you belong to an organization that lets you use the bikes. These are only a few of the methods.

Davidson University
On February 21st, 2001 Davidson released a fleet of 20 new bicycles for faculty and students to use across the campus. This provided transportation to students across the university for free. We chose this example because it relates to the idea of unregulated use. It is a great example because it was one of the first to branch out to college campuses.

>>>>We would like to try and bring a program like this to Tech. Our group believes we have a valid design that would work and be efficient. Who would we go to for something like this?

Velib in France
This program was implemented in 2007 in Paris. Over 20,000 bikes were placed across the city at 1,450 stations. People simply swipe their card and are charged for the bike if it is not returned in time. This is the largest and best example of community bike sharing in the world.

Mystic Community Bikes

This program was started in Mystic, Connecticut. This program provides bikes for the community and maintains them. This is another good example of unregulated use.

Community Bikes in Santa Rosa California
In 2003 this program was started and gave bikes to mentally disabled adults. This program has expanded and trained the adults to also help repair the bikes. This example is specific to a group of adults and without this they would have never had the opportunity to experience anything like this. It brings the community closer together and also reached out to people less fortunate than most of society.

Along with the original idea we already posted on the website we have a couple more.

Another idea would be unregulated use of the bikes but we fear that this would fail miserably as it has before in the past.

Similar to the other system we posted on RAND. This method of bike sharing would be one where everyone who wants to participate in the program would buy a bike and place it into the system. This would give members more incentive to take care of the bikes in the system as they own a piece of the system.

نوفمبر 28th, 2010 by

Living in Poverty Research

25 نوفمبر
2010

From the very beginning of the Innovations project, our group decided that we wanted to focus on poverty, and the people living in poverty near us. There is an especially high population of impoverished people in Georgia, with nearly 15% of Georgians living below the poverty line. Most living in Downtown and Metro-Atlanta.

For narrowing down our research, we needed to decide who we wanted to focus on. There are people living in poverty in permanent housing, homeless people, people at risk of homelessness, and people in between, who bounce around from homeless to sheltered.

There are a lot of people who live in poverty but are not considered homeless. These people have permanent housing situations, and try their hardest to successfully raise families. Most of these people are considered the Working-Poor. These people have jobs, but they are usually working at minimum wage and do not have the means to provide their families with the luxuries that a lot of Americans are blessed with, such as a meal each night.

A lot of the working poor are at risk for homelessness. This is because of the cost of housing. Minimum wage workers can not afford Fair Market Rent for a two bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. People should not spend more than 30% of their income on housing, however, people working at minimum wage cannot afford housing at 30% of their income. This puts them at high risk for losing their residences.

When people think of poverty, especially in Atlanta, they usually think of the homeless. Homelessness is defined as: “the condition and social category of people without a regular house or dwelling because they cannot afford, or are otherwise unable to maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack ‘fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence’” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness). Homelessness is not only the state of not having a home, it is also a mindset and a state of mind.

http://www.squidoo.com/homelessnessatlanta#module13112109

There are also people in between the state of being homeless and not. These are the people who live paycheck to paycheck, literally. They will live on the streets for a night or two, then they will get paid and take their family to a hotel for a few nights. Once they run out of money they will be back on the streets. These are also the people who will go back and forth between the houses of family members or church members. They do not have a permanent residence, but they do not have the mindset of a homeless person.

Our group is still in the process of doing or field research. We have met with Molly Williams, Facilitator of Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau for The National Coalition for the Homeless. She is a recent graduate of Georgia Tech, and has taken part in research of homeless women and children for over a year. We asked where she see’s the biggest need for innovation, and she told us about the growing population of homeless women and children. The statistics are shocking. Over 20% of the georgians living in poverty are children.

Molly told us that there are things that we do not think about when it comes to homeless women and children, for example, feminine hygiene. Women living in poverty do not usually have access to products that they need. Also, children who are in school lack access to supplies necessary for take-home projects, such as collages and posters.

There is certainly need for innovation in the population of Georgians living in poverty. We are currently setting up an interview with a homeless woman that Molly works with. We feel like we will gain a lot of knowledge and insight on the situation by hearing what she wants and needs.

