Start Your Engines! – Meredith Oldham, Bel Floratine Custom Designs

Hello there!

The Airstream certainly needs some beautifying, but hey, that vintage will paper isn't too bad!

The Airstream certainly needs some beautifying, but hey, that vintage will paper isn’t too bad!

My name is Meredith or “Mere,” and I am one third of Bel Floratine Custom Designs, a design and research team working on Project Ventura. Myself, along with Miranda Toy and Ally Reznicek, will be working throughout the next few months to develop the perfect teachers’ common space, housed in a (what will be) beautifully renovated 1977 Airstream.

I started attending the Ann Richards School as a 6th grader, back in the fall of 2009. Reznicek and I knew each other prior to coming to the school, and we made friends with Miranda not long after starting 6th grade. I remember in 6th grade, one of my favorite classes was STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and subsequently in 7th and 8th grade, I thoroughly enjoyed my PLTW (Project Lead the Way) classes. So in 8th grade, when we were presented with the option of three pathways to essentially “major in” in high school, Engineering seemed like the natural fit. I’m happy with my decision, and whether I decided to be an engineer or not in the future, I know my time here in the ARS Engineering pathway will be very valuable.

Of all the engineering fields out there in the world, the one that interests me most is Environmental Engineering. I really enjoy biology, and learning about the environment- and all that mixed with engineering just seems like a lovely fit. Thus, I’m very excited for the “eco-friendly” aspect of Project Ventura.

We've been toying with some designs, which we will model using Google Sketchup.

We’ve been toying with some designs, which we will model using Google Sketchup.

In addition to the “eco-friendly” aspect of Project Ventura, I’m also excited for the visual design of the trailer’s interior. This seems like it will be a fun and creative process that I will thoroughly enjoy. I also like talking to other teacher’s about their ideas for the teachers’ common space because a lot of them have great ideas and constructive criticism. Plus, they are our clients, so it’s vital that we listen to them and utilize their ideas in any ways that we can.

While I’m looking forward to Project Ventura, there are a couple things I’m nervous about. For starters, circuits unnerve me. Perhaps it’s just the daunting wires, or the threat of electrifying yourself among other hazards, but circuits really make me nervous. Fortunately Reznicek is somewhat of a circuit whizz, and may be able to help me, or even teach me some new things about circuits! I’m also a bit nervous about time constraints, just because last year girls said they stayed at school until late, and even had to eat dinner at school. Hopefully we’ll be able to manage our time well and avoid putting in tons of hours right before the due date.

Again, this retro wallpaper is really lovely! We may have to incorporate a theme with the this "flora."

Again, this retro wallpaper is really lovely! We may have to incorporate a theme with the this “flora.”

We’ve already started brainstorming a bit about the interior design of the Airstream. Last class we tossed around ideas like benches around the inside perimeter, fold out couches and tables, among other ideas. There’s so much we can do with this Airstream. Despite being vintage, this Airstream is durable and can withstand the test of time. Even today, with so much technology invented every year globally, the Airstream is still considered one of the best designs ever. I feel privileged to get to work with one of these fascinating designs.

I’m thrilled to embark on this journey with close friends, Ally Reznicek and Miranda Toy. I have no doubt that, as a team, we will work great with each other.

The Airstream is stunning! The silver aluminum exterior already sets it apart from the rest of the school.

The Airstream is stunning! The silver aluminum exterior already sets it apart from the rest of the school.

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