I really enjoy listening to This American Life. They tend to break up their show into acts. I also like reading Girl’s Gone Child. She is breaking up the story of her new twins into acts. Since it is Thursday afternoon and I am out of original ideas, I’m going to steal theirs.
If you’ve ever worked on a master planned community, (or an area structure plan, or neighborhood design report, or zoning change application) you can relate to the idea of the project happening in pieces. Maybe you start on paper or you get some paper from the planner (as I mentioned the other day.)
Then the client or the planner comes back and says that they want something more iconic. Or curvy. Or whatever.
So you get it into Map 3D and build some basemap information. Then you evolve into Civil 3D, and maybe take it out to Impression for some super early 2D sketching. It’s still rough, but you figure you are starting to get a better handle on it.
And just when you think you really know what you are doing, the architect comes to you with the concepts of the buildings, or residential products, or single family homes.
Then the environmental agency says there is no way you are getting approved for a zoning change without a stream restoration. And the transportation planner at the DOT says you need a new connection to the light rail system and a much better entrance to the arterial road.
And you have no idea what that all really means. How much room does a hospital really take up? You know the footprint, but what does that mean in 3D? How tall should the condos be? What is the implication of having lanes with parking behind vs. recessed garages?
Arnab and I have been working on a master plan as a team along with some external engineers and architects. The process has been greatly improved by using Infrastructure Modeler. I know, I work for Autodesk. I have to say that. But… really. I cannot tell you how useful it has been for communication with each other. The “Oh, I see it now!” moments of clarity happen daily. Sometimes hourly. Or minute-ly.
We’ve changed our minds completely several times when it was still early enough to change. We’ve added things, tried things, erased whole villages and tried again.
I will do my best to document the process over the next few weeks in as many acts as it takes, because it is a story worth telling. A story of starting rough and tweaking, changing, evolving. About not fretting over perfect just yet because you are busy being a hungry caterpillar in the hopes of someday becoming a butterfly. Or maybe a luna moth. That has yet to be determined.