نوفمبر 25th, 2010 by

A:  For the deliverables you should  have 10 posters that address the 9 topics in one way or another.  So it doesn’t mean that each topic indicates one poster.  They just need to be somehow addressed throughout your posters.  The 9 topics that need to be addressed can be addressed in any order and do not need to be one per page, you can decide how you address the topics.  To reiterate, the 9 topics that must be addressed on your posters are:

  1. Title, Mission, Goals & objectives
  2. Consumer / Stakeholder Profiles
  3. Competitive Analysis
  4. Innovation Offering & Core Value Proposition
  5. Use Storyboards
  6. User Experience Criteria
  7. Value Chain/Network
  8. Revenue Model
  9. Roadmap
نوفمبر 24th, 2010 by

A:   The ideation part of this exercise should be the most fun, not the most strenuous.  Here are some tips:

1.  I suggest you broaden your research, plan observational research, talk to users or experts, look to the fringes – talk to extreme users, see what users like and dislike about the  experience, document your own experiences…like you did in 1011 try and understand the entire experience that people go through, so that you can find their pain points and identify unmet needs

2. Don’t pigeon-hole yourselves around your first proposal…it is fine that you start with an issue and then allow your research findings to lead you to an entirely different problem areas,  like i said in class innovation is not a linear process, and sometimes you start in one place and end up in another

3. Try and use different brainstorming techniques:
– here is a great resource that can help your team out: http://celestinechua.com/blog/25-brainstorming-techniques/
– one really great technique is using analogies to help you think beyond what you know….for example, people do laundry so that they can keep their clothes clean and to keep themselves  healthy…….what are some analogous activities that people go through with similar goals, for example, people use hand sanitizers to disinfect their hands and keep themselves healthy, could you think of similar type of solution for clothes…. or you can think of analogous experiences , for example, some people hate doing laundry because there are so many steps involved and if you don’t manage the steps your clothes get ruined, much like some people hate cleaning their kitchen floor because of the many steps, but then swiffer came out and made it a one step simple process, is there a swiffer like solution for laundry?

4. As you go through your brainstorming allow your minds to be open and come up with any ridiculous idea…no idea is too ridiculous.  If your team needs inspiration watch the longer version of the ideo video: There are three parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUazVjvsMHs&feature=related

5.  Once you have completed the brainstorm and want to select ideas to pursue, that is when I want you to bring in the constraint of social, economic, environment, or political global issues.  So what I mean by that is you still want to come up with a solution that could help the world improve in some way.  But you don’t need to bring in this constraint during the brainstorming process….let yourself go wild during the brainstorm

نوفمبر 24th, 2010 by

Research and Field Exercise

24 نوفمبر
2010

There were 151193 crashes in Atlanta in 2008, only 398 of these were fatal. Although freeways have been proven to actually be safer than rural road conditions, more wrecks occur on freeways. The most dangerous intersection on i85 going into Atlanta has been proven to be where 285 merges into 85.  Every age group is at risk but the highest risk groups are elderly people (75 or older), teenagers (16-19), and children who are riding with their parents (0-10).

Our innovation of creating a series of short bridges would cost (approximately) 800,000 dollars per bridge. This is based off of the California DOT statistics from 2009 that indicate that the small bridges we are after would cost approximately 150 dollars per square foot. We plan on building a two lane bridge that is half a mile long. This adds up to 5280 feet in length and also 24 feet across bare minimum (the standard road width is 12 ft per lane). Also the cost of ready-mix concrete has gone up in recent years making the materials up to 25000 dollars per bridge.

So what makes an exit dangerous?

Short merging lanes

Short reaction time to traffic

Heavily traveled areas

the difficulty of merging traffic

Pennsylvania Turnpike

TPKexit1.jpg

TPKexit2.jpg

The Pennsylvania Turnpike (among other systems in and around Philadelphia) use a loop system where the exits occur before the on-ramps.

http://www.pahighways.com/toll/PATurnpike.html

Field Exercise:

We decided to experience the highway as a group and traveled for 25 minutes around 7 pm down i85 northbound then exit and travel i85 southbound back to Georgia Tech. Our worst experience were trying to merge quickly coming right onto i85 northbound and dealing with the mergers trying to get over from the Georgia Tech exit lane while we were simultaneously trying to get into the lane. The merging lanes often back up and slow down while the rest of the freeway is speeding along. This makes merging very dangerous for drivers who are trapped in the gridlock of the merge lane and somehow must mesh with the high speed  lanes. Also the anxiety a short merging lane produces seems to go to the driver’s head. They MUST get over to the exit lane or they MUST get out of this. Nothing is more dangerous than the 1/4 mile before the North Avenue/ GT exit (249 d) where drivers must fight each other to get into the correct lane. We found that the signage on this section of i85 was surprisingly helpful and accurate.

