Our goal for our final project for Sticky Innovation was to come up with a solution to a “wicked problem.” We began by spending a class brainstorming any idea we could think of for possible projects. Even if the projects were not feasible, we wrote them all down and considered them. At the end of the class, we started to narrow our ideas down to ones that interested us. During the next class we thought about what we would try to achieve with each of our projects and decided on building an indoor hive. We hoped that an indoor hive would popularize the idea of beekeeping, bridge the gap between people and bees, and have people become more educated about bees. We initially designed a model and worked out all the details that would be necessary for a hive that bees can actually live in. The hive was made utilizing many features of the 1819 Innovation Hub which allowed us to learn more about using the CNC, the laser cutter, and the 3D printers. We ran into several errors while making our prototype hive, but it allowed us to learn of better ways to construct the hive that we wouldn’t have thought of without the prototype. I focused on making the user guide which would allow the owner of the hive to learn the functions of the hive and how to properly maintain it and care for the bees. We strongly encouraged the user to get involved in the local beekeeping community to help keep their bees alive and educate them on issues about the bees.
While we were focused on making the physical prototype and writing the user guide, we really stopped having to focus on how our product would solve a “wicked problem”. I was worried that our prototype wasn’t turning out as expected, so I wasn’t thinking about the importance of the idea itself. Preparing for the presentation allowed me to look at the bigger picture and see all the possibilities of how an indoor hive can benefit the bees. Overall, I feel this project tied into what we had discussed throughout the semester about Arts Based Research. Not only did we learn many details about bee hives and keeping bees alive, but we were able to use this project as a way to come up with unique ideas for ways to help the bees. Prototyping the hive and typing out the reasons for all the features helped me learn in a way that simply reading the information couldn’t. I don’t think I would continue improving on this specific project due to my limited access to resources to build it, but I feel compelled to use Arts Based Research to find unique solutions to problems in the future.
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