Monday, March 23, 2009

what's up the pike: spring, finally (updated)

Remember that competition my friends and I are working on where we're designing an apartment building on Bonifant Street? Here's a (very, very rough) perspective I drew of it over the weekend, looking at the corner of Georgia and Bonifant. Note the generous retail and fountains. Anyway:

- The District 4 Wiki has a list of candidate forums for the County Council special election later this month. While last night's forum in Chevy Chase (did the Audobon Society know it wasn't in District 4?) may have been a trek for any voters without a car, there are several far more convenient forums coming up next week, including one in Paint Branch High School on Monday, March 30; at Kennedy High School on Tuesday, March 31; and at the AFI Silver Theatre (also not District 4) on Wednesday, April 1.

The Kennedy forum is hosted by the Sierra Club and Action Committee for Transit and was organized by ACT member Cavan Wilk of Wheaton. Cavan's also a frequent poster on Greater Greater Washington, and you can see his announcement for the forum here.

- Speaking of which: Yes, that's my name you see above a post at Greater Greater Washington, one of the D.C. area's leading blogs on urbanism. I'm looking forward to contributing to GGW and raising the profile of East County in the region. In the meantime, though, I'm just waiting for some comments to show up.

- A makeshift memorial to slain teenager Tai Lam on Ellsworth Drive may soon be removed, according to Jennifer Nettles, manager for Downtown Silver Spring. She's told Councilmember Valerie Ervin's office that the arrangement commemorating Lam, who was shot to death on a Ride-On bus last November, will be taken down, but no details have surfaced on if a more permanent memorial will be built.


Thomas Hardman said...

Dan, that is a fairly good rendering of your project's street-facing view. Coming as I do -- how long ago that seems -- from a draftsman's viewpoint, I have to commend the natural perspective on the one hand, and tell you that there are few substitutes for a good straightedge. ;) I do know one of those substitutes fairly well, and another one too. Ask me sometime about BRLCAD and POVRAY, the first for exceptionally precise solid modeling based on combinatorial logical set-unioning of topological primitives. It's a product of the US Army and a genuine Maryland Masterpiece out of Aberdeen. POVRAY (or POV-RAY) is an exceptional "photorealistic" scene generator. A little computational massaging can convert the CAD modeling into scene elements for photorealism, but BRLCAD has excellent rendering capabilities of its own.

I must point out that once you finish up for the year, you should take some time to play with a new toy called "Slackware Linux" in particular, and commandline UNIX in general. You can probably find 'em on DVD somewhere.

BTW the Candidate Forum was... um I would not call it fun and more than I'd call finals fun. Challenging, for sure. Makes ya think. Etc etc.

Try to come on out for some of the other ones, and you're right... Audubon is lik a lot of nature reserves... hard to get to without a car.

Mortis Olaf said...

Does your project take the space where the Chevy Chase Bank is? I think that building might be "historic" or something.

Dan Reed said...

We talked about preserving the facade of the Chevy Chase Bank, but I'm unsure as to whether it's historically designated. Aerial photos from before the bank opened in the 1990's suggest there was a larger building on the site (and several others on Bonifant) that were demolished (in whole or part) to make room for a parking lot and drive-thru lanes. The facade at the corner (all the old stonework) was retained, but you can see that the brick wall along Bonifant Street is new.

But, I mean, it's not like Chevy Chase Bank doesn't have another branch a few blocks away and besides, they won't even exist by the end of this year (I hope Capital One is good to my meager savings.)

Dan Reed said...

Thanks for the compliment. I hate using a straightedge and yes, when I graduate, I'll have plenty of time to play around with Slackware Linux, as the discs are currently sitting next to my keyboard.

Thomas Hardman said...

Well, if you decide that it's fun but you want more functionality than a mere demo disk can provide (actually, the functionality is all there, it's just not something you can save files to), consider getting an external drive, partition it for both Linux and Windoze, use the Windoze partition for storing system backups, and install Linux on the rest. Boot to that from the demo disk. Then you can install to there, things like BRLCAD and POVRAY.

Here is a very simple BRLCAD render of a not very complex model.

And to return to topic and also show you some POVRAY, here is a rather zoomed-out rendering of a chunk of downtown. ARCData files were extracted using GRASS to provide x,y points in profusion approaching actual curves (remember Calculus?), elevation data was used for Z value and the whole hilarious mess was run through a bit of PERL to spit out POVRAY files to drive the rendering engine.

Close up views don't look anywhere near as good as your drawing, you can only get so much detail from ARCData and a plane elevation datum. ;)

But you might catch the output of s descendant of the original model on the weather segment of a certain local TV channel.

Now excuse me, I have to go read about Mr Ficker and see if I can come up with some comments.

Anthony Maiolatesi said...

is this project going to get built?