Take aways: This leads us to believe that our innovation can be limited to a well marked bridge that uses the same methods as most of the 85 signage. We must do something that gives drivers reaction time and has a resistance to highly congested areas. We should make the bridge wide to lessen driver anxiety that is potentially accident provoking. Any fast changes will be disastrous to drivers, our innovation needs publicity to build it up slowly and introduce the new method as painlessly as possible.

Interviews:

As a group, we decided to interview three of our classmates who drive on i-85 at least once a week to give us better insight into the merging/exiting problem.

Interview Questions&Responses:

1. How often do you have a bad experience merging or exiting on i85?

Responses:

a)Every time I drive

b) At least once a week

c)Only around 5pm traffic

2.Where do you find that traffic is most congested?

Responses:

a)merging onto 285

b)merging onto 400

c)merging onto 75

3.What is the most perilous moment of your commute?

a)Getting onto i-85 southbound from the North Avenue exit is a nightmare. I have to move over three lanes within two miles in order to stay on i-85.

b)Exiting at the Georgia Tech exit. An extra lane merges into the expressway at the last 1/4mile before the exit. Everyone from that lane must get over in order to stay on the highway while I must get into their lane in order to exit.

c)Merging onto i-85 in heavy traffic is really scary. The merge lane slows to a stop while the farther left lanes maintain a high speed. Mergers have to merge into these speeding, and heavily crowded lanes from a dead stop or nearly.

4.How long (in miles) do you typically have to respond to exit i-85 properly?

Responses:

a)2 miles

b)1/4 mile

c)2 miles

Takeaways: Our group especially identified with the last interviewee’s perilous experience. This led us to realize that merging lanes need to maintain speed in order to be safer. We also saw that merging lanes, especially one expressway into another cause the most congestion. Exiting is often stressed by little preparation time and complicated by merging lanes which are built on the same side as the exit.

نوفمبر 24th, 2010 by

Operation Mr. Clean:


Our mission is to shatter the stereotype of public dining facilities by revitalizing dingy cafeterias, dining halls, and food courts so that they exude cleanliness and openness while also ensuring food sanitation with the ultimate goals of appealing to a myriad of people, effectively utilizing community dining spaces,  and making the experience of a dining hall more efficient by decreasing traffic congestions. Specifically, we are focusing on both Britain Dining Hall and the Student Center Dining Hall here at Georgia Tech.

Outline of Scope and Plan:

  • Target audience: For college students
  • Who are dissatisfied with cleanliness of Brittian and the Student Center food court
  • Our innovation offering in terms clean spaces is to figure out a better way to keep these public eating forums clean by setting redirecting traffic flow by fung shway changes of table locations and shapes.We also want to make the food in these public dining facilities to be appealing (new presentation and preservation tactics).

BRAINSTORMED IDEAS

-puzzle pieced tables that can be broken into several smaller tables that can be cleaned easier

-individual squeegees dispenser underneath chairs or tables so that each individual can easily clean his or her mess

-segments of dark carpeted floors which are more comfortable, homey-feeling, and reduce stickiness and slipperiness (doesnt show spills)

In terms of the food,we seek to keep the food as clean and                                            uncontaminated as possible

BRAINSTORMED IDEAS.

– all food presented in big rototating domes with handles and people just rotate domes to pour out food rather than using ladles or tongs and having to put their hands in the food when they fall in.

– dome coverings with sliding openings on all food so that sandwich meat and salad items are not just sitting on an open platter for hours (similar to a bread box)

  • That provides a cleaner and more inviting environment in which students will enjoy eating and congregating.

a. This innovation is helpful because it will make sure that especially during busy hours, the alteration of the dining hall space will change and redirect the traffic flow decreasing the amount of concentrated human germs in the food area. It will also quicken the process as people will spend less time searching for clean utensils, the best slice of turkey breast, re will be  more people staffed to aide in the traffic flow. The presentation of food will allow students to each cleaner, more sanitary food.

  • Our innovation includes establishing a more cohesive table settings to create more navigable aisles and to create a lesss cluttered/dingy fung shway of the room  as well as food presentation and sanitation.

a. By doing all of these things, the sanitation level of both the space and the                         food should greatly improve,  especially during “rush” hours

نوفمبر 23rd, 2010 by

1)Re-vamp recycling service
2)For college students
3)Who find recycling inconveniant and non- efficent.
4)Our solution is a pick-up, transportive, and organizational service
that increases conveniance and efficency,
5)unlike the time consuming ways of normal recycling.
6)Our service provides door-to-door pick-up of recycled goods and guarentees their delivery and proper sorting to the end user.

