hej då Sverige!

This past month is something I will never forget. Experiencing a different culture, language, and learning style resonated within me. Going into the trip, I did not expect to do the things I did, meet the people I met, nor build something so meaningful to a community…and I am so happy for it.

I have worked my hardest this past month than I ever have before. It has been in an intensive, non stop manner. The course load was intense, with 9-10 hour workdays everyday. The work was demanding. It consisted of on the spot design and problem solving, construction work (moving gravel, cutting logs, digging holes, screwing and drilling) , plus extra night classes and final presentation preparations for the last week. Even though I would go back to the hostel exhausted from a hard days work, I knew that what I was doing was important. I knew that this outdoor classroom would be bigger than myself or my team, but that it would be used by children of the local school, children of the local housing, and maybe even children from all over Goteborg who want to check out this infamous park. Even more than this, I thought the work I was doing was fun. Taking a design problem, analyzing it, and finding a solution is so enjoyable to me, and I did that multiple times a day!

Culturally, I think I got a full experience of the summer life of Sweden. It entails A LOT of time outdoors soaking up the sun, swimming in almost freezing water, and taking FIKA. Let me explain just how much the Swedish…and I love fika breaks. For our project, the time to arrive was 8 AM. Almost all of the Swedish students did not show up on time, in fact for the first week they would show up 30 minutes late. Although they were tardy to begin the day, the second it was time for our scheduled fika break, they would stop work immediately, and go get some coffee. I thought this was comical, but honestly, if I spent a year or two here I would end up doing the same exact thing. I completely fell in love with fika breaks. Taking 15 minutes to get some coffee and talk with friends? Sounds like a dream come true. Fika was my favorite part of Swedish culture and I plan to bring them back to Rice with me. I really want to incorporate these 15 minute breaks into a study session, or who knows, maybe even class.

Overall, I would rate my study abroad experience a 8.5/10. The only downside I think of the whole experience was the fact that we did not have as much free time to explore the city during the week, and were sometimes too tired from the week to go out Saturday so we only had Sunday to experience Goteborg. But other than that, the courses, the people, the food, the drinks, everything was amazing. (actually except they do not have ice in Sweden for some reason). I would definitely do this journey again, and I thought having it for a month was a perfect time period. I can not wait to come back to Goteborg in a couple of years to see the park that I helped build and play on it myself.

I think there is one quote that really defines my experiences visiting Goteborg and traveling to the amusement park, the archipelago, Copenhagen, the forest site, and Chalmer’s University.


“Traveling-It Leaves You Speechless, Then Turns You Into A Story Teller” – Ibn Battuta


Thank you so much for following my journey through Sweden, this is my last blog post.

Christian Out.

Final Reflection

Looking back on my month in Sweden I can say that I had an overall good experience even though it was very different than what I expected coming into the program. Even though I only had a few assumptions going in, those were mostly all turned on their head.


The ENGI 355 portion of the program was predominantly frontloaded into the first week and I am definitely glad that the class was structured this way because it would have been too difficult to fit it into the later weeks schedule. Coming in with little experience in 3D modeling I was nervous for this portion of the course because I knew we would have to move fast so I thought I might fall behind if I didn’t catch onto every concept as it was taught. However, I surprisingly got the hang of it pretty quickly and ended up enjoying the process of 3D design a lot more than I expected to.  Even though the days were long and filled with lots of CAD, it didn’t ever seem monotonous since building the parts was kind of like solving a puzzle. Also I think the work was broken up nicely by the fikas which allowed some time to decompress and also to get to know my classmates better early on in the program. I thought the homework was reasonable but the only thing that annoyed me were a few drawings from the textbook that weren’t super clear. Even though it was short, I feel like I really learned a lot from this course and will be ready to design parts for future projects and will be well equipped to learn new 3D design programs.


