Forum Replies Created
January 25, 2017 at 8:36 pm #151201
Agreed on the dicey thing. Several of our land development clients (domestic, not international) put their projects on hold following the election. Should be an interesting few years.December 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm #151664
Ha. Yeah, I just threw it in the notes. Someday I am going to write all my notes in 32 point helvetica so somebody – anybody – will read them. Other than being wasteful and making me look bad – and I need no help in that regard – the only problem I can see with the edging is that the installer will want to put it in such that the top of rolltop is above the height of the curb, or that it will be allowed to rise up out of the ground like other edging with our delightfully expansive soils. I modified my note to include a maintenance statement, so I would hope that I am okay on this one. Back at you on the holiday well wishes.October 1, 2015 at 5:32 am #151741
Among other things, neighborhood design is what I do. I tend to agree with your boss: it’s tough to find folks able to lay out a neighborhood anybody might want to live in, although many firms advertise the service. I don’t think the subject is emphasized as much as it once was in LA programs.
Regarding software… I did see an Autocad 3rd party application a few years ago (10 years?) being demonstrated at a convention booth. If I recall correctly, the input parameters were ROW width, minimum CL turn radii, minimum lot dimensions, access points, and property lines. Maybe some others. The output was a rudimentary neighborhood design. If you had an area to avoid, you drew a property line around it. The resulting layout was… interesting… but if you played around with it you might get an idea you wouldn’t have otherwise had. I thought it was cool in a geeky sort of way, but not much of a time saver for me. I passed on the purchase.June 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm #151886
Why stop at a measly five to seven years and only three mentoring LAs? Why not go for ten years and five mentoring LAs?December 2, 2014 at 12:19 am #152219
I took two in-person courses 10 – 15 years ago, and have known people who took others since. Most of the course content seemed to be common sense and / or pulled from an Intro to Business Management 101 textbook at some junior college. Small sample, but I did not think them to be worth the time and effort. I tend to learn better from books, so here are my recommendations:
November 21, 2014 at 1:54 am #152229
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I know, it’s cliche, and I did not care for the sequel… but the original is worthwhile, even if the language and examples are a little bit dated. Basically, if you can figure out how to manage yourself effectively, your staff will respect you as a manager, which makes your job much easier. It took me a long time to work my way through the material and assignments embedded within, and I still refer back to it.
- Dealing with People You Can’t Stand by Brinkman and Kirschner. My wife purchased the book for me as a gag gift many years ago, probably off the shelf at a Kinko’s. I see that an updated edition is available. It’s tacky in a lot of ways, but a worthwhile read.
If you are using LT, you are basically grading by hand on paper, scanning your design for use as a reference, and then refining your sketched contours while digitizing. If your contract docs are prepared with a 1′ contour interval at 1″ = 20′, prepare your draft at a 5′ interval at 1″ = 50′ to save time and not get hung up on too many details. All in all, not a terrible process, and one that I use early on to help our civil engineer avoid busts on weird sites and to generate golf course style mounding in parks and open space areas. The final grading design, however, is his responsibility, however. To the best of my knowledge, there are no shortcuts to drafting with your system, other than what Andrew outlined with consistently sloped trails, streets, and swales. The offset command will be your best friend, in addition to measure. Bonus points should be awarded for using LT, however, for cut / fill volume estimates.April 30, 2014 at 9:36 pm #152775
In a feeble attempt to return the discussion to its original focus, the primer I used was Theodore Walker’s Planting Design (1991). It was geared toward landscape architects, but would be very straightforward for an instructor teaching motivated non-designers. The only real drawback a couple of decades later is that the illustrations and drawings looked dated even when I was in school.
Since your course will be directed to an audience that should be familiar with the botanic characteristics of the plants they will be likely to use, you should have a lot of fun focusing more on the artsy side of planting design than you’d otherwise be able to with a bunch of first-year college students. Your biggest obstacle (I think) will be getting your students to communicate graphically in a short course without wasting too much teaching time on the subject.
Good luck & have fun.April 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm #152814
Hmm…. normally when I get to PS, design is pretty much complete, so maybe i’m missing something. Moving stuff around in P’S means I have to repeat the feat in Acad when going past planning level… and I have to keep track of more moving parts. Creating a separate PDF for each type of entity (canopy trees, evg trees, bldgs, cars, etc.) is not hard, just a bunch of tabs in Acad I have preloaded. Granted, each pdf is a raster image… but each is flat and not memory intensive. Straightforward to create with publish command; actual rendering time for a huge site is usually an hour or two if really complex, so even revisions go quick, and I get to maintain accurate info in Acad.
I haven’t yet seen a huge benefit with smart objects in P’S, but rarely change scales or symbols from the Acad plot. What is the purpose of using smart objects in a plan view rendering?April 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm #152872
I use Photoshop for renderings. Here are my two cents that might save you some time.
- Save your working file with the .psd extension. Creating the .pdf extension directly from within Photoshop is unstable on larger projects, leading to errors, data loss, huge file sizes and overall anarchy.
- Confirm that you really need 300 dpi, especially if you are using an older computer system with memory issues. Never forget that your rendering illustrates design intent; it’s not fine art. While printers can go way higher, you’ll find that 144 dpi is good enough for most presentations, particularly at 30″ x 42″ when your audience is a few feet away. If your audience will be 6″ from your board, 300 dpi is great. Use 300 dpi or 600 dpi for smaller hand-outs.
- When you are ready to print from Photoshop, save your work (assuming you may want to edit it again), then flatten the image and save the file with a different name. Most plot drivers can’t cope with more than a few layers in a large file, but can handle the same information when flattened.
- The default print density in pdf drivers recently is 1200 dpi, which is extreme overkill. Make sure you set the resolution where you want it before you print to pdf. If I forget to do this – and I have a pretty sweet system – Photoshop will crash just to remind me that I forgot to set the resolution before printing.
Good luck!March 28, 2014 at 11:12 pm #152901
Agreed that there will be more than just completing the degree. The combined vows of poverty, stability, chastity, and obedience during the apprenticeship period are tough, particularly when facing student debt.March 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm #152974
Since you took the time to bump your discussion after receiving no response, I will take the time to tell you that my library is proprietary.March 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm #152908
It’s a broad profession. Your honest response is pretty common, even among students who are graduating (and probably more than a few professionals as well). Depending on where you live, you may have a community college nearby that offers some kind of intro to landscape design course or two, or even a full-blown associate’s degree in landscape design and/or horticulture. Those courses almost certainly won’t transfer to an accredited LA program – which is part of what you would need if becoming a landscape architect is your goal – but at least you will get an idea of whether or not you enjoy the design process without the financial commitment of accredited LA degree tuition.March 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm #152913
Get the MLA. It’s a less time in school and gives you a master’s degree. Also, getting a second undergraduate degree cheapens your first undergraduate degree IMHO. I have no idea of your financial situation, but taking on a ton of debt to go after a low paying but still scarce LA design job out of school sounds wrong. But who am I to judge? Good luck!March 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm #153002
Reuse and recycle.March 7, 2014 at 12:12 am #153020
When I actually get to practice landscape architecture, it’s pretty easy. That said, I need a new tool – right now I’m thinking that a 40,000V cattle prod might do the trick – that magically encourages small-town surveyors who evidently face no competition to use those handy little thingies in AutoCAD called “layers,” while at the same time does not allow them to explode hatch patterns, text, blocks, and pretty much everything else under the sun before they randomly draw and label in both model space and paper space with no apparent rhyme or reason… and at the same time need 14M (count ’em!) worth of memory on a fairly simple 1/4-acre site. This has to be a new record.