Service innovation – It is the re-design and new way of thinking about a typical service: recycling.

Business model innovation – It has the potential to branch into an entrepreneurship revolving around the product of all recyclable goods.

Process innovation – It uses a precise procedural layout that is defined in a new way. Instead of consumer focus on recycling, we will take out the middle man and smooth out the process by recycling the materials hands on.

نوفمبر 23rd, 2010 by

For the homeless community

Who are dissatisfied with shelters with function, but no form

Our innovation offering is making prefabricated good-looking shelters

That provides shelters that are easily put together and mass produced

This will provide quick shelters that look visually pleasing, unlike most shelters that are either quickly made or beautiful

Our innovation is a prefabricated, gorgeous, living community that is made in pieces and put together at the site. It satisfies both form and function.

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

PICK-UP … Elevator Pitch Project

22 نوفمبر
2010

My innovation challenges the habit of social networking to define social interaction, rather than to frame and supplement it.  The intent of the project is to facilitate a true user-defined arena for competitive and exhibition match football on the local/community scale, with other sports to follow pending development.  The working title of the project is “Pick-Up”.

While playing over the past few summers and in recreational leagues in the past, I found that organizing soccer practices on short notice is difficult – and sometimes nearly impossible.  The coordination of schedules and speed of communication required to facilitate an impromptu practice/scrimmage was always terribly inefficient.  Captains, coaches, and players alike know the hassle of sending thirty emails or text messages and fielding endless calls with each change of plan or venue.  It makes the end result – actually playing soccer together – seem like a burden.

Countering this, Pick-Up is a mobile web application that follows a very simple structure, for the purpose of user-friendliness and first-time accessibility.  The product will be designed with the intent that the end user will integrate Pick-Up into their daily lives to enable easier and more effective planning and immersion in their local football community.  Unlike other social networks, it will not create a social sphere for the sake of replacing a real one;  instead, it will lend itself to being a tool in enabling real-world interaction revolving around the game as well as an incentive to get out and play.

As research, I recently attempted to schedule an intramural soccer practice THE DAY OF to see how many people would actually show up.  I provided notification through a variety of media: 1. In person. 2. By mass email. 3. By Telephone (Text or Call).

Each person invited to play was invited through AT LEAST two of these filters.  I received return correspondence from non-personal invitations only 1 out of 3 times.  In person, attendance was confirmed for over half of the people (who totaled about 2/3 of the invitees).  I told each person verbally that should plans change, they would receive an email.

The catch was that about three hours before the practice, I changed the venue of the practice.  I only sent out a mass email to the parties involved, as I had told them I would.

At the designated time and place of the practice, only 3 people showed up.  Thirty minutes before, three people had called to confirm the change of venue.  The next day, three others admitted to showing up to the original venue to play; they were admittedly disappointed to find the field empty.
Even more disappointing was the fact that a number of other potential players approached me the following day, conceding that they really wanted to play soccer but had no idea that a game was going on.

This investigation was a primary consideration in my decision to pursue the  development of Pick-Up as my innovation project.

cam

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Elevator Pitch/SitBPE Jr.

22 نوفمبر
2010

Who: Georgia Tech Students/Alumni/Football Fans

Where: Georgia Institute of Technology, Peter’s Parking deck

What: Lack of green space on campus, Parking deck reflects heat, pools rain water

Fix: Artificial turf on Peter’s Parking Deck’s top level

Every few weekends in the fall, thousands of people gather on Georgia Tech’s campus to tailgate and watch a Yellow Jackets game.  However, unlike other universities, Georgia Tech lacks the open green space to allow for a large number of tailgaters.  On those same weekends, many residents on east campus attempt to play football, soccer, or Frisbee on the tiny, lopsided grassy quad between Towers and Glenn Halls.  If you take a moment to watch them play you would see that the field was not meant for any type of athletic activity.  It is too small and uneven, plus it is covered in metal drain covers that do not do an adequate job of draining rain water.  One could provide room for both the tailgaters and the students playing football with one simple move.  Peter’s parking deck sits adjacent to Bobby Dodd stadium, but the top level is paved and not ideal for a family tailgate or play.  If it was covered in artificial turf, and had a decent drainage system, the parking deck could become a popular green space on campus for east campus residents and tailgaters alike.  This plan would also make Peter’s more eco-friendly.  The top level currently collects large puddles of rain water.  If drainage pipes were installed under the turf you could redirect this much needed water to surrounding trees and plants.  This plan benefits the students, football fans, and the surrounding environment.

