visibility_off Interview with a Community Member: @Bret

Launch Forth

This father-daughter team has made contributions across a multitude of Launch Forth projects-- ranging from the U.S. Marines Corps Modular Logistics Vehicle and Allianz Future of Mobility challenges, to the Zelator drone and the GE On-Wing Engine Inspection brainstorms. We sat down with Bret and Joslyn to learn more about their team, their creative process, and what they are currently working on. Take a look at what they had to say:

What excites you most about co-creation?

B: I really like working with Joss, being side by side with her and getting to answer the questions she’s asking. When we look through different work and she points out what’s cool about it and what she likes about it and why somebody did something a certain way. It’s cool to work together.

That’s interesting because you said that you either want to work for NASA or an engineer. So this is just kind of a head start?

J: Yeah

B: She was super impressed, I took her on the site and was showing her some of the profiles of some of you ladies on the site and she was really impressed. She thought it was super cool that you guys do this kind of stuff and that there are people out there just like her who do this kind of work too. 

Joslyn, so what has been the biggest challenge for you when working on these entries?

J: I would probably say The Ugly Mule, it was a lot of engineering and structure designing and making sure it would slide off and slide in and you would have to make sure that the soldiers would actually be able to use it for an actual car. 

And you guys won.

B: Yeah we did good, I couldn’t believe it. 

Yeah it was impressive. Judge’s favorite right?

B: Yeah, we got one of the judges favorite awards which was pretty awesome.

There was a lot of talk around the office about your concept, all very good things. Did winning judges favorite with “The Ugly Mule” inspire you to enter other challenges?

B: Joss definitely worries about winning more than I do. To me, I just like doing it. I really like getting in there and looking at other people’s work and try to give them suggestions. I love problem solving so to me it entertains my brain and it keeps my brain firing off. Winning was really cool and unexpected but I would have been happy with last place. It was fun, ya know. We got to learn a bunch of cool stuff and work together. So I don’t know if it would make me enter anything differently. It might take away the fun for me if I was trying to win. I don’t want to be pushing Jos out of the way going “Oh my god, I want to win so bad, I don’t you want you to be part of it”. I don’t care if we lose. She wants to win everything.

J: I do not

Wanting to win is ok and not wanting to win is ok too. What different skill sets do you think that you guys bring to the table and within that what kind of creative process do you use to meld these two together into the entries that you submit.

B: I always say this; I am the guy who can draw a building to perfect scale and catch every little detail but I cannot draw the tree in front of the building. I can’t do both. Jos can do both and she can make it look really good. She’s got the brains of an engineer but the mind of an artist. It’s like this perfect blend for her. That’s what got me so excited about getting on the platform. I can see that in her. She loves challenging her mind in that way. She’s artistic enough and my brain just doesn’t work that way. I know what looks good once it’s done but I don’t know how to get there. She knows how to get there. I’m really excited about where we will end up going once we get more skilled in CAD software. That to me is super cool. As for my creative process, I am a very systematic person so I tend to write down the parameters and what I am working with. I don’t go around and search the internet and look at other people’s work. I just think about it and write a bunch of stuff down and try to figure out different ways to do everything. It looks like a bunch of scribble when I start that brainstorm process. Then I kind of pull it all together into something that makes sense and that’s when I start looking around online, because I don’t want to have all of that stuff in my head when I am trying to think of a new concept. Joselyn will come up with something that she thinks is new and start really thinking about whether something like it already exists. She still has to go through that process of learning how to create it and think it through on her own. When she comes to me with something that has already been created I tell her that she has proven that she is just as smart as those inventors, so now make it better than they did. I don’t like to limit her by saying “oh that’s already been invented”. I want to let her figure out how to make it better, maybe more comfortable or make it look cooler.

That’s how we get to a lot of the inventions we have today -- enhancing upon previously invented items. How else would we have gotten a cell phone?

B: Boom. How about you Jos, what’s your creative process?

J: You’ve pretty much answered it for me. First thing we normally do: we don’t look online; we just look at the problem, draw it down on a piece of paper and then show it to Daddy. If he likes it I would build it on Minecraft or CAD software and show how it would work. Once that happens I would build it with Lego with all the pieces that can move. Once that’s done I would try to build it by hand, but since I don’t have the skills yet I stick with Lego.

What turned you on to engineering? What do you like about it and what about it intrigues you so much?

J: I like engineering because I fell in to art at a very young age and I like coming up with new ideas that will help make the world a better place. I also like building stuff and getting my hands dirty. It intrigues me because it’s something that makes a world a better place while also doing something that you love.

B: I love looking at problems and learning how to fix them or make them better or at least make them less worse, haha. It’s when I am at my best; looking at problems and trying to find solutions. That has always been something that I enjoy.

What would you guys like to see as the next project or challenge?

B: I like the variety, I like clicking on the site every once and awhile going “oh, this looks cool” and reading about it and going through it. That’s one thing I like about the site, you don’t know what’s coming next.

J: I don’t really have anything to say, I like all of the things that you can build. Surprise me

!What has been your favorite project that you guys have worked on together?

B: I’m going to be honest, I like all of them. The Ugly Mule was fun because it was new, we got to do it together and it had a lot of cool stuff we got to do. The Future of Mobility challenge was fun because it was something we could do that could possibly help people. I think that challenge was my favorite because I have always enjoyed writing and that challenge merged together writing and problem solving.

J: I would say The Ugly Mule because, we were still exploring, we were making something super cool because we had no idea how the heck to work it (CAD software). We’re still working on it. Every day I would come home from school, Daddy would have this really cool idea. He and I would build it in CAD and then I would color it and make it look really pretty. He built most of it because I thought it was too difficult.

We enjoyed the chance to chat with @bret and his daughter Joslyn. Take a look at some of their work on @bret’s profile


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