This project represented my fourth year capstone project and took place over an eight month period. Once it was decided that we would focus on addressing the issue of housing in downtown Kitchener, we needed to conduct research into several key areas. We self-organized into three research teams: by-laws, locations, and users. I was a member of the user research team. It was important that we developed a clear understanding of user's individual needs since we were dealing with a vulnerable population. During this time, I successfully facilitated a key focus group that yielded important insights for our design team.
Once we had a clear understanding of the constraints of the project, we moved into the design and construction phase. As we were a team of twenty students, we spent a great deal of time planning the remaining tasks. This required effective collaboration between team members since we were continuously cycling back to our problem definition and restating our final objectives. Together, we decided on team expectations, and created a team contract.
With the interior team, we created several floor plans using SketchUp, and eventually built a to-scale model of the proposed design. I was also responsible for conducting research for electricity and plumbing needs for the solution. Our final deliverables included: to-scale models of our proposed designs, a proposed budget and sourcing for materials needed, a Twiki page outlining the process, as well as a series of final recommendations. These were presented to members of the Working Centre at the end of the term in the form of a powerpoint presentation.