Wyatt Thompson, PLA

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  • #151708

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    Thanks for the comments. I had a great time in the Niagara area. Didn’t end up going to Rochester and didn’t spend much time in Buffalo, but I did visit the Martin House (FLW), Delaware Park (Olmsted) and several restaurants to sample authentic wings. Some highlights of the trip were hikes at Letchworth State Park (voted #1 state park in the nation) and Niagara Glen (on the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge), and of course Niagara Falls. The views from Canada were amazing, but I definitely preferred the atmosphere and public space on the State Park side (Olmsted again, though with several more contemporary renovations). There was lots of construction on the State side too (design by the LA Group) that should be complete by Summer 2017 that will only make the experience and views better.

    #152592

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    I had the same thoughts on this article. Based solely on the numbers presented, the killer element of these budgets is not the student loan payment, but the amount they are all shelling out for rent. There are most certainly less expensive places to live and practice landscape architecture. If I had had 5 or 6-figure student loan debt when I graduated, I’d have only been applying in those lower-cost-of-living cities. 

    The issue of debt is not unique to landscape architecture. The cost to obtain many professional degrees, even engineering, which can typically command higher salaries than LA, can exceed entry level pay. There are certainly ways to obtain a landscape architecture degree without taking on the financial obligations that these examples portray. I don’t doubt that the cost to obtain an education is rising and can create hard choices for some individuals, though I would have liked to see a more balanced approach to the article.

    #152656

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    Did you write a thesis or a major research paper? Did you ever take a Technical Writing class? Or a Professional Practice class where you learned how to write a proposal? I think any of those would suffice.

    #153036

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    Got to get your fix sometimes/somehow.

    #153042

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    What version of acad are you running? I would be concerned about potential compatibility issues between 2000 and whatever later version you’re on, especially if you and your coworkers are expected to work on the same set of documents. You might need to set up a system where the project base file is in 2000, and then you create sheets, xref the base, add notes, etc. in your version. That’s a messy workflow IMO for a lot of reasons, but it might be the only way multiple people could work on the same project.

    Regarding sheet set manager, I’d suggest you explore it some more or watch more videos.  I set up every project in SSM. In my experience, SSM does not “open every file at the same time.” SSM creates a new Sheet Set file that allows you to manage project information and organize your drawing set from a single acad dialogue. When paired with a title block set up with fields, you can autopopulate title blocks with all the recurring project information (project name, sheet titles, owner info, dates, page #s, etc.). It will take time to set up, but it becomes a HUGE time saver. Imagine a large document set (I don’t know what large is in your world, but could be hundreds of sheets) that is 90% complete, and suddenly you need to add a sheet early in the set; have fun renumbering everything. SSM also allows you to batch plot each sheet without opening each drawing, which can also be a time-saver. I don’t think SSM was available in 2000, but fields def were. There shouldn’t be any compatibility issues.

    I have not found much use of Layer States. I’ve found LS to not be very reliable, especially if new layers are ever added. There is a Layer States Manager that could be helpful to you if you go this route.

    Andrew is correct that it’s possible to set up a template drawing with multiple tabs with preset viewports and layer configurations. I would suggest that a single file with multiple tabs is not a recommended best practice. The problem you’ll find is that when you are working on one sheet in that file, no one else can access it to work on another sheet in that set. That may not be a problem if you’re the only one working on a project, but I don’t think most offices work that way. And when you’re cranking on a deadline, you might find it helpful to have someone else step in to assist with those redlines. You could still set up templates; just use one tab per template, so you’d have a layout_template.dwg, grading_template.dwg, detail_template.dwg, etc. Then you could xref your base drawing into each one and have it preload those viewports with the correct layer information. Just a thought.

    #153176

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    I know of State DOTs that require this. None of the municipalities I’ve worked with, and now for, have though. I would not abandon your current office standards for other projects. Instead, I would ask this client if they could provide you a template file and the necessary pen table. If providing CAD files or a specific CAD layering system is not in your contract, you could question the need for this or ask for additional compensation. But if it’s a client you want to continue working with, I’d find a way to comply. After all, once you’ve made or acquired a template, your next project with them will be easier.

