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Project Plan: Space

How does the physical design of the space impact its use? How does it relate to the goals of the organization? Will changes be necessary? What is the ideal human-computer ecosystem for this organization? For example: should the space primarily emphasize physical interaction between people, with computers as a secondary tool, or are computers a central part of the use of the space?

We are fortunate in that the spaces that will be used for the computer labs are being cleared out, cleaned, painted and updated electrically to become the computer lab/instruction areas.  In many respects we are beginning with a blank canvas and are afforded quite a bit of freedom to design computing labs that meet the expectation of Reverend Freeman (an inviting, aesthetically pleasing space open to all ages) and that can be tailored to meet the goals of Trinity UMC (capable of being rearranged for wide array of tasks, e.g., Sunday School using Cokesbury instructional materials, values teaching, story-telling, video production and photo editing, after school projects for junior high and high school students including test prep, communicating with sister parishes over Skype, and community outreach that may take the form of skills programs like job searching, Internet, email, and MSOffice instruction.)

It should be noted that these wide varieties of tasks lend themselves to different computing behaviors.  Some are private and individual while others are communal.  Desks must be mobile and accommodate these shifts in use.  In addition, computers must connect wirelessly to the network.

This ideal human-computer ecosystem (inviting, mobile and customizable) does not seem difficult to obtain, but we will be talking with Reverend Freeman to find out what definite features (tables, chairs, chalkboards) will remain in the lab areas as well as the possible addition of an LCD TV or projector so that we can draw out and discuss a few plans with Reverend Freeman before installation of computers and desks.

Our main challenge is the electrical and this may impact our use of the space.  We are limited to two single gang sockets in each of the proposed areas.  We do not want to run long power cords since, since in addition to being a tripping hazard they would interrupt a pleasing aesthetic.  The electrical will be updated March 12 to March 16 and we will be seeking the advice of Martin and Adam at our meeting on Monday, March 14 and then discuss wiring options with Reverend Freeman.

Possible Change:

Ideally Reverend Freeman would like us to install twenty computers in two rooms, but we may be limited to installing ten computers in one room.  If so we will focus our efforts in the larger room, since that room is larger, offers the most flexibility with design, and receives a stronger WifFi signal.  If we install twenty computers and include the smaller room we will most likely run an Ethernet cable through the ceiling from the larger room to the smaller and install an additional wireless hub.

Room specs: the smaller and quieter of the two rooms is 20’ x 12.5’ with one high east-facing window and is used by elementary school age children while the larger room is 20’ x 22’ with one 12’ west-facing window, 4’ of which is an actual windowpane.

Possible Room Layouts with electrical recommendations

Note: Please click on the room layouts for a larger image.

Trip One: Large Room

Trip One: Small Room

Trip Two: Construction of 10 mobile desks allowing for flexibility

Trip Three: Final Installation

Before: Tangled cords

After: Organized cords allowing for easy mobility

Update at Conclusion of Project:

We are able to install 10 computers in the larger room. The computers will have wireless NIC cards installed to allow for easier mobility. Perhaps in the future more computers will be able to be added to the smaller room.