Elevator Pitch

1. Students, Alumni, Fans

2. Lack of green space on campus for recreation

3. Combining aspects of a field & parking garage into one space

4. Creating more leisure space while still catering to the need for on-campus parking

5. The current parking garage which has somewhat unsafe and under utilized recreation on top

6. Allows students to utilize a large, flat green space in the center of Georgia Tech’s urban campus

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Home Food Distribution Center

22 نوفمبر
2010

Homeless Food Distribution Centers

Who are tired of long slow moving lines.

Our product is an automated assembly line for food distribution

That increases the speed of food dispersal

Unlike the slow moving person to person food lines.

The product simplifies the food delivering process while serving more people.

(Above shows manual labor in serving the food to the homeless)

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

teamlions|Elevator Pitch

22 نوفمبر
2010

For: handicapped people who have difficulty doing everyday tasks

Because: Many common designs are directed toward the average person without a form of disability. Handicapped people have difficulty maneuvering around confined spaces in buildings, such as bathrooms and doorways. There are also many objects in the house that serve as obstacles for handicapped people, such as kitchen appliances, stairs, shower heads, and even the height of bed frames.

Innovation: a wheelchair with an elevating seat and foot rests, activated by a pump or crank

Function: The wheelchair seat at full elevation would be 18 inches higher than the seat at the standard level. The pump would work by creating a retractable truss that connects the seat and foot rests to the frame of the chair.

So that: This design is a new way of looking at a wheelchair, giving the handicapped more accessibility to devices in the home such as the refrigerator, higher table heights, cabinets, microwaves, stove tops, etc.

Research

“Those confined to wheelchairs face many frustrations when attempting to become more active in their communities. Many community and health facilities are inaccessible and available transportation is limited. Wheelchair users may have difficulty obtaining appropriate wheelchair prescriptions. Their quality of life and health may be jeopardized by pressure sores. Painful conditions in the arms may further increase the degree of disability. A special approach to fitness training may be required. The wheelchair user’s self-image will be affected by society’s general negativism toward the disabled. Knowledgeable and sympathetic medical care can reduce the stresses inevitable for patients confined to wheelchairs.”-J. E. Trotter

Wheelchair Use in the United States

An estimated 1.6 million Americans residing outside of institutions use wheelchairs, according to 199495 data from the National Health Interview Survey on Disability (NHIS-D).1 Most (1.5 million) use manual devices, with only 155,000 people using electric wheelchairs.2 Wheelchair users are among the most visible members of the disability community, experiencing among the highest levels of activity limitation and functional limitation and among the lowest levels of employment.

Activity and functional limitation

Wheelchair users report very high levels of activity limitation, functional limitation, difficulty in basic life activities, and perceived disability (Figure 2).

Activity limitation, a traditional definition of disability, is measured by first identifying the person’s major life activityan age-appropriate activity such as attending school, working, doing housework, or performing basic self-care and home-management tasks. Respondents are asked about limitations in the major activity, and then about any other activities in which they might be limited “in any way . . . due to a health problem or impairment.”

An overwhelming majority (93.0 percent) of wheelchair users report some form of activity limitation. For two-thirds (66.1 percent), the limitation is severe enough to render them unable to perform their major activity.

Functional limitation provides another common definition of disability. Adult respondents to the NHIS-D are asked about a set of eight mobility-related physical functions: lifting a ten-pound object, climbing a flight of stairs without resting, walking one quarter mile, standing for 20 minutes, bending down from a standing position, reaching up or out, grasping or handling objects with the fingers, and holding a pen or pencil. Nearly all wheelchair users (96.2 percent) report limitations in one or more of these functions, and more than four fifths (85.7 percent) are unable to perform one or more of them. Looked at another way, only 14.3 percent of wheelchair users are able to perform all of the eight mobility-related functions listed above. More than three-quarters (78.5 percent) are unable to walk a quarter of a mile, and inabilities in climbing, standing, and bending are each reported more than half the time (63.7, 61.0, and 55.4 percent, respectively).

Self-care and home management

Limitations in self-care and home-management activities are commonly used to measure disability severity, particularly for the purposes of disability benefit programs. People needing the assistance of others in performing these activities are often regarded as having severe disabilities.

A set of six self-care activities (Activities of Daily Living, or ADL) are asked about in the NHIS-D of all persons aged 5 and above: bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or out of bed or chairs (transferring), using the toilet, and getting around inside the home. Four-fifths (80.2 percent) of wheelchair users report some degree of difficulty in at least one ADL (see Figure 2). More than three-fifths (62.7 percent) need assistance in performing at least one ADL. Bathing is the activity most likely to present problems, with 72.0 percent limited in this activity. A majority of wheelchair users are limited in dressing (54.6 Disability Statistics Abstract #23 / May 2002 3 percent), transferring (55.4 percent), toileting (52.6 percent), and getting around inside the home (59.6 percent).

The Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) are a set of everyday activities associated with managing a home. The NHIS-D asks about these IADLs for persons aged 18 or over: preparing meals, shopping, managing money, using the telephone, doing heavy housework, and doing light housework. Four-fifths (80.6 percent) of wheelchair users need assistance in at least one IADL; 86.4 percent have difficulty. Heavy housework is the most problematic: 85.1 percent are limited to some degree and 76.0 percent need help performing this activity. Limitations in shopping and light housework are reported by about two-thirds of wheelchair users (69.4 and 65.4 percent, respectively), and a substantial majority need help in these activities (63.6 and 58.4 percent). A limitation in preparing meals is also reported by a majority of wheelchair users (56.3 percent); half (49.3 percent) need help in this activity.

Interview with handicapped coming soon…

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

TheBTeam Field Research

22 نوفمبر
2010

Research Questions and On-Campus Interviews:

Some questions we asked dining hall patrons to consider:

What influences the type and amount of food someone chooses?

What factors contribute to food waste in dining facilities?

What are the main reasons customers leave food on their plates?

How does the dining environment affect the food experience and the food itself?

Responses:

“Sometimes there will be a food I want to try because it looks pretty good, but then when I put some on my plate and eat it it isn’t good at all. It just ends up sitting there.” -Victoria Falk

“When I walk in and I’m really hungry I take a lot of food, then I realize I wasn’t actually that hungry after a while and I just don’t finish all the food.” – Brijal Patel

“When I get my food I just kind of take a spoonful or two without really thinking about it that much.” – Nate Damen

“I think people don’t really know what they want so they just grab a bunch of whatever. When they sit down they realize that they really only wanted a few of the things they got.” – Alex Irlik

Additional Questions:

What do you like the most about the dining hall?

What do you dislike about it?

Do you think there are enough options available?

What about for vegetarians and special cases?

How long does it generally take you to get food and sit down?

Do you generally like to eat the same thing everyday or do you try new things?

Responses:

“There’s usually a good amount of choices, including vegetables and stuff.”

“I wish they had more fresh fruit at all times, not just during breakfast.”

“I’m vegetarian and if I get to the dining hall late, all the vegetarian food is gone and I have to really look for something to eat.”

“I’m always a bit hesitant to put something on my plate if I don’t know what it is.”

“I get tired of having the same food all the time so I like the option of having many different choices.”

“I kind of do a quick run-through of all the lines before i actually grab a plate.”

“I go straight for the pasta line because i can ask the chef for a uniquely made dish.”

General Observations:

  • The food choice and layout seems a bit overwhelming upon first entering the cafeteria area.
  • Some food items do not have labels
  • It is sometimes difficult to tell which items are vegetarian or vegan
  • Many of the plates with leftover food consist mostly of side items such as vegetables or rice
  • The dining hall employees do not usually leave food waste on their plates
  • Most people pick up a little bit of everything as they proceed down the food line
  • The food lines in the center are more frequented and have longer lines
  • When in line, there is some amount of pressure from the people behind you to move along the line, which doesn’t give much time for thoughtful choices, and causes you to feel rushed

Chart of reasons for food waste based on IGD The food and grocery experts:

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Elevator Pitch: Community Bikes

22 نوفمبر
2010

For: People seeking quick and local transportation when they need it.
Who: Want to use bicycles as a means yet can’t afford or owning is unpractical.
Our innovation offers: bikes that can be rented from numerous convenient locations, but there is a level of accountability and possibly a membership needed.
That provides: strategic pick up and drop off locations around a populated geographic area.
Unlike: middle man bike shops.

Highlights: Due to our research of the many transportation possibilities, we discovered that in light of MARTA’s revenue issues they might in fact benefit from this program as well. Not to mention, they are already set up for this type of addition. They already have video surveillance, and a proxi-card that is linked to the owner. Therefore, setting up a bike rental at every Marta bus stop and station would be a sinch. It would also help alleviate passengers bringing their own bikes onto the trains and buses. The major flaw in the previous systems has been vandalization and theft, hence why the video monitoring is crucial. Not to mention, there is already a staff presence, making it a bit easier for bike rental transactions. Our ultimate goal is to incorporate this system on Tech campus, we also have a proxi-card system and a plethora of students without cars or bikes. Furthermore, it could be staffed entirely by students, with some of the proceeds being the main contributor of their pay. So, not only does this system provide green transportation on campus but it creates jobs as well.

