I’ve been doing a lot of research to try to narrow down the ideas for my final project. Right now, I am kicking around building some sort of LED lamp (either to clip to my headboard or hang on the wall), or a cat tree. I could use both for the house, and one of my goals for the final project was to make something that was practical, or a gift. The gift will probably be shifted to one of our smaller projects, but that’s another discussion entirely. What I wanted to discuss, and what I’m sure some of my other classmates are experiencing, is that ground in between wanting to take on something incredibly cool that would teach you new skills, and taking on something you could realistically make in the time we have. I tend to be the type that has grand plans for projects and doesn’t always complete them. I think the key here is to keep the plan realistic, but push it to the limits of what I think can be accomplished.
For instance, even though it would be awesome to construct the ultimate cat palace, I’ve managed to keep my sketches to a 4′ tall structure with multiple platforms and scratching material. Right now I’m in the phase of pricing materials, and figuring out how to get my hands on the right construction tools. I consider myself pretty IKEA-level handy, but don’t have access to much beyond a hammer, screwdriver, and hand saw. However, this is where getting creative comes in, and that’s where things could get really fun.
Or, if I go with the lamp idea, I’ve been looking at what can be done with conductive textiles/thread, or strips of LED lights. I’ve even been looking a bit into Arduino to see if a programmable lighting system could be accomplished. This is where I began to get overwhelmed: could I even attempt something that unknown? Do I owe it to myself to try? Or is having a completed product more important than risking failure but learning a lot of new things?
I’m sure there are others out there who are trying to bridge the gap between fantastic ideas and that little voice that says: keep it simple, silly. I’d love to hear thoughts.