The ENGI 200 course was  one of the things that I had a vague idea of what I expected but those expectations were very different from the reality which was not necessarily a bad thing. I knew it would not just be a more prototyping focused rerun of 120 in the way I would have been at Rice, but Iinitially thought each of our own teams would be working on an independent engineering project with our own unique client.  After reading the project brief I learned that was not the case and we would be divided up into sub teams (each with a different mix of Rice students, structural engineers, architects) but still all working towards one common goal. For us the project was broken down into one planning week followed by two building weeks.  


Part of the planning experience I think could have been improved was the interaction between the groups and the teaching teams. Personally I would have liked to have had one member from the teaching team with us to just consult for some advice or to clear up confusion while still allowing us to create our own solution. I thought that the method of the teaching team being removed from the teams except for 3 of them checking in once a day and all of them suggesting different ideas, while not giving us an opportunity to defend our decisions, or explain that we have already done something they suggest was a little frustrating and counterproductive compared to a regular conversation. It felt like they were being too hands off until it reached a point where they would momentarily relinquish control and change the design,  then go back to hands off work until the next day.


While this was a different course than I was used to taking, part of the reason why I appreciated and enjoyed it was because of the unique experience it provided. I think sacrificing the technical engineering design for more of a focus on teamwork and managing skills was better because I had already done ENGI 120 so this was something totally new. I liked how our teams were made from people of different backgrounds and areas of expertise since it gave me insight into how this communication would work in real world projects. Something else I grew to appreciate were the leadership roles we had to perform for a day. At first I thought that this was a waste of time for us and that the managing should be left to the professionals. But after my day as project manager, I realized how different it was to be responsible for managing a team of ~30 people and my own confidence as a leader grew as a result of that day. 


I don’t know how much of this is viable feedback for the ENGI 200 course versus being feedback for Dare2Build but I figured I would give me thoughts on the program as a whole first. In terms of things Rice can improve on themselves, I would have liked a schedule or a better idea of what we were doing before arriving in Sweden. I know that the specifics of the ENGI 200 portion were not figured out until later but knowing the way we would be working would have been very helpful for packing. Also, I would have liked the program to have been a little longer so the days could have been less full of work and there was more time to relax and explore the city. Finally I would have wanted to see our project completed in the last week bu im sure this kind of scheduling will be fixed in subsequent years. 


I still had lots of fun on this trip and I am glad that I did it. Getting to know the summer workers and Chalmers students was a great time. Also becoming good friends with the other Rice students was awesome.  Looking back, our scootering and travel shenanigans are going to become lasting memories of mine and I hope that we stay friends in the future. 

A Bittersweet Goodbye

4 weeks after leaving home for the faraway foreign land of Gothenburg I left the now familiar faraway land of Gothenburg for the next destination of my summer travels, Israel.

Now, one week later, it’s time to look back and reflect on my time in Gothenburg. It was quite surreal when the program came to an end. While each day of the trip felt long because of the 9-12 hours of work of a day, the overall trip felt very short.

Let us start with what I felt were the shortcomings of both the courses and myself. First, ENGI 355. I had some knowledge of Fusion 360 coming in (from ENGI 210) so I was excited to build upon that knowledge. Although I found that it was not particularly helpful at first I was excited about the CAM  lesson so that I could build on those skills. So when that lesson was cut from the curriculum I was disappointed but I understand the need for it. I instead of knowledge deeper knowledge on everything else and Dr. Wettergreen offered to teach us that material during the fall semester as a workshop (which I plan on doing). Obviously waking up each morning very early was tough but when you combine 2 15-week courses into a single month then the days are bound to be long. My main (and only real) complaint is the disorganization of the program. Coming in no one really knew what to expect so finding out that we would not just be prototyping but working on-site was really exciting. However, finding out that we would miss the final week was upsetting and when it came time to leave with the project not done. I think knowing what I was getting into would have made me much more comfortable (I would’ve brought Claritin, work shirts, and bug spray) both physically and mentally. My personal shortcomings are that I’m not really sure I followed the EDP as closely as I would in the OEDK due to the lack of constant supervision and the time crunch. So it felt as if I was not always making the optimal decision and sometimes like we were just winging it.

