Thursday, March 10, 2011

Student Designs, take 1 (Day 11)

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This preliminary design task is a review mechanism for the instructors to check in with students, and monitor their understanding of key concepts we have been teaching for the last 5 days (and how effective we have been as teachers). 

In this case, the strongest group was assigned the client with the least resources, and the weakest group was assigned the client with the most resources, so that we could most accurately gague individuals' progress (Design Task 1 (Day 10) for client profiles).  Adjustments can be made mid-course to teaching methodologies, content, and team groupings (matching stronger students with weaker students to facilitate mutual learning) as needed.



Photos: Student designs for small-scale intensive farming systems in the family compound. 

Highlights from designs presented today:

  • Summer shower attached to a greenhouse to direct greywater for plant irrigation.
  • Intensive animal shelter design w/ backup heating stove that can be used to heat 2 animal shelters, plus winter coldframes / greenhouse on extreme cold days.
  • Root cellar located under goatshed for security, insulation, and biological heating (from the animals' body heat & hot compost piles made from their manure.
  • Stones from root cellar excavation re-used on-site to create attractive and functional pathways throughout family compound.
  • Greenhouse attached to house, and plumbed with hot water from the house to provide heat for potential year-round vegetable production.
  • Water system (well) backed up with multiple tanks centrally located to distribute water via drip-irrigation systems to every growbed.
  • Multifunctional concrete summer ger-pad / winter ice-skating rink surrounded by beautiful (and beneficial-insect-attracting) flowerbeds (my personal favourite).

Well done to all students for demonstrating such a quick uptake, understanding, and integration of the many principles, concepts, and ideas your instructors have thrown at you for the last nine days!

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