A Week in Review (2)

 

Last week the Growing Green Design Project Build Team began to see their vision take shape—albeit a rudimentary shape. Until then, the team had only seen the project in the abstract; drawings, renderings, dimension, materials et cetera—the parts but not the sum. Whether they came on board in January, or segued in from the design class last year, until last week, everything was conceptual.

But as the hours in the shop began to mount, team members began getting their first real-life glimpses of what the finished project would be.

Piles of raw steel began to resemble trusses—cut, smoothed, polished and precise—as six of the nine primary trusses were completed. Stacks of metal plate became dozens of drill pressed gussets, while lengths of steel began to take the form of interior shelves.

This early in the build process, it can be easy to get mired down in minutia; the countless cuts, the ceaseless measuring, the never ending call for drilled holes (one team member drilled over 100 holes herself last week.) But as the individual components of the larger structure begin to come together, that actualization has an inspiring effect. As one team member put it,

It’s real now. Once you have major elements getting finished it starts to seem really possible all of the sudden. It’s like wow, there it is, this is going to work.

The team also took time to travel to I-69 Trailers, in Markle, for their first look at the trailer on which the design will be constructed. For a mobile design like this, having the trailer finished is crucial not only to moving forward with the build, but for conceptualizing the design in the minds of the builders. As one team member said,

Seeing that thing really put it into perspective for me. I knew what it was obviously, I knew the dimensions and everything, but just seeing that thing, that was huge.

On paper this build project is a concept, in materials it is a possibility, in construction it is a reality—but whether or not construction gets finished is its own reality. The clock is always ticking.

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