Using winging it as a transition, let’s discuss the successes of the programs. I think the main one was the realness of ENGI 200. Students tend to be a little coddled in the classroom. Everyone is looking over your shoulder and helping you all of the time. But in this project, failure was not only a concept but also a very real possibility. The fear was very real and I think the possibility of failure really pressed us to be great. I also now think the knowledge I gained from ENGI 355 will allow me to fill in the gaps from the CAM lesson on my own. I think there are two other portions that were incredible. The leadership roles and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Working as the project manager was a really great experience. Gravel came in on my day unexpectedly and it was a blessing in disguise. Having to work so impromptu was a growing experience. I also think I took to the role quite naturally and although there was not any major conflict (which I’m not saying I would have liked but it would have also been a great growth opportunity) I still think I worked everything out quickly and well. The system of gravel movement that I had established stayed until the very end of the project.

Interdisciplinary collaboration had a tendency to frustrate me. This was well known by the rest of the Rice students. The architects had really creative ideas but a lot of the time they were not reasonable from an engineering perspective. The real kicker was the stakeholder representative, who would come in every few days and tell us to completely change our design. I think again this was a positive, as she prepared me to have a boss or an actual client who would come in every so often and change everything I worked on and it would be a 1 step forward, 2 steps back situation. I found I could use knowledge from my previous designs to help in the current ones. Especially from the creative aspect where I felt that I struggled.

To summarise, this experience on it’s own would have been fantastic. But once you take into account the friends that I made, from the summer workers to the Chalmerists to the Rice students and the oppurtunity to spend a month abroad learning about another culture and everything that comes with that. This experience was nothing short of a major point in my life so far.

Signing off one last time,


P.S. 66% done with the EDES minor! Let’s go!

Reflecting on the Past Month

It’s been a week since returning from Sweden and the conclusion of iSeed. Looking back on the experience it definitely had its ups and downs, but overall I learned so much. 

First, Engi355, the CAD class we took mostly towards the beginning of the program. A big reason I wanted to come to this program to start with was that I wanted to take 355, but I didn’t have time to fit it in my schedule. We worked in Fusion 360 and I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of how to use the program even though it was just one class we took and in such a short amount of time. I really enjoyed all the CAD we did and feel like it was such good information to know that can and definitely will be applied in the future. In the beginning of class we struggled to make a simple box with an angled cut, but by the end of it we were making moving mechanisms. There was a decent amount of homework to do and a lot of time went into the class outside of scheduled class time, but this was understandable given the short amount of time we had in Sweden. I’m definitely glad I was able to take this class.

As for Engi200, although I didn’t have much expectations going into the class, what it turned out to be was nothing like I imagined. We were tasked with creating a design that had certain criteria, a timeline, clients, and budget, which is what I thought we would get. But, the people we were working with were masters students in structural engineering and architecture. I had some reservations at first, before I started working with them, because I thought they would be at such a higher level that it would be hard to get along or work together as equals. When we started however, we were able to hold our own, which was a great feeling and helped the learning process. We ended up collaborating well with our various backgrounds and agreeing on design solutions. It was also cool because while the students were from Chalmers, most of them were not actually Swedish. Having the mix of cultures made the experience even cooler. 

Outside of class we didn’t have that much time to explore a lot of Sweden, but we got to see some pretty cool stuff. We went to Copenhagen, we were in Sweden for some pretty big festivals, and we were able to hang out with our colleagues outside of the site as well. While there were parts of Sweden that almost made me forget I was abroad, like the fact that everyone spoke English and the extensive metro system, there were also aspects that were pretty interesting. This included the daylight until almost midnight, many stores closing super early, and the abundance of fikas, but we adjusted pretty quickly– especially to the fikas. 

Overall, the experience was one to remember and helped me grow in several ways.

A few weeks ago, in a country far, far away

One month later, our time in Sweden is over. Let’s reflect back on the study abroad experience as a whole rather than going day by day.

