Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Convert to Lines #7
Seattle VectorWorks User Group

In this issue:
3D and the Seattle Library
Contemporary World Architecture

Greetings, Seattle VectorWorks Users plus any and all readers out beyond the city limits. This is a reminder of our upcoming meeting taking place January 19th, a Wednesday, from 6:00 to 8:00. We’ll cover the new Viewports concept in VW 11 plus the Objects from Polyline tool and anything else we can fit within our two hours. If you are a beginner, we’ll find time to help you with a few key concepts. Jack Mckean will bring along several VW 10 Learning Series CD’s which we’ll give away. I’ll bring the new VW 11 Learning Series CD’s which you are welcome to borrow. You’ll remember, the 11’s require a deposit.
One more comment about Viewports: Jack’s been using this tool in the drawing of a large commercial project and he’s found it to be very helpful setting the scale of his Layers at the small setting of 1/16” per foot but using Viewports to create printable pages where the scale has been increased to 1/4” per foot. I’m interested in how to keep my Layers aligned in smaller projects and not swish them around as I do now when I am ready to optimize each page layout prior to printing. Can Viewports accomplish this task while leaving