Eureka!

Two things happened lately. 

THE FIRST THING
As someone with the minimum sense of direction that you could ever imagine in a person, I follow the same path from one classroom to another. On my Tuesdays and Thursdays of this semester at 10:20 am, after my Application of Cognitive Science class, I'd go downstairs to the ground floor of Baker Hall, exit the building, walk to the fifth floor (ground floor) of Wean hall, take the stairway to go down to its fourth floor, and take the bridge to Newell-Simon Hall.

The stairway from fifth to the fourth floor has been good, where I find interesting posters about plays and events that I found intriguing. Until last week, that it has become fantastic

The photos I grabbed with my phones were not able to do the experience justice. So here is a link to a documentation of the installation.

   "Two different color states, around 30 minutes apart."   Source: http://www.ultralowres.com/wean/

"Two different color states, around 30 minutes apart."
Source: http://www.ultralowres.com/wean/

THE SECOND THING
I received an email from the Interim Provost that encourages us to submit applications for the "UPLift Challenge Projects:" "Cool, creative and community-focused projects for improving the Pittsburgh campus."

Dear Pittsburgh Campus Community Members,

The Task Force on the CMU Experience wants your help in making the CMU campus a better place. Today, I am pleased to announce the second CMU UPLift Challenge.

During the very successful pilot year, we invited students, faculty and staff to submit ideas for experimental and temporary campus infrastructure projects, renovations or installations, anywhere on the Pittsburgh campus. We received a total of 59 entries, with five projects being accepted for implementation. Projects ranged in scope from small, outdoor interventions like the Games for Health signage, to art installations like the Wean Stairwell, to opportunities for play like the new swing set near Donner. A special thank you to the committee that made the hard choices to select the five winning projects from last year.

This year, we again are looking for projects that are modest in scope, but ambitious in imagination. Repeat submissions from last year are also welcome! A faculty-staff-student committee will select the best ideas, which the university will fund at up to $20,000 per project (but typically around $10,000), and execute them. I invite to you submit an application with your ideas by April 16. Unsure where to start? Join our planned information sessions:

  • Thursday, April 5, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Room 6142, Scott Hall
  • Tuesday, April 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Dowd Room, Cohon University Center

I look forward to receiving your cool, creative and community-focused projects for improving the Pittsburgh campus!

"Well, it sounds cool. But I don't think they'll do anything about it." -- my initial thoughts. Then, I clicked on the "five winning projects" link in the email (the tendency that prevents me to finish any emails), where I knew I was wrong. The stunning neon-light-in-the-hallway-that-I-walk-through-twice-a-week project is obviously one of the five selected submissions from the program last year when it was piloted!  

I was stunned, not clear about what I was stunned about though. I felt like I walked into a dream and then got to know that it actually came from the reality, around us, among us, and from us. Having worked on design and research projects that I try my best to see through from the beginning till the end, I have learned to appreciate the dedication, patience, and persistence that are indispensable for any result to come through. 

These two things have made my week.