    #153310

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    I actually did get the joke; perhaps I chose to respond to it poorly. I disagree that a computer program would be less appropriate than a physical play thing. Immersive gaming can be used to teach area, volume, spatial relationships, and aesthetics. Inexpensive 3D printing makes the virtual world very tangible. There are several programs mentioned that would be simple enough for young people to learn, explore, and use creatively in a fun way. I think any of the ideas mentioned so far could be an appropriate gift; all things in moderation after all.

    #153318

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    I’d give a kid SketchUp way before AutoCad. Minecraft is another really interesting educational-design tool if caregivers are willing to engage with the child in playing the “game.” I think something more hands-on that would let kids create and get their hands dirty without a screen or a plug would be better. Garden tools, art supplies, 3-dimensional puzzles maybe.

    #153519

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    I am Park Planner for a city of around 55K in the midwest, and as such, the only landscape architect on staff. I oversee planning, design, and construction administration of facilities within the purview of the Parks and Recreation Department, which encompasses parks and recreation facilities, of course, as well as a zoo, two cemeteries, and numerous other public facilities and open spaces. I also participate cross-departmentally in design reviews for new developments, streetscape and drainage projects, etc. I know several LAs around the country who work in municipal or county Parks or Public Works departments, under various titles related to planning, stormwater and erosion control, project coordinator, bike-ped coordinator, etc. I am not aware of any resources specifically for municipal landscape architects, but it seems like a good PPN through ASLA if there are enough of us. I’d be happy to talk with you more here or PM.

    #153574

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    Best advice I ever received: Your job is to work with, not just for, your client. That applies to the person who hires you to design something and the contractors who are hired to implement it.

    Another good piece of advice: Keep copious notes and take lots of pictures. Then take a few more pictures.

    Finally: Be alert, watch where you walk, and don’t trip over the stringline.

    When you’re on a job site, if something doesn’t look like you think it should, don’t be afraid to point it out and find out why the contractor did what they did. Maybe they missed something on the plan and it’s been built wrong; maybe it’s not finished; maybe you missed something when you drew/specified it. If you’re not sure, it’s okay to call back to the office to talk to your boss.

    #153652

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    Check out this link for info on Sheet Set Manager:  http://autocadinsider.autodesk.com/my_weblog/sheet_sets/.

    The full guide is here: http://heidihewett.blogs.com/my_weblog/files/Sheets_Happen.pdf. These sites might also provide some answers to other CAD production questions, too.

    As for SSM, I find it super useful. If you have ever had to insert a new sheet into the middle (or worse – near the front) of a large set of documents, and found yourself renumbering all the title blocks and the notes that reference other sheets, SSM is the tool for you. It can take a little time to get your title block templates set up properly, but it’s well worth it if you’re involved in production. If this is a one-off class project with a tight deadline, I might not worry about it so much, especially if the assignment is not about sheet sets and title blocks.

    #153683

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    I have a secondary degree (more than a minor, but not a full degree) in environmental science. Program was good and I learned a lot, but business or construction science would probably be more applicable to my daily work.

    #154106

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    Wow. Comparing those scores to the previous format, it appears the new version is (dare I say it?) easier. It seems that candidates are figuring out how to maneuver through section 4, though even the first time test takers scored better on 4 than people did routinely on section E. It would be interesting to hear CLARB’s opinion on the increasing pass rates.

    #153735

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    My personal experience: I work in municipal government for a parks and recreation department where I oversee planning, design, and construction administration for all capital improvement projects in the city’s park system. I collaborate daily with planners, engineers, architects, attorneys, etc., both inside the organization and as consultants. As a licensed professional, I have a certain credibility with those folks, and the general public, that I otherwise would not have. I do not have to rely on another professional in the organization (namely engineers) to oversee, stamp, or approve my work. My predecessors in this position were trained in landscape architecture, but were not registered. I have found that my license has raised the level of respect for my position, projects, and in some respects the entire department. Prior to taking this position, I worked for a mid-size engineering consultant as a designer and eventually a registered LA, primarily working on public projects. Since there were other landscape architects at the firm, I can’t say that my registration was critical for the work I did there, but I did gain some additional responsibilities and authority over projects once I was able to seal the plans.

    #153753

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA
    Participant

    The individual I wrote about had the same goal. You can pick up the business side as you go or with an MBA. Personally I think there’s a lot to be learned from the trenches, whether you’re working directly for or consulting with a developer.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 154 total)

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