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Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers? - Page 2 - Buggy Alumni Association

Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

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McCue
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby McCue » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:18 pm

That's such a terrible excuse. It doesn't add value to your program because you just scoped your program down to not include winning design comp. You should participate in design comp because it's there to participate in, the same reason you should participate in the race itself.

Your excuse sounds like Sig Nu saying "we decided not to do buggy this year because it didn't help us meet our goals of being fat/lazy." Well, sure. Congratulations on meeting your goals.

ipmcc
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby ipmcc » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:34 pm

PiKA isn't the only org that has given up on design comp.

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lemuroid
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby lemuroid » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:46 pm


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swiftsam
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby swiftsam » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:24 pm


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McCue
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby McCue » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:42 pm


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lemuroid
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby lemuroid » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:00 pm

Way back in my day, the zoo were big into design. We took pride in it. Brought home a bunch of hardware as a result. Much labor, much love. Probably not far from how fringe feels today. It was a big part of buggy for us.

Back then, BETA and later TX were also big on design. BETA had ruled design for a few years in the late 70s and early 80s. TX put on a good effort as well. PKA never entered. TX had a good looking design buggy and a very fast race buggy but they were not the same buggy. We were in the same boat. We did not enter our fastest buggies because they were not the best looking. Esp was entered for several years while Lemur, clearly a revolutionaly design, was not. Eventually we had yama bachi and later the pope and those were also pretty but not fast buggies. Before 1986 or 87, only the design-entered buggy had to go to the gym, the rest stayed at home and received pre-race love. Design was mandated. PKA would drag over their 'd' buggy but refuse to present. Mandating design is a bad idea. we have been there and done that.

The contest was, at the time, a combination of a good design, a beauty pagent and a lottery. The process was flawed. While 3/4 of the time, a well designed buggy won, more than once we had the case where a buggy that no one who was actively racing would consider a 'good design' won the thing a few times. How do I know they were not good designs? 2 reasons:were they good designs, they would have either been fast enough to make the top 20, or we they good designs, others might have copied all or some of their features in following years, neither was the case).

Thus, we saw 4 wheeled buggies (including ours) winning design after the 4 wheeled era had past. We had 3 wheeled buggies the size of a house winning over much better designs from TX or SN or BETA or even SDC and Fringe buggies of that era. When that happened, it was hard to take design seriously. Many judges were good, some were flat out silly in terms of the questions they asked.

I do not know when the zoo stopped caring about design enough to stop entering. I know they were entering into the 90s. I had already given up on design after my last year as an undergrad, 87. To me, the time and effort to tart up a buggy was not worth the somewhat suspect chances of a fair judging. Given when it was happening (the day before the race), I felt I had put those man hours of work, early weekend wakeup calls, and hours of practice at risk by stretching our resources thinner to enter a flawed competition.

The lack of quality judging was what killed it for me. Focusing on making that better would be a good thing. Might inspire more teams to enter.

My idea for improving design: hold it friday afternoon, after prelims. The judges would all be invited to watch the prelims. This, more than anything else would improve the odds of having a rational outcome of the contest. I can tell you my buggy is fast, or I can show you my design working in the context of the race it was designed for. Show followed by Tell is the best combo. If my hatch needs a big piece of duct tape, the judge will see it. If my entrant has stability issues in the chute, those will be hard to miss. If my design is not rolling 'a' team for at least one gender, that should matter as well (in a bad way). If it rolls 9+ windows, that is some positive design proof.

If moved to fridays, It would be very natural for the crowd to go from the race course to the gym. The teams making the finals could be allowed to present first (use reverse order from the prelims to establish the presentation order) to get them as much time as possible to get ready for the next day. The rest of the buggies could just as easily sit in the gym on friday as thursday. If kept to a short duration, it would not get in the way of any other carnival events and might be a great chance for some folks who are occupied during the prelims (judges, announcers...) to interact with the people they had to ignore earlier in the day. And, we could serve beer (to BAA members of age). The peoples choice award could be nice fundraiser for the buggy alumni association. Also, by moving it to Friday, you would have more alumni and parents there. That increased crowd would naturally elevate design's importance.

friday post prelim design + judges at prelims + beer at desig + BAA cookout as part of desig = good

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abordick
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby abordick » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:47 pm

Friday design with roll times/performance would be a great improvement. Mark, we felt the same judging in the late 80s/early 90s that you felt and that really turned us off.

Sam, my experience was that the judges were somewhat random. I think one year, they had a design professor judging and I think someone heard him make some comments that were downright ignorant to the race. Auto experts/industry professionals would be a great improvement

But for me, the thing that reinforced the decision to NOT enter my year (because that's the only year that I could really affect), was when I watched the Phi Kap booth chair gravity test his 3rd place trophy off the top of his booth. Their booth was ridiculously awesome, but they lost to the judges. Someone turned to me and said "that's why you don't enter subjective competitions."

Look, you may not like that I didn't do design competition, but we won men's and women's my year and everyone involved felt like we were a complete and total success. (Well, except our B team that I screwed royally, but that's a different story). And yes, I scoped my program down to focus on the priorities that we could manage. Maybe if KDR had tried that they would have performed better than fourth, or actually still have a chapter. I will never feel bad or make excuses for sweeping day 2.

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McCue
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby McCue » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:46 pm

Unnecessary KDR troll, but I'll bite. I'm not sure the 20 minutes we spent on design comp when I was chair is what kept us out of the top 3, and eventually got us kicked off campus. You should re-consider entering now that you haven't won in a couple years, and the winner of this past race also won design comp. The cause-effect relationship that you hypothesized doesn't seem to be there.

Seriously though, I'm not a fan of subjective competitions either, which is why I never poured my heart into booth. But we still competed in it (and design comp) because we liked competing. I don't like when people don't enter primarily because it cheapens the event, and I want(ed) more events for my fraternity to compete in. This is the exact same reason for all my earlier snark re: SN.

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Carl Nott
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby Carl Nott » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:51 am

download/file.php?id=4

Does this work? It should be a link to the design comp criteria that Sam posted last year.

My opinons (obviously) which are, like Design Comp, subjective: I did/do think that design comp was a waste of my time. I think design comp is judged on, well, stupid things. Every time I see 'aesthetic' on the criteria (7 instances) I want to puke, and the fact that I don't see 'efficiency' or 'simplicity' makes me want to cry.

Basically, if I spent 40hrs building a buggy and Visconti spent 500hrs building one, and the resulting buggies are identical in every way, the winner would be decided by who painted it in the more appealing way (which would be Visconti because I would paint it flat black, because flat black is faster (tho with a white nose), tho even with identical paint jobs I'm sure his would be 'better' (while mine would be, of course, faster)), and that's bullshit on a massive number of levels.*

Also, the criteria is geared to 'best freeroll vehicle' and not 'best buggy', which is fucking stupid too.



ipmcc
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Re: Design Competition 2011 - Volunteers?

Postby ipmcc » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:25 am

From where I sit, buggy builders/maintainers are typically engineering minded people - problem solvers. The issue that I always had with design is that I could never see an "engineering approach" to it. If you don't win design one year, it's not clear what you can do between then and the next design comp to improve your chances, especially if you're not building that year. With the actual races, it's easy: make it go faster. And you have a year of rolls to iterate on that. Design always felt arbitrary to me.

While I was in school I seem to recall that we won "People's Choice" pretty consistently. That was all the "prettiness" validation I ever needed.


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