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The Arks

About Us

We have the brains for building ideas.  We never take mean comments to heart.  We love cracking jokes, and we have lots of passion for our projects.

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Sep 21
Sep 21
Sep 21
10
10Welcome to DT Philly! We're sorry you weren't able to log into your accounts when you did this, but you should be good to go now. It sounds like you are a can-do team with a lot of great strengths. We look forward to seeing what you do with your design project this year!
Sep 21
Sep 24
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Sep 28
10
10Nice work with your drawings and explanations! People are always trying to improve upon phone case design, like this fellow: https://www.techradar.com/news/this-crazy-case-design-is-like-an-airbag-for-your-smartphone. We hope this activity and talking about the designs on the accompanying cards helped you understand that there is more than one way to achieve the same goal. This is a good thing to keep in mind when you're working on your DT Philly project. Also remember the needs of your audience when you're doing your design project. Their needs and preferences will help you make decisions about what is important to include in your design.
Oct 19
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Oct 5
Oct 5
Oct 5
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10You identified some interesting problems you see around you, and the one you picked for your project is important because it affects students at your school each and every day. We like the way you described the problem in your design challenge question without jumping ahead to a solution. You could even add the information you wrote under "why is this important" to your question to further explain your goal for this project. We'll be interested to hear what you learn from your research. Because this problem affects so many people, there will be lots to learn about! And as you learn more, you may find many ways to approach this problem besides getting desks back.
Oct 12
10
10It sounds like you have two problems...misplacing things and not enough work space for students in the classrooms. What do the 7th and 8th grade students currently have in their classrooms to work on? And is the misplaced work a separate problem, or is it related? We're interested to hear more about this...is it different in some classes than others, and how do people deal with the problem currently? Did something change, or has it always been like this?
Nov 2
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Oct 19
Oct 19
Oct 19
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10You did a nice job observing all of the ways that students have of dealing with the problem, and it's interesting to learn that the change came about because the principal saw a benefit in having students work differently. Is there anything that teachers do to try to deal with the problem? As part of your research, you might want to take some pictures to document the problem and what people are doing. It will be good to have these when you present your project, and they might be interesting to other teams who are following your work on the website.
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Nov 30
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Dec 21
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Badges

Start-Up: Nike Grind Badge

Congratulations on your creative problem solving—an essential skill for every designer!  Innovations and break-through moments come when you think outside the box, like Nike did when they began recycling worn-out shoes to reduce the company's environmental impact.  The recycled shoes were ground up and used to create springy surfaces for athletic facilities.  For example, Sacramento Kings fans donated their sneakers to be used in constructing the team's new practice court.  Not content to stop there, Nike keeps developing new applications for this innovative product, and recycled material from Nike Grind is now used in 71% of the company's footwear and apparel!

Empathize: Hub of Hope Badge

Thanks for taking a walk in someone else's shoes.  Designers empathize to understand the needs of the people they want to help, just as SEPTA did when they agreed to collaborate with other agencies to serve homeless people where they already congregate...at Suburban Station.  Instead of kicking the homeless out, the agencies worked together to open the Hub of Hope, a site that functions as a daytime living room for homeless individuals, where they can socialize, get a meal, shower, do laundry, and access a variety of health and social services in a safe and welcoming setting.

Define: Embrace Badge

Nice work using your powers of perception!  Good designers keep their eyes and minds open so they don't miss key insights...just as four Stanford students did while creating a low-cost baby incubator for developing countries.  To learn more about the problem, team member Linus Liang traveled to Nepal.  His "aha" moment came when he discovered that hospital incubators often went unused because mothers couldn’t get to, or stay at the hospital.  The team realized they had to create something that could be used easily and affordably in homes, as well as in hospitals.  The team kept researching and learning throughout their design process to make sure their product met the needs of the people they wanted to help.  Since 2011 their solution—the Embrace Incubator—has helped over 200,000 babies in 20 countries.

Ideate: 40/4 Chair Badge

Way to get creative!  It's not always easy to see things with new eyes, and sometimes ingenious design is hidden right in front of you.  When was the last time you gave any thought to the humble stacking chair?  Designer David Rowland spent 8 years of his own time designing a chair that could be compactly stacked to fit the greatest number of chairs in the smallest amount of space.  He made 32 full-scale models in a quest to achieve the best form and greatest comfort, and he was rejected many times when he tried to license his final design for a chair that could be stacked 40 high at a height of just 4 feet.  But he persisted, and today his 40/4 chair is the winner of numerous awards, is showcased in museums around the world, and is a commercial success.  8 million and counting have been sold since 1964!

Prototype: Kenji Ekuan Badge

Well done! Prototyping takes patience and persistence, as Kenji Ekuan demonstrated when he and his team spent three years creating the iconic design of the elegant, tear-drop shaped Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.  Mr. Ekuan, an award-winning designer who also worked on the Yamaha YA-1 and the Komachi Bullet Train, is said to have tested over 100 prototypes before finalizing the design of the innovative and dripless two-sided spout—a design which works so well it hasn't been altered since it was introduced in 1961!

Test: MWOBS Badge

Now you know...testing's not just for school!  Designers know it's important to put their prototypes through rigorous real-world tests, which is why people who design products to function in extreme outdoor environments go to the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, where the conditions are equivalent to what you’d encounter in Antarctica and the polar regions!  Clothing, experimental robots, and tents are just a few of the products to test their mettle against the mountain!

DT Philly Showcase: Es Devlin Badge

Hooray—you've made it to the final stage of DT Philly, and it’s time to think about how you’ll share the story of your design project.  Take a page from the playbook of renowned set designer Es Devlin and consider your presentation from the perspective of the audience.  How will they see, hear, and experience the story you want to tell?  Devlin, who has designed sets for Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Rihanna, as well as for fashion shows, plays, operas, and ballets, considers both the spirit of the performance and the experience that the audience will share.  What will bring your story to life and help you connect with your audience?

To earn this badge, collaborate on a task with a mentor or design consultant.

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