Looking back, it feels as thought the first week went by so fast. We were doing CAD all day everyday, so nothing particularly memorable came out of the long hours we spent in the Chalmers classroom (except for perhaps fika breaks). But when I reflect on the version of Engi 355 we did, I am amazed at how quickly I learned the ropes of Fusion. I remember on the first day everything felt new and I had very little comfort using Fusion, but just 5 days later I feel like I achieved the intermediate proficciency Dr Wettergreen was aiming for. The homework assignments and midterm could be very frustrating but in the end they definitely helped my CAD abilities.

The Dare2Build design project, or the version of Engi 200 we took is definitely the class that will stick in my mind longer.  It was very different from what I expected, as the scale of the entire project was much larger than the typical four person Engi 120 teams, and the fact that it took place in the wilderness was far different from anything a regular Engi class encounters. But this certainly wasn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed having the opportunity to work on a small subteam with a larger project, which feels more like my involvement in Rice Eclipse than a design project, and working in the woods took me back to my days as a boy scout. Taking on managerial positions was also a good learning experience, though they sometimes took precious time away from working on the project. It was very hard work because we only had two weeks of building (and some of the team stayed one extra week after we left), but I’m proud of what we were able to create.  I definitely learned a lot of skills from this project, from leadership and cooperation to working with tools.

However, the classes I took weren’t my favorite part of my study abroad. What I really loved was having the ability to explore new places and get completely new experiences. I loved all of the runs I went on because they showed me different and beautiful parts of Gothenburg I never would’ve gotten to see otherwise, and gave me some great views of the city and surrounding forests. I loved going to the archipelego after our second week because we explored a completely new area and had a lot of fun jumping into freezing cold water off a diving board on a sparsely inhabited island.  And of course there’s the weekend we went to Copenhagen, which was by far my favorite part of the entire study abroad. The city was beautiful and lively, and we fit a ton of things into the 20 hours we were there.  And let’s not forget, the private concert we got from a local, Peter, was extra special.

Overall, it was a pretty excellent month. I learned a ton in a short time from the two classes, saw a lot of awesome places, became a lot closer with the other Rice students (many of whom I didn’t know previously), and met some great people along the way. The only things I wish were different were having a bit more free time to relax and explore the places we went to, and to make the trip a little bit longer ( it would’ve been nice to see the Dare2Build project completed and this also would’ve spread out the work). Nevertheless, the memories I made will be cherised for a long, long time.


Post-iSEED Reflection

Since the “end of the program”, I have still been continuing to work at the site for 4 more days, more than I anticipated. I knew I didn’t have to stay, but it felt right to do so. On Thursday night, I left for good, and since then I have been so busy with traveling  that I didn’t have time to reflect on the experience until now. 

Looking back at the project as a whole, it is quite amazing how much we were able to accomplish in 4 weeks. I believe that this would normally take around 4-6 months at the very least. It is also a very unique experience in that we are involved in both the design and construction of the project. In the real world, we would most likely be involved in one or the other. With such an opportunity, we are able to understand the implications of our design decisions on the construction phase of the project, something we would not be able to really understand otherwise. 

Another aspect of this project that made it very unique and allowed it to be successful is the variety of people involved in it. For this project, there are 4 main groups of people involved: the architecture students from Chalmers University, the structural engineering students from Chalmers University, the summer workers from Gothenburg, and lastly us, the engineering students from Rice University. Coming from very different backgrounds, each group provides their own skills and insights for this project. The architecture students helped a lot in the design of the appearance of the project. The also did the drawing necessary for the construction of the project. The structural engineering students as well as the majority of the rice students refined their design to make sure that it can be constructed and that it will be safe for children to use. Lastly, the local summer worker shone when we had to order/buy materials for the construction. Since most of us cannot speak fluent Swedish, we depended on them to get us the materials we need for the construction of the outdoor classroom. Without any one of the 4 groups, I believe that this project would not have been possible. 

The fact that there are 4 very different groups of people from very different backgrounds working together is something I feel like is quite amazing. It can sometimes feel like fate that we are here working together to achieve a common goal. But with some reflection, that is how most things work nowadays. We can no longer work in small groups and accomplish big things. We are very dependent on having large groups of people from different backgrounds and locations working together to achieve something great. The two things that prompt me to say this are the black hole images that require telescopes from all around the world, as well as scientists and engineers working together to provide us with the image we wanted. The second thing is CERN, which is a collaborative effort from many different institutions, let alone people. If this is the way things are done, this is a great opportunity to understand the intricacies of working in a diverse group.

