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Artistic abilities required???

ebeech121

Cyburbian
Messages
83
Points
4
Ok so I can draw the occasional stick figure or Don Hertzfeldt cartoon...but...does having an architechurally inclined left brain a necessity in planning? I have seen alot of urban/rural/suburban plans that look like an architect drew them! Sure they don't seem too extensive, artistically speaking; but there's a grid under the drawing! That means math is involved!

No one told me math was involved! Just :: gag :: economics!!! ACK!

Someone make me feel better? 8-!
 

Doitnow

Cyburbian
Messages
496
Points
16
Its not a necessity.
You can be a good planner without the architecturally inclined brain.

But drawing skill does help one in making out the plans/maps and understanding them better.
I'm not an architect( though I was trained to be a planner who could draw too) and have many colleagues( Sociologists, Economists) who are not experts in drawing/mapping.

My suggestion to you:
If you are in the learing stage then its better to get acquainted with the process of making maps and using the right color, scale and detail, notations-annotations, orientation and geaography.
And better to have the Maths Background and Science Approach to planning even if you are not an expert in the individual fields atleast try to know the dynamics and the interrelations.

Now does this make you feel better??

You can also ask yourself, "what kind of planner you want to be"? Because there are many kinds and from your intro i can see that you major in Sociology.

OT:
I have been asked to discuss the revamping of the Undergrad Planning Course here as part of a larger team and with the new national policy of opening up the planning course for non science students (right after school), it looks like we need to convince the policy makers that planning does involve statistics, economic( which have maths models), Environmental Science subjects which involve basic understanding of chemical reactions and maths and physics even in transportation planning/engineering.
 

ebeech121

Cyburbian
Messages
83
Points
4
Thanks!

You did make me feel better. Right now I am taking Social Research Methods and I have realized that even Sociology is scientific. Just mentioning the word "sample" and I start tweeking!

I've also taken Macroeconomics (from a Horrible teacher -capital H) and am currently taking Microeconomics (from an outstanding teacher)...I still have to take "Microeconomics for Public Policy" and doesn't that sound enticing! Not.

As for my upper-level Soci ("sowsh") classes, I'm focusing on urban sociology. I've already taken Urban Sociology (and that started my city obsession!) and am hoping to take "Metropolitan Atlanta."

I can do geometry with little to no stress. But I have never taken calculus or passed trig. Algebra is fun only when it is simple.

I also read that planners need to have thick skin. Is the job really stressful, or is it that people stress themselves out? Are there frequent heated arguments between planners and developers? I may have to enroll in a confidence course too!
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
quick story

1st year planning school...1st site design assignment. I forget, mixed used, urban layout..I present, professor says aloud "you draw like a first grader" Ouch, I say.

Drawing and design skills help if you are charged with presentation etc...colors important, notation, etc...

But I have been successful now as a process, client rep planner, not a design land planner.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I never had any design courses (other than mapping) so doing the drawing is sometimes a bit of a problem. I have the vision in my head, but committing it to paper is not so easy (again, excepting maps). I do have excellent judgement about things like scale, weight, color, etc. I have been able to use these together with drawing and image editing software to make up for less than outstanding hand drawing skills. There is even an advantage in that these are easier to change or correct mistakes, and to deliver in different scales and formats. You might look into a similar approach.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,709
Points
71
Are artistic talents a prerequisite? It depends. Back when I started in geography, a good deal of skill was needed for producing mylar maps and there were a number of courses where this got put to practice. As computers have become more commonplace and powerful the requirement for drawing skills have dwindled considerably. I would submit that good manual dexterity is no longer a requisite but a good design sense (as long as one is involved in producing maps/plans) is still required.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
It's because my artistic abilities suck that I discovered planning....was initially interested in architecture, but thank god BSU (cheap plug) had a first year program where I was exposed to all 3 design fields before declaring a major.
 
Messages
7,649
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29
ebeech121 said:
I can do geometry with little to no stress. But I have never taken calculus or passed trig. Algebra is fun only when it is simple.

I also read that planners need to have thick skin. Is the job really stressful, or is it that people stress themselves out? Are there frequent heated arguments between planners and developers? I may have to enroll in a confidence course too!
Sheesh -- you aren't really "math phobic". I am a "math geek" -- Bona Fide with a on official stamp (inducted in Mu Alpha Theta in 11th grade -- the earliest you can be inducted into this college level math honor society) -- and I dropped out of calculus at age 18. I did do some trig. Geometry will stand you in good stead in design work. You need to know a little statistics more than you really need calculus, me thinks. (Only if you will be a civil engineer or some such do you really NEED calculus in this field, as I understand it.)

"Life" is a "confidence course". And I suspect that you can substitute "social skills" for "thick skin" to some degree: in fact, I am impressed with the amount of actual social skills gengerally exhibited in this forum. It must have something to do with having to deal with "the public". :-D
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Math - I have never had any reason to use calculus. Statistics is helpful, if only to better understand data and conclusions from its analysis. Trig will help you with those little area calculations when you dont have a GIS to do the work for you. Algebra is used in everything.
 
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7,649
Points
29
Cardinal said:
Math - I have never had any reason to use calculus. Statistics is helpful, if only to better understand data and conclusions from its analysis. Trig will help you with those little area calculations when you dont have a GIS to do the work for you. Algebra is used in everything.
Thanks Cardinal. And let me add:
Real understanding of the data and conclusions from its analysis can be developed without necessarily knowing how to work the problems. An excellent book for beginning to understand the important concepts in statistics without belaboring the formulas is "How to Lie with Statistics". You can also check out the first few chapters of "A Cartoon Guide to Statistics", which cover the same material that was covered in my college "intro to statistics" class. There is a LOT more to statistics than I think most folks appreciate. Most of the "cartoon guide" to statistics is over my head. And knowing something about statistics is valuable in a very practical way, like when listening to commercials, politiicians speaches, hype about "the economy", and a zillion other every day things. :)
 

Doitnow

Cyburbian
Messages
496
Points
16
I also read that planners need to have thick skin. Is the job really stressful, or is it that people stress themselves out?
Its better to develope the 'thick skin' with time rather than start off with that mindset.Meaning learning with own experience.

It may look off topic but I'm willing to share with you a Master Advice given to me by my middle aged professor in college when I started facing the first obstacles in practising planning as a consultant.

Here it is- Its a Gem

Enjoy the life of a planner - without sacrficing the life of a Human Being!

PS
I still havent understood it fully.
Maybe its just about interpretation.... :-\
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,804
Points
61
Started out in Landscape Architecture (2 classes on McHarg overlay process hand drawn & pre gis computer),
then in my junior yr switched to geography took cartography classes - many hand drawn -
not a bad setup to go into planning.

what's this math that you speak of ? ;-)
had my share of statistics :-c
 
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