Principles, Practices and Project Management

Final Project Proposal


Detroit is in a constant of flux where dilapidation and revitalization seem to battle constantly within the city's current infrastructure. Driving by this location routinely, I've noticed that the medical professionals that work across the street, joggers, walkers and the homeless stop here to rest on the benches, despite the wildly unkempt terrain. I want to make this a safe and beautiful space to rest - an oasis.

Proposed Site for Device Installation:


Beauty and safety in this city can be achieved. In winter's darkness, currently, there is no lighting in this space. But the potential for regular use is quite apparent. One can walk, bike or jog from this side street oasis to the main street without interference from auto traffic. The current lighting fixtures could be removed and replaced with motion sensors connecting to a solar-powered panel that will light up L.E.D.s wrapped around the 2 trees onsite - notifying others of pedestrian traffic coming to, from and through the oasis. The speed limit in the area is currently 25 miles per hour and would serve as no added distraction to drivers. During the day, citizens can rest on the soft wooden benches and relax in the steady stream of sunshine coming from the west. An edible garden could surround the trees, replacing the weeds, dead leaves and waste. Students could also be introduced to topiary art, by trying their hand at shaping and styling the overgrown shrubbery. This oasis could be adopted by local students of landscaping, urban design and architecture for regular maintenance and upkeep, serving as both a community impact and project-based learning activity. Partners could include: Wayne State University's Urban Planning Department, Lawrence Technological University's Detroit Design Studio, The City of Detroit's Planning and Parks and Recreation Departments, Cass Technical and Denby High School seniors, and the local nonprofit, Greening of Detroit.


Propose The Concrete Oasis Project to redesign 2 city parks with: The City of Detroit Parks and Recreation and Planning Department, Michigan National Organization of Minority Architects chapters (MI -NOMA), Detroit Public Schools, and my company, Right Brain Connections. By working together as a team, we can develop our visions more quickly, as there is $28 million dollars available for place-making projects in the state. Collectively using our heads, hands and hearts - we can plan, learn and shape our communities together now, for future opportunities. By documenting the proposal process, teaching professionals everywhere can use this as a template for project-based learning for their students.

Website Construction or Project Documentation

In Fab Academy, we're to document our work/learning via our website. This is a difficult task if you're a novice to coding web pages, especially as we're using MACs (I just prefer PCs - but I can't complain). Find a template and use this tutorial. Make it easy for yourself. Learning to code with Shay is pretty cool too: Learn to Code. Thanks Shay!

I used these resources because they were simple and concise, as well as allowed for coding practice on the sites themselves.

Here's some other resources that I used, that will help:

Creating the Shell Pages and Updating HTML Pages to Show in the Browser:

  • Select all the source code of your best page yet. (Keep the functioning codes uncommented in a text document while you work to copy & paste -put Develop from your system preferences in your toolbar to look at the source codes from sites/pages you admire.) - for me it's this one: Interface & App Programming.
  • Copy it.
  • Make a new text document - I used Textwrangler for MACs.
  • Paste it in the content window.
  • Modify as needed for that page.

Fixing a Broken [index.html] Link

  • 1. open the terminal and keep it open through this process
  • 2. navigate to your folder, this way:
  • 3. type [git pull], then type [ls] to list all your folder files and to view the old [index] file
  • 4. go to TextWrangler
  • 5. open the old [index] file here too
  • 6. open Finder and go to your student folder
  • 7. click on the old [index]
  • 8. delete it/ move it to the [trash], then empty it immediately, if it prompts you, click [continue]
  • 9. go back to the Terminal
  • 10. type [git status]
  • 11. the output should state that the old file from the Finder folder is deleted
  • 12. type [git add -A]
  • 13. type [git commit -m "write a message here"]
  • 14. type [git push]
  • 15. keep the Terminal open - you're not done
  • 16. go back to TextWrangler
  • 17. save the old [index] file here as [index.html] => and don't ever rename it again
  • 18. go back to the Terminal
  • 19. navigate to your student folder, type [git status], then [ls]
  • 20. you should see your newly made [index.html] file
  • 21. go through the git pull, add, commit and push process
  • 22. go to the Fab Academy page and check to see your web page as viewable from your student link (click on your name from your lab)
  • I hope this helps you cause until I figured this out (took about 5 days), I thought my life was over.
  • I use scrolling text boxes often - to view them without straining your eyes, click on the box and hold [command and the +]. That should help.