Although there are hardships like I mentioned in the last post, overall, this project has been a positive experience. I am really glad I got to be a part of it.

Post Reflection

Now the iSEED program has come to an end, and the past one month definitely gave me some incredible experience. The program not only provided me with an opportunity to take some courses and earn credits for the Engineering Design minor out of normal school periods, but also enabled me to travel to Sweden, one of the countries in Europe I want to go the most.


Through the program, I took 2 courses – ENGI 355 and ENGI 200. The ENGI 355 is a CAD class for intermediate level. In the first week, we spent 8 hours every day learning and practicing CAD skills including creating 2D sketches, turning sketches into 3D shapes, using advanced modeling functions, assembling different components, etc. In the last week, we also had two 1.5 hours evening sessions to learn rendering and technical drawing. Different from the classes during normal school semesters, in which students learn several skills each week during two or three 1-hour class sessions, and have homework to practice in weekends, in our ENGI 355 session, due to the limited time we had, we learned much more skills each day and had homework every day. This had both advantages and disadvantages, but I deemed it acceptable and more effective as a way of learning CAD.


First of all, the homework provided us with daily practices right after learning the skills in class. As a result, we could consolidate our understanding of those skills. While in normal classes, we might forget some of the techniques when we were doing the homework some days after class since there existed a time gap between learning and practicing. For some other classes, this might be okay, but for a CAD class, it undermines the learning outcomes as practicing is crucial to mastering CAD.


Moreover, the daily classes ensured the continuity of the learning experience. In our classes, when we were moving on to the next technique, if a skill we learned was necessary, we didn’t need to take time to review it, since we just learned it some days ago. On the other hand, in normal classes, if we were applying a technique introduced several weeks ago and was never mentioned again thereafter, we would need time to get a revision. Thus, our classes avoided moving backward to review topics introduced before.


Even though the compact schedule of the classes led to a heavy workload that I had limited spare time during the first week, I thought it was normal for a study abroad program with 6 credit hours in 4 weeks. Except for the workload, I appreciated this way of CAD learning as it maximized learning outcome in a short period of time.


The ENGI 200 course was integrated with Chalmers’ Dare To Build project. Although the project involved both engineers and architects, I still got the chance to conduct the process of engineering design by making a decision-making matrix and a Gantt chart, and had a very different experience from freshman design by communicating and collaborating with people from another field.


In the design process, I realized that effective communication was even more important than that in freshman design. All the members of my freshman design team were engineers, and when we were exchanging and evaluating ideas, we focused mostly on the technical side of the design. However, in ENGI 200, our group consisted of both engineers and architects, and we all had different focuses on a design idea. The architects emphasized more on the visual effect of the design, and the engineers stressed more on the feasibility of the idea. Thus, we would need to balance both aspects of the design. Specifically, our design was required to have places up in the tree for woodpeckers to perch on and applications of biomimicry from them. We had an idea to create some attachments with shapes of the feet of woodpeckers to fix a log to the tree. The two architects thought that would be perfect if we could support the log only using several pieces with shapes of woodpeckers’ feet. On the other hand, I, and the other engineer, were very concerned about the stability of the structure and argued that it would be extremely difficult to achieve the goal. After some lively discussions, we came up with an idea which involved the feet attachment and ropes tied around the tree for additional support. This demonstrated the importance of communication in a group of people from different fields. Without such communication, it would be impossible to have a design that satisfied the requirements from all the fields. As I will probably work with people who have different backgrounds from me, this experience definitely strengthened my capability to handle such situation well.


