Jun 3, 2010

Park & Ride

It's been a few busy days. Memorial day was nice and sleepy in the morning, and then we went to a cafe and on to mom's house in the late afternoon for dinner and a movie. We watched Porco Rosso, another animated movie by Miyazaki, the director of Spirited Away and Ponyo. It's a very different kind of movie- it has the look of a kid's movie, with ridiculous air pirates, but its actually much more geared to adults with lots of ambiguity and nostalgia.

Tuesday Wednesday were long days where I jumped off my current project to help out my coworker with some design options for a park and ride. Park and rides are basically bus hubs for commuters with tons of parking. There's actually a lot of fun designing them, since only real thing they need to do is provide shade and seating. Revit has been very helpful with this- basically the program is being used as a conceptual design tool. Monday, I took a hand sketch of a plan, and by wednesday night, I had a relatively photorealistic rendering of what it would look like, complete with people, plants, cars, etc. I actually developed two designs simultaneously. And then this morning, we generated shade studies. 

We picked a perspective view of a bus stop, like you were standing there looking at it, told the computer that the location was Phoenix, AZ, and asked the computer to show us how the shadows would be from sunrise to sunset on July 17. It took about 40 minutes for each design, but at the end, we got a nice, 30 second long animation of how the shadows move around the platform. All this was done with the same program. I'm actually debating getting a student licence for Revit, since its less than $200 and usable for up to five years. That's cheaper than SketchUp was when it first came out, before it was bought by Google. 

Anyway, this afternoon, I went to a client meeting, which is always very interesting. I wear a nice shirt and a tie, and the glossy shoes, and we sit at the biggest table I've ever seen in person. You could probably get 30 people comfortably around this table. It fills the conference room. The meetings are interesting because the top administrative staff, the people who make all the decisions for the large organization, are also there as well as their counterparts in my firm, and from the construction firm. And its interesting to see how they communicate, how they present ideas and discuss things, and really, just witnessing how top-level decisions are made that have the potential to affect hundreds, if not thousands, of people. 

That probably sounds a lot more insidious than it actually is, if you consider the fact that the corner circle K affects thousands of people in some way. I'm just happy I can tag along and listen and see firsthand.

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