    How did I learn to build the website? Zuberi showed me where to find the template and how to start, but I probably scrapped the site 3 times before getting it right.

    So, practice will make you better. Learning how to use GIT with tracking website changes was the most challenging part of construction.

    Coding it was fairly simple for me, as I read, write and pick up new languages really well.

Principles and Practices

GIT or Content Archives and Pushing to the Repository

The Purpose of Content Archive or the use of GIT and the Repository:

  • Don't do what I did:

    I thought you could just download GIT and get to it - NOPE!. I had to upgrade the OS; download Xcode from the Apple store; build GIT from the source code THEN build MacPorts from the source code:

    Only to discover that I STILL CAN'T USE GIT because I didn't clone the repo AND I made it harder for myself by making it so I have to use the ssh- keys before I can start managing my files. It took me ALL DAY just to figure out what apps to download, download them and make sure they were working on the laptop.

    Do this:

    Make sure your OS has been upgraded with the latest updates and that you know your computer specs.

    Make sure an updated Xcode version is installed w/ command line tools on your computer just in case the downloaded package installer doesn't work for whatever reason, and you find yourself building the source code in the terminal (like what I had to do). Just use the installer if you have a later version than OS X.

    • Visit the site for how to install GIT on your computer.
    • I chose MacPorts and opened the terminal.
    • Installing via the source code, if using OS X and above, choose 2.2.2 Source Install.
    • Download Macports - the finder window will show up with a MacPorts folder.
    • Drag the folder into an open terminal window and follow the commands.
    • My GIT Tutorial:

      My troubles with GIT extended throughout the program, but I had help getting through them.

      My first tutorial was with Zuberi on 28 January 2016 on Homebrew:

      I learned that with A LOT of practice, I can finally utilize GIT on my own without freaking out.

      Having access to others' files didn't really help me because I didn't know how to use GIT.

      But I did notice that my pages were viewed often, so it's great being of a help to others, even when I don't know what I'm doing.

      I used GIT to track my actions each time I made major changes to the website.

      More GIT Tutorials in this text box:

      Saving Your Files:

      Save a copy of your cloned repo folder, and everything you do, to an external hard or jump drive for your own peace of mind.

      Don't rely on your peers, your instructor or the director to keep up with YOUR work.

      For Your Future Electronics:

      My previously milled circuit boards didn't function because:

      • the soldering iron was too hot
      • design flaws in the schematics
      • diodes (LEDs) were oriented wrong
      • So BEFORE you begin drawing your schematics ( which will make or break, your board layout and forthcoming circuit board), read this tutorial.

        Diode orientation - applying the component to your board the proper way: use this link!

        You can't just put components on your boards and expect them to

        magically work. Diodes aren't the only components that require proper

        orientation, so do your research and read the datasheets!

        6pin headers have a programming orientation!!

        Start doing your homework on basic electronics NOW if you're a novice.

        Fab Academy is NOT the Kobayashi Maru, but in my opinion, it might be pretty close.

        Don't give up... =>

        • "Imagine that one day, you need to reproduce all of your assignments.
        • You have no Internet (except for Fab Modules), no-one is able to help you.
        • You have only your fab academy archive folder and the resources of the fab lab.
        • Ensure that you have documented everything, in enough detail, in your archive, so that you can do this easily."
        • Figure out what you don't know by isolating the specific problem,
        • not within the context of your entire project/situation.
        • Take it
        • step
        • by
        • step.
        • "Learn about ways of learning, questioning and doing."