This issue of
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Practice : Winter 2010
experience mentoring less experienced team members, who in turn gained valuable insights and confidence about how their own skills and understanding of design wou ld likely develop. Reconstru cting Drawings of a Cherished Vacation Home: Working closely with a member of the Practice fa culty, a third year student is now conducting an independent project involving the recon struction of detailed drawings for a family who lost their treasured summer home to a fire 3 years ago in upstate New York. His research includes unearthing photographs illustrating historic details for homes loc ally built just prior to World War II, as well as interviewing family members to unlock their memories a long with description s of specific physic al details. Renovations for South End’s Salvation Army Facility: A tea m of five BAC students ranging from an interior design student entering thesis to a first year undergraduate, is preparing measured drawings a nd suggest- ing renovations for a Salvation Army adult rehabilitation facility. The Ma sters student is garnering valuable project man agement experienc e a s well a s teaching workshops in the use of Revit software. She is closely super vised by a t wo-person faculty team who monitors all deliverables , including a detailed cost estimate for the Salvation Army’s en suing fund drive. Extending BAC’s Solar Decathlon: Initiating A Design/Build Housing Competition on Cape Cod: Project directors from BAC’s Solar Decathlon will work closely with the Housing Assistanc e Corporation (HAC) on Cape C od, the proud owners of BAC/ Tufts Curio House, to initiate a design competition for a ffordable hou sing. Starting next seme ster, approximately a dozen BAC students will apply a nd expand on what has been learned from the Solar Decat hlon experience. Team s will gener ate a variety of individual house plans for HAC’s Community Green Enterprise C enter, a 45-acre de velopment that in addition to serving as the permanent home for the Curio House will provide housing, job training and employment to formerly homele ss and lower-income people, with a focus on su stainability. Eventually a group of BAC students may participate in the construction of several prototypes. What have We learned? In his book, The Art of Innovation, To m Kelley, Genera l Manager of the renowned product design con sulting company, IDEO, obs er ve s that, “Cha nc e offers insights you didn’t anticipate.” When the Practice Department embarked on the special proje cts campaign a year ago, it was generally viewed a s a s topgap solution to the economic downturn. Now there is unc ertainty about the eventual return of large numbers of traditiona l entry-level de sign position s, a nd our graduates need agility and more broadly based design thinking skills. Transformative changes taking place at the College, particularly a new Foundation s c urriculum, underscore the need for students to be inquisitive a nd hone their design skills into a highly technica l, interdisciplina ry cra ft. This successf ul alternative employment program has presented significant lessons that warrant us to continue refining our experientia l learning activities. We are inviting employers who have traditionally partnered with the BAC to join us in further educ ational experimentation around issues that portend trends m any design professionals say will shape progressive practices in the nea r future: c oll aborative le arning, sus ta in- able de sign and community ser vice. The BAC’s array of special Practice projects ha s provided the unanticipated insights that Tom Kelley alludes to, chance educ ational experiments which shed light on how to be st prepa re our students when design professionals finally begin to turn the lights back on a nd reconsider the qualifica- tions a nd experiences of interns who will help them rebuild their practices. pRacTIcE ] TEachINg ouR oWN colin booth leads site visit with hac student s maya Tal , fijoy fisiy, ma rk R iemitis head of pr actice, len char ney gabe ber geron, director of speci al project s, pr actice 27 pRacTIcE