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Elevator Pitch

22 نوفمبر
2010

Field Study of Brittain:

•  dingy

•  yellow tinted lighting-makes for a dreary experience

•  not cohesive

•  tables close together-hard to walk in between

•  exclusive sitting arrangements-spaced out/strangers don’t have to sit close

•  floors are slippery and sticky

•  tables are dirty

•  the plates aren’t always clean

•  frequent table cleaning

•  germs from table get on eating utensils (cross contamination)

•  they put out the food and wait until its all gone to replenish it (leave food out all day)

•  starfruit: looks like plastic

•  “Woody’s is clearly better than Brittain because…”

•  refill milk often

•  leaking drink fountains creating the sticky mess on the floors

•  innumerable spills

•  handles of ladles fall into food so you have to put your entire hand in the fries or in the soup to get the ladle

•  the people clean tables while students are still eating at the table

•  search for a clean plate

•  waffle machine-people make grilled cheese in  it/disgusting/crusty batter

•  hand sanitizer located on the walls

•  “Its shocking that the drink fountain actually worked today”

Field Study of Student Center:

  • All subjects enjoy eating in the student center because it is convenient and the food is better than brittain
  • Thought that it is generally clean for the most part except for at lunchtime, when tables and floor and trashcans are overfilled and dirty
  • To change: more self responsibility and have more staff that do trash rounds constantly
  • Cleaning the tables more frequently is a must
  • Also need to vacuum the carpet area more often
  • All subjects talked mainly about how it needs to be kept clean, with more frequent rounds, especially during meal times
  • Dynamic environment, with interesting light fixtures and wide variety of seating arrangements
  • Seems like a fun and inviting place to be
  • Tables are really close together so it makes it hard to walk when there are large crowds
  • Service is quite slow, even when there aren’t very many people there
  • Soda machines run out of ice often

Ideas:

  • Some sort of incentive for the students to keep the student center cleaner
  • Adjust work zones for staff during busy times, to ensure that the garbage cans especially are constantly emptied/cleaned
  • Rework spacing for tables
  • Add more condiment stations away from lines so as to reduce traffic
  • Make sure that food is exchanged often, so as to avoid contamination
  • Keep the utensil stations and drink machines full and operational at all times
  • Discover a better way for the ladles and serving utensils to stay out of food, but also keep from getting contaminated by counters, hands, etc.
نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Research on wireless charging

22 نوفمبر
2010

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/wireless-0607.html

-wireless power transfer via magnetic resonance

http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/inductive-charging

-other methods for charging, the technology behind wireless pads and receivers

http://www.amazon.com/Powermat-Home-Office-Mat-connector/dp/B00389S5BQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1290470464&sr=8-3

-a wireless pad/mat (note* people don’t like it –well the one person that reviewed—don’t like this product b/c it’s not very compatible with other technologies. We’ll keep this in mind!)

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Elevator Pitch

22 نوفمبر
2010

1. For college students

2. What they’re dissatisfied with: limitations in mobility because of dependence on a power source

3. Our solution: Connecting students with energy sources in more accessible, innovative ways.

4. What we’re doing (a): Incorporating wireless charging technology to tables around campus,

(b): Reframing conventional systems to allow for new-found mobility and independence from traditional power sources

5. Competition for our particular solution does not exist, but secondary and tertiary competition can include existing power cords, extension cords, and wireless charging mats.

6. Our solutions are integrated into student environments, automatically acting without an impetus.

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Elevator Pitch

22 نوفمبر
2010

For individuals that rely on sidewalks and pedestrian paths to get where they need to be
and have unmet needs or standards for safety, efficiency, and ease of navigation,
we propose an initiative for the construction of footbridges, skyways, safer lighting practices, and stronger security presence.
This will reduce or eliminate time wasted walking out of the way and waiting on cross walks while increasing safety, efficiency, and comfort.
The status quo is insufficient, dangerous, and requires a lot of wasting time and energy. To get from point A to point B often requires skipping B and going through C,D,and E just to get to B. Along the way is broken pavement, busted lights, and potentially a lack of sidewalk altogether.
We want to use the city’s right of way to extend sidewalks just a little, add more lights, and gradually integrate footbridges and perhaps even skyways, which are extremely popular and well received in Minneapolis and many other metropolitan areas.