In the construction phase, however, I think we should improve our flexibility. Our design consisted of many logs of different heights connected together which needed to be placed firmly on the ground. It was harder than we thought to achieve this at the site since the ground was not flat. It took us very long time to place and attach all the logs. As a result, we started to prototype other parts of our design on the last day of week 3 (my last day on site), and had very limited time to construct them. Since fixing the logs is a repeatable task with some general steps, we should be more flexible that we should dedicate less time to place the logs in the first 2 weeks of construction and put more effort into prototyping other parts. Consequently, we would have more time for prototyping. Once we had the prototypes done in the first 2 weeks, we could just construct the designs in the last week.


Through the past month, the iSEED program has enhanced both my hard skills and soft skills. I acquired CAD modelling capability, improved communication skills, and had a deeper understanding of the importance of flexibility to team work. This was a fantastic study abroad program.


34.0195° N, 118.4912° W

Well, it’s finally here. The end of our trip to Gothenburg. Let’s look back at what happened during our final week!

Straight from the beginning, the entire Dare2build crew was working hard this week. The Rice students and summer workers were leaving Friday, so we had to finish the majority of the project by then. We did a lot last week, but at the start of Monday we were only at the point of having gravel laid and logs cut so we really had our work cut out for us. Only Poppy and I were able to work on our path, so we put the logs that were already cut into place. We then spent the majority of the day screwing in the branches that connected the small logs (the first third of our trail).  Our strategy was to make a few rows and add diagonals after that to strengthen them.

Tuesday was the first day our entire team was on site and able to build so we really made the most of it. Following the same approach as Monday, we spent the entire day screwing in the rest of our path. By the time we went home, the majority of our path was in place, making this by far the frog team’s most productive day of the project.

On Wednesday I switched gears from working on the path to be the food and fika guru along with Helena,  Scott, and Maria. We opted for an American style, cooking hamburgers and fries for everyone to eat at lunch.

On the way back to the hostel Wednesday, we stopped at Jarntorget because Christian told us about . I ordered a saucey chicken breast, and can gladly say I was not dissapointed. The rest of Wednesday, however, was not so fun as I had to grind for the majority of the night on the final presentation we were to give on Thursday morning, only getting a few hours of sleep.

Thursday was my favorite day this week. We gave our presentations in the morning and had a few other group activities before our team spent the afternoon adding the final logs to our path and starting our portion of the circle. Most of the fun came after work, though, when we all went to a beautiful lake near the site. There was a diving board there, so you can probably figured out how I spent my time.

To be honest, not a ton happened on Friday. I worked on strengthening the connections between logs and ensuring they didn’t wiggle too much for the majority of the day. We also started laying the final layer of gravel and soil around the logs so it would be clear what needs to be done for people working on our path next week. I had an evening flight, so I had to leave early, but we managed to get a lot of photos in before I left.

After that, it was sadly time to leave Gothenburg. Instead of flying straight home I actually went to London first because there’s no direct flight home and I wanted to spend a little extra time with my family. I arrived there late Friday night and stayed until Saturday afternoon, which gave plenty of time to have a water gun fight with my cousins.

After that, I boarded a plane at Heathrow and was on my way back to LA. After a whole month, a lot of work, great memories, and countless new friends, my study abroad was over.

It’s the Final Countdown (pew pew pew pew)

Heading into the final week of our Sweden trip, we all knew that it would be intense…and it was.

On Monday and Tuesday, we did the usual work of constructing our path from 8 to 5:30, but after, we had night classes where we learned the rest of our CAD course material. It was hard working for 8 hours, coming back to the hostel, showering and eating, and then doing class for 2 hours after, but we all survived.

On Thursday we had our final presentation for the Engi 200 class. Because I did not have time to work on the presentation on Monday or Tuesday,  I spent about 4 hours preparing and practicing it on Wednesday. I got about 4 hours of sleep that night…waking up the next morning was not fun. We had to wake up extra early in order to get to the site on time to set up the projector and then gave our presentations to the group. I did good and believe I accurately portrayed the design process of my path and fully explained its characteristics.

