This page is dedicated to supporting the client(s) of Engineering 215, Introduction to Design, through their projects. This page is less than a first draft. Please consider it V0.2 at this moment.

Before we partner[edit | edit source]

This course partners with non-profits, schools, and public organizations to design, build and test real projects that have meaningful impacts. While we focus in far Northern California, we occasionally pick partners in other locations (such as Haiti, New York (USA). Please see the E215 Introduction to Design projects for our past work.

If you would like to partner, please reach out to the instructor, Lonny Grafman to start discussions. Typically we are picking partners a year ahead of time, but there are exceptions.

Potential projects[edit | edit source]

These projects are being done by sophomore engineering students. They are quite brilliant. This is a design course and as such the projects should be framed as problem/opportunity statements and the focus should be on their design. The students will be building these (sometimes with assistance from experts or outsourcing some of the construction), but the projects that are the most effective are those that leverage the creativity of the students. For example, if you can just buy the exact thing you want...please do that. If you want something very specialized to your needs, then these students might be just the right fit. I tell clients that 1/2 the projects will be good, 1/4 will need to be remade, and 1/4 will be mind-blowing...and we almost always exceed those expectations.

We will work together to frame problem/opportunity statements. You are encouraged to come in with ideas of what you exactly want. You are welcome to come in with vague ideas. Together we will make these into broad statements of needs that the students will use to explore with you and refine your wants. This allows room for magic as well as the full design process.

We like to have 50% more project options than we have teams. Once teams are formed, they will pick their top 3 (or sometimes 5) projects, and I will work to get teams assigned to one of their top picks. The number of teams ranges semester to semester from from 3 teams (of 3 or 4 students each) to 12 teams (of 3 or 4 students each).

During the partnership[edit | edit source]

Expectations of the client[edit | edit source]

Lonny will work with you ahead of time to help frame your opportunities for the student projects.

Money[edit | edit source]

You will put in $200 per team (this varies depending on the semester, the projects, your budget and your needs). The teams will put in up to $75 per student of their own money, and will spend your money first.

Time[edit | edit source]

You will meet with the teams each week. Expect to spend about 1/2 hour per team, but there are many ways you can arrange this to best use your time. Generally, each team will have 1 representative meeting with you each week and the team is encouraged to rotate who that representative is. Some semesters, the projects are similar enough to group all the teams together for one large meeting each week, some semesters it makes sense to group similar projects together for a few large meetings each week, and some semester (especially semesters with few teams) it makes sense to just have an individual meeting with each team each week.

You will also need to to an opening presentation before the projects are assigned, attend the final engineering presentations, and plan the final press event (if you chose to have one). Finally, it is expected that you will return emails in a reasonable amount of time (less than 2 business days is usually good, and you can set a different expectation with the teams depending on your needs). In turn, we will not send you many emails and we will make sure that each team is coordinating within their team to make best use of your email time.

Timing[edit | edit source]

Lonny and you will agree on the big picture of the partnership and select the majority of the projects well before the start of the semester. We have until the week before the projects start to finalized the projects options.

The client organization presents themselves, their organization, and their general goals in week 1 of the project (which is generally week 4 of the semester) during class. The client attends the final engineering presentations (generally in Week 9 or 10 of the project). If the client chooses to have a final press event, that will be planned during finals week of the university (which is usually week 16 or 17 of the project).

Meetings[edit | edit source]

Team meetings are needed every week from week 1 of the project (which is week 4 of the semester) to week 10 of the project (week 14) of the semester.

Most clients find it easiest to book these meetings back to back on Fridays. For clients that plan it week by week, instead of recurring...meetings and projects usually go worse (due to missed meetings and communication). Meetings are usually better later in the week or on the weekend so that the students are ready with questions and that they can get answers in time for their next work.

Receipts[edit | edit source]

The general arrangement is that teams will spend your money before their money on the project. Students will save receipts and give you one memo with receipts per team. The memo will include the total and the name and address to send the check to. The expectation is that the client will send the check within 2 weeks after receiving the memo with receipts. This usually occurs around the time of presentations and never past the time of the press event or final party.

Deliverables[edit | edit source]

Press release

Project drop off (when applicable)

Insurance[edit | edit source]

For any work done on the client property, including dropping off of any projects, the client is responsible to have insurance in place.

After the partnership[edit | edit source]

Final survey.

Photos in use.

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