Silicon Valley

Besides living in Los Altos Hills and being in Pali Alto almost every day, we got to see some more of the Silicon Valley on our last half day in California. 

We got up rather early and actually all together jumped into our pool we had. The temperature wasn’t that warm all week and we did not have all too much time to actually use the pool we had, so we decided it to be a must to jump into the pool on the last day! ๐Ÿ™‚ let me tell you, it was freezing cold! 

After cleaning up the house and packing the car, we drove around Silicon Valley and went to look at some companies. We went to look at Steve Jobs garage where Apple was founded, checked out the Google Plex/Campus and Facebook. 

After these rather short visits, we made our way to the airport and had some lunch before boarding the KLM plane for Amsterdam. 

9 hours later, we made it to Amsterdam! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Xo

Florence

Presentation Day

After lots of prototyping and testing yesterday, we sat down today and analyzed the tests and concluded with the fact that all our prototypes and tests have failed and that we were still missing a real problem.

Good thing that failure is encouraged in this course/project, as long as we take valuable lessons away from it. This is exactly what we have done. This week, we’ve learned a lot about how to work with each other, or not to work with each other. Create a team dynamic that we can take with once we’re back in Sweden and have 9 hour time difference again. 

The morning therefore went by really quick and we were ready for our presentation in the afternoon. The presentation itself went really well and we received some important input from the teaching team. Once the presentation was over, we discussed a quick game plan on how to tackle the next mission and decided to wrap it up. 

In the evening all ME310ers met again at the loft for a SUDS dinner. The last dinner before heading back to Linkรถping! 

We spent an incredible interesting time here at Stanford University with lots of new experiences. The Stanford team will come to Sweden in March for a week to work with us, before we go back to Stanford in June for the final presentation! 

Xo

Florence

Stanford University Loft

Today was all about finishing up our first challenge as an entire group, a critical experience prototype. 

Since we’re looking into rescues in difficult to reach terrain, we came up with a bunch of problems that could come up or improvements for current procedures. 

One big problem we identified was communication devices among rescuers but also the quantitative and qualitative communicaton between each other. These problems were derived from interviews and observations in rescue missions. 

Based on these observations, we came up with a prototype to automate commands while doing a ground search and rescue around Stanford University campus. The testing was a complete fail and the result was the exact opposite of what we expected. 

After the testing, we made our way back to the loft and analyzed the challenge again and came up with 2 more scenarios. One scenario was to train the rescuers eyes and another one was to find a victim in a dark room (burning fire) with a map. Both tests were yet again fails. 

After those fails, we decided to call it a day and go to cheesecake factory for dinner before heading home. 

Tomorrow is another day to prototype and test and hopefully succeed! ๐Ÿ™‚

Xo

Florence

San Francisco by Bike

Another day of sightseeing in San Francisco was on the schedule for today! 

We left Los Altos Hills at 9am and were headed to Lombard St again, we wanted to see it again in daylight after we saw it at night on Wednesday! It was so pretty, we enjoyed it a lot! 

After Lombard St we made our way down to the bay bridge where we would park the car and rent bikes. We then took the bikes on the ferry to Sausolito. It was a such a beautiful sight of the bay bridge and San Francisco skyline from the boat, it was so worth it. 

Once we arrived in Sausolito, we went to eat lunch before we biked to the Golden Gate Bridge. The bike ride up to the bridge from the restaurant was slightly challenging but we had a lot of fun! Once we got to the bridge, we took it very easy and stopped once in a while to take the full experience and sight in. It will be one of those unforgettable experiences in my travel diary! 

After the Golden Gate bridge, we made our way back to Embarcadero. On the way we stopped now and then again for pictures. We also made a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts and some of the piers. 

Once back at the port of San Francisco, we returned the bikes and took our car to drive to the tile steps for to catch the sunset. Let me tell you, it was stunning!!! 

As it got dark, we made our way to Mission District where we had mexican dinner. Dinner was fantastic, so delicious! We were already thinking about going back there asap! 

Last stop before driving home was Ghiradelli Square were we went for an ice cream dessert. That again, was yummy but turned out to be way too much! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

It was a great day, we saw everything we wanted to see and had so much fun! Today was the last time in San Francisco until June, and I’m already sooo excited to come back! 

๐Ÿ™‚ 

Xo Florence

Stanford University D.School

It was a long day, it was a very long day! ๐Ÿ™‚

We met the Stanford team at the d.school at 9:30am and left the building shortly before 9pm again! 

What did we do for this long? Basically brainstorming user needs and creating questions that are relevant in the need space. The discussions were very interesting and intense, so time passed very fast until 4pm. Around that time we started to get really powered out, but still had so much left to do that we just kept going and going and going until the power was fully out around 9pm. 

It’s difficult to work such long days but at the same time it is very important for us as we’re only now being in the same timezone. Once we fly home it’ll be a lot more difficult again with 9hrs time difference, so this is time here should be high quality time. Not only for school work, but also about getting to know your new teammates and how they work.

Additionally, we have to present a critical experience prototype on Tuesday where we still have to do testing and analysis and so forth. 

Overall, great day, great experience! I’m looking forward to some more! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Xo 

Florence

Paper Bike Challenge

Finally, it was the day of the paper bike challenge! Every year during the kick-off, each team is competing with their previously built paper bike against each other! 