After work on Thursday, a group of our project team went to a nearby lake for swimming, food, and relaxation! The lake was a decent sized body of water with rock formations surrounding all sides. We layed our bags and Daniel, Scott, and I decided to go for a swim. The water was cold, not as cold as the archipelago water,  but still chilly. In the center of the lake was a floating platform which had a diving board and multiple platforms to jump off of. The highest platform was about 12 feet high and was sorta scary jumping from for the first time. After we finished swimming, the pizzas arrived. Once the pizzas had been devoured, we decided to play a traditional Swedish game where each team has 4 blocks that the other team has to knock over by throwing cylindrical wood pieces. Once all the blocks are knocked over, the game is over and the team who knocked them down wins!

Friday was the Rice students’ last day to work on our paths. Everybody was working as hard as they could trying to make as much progress as possible to make it easier for the Chalmers’ students to put the finishing touches during the final week. Drills were drilling, saws were sawing, and everybody was moving 3x speed. The plant path made considerable progress, and I believe that my team will be able to really make it beautiful for opening day. It is unfortunate that the Rice students could not stay for the last week, but I think we all felt comfortable leaving our paths in the capable hands of the Chalmers’ students.

On Saturday, it was time to go home. I woke up at 5:45 AM to leave for the airport to catch my 10:30 AM flight to Frankfurt, Germany. There, I had a 2 1/2 hour layover until my flight to Houston. My flight home was 11 1/2 hours long, but it felt like forever. Getting off the stuffed flight, I went through passport security, got my bag and drove home. I threw my clothes in the wash, and immediately went to bed…what a trip.

Sweden Trip Comes Full Circle

Monday, June 24th

Today marked the beginning of our last week in Sweden. I was signed up for the role of project manager for the day and it was an interesting new experience. Instead of just working at the site I was responsible for planning the day and other logistics such as budgeting and conceptual drawings. Before starting I was a little nervous because I had essentially no experience leading a team of this size nor had I made many decisions of consequence to many other people. Once I planned out the daily objectives and assigned people to work certain tasks, my job became less stressful and I mostly stayed in the shipping container for the remainder of the day.

Later in the day, we had our first night lesson for ENGI 355 where we learned how to render objects. 

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 25th and 26th

With our final layer of planks coming in the next few days, we needed to decide upon a strategy for fastening our base logs and middle layer together. We started off with 3 different options of pins, rebar, and bolts, but we found through prototyping that these methods would take too much time and money. After a quick material run, we got 2cm wide metal strips that we would lay on top of the logs and screw down in either side. We finished one section pretty quickly on Tuesday and my team finished securing the rest of the base on Wednesday. when I was on Food and Fika duty. After working at the site, I worked more on my final presentation that I would have to give Thursday morning.

Metal Fasteners

Thursday, June 27th

The day began with an hour of the Sleep deprived Rice students giving a presentation on the work their team had done on their path so far. Despite knowing each team’s progress from being at the site, the presentations showed the of their method of planning that led them to their solutions.  Soon it began to feel like Christmas morning when the rough sawn planks arrived on site. For the rest of the day we took measurements and dertimed a more specific plan for the pattern of what would be the final layer of the circle. After 5, the Dare 2 Build Team went to the lake where we swam, jumped off diving boards, ate pizza and played kubb. The water was refreshing and it was a great way to spend our penultimate day together.



Friday, June 28th 

On our last day of building, we knew that we had to get at least some of the boards screwed into place so the Chalmers team members would have a manageable amount of work for the next week and to ensure that we were going forward with a design the team had collectively agreed upon. By the end of the day we had fixed planks to 2/4 sections of the circle, one section on top of logs and one section on top of planks.  Even though we didn’t get to see our whole project completed, I was still happy that I could see part of it finished in a way where I could finally visualize the final result. In the afternoon we said goodbye to the summer workers and Daniel. Finally, the remaining Rice students played one last game of 4 square together just like we did on our first night together. 

Team Wilderness

Saturday, June 29th 

Today was my last full day in Sweden and I mostly used it to check off the final boxes of places to visit. Around noon I visited the famous fish market and the rose festival with Dr. Wettergreen. Also I checked out this really cool science fiction store which had everything I could have ever wanted and more.  Then I walked around Gothenburg’s Botanical Garden before heading to the Hostel to pack up.