Mission: Accomplished!

This past week marked the completion of the Design+Build project at Artists’ Backyard Phase III.  The presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony was bittersweet.  It celebrated the accomplishment of the project, but marked the end of my time with the Design+Build team.  Looking back, I am proud at what my teammates and I were able to accomplish together as a group in only a few months.  What initially was an idea has now become a reality.  I am grateful for the concept to construction experience and for the opportunity to grow as an engineer and individual.

“Never refuse an invitation.  Never resist the unfamiliar.  Never fail to be polite. And never outstay your welcome.  Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience.  And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.” – Richard, The Beach.

I am grateful for Andy’s invitation, instruction, and patience throughout this project.  I came into this project as an engineering grad student with blinders on, focused on urban stormwater design and green infrastructure.  After this experience, my vision was broadened to different ways of approaching design and the importance in considering social and ecological function into design.  I have also gained skills in personal accountability, communication and teamwork skills, adaptability and decisiveness, and the confidence that comes along with the experience.  I’ve battled back injury and sickness, and in the end, it was all worth it. Now, I exit grad school and enter the work world taking with me the knowledge, skills, confidence and friendships acquired through work at Artist’s Backyard Phase III.

-Ben

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