Walking is a good choice for our health and the environment. It shouldn’t be such a hassle. Right now the system is heavily biased in favor of motorists, and that’s not likely to change. So let’s rise above it, beside it, and every way we can get around it. Widen pedestrian paths, build bridges, tunnels, skyways, moving sidewalks. Give two legged animals their rights back! Through taking care of our pedestrian paths, we take care of our pedestrians, who are after all, every bit as important as motorists. When people feel safer and have a better experience, they’re far more likely to stick around and to come back down the road.

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by

Our project is based around the idea of Communal Living, and how private living spaces can have a community feel.

Elevator Pitch:

For: College students who want to become acquainted with more people on their floor and for people who are trying to create a better sense of community in their building.

Why: Most apartment and suite style buildings do not have the great sense of community that is common in freshman dorms. Communities are also slowly becoming more and more isolated with urbanization, and in order to promote a bigger sense of unity something must be done to merge or balance private life with social life.

Innovation: Redesign floor plans or apartment set up in order to impose more unification amongst the residents.

Function:  The change in floor plans will cause residents to be more compelled to socialize with fellow residents.  The new design will create a more interactive environment that serves as a community rather than isolated units.

So that: People living in apartments or suite style dorms will regain the positive community atmosphere that was present while living in the freshman dorms.

Research:

Discussion:

One of the biggest issues in today’s living environment is the growing lack of a sense of community due in part by urbanization. Our goal as a group was to find a mock representation of this issue in our environment so as to observe and draw conclusions that would render a solution in the form of an innovation. We found the residence halls around campus to be a workable representation of this issue.

It is widely acknowledged and advertised that the Freshman Experience supported a greater sense of community than any other living areas around campus, so we had in mind to set the freshman dormitories as our basis to draw comparisons from. However, first we had to collect data to support this view, so we developed a simple survey in which we asked residents from different style communal spaces to name as many residents they knew that resided in their building. Whichever living space produced the greatest amount of responses, (which we assumed would directly correlate with the average number of names recalled) we determined to represent the ideal living environment for a community.

The second part of the research involved taking pictures of the setup of each style of residence hall, with special attention to arrangement and places where residents could interact. This included areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and lounges.

Data & Results:

Graphs


The above graphs summarize the results from the survey data below. The sample is of 40 rooms from a freshman dormitory (Perry), a suite (Woodruff South), and an apartment (Eighth Street South), each being representative of their respective living spaces. The surveys were conducted between the hours of 7pm and 9pm on a Saturday night when most residents were believed to be present. As hypothesized, the freshman dormitory had the greatest number of responses and average number of names recalled. Next in line was the suite followed by the apartment. The data definitely supported our hypothesis; however, more research should be conducted and data collected to ensure reliability.

Survey Data

Group member Hyuk Jin Yoon’s Testimony:

I am currently living in Glenn, one of the male freshman dormitories on east campus.  Glenn has two different kinds of rooms. One is the two-person room, and the other is four-person room.  The room where I am assigned is a four-person room separated into two rooms where second is placed in the very corner of the hallway. Because it is placed in the corner side, our room’s interaction with other residents is very isolated. I do not know anybody’s name living on my floor except for my roommates and PL. This occurs with my three other roommates as well due to our room being far from the main hallway. In my opinion, space structure is what makes residents more communal or not.

Freshman Dormitory Living Space (Perry)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDdzOXiShY

Suite Living Space (Woodruff South)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFNEKRDTq5s

Apartment Living Space (Eighth Street South)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InpasLmU2QU

The pictures compiled into the YouTube videos in addition to Yoon’s account above add explanation to the results obtained in the survey. The freshman dormitories are more communal in arrangement. A large bathroom and kitchen is shared with most of the hall and select lounges are frequented by residents from all over the building. The room setup is more open and inviting to strangers and encourages interaction when doors are left open. This works adversely with apartments, on the other hand, due to the amount of empty space in which an inhabitant is less likely to be seen as well as the many separators present (doors). The same can be said for suites in this regard. The one thing that gives suites greater means of interaction in terms of setup would be the communal kitchens and large lounges, which the apartments lack. Due to these observations slight changes in floor plans could be the best probable solutions.

Further Research:

Though we would like to call our research a done deal, other significant observations were noted that could better our research if incorporated. A lot of people in the upper classman living spaces kept the people they lived with as freshman in their social circle for instance. This was particularly common with athletes, and further supports the sense of community that the freshman dormitories build. Also, research needs to be performed in how communities are built more in light of social setting and not just building arrangements like the ThinkBig program at Tech focuses on.

نوفمبر 22nd, 2010 by
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