By: Sara Runge, Project Manager at DG2 Design Landscape Architecture
Summertime is great. Hot, humid St. Louis weather that changes every time you look at your weather app, long days, lightning bugs, mosquitos, swimming, reduced traffic since parents aren’t taking kids to school, and travel. Travel: A time for recharging your battery, relaxing, spending quality time with your family, and enjoying your new surroundings. Unless of course, you are a person that looks around and analyzes the good, the bad, and the ugly design aspects of the places you visit.
Usually the things I notice are relevant to the current projects I’m working on, which can be quite variable. The list currently includes bridge overpasses, pedestrian bridges, playgrounds, bicycle trails, and all of the elements that are included such as sidewalks, fences, guardrails, playground equipment and surfacing, bicycle racks, trash receptacles, etc… When I mutter to myself things such as “why would they use that design”, “I really like the way that looks”, or “I wonder how they did that”, my family looks at me funny, shrugs their shoulders.
Scaled two dimensional drawings are the norm in my industry for conveying design intent and construction details, but sometimes we need to take a step back and see how something was built and then produce the drawings. See the good designs around you and determine how they can make your project better, whether you’re looking at an overall design concept, or working on the details for placing joints to prevent the concrete from cracking in an awkward location. See the bad and the ugly and learn from the mistakes in front of you and don’t repeat them. Determine the problem and figure out how to solve it. Open your eyes when you’re on vacation, or walking down your neighborhood street and enjoy your surroundings because they can teach us a lot.