I took IDP 316 last semester and that was an amazing experience. While this special studies course has not been as successful and challenging in different ways, I still think I have learned some valuable things both in terms of my own creative process and in terms of working in a larger than average group. I took IDP 400 for 2 credits which, in retrospect, was a mistake on my part as I feel as though I put in way more work than 2 credits worth. Since we were such a large group with varied levels of investment and number of credits, it was a bit difficult to figure out what role I should play. In the end, I feel like I generally played the role of devil’s advocate (though I added different suggestions, not just critique), and the one who could pivot easily and put in just as much effort into new ideas. For the final prototype, our Smith ReAct event, I took charge on the “What Sustains Smith?” structure. This was a collaborative effort between my organization, Design/Architecture @ Smith and Engineers for a Sustainable World. I am really proud of the final product of the “What Sustains Smith?” structure. I think that the structure/activity was open-ended and accessible enough that we got a wide variety of responses which was our initial goal for the project. My other biggest contribution to this special studies was creating the final video for the project.
This was a really challenging project because it relied so heavily on other people getting their parts done (i.e. uploading footage/photos, and writing/recording the script) in a timely manner and communicating across different platforms (Slack, Facebook, and email). I put in a lot of effort to make a cohesive, logical, and visually pleasing video for our final presentation. I’ve heard from several attendees to the Smith ReAct event that they enjoyed it and found the activities interesting and engaging. While our outreach was not what it could’ve been and if given another chance/more time, I would change many things about our process, if we positively affected at least a couple members of the Smith community, I would consider our final prototype a success.