Approximately a month ago we were given the instructions for this challenge and started designing and building it. The instructions were simple, it had to be built out of paper and cardboard, except for 500g non-paper material was allowed. Additionally there was a size limit as well, as everyone had to fly it to San Francisco… and that was pretty much it for instractions! ๐Ÿ™‚

We started brainstorming and prototyping and bulding right away until today, the day of the race! 

We decided to have a fully Swedish bike and would wear our university overalls. I might be a bit bias but I think we were the best looking team! ๐Ÿ™‚

The race was so much fun, we started around 11am and raced until 4pm. It was though, as we had to go over obstacles and ramps and run (or rather sprint) over longer distances! 

Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the final, but our bike was a huge success. It was holding all the way, with rain and waterballon attacts and so on until we than had to deconstruct it and throw it in the garbage at the end of the day. 

The night ended with a SUDS at a stakehouse before heading back home exhausted.
Xo

Florence

The Challenge

Today we met our Stanford group for the first time and had the official kick-off for the ME310 at Stanford University d-school. 

Our challenge that was given to us a bit over a week ago was a to invent a product or a solution for rescues in difficult to reach terrain! 

We started with interviewing pilots, police, firefighters and victims of earthquakes and so forth. Through that we were able to identify needs. Further we did some benchmarking on what’s already out there and so on. 

The last step was to create a persona. So as of right now, our persona is Patrick, a rescuer! More to follow! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Also we had a Pecha kucha presentation to all the ME310ers, where we had to present ourselves through 6 slides where we had 10 sec for each slide. It was a fun experience! ๐Ÿ™‚

Up next is Paper Bike Challenge, so stay tuned! 

Xo

Florence

San Francisco

When efficiency pays off and you get to spend a full day in San Francisco doing some sightseeing with your project group! Winning! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Before we made our way to San Francisco, we wanted to have a look at the Tesla HQ which was very close to where we live. But funny enough we got asked to leave the premises before even getting to the parking lot! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

So next stop was Baker Beach with an amazing view on the Golden Gate bridge. We spent quite some time walking up and down the beach and taking in the view. I took my shoes off so I could dip my feet a bit in the water! 

We then drove to Peer 36 where we just walked around and then enjoyed a delicious lunch at Bubba Gump restaurant. Yummy!! What a treat! 


Moving on, we wanted to walk to Lombard St, but then passed the cable car and got stuck there and went on a one way ride! The ride was done at Union Square, so we went to check this out. They had a huge Christmas tree up and a little icerink, which was tempting for me to go on! ๐Ÿ™‚ Time was running though and we made our way back to the car through China Town and some other sights! 

Once back at the car, it was unfortunately dark already and our original plan of driving the Lombard St was then done in the dark. It was fun, driving up and down the steep streets of San Francisco! 

The clock was already around 6pm and we decided to head back home with a couple of stops on the way! First stop, the Pained Ladies but unfortunately, too dark again to get the full experience. So then we stopped at TJ Maxx and Walmart for some shopping before getting back to Los Altos Hills. 

It was a great day, we had so much fun, and it was nice to finally see the Golden Gate Bridge and all the further sights! Our next off day is Sunday, where we will go to San Francisco again for more sightseeing! 

Stay tuned! 

Xo 

Florence

Travel Day – Check!ย 

4:15am yesterday was the start of a long journay to San Francisco! 

We took the first flight out of Linkรถping at 6am to fly to Amsterdam! We were tired but super excited! The trip to Amsterdam went well and smooth, followed by a rather quick layover in Amsterdam we boarded our KLM flight to San Francisco! 

It was a 10 hour flight, which passed rather quick with watching several movies and doozing off now and then! After landing and clearing customs we went off to get our rental cars and drove to Los Altos Hills, where we have our Airbnb. 

After a delicous dinner at Los Altos Grill, we drove to the Twin Peaks in San Francisco to get a nice view of the city by night! 


At 10pm local time, we came back home and completely exhausted crashed the beds! 

Stay tuned for the next days! 

Xo

Florence

ME310 – SAAB – Stanford University

Hi everyone,

With hockey season in full drive and everything going so well, I am happy to share another success story in terms of university for me.

At Linkรถping University and many more global universities, there is a design thinking course. This course is an 8 month course, where 2 university team up and create a group of 4 persons/university and add a sponsor company. The universities are then given a challenge from the sponsor company and work on this challenge for the 8 months applying design thinking methods. The end result is to invent a new product or service for the sponsor company that solves their challenge.

There is two networks, the ME310 network, which Stanford University in the USA has a bunch of teams that team up with other global universities. Then there is the Sugar Network, where any worldwide university can partner up with each other on a project.

Linkรถping University was to place two teams, one in the ME310 and one in the Sugar Network. Due to limited number of places in these groups, students had to internally apply for these projects and where then asked to an assessment. This application process started in May last year and lasted up until end of September.

Luckily I was selected as one of the participants for these projects among 7 other people. We then had another short assessment, where the teaching team was able to work out the group dynamics and who to put with who into the 2 different projects.

The ME310 project this year is with SAAB and the Sugar Network project is with BASAF and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). My wish from the very beginning was to be in the SAAB project and my wish came true!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

The course officially started last Monday, but inofficially it started a month ago with the first challenge, to create a paper vehicule, with which we will compete in Palo Alto this week.

With that being said, the kick off for all these projects is taking place in Palo Alto at Stanford University for the ME310 projects and Santa Clara for the Sugar Network, and this is where I’m going to right now!

Stay tuned to follow more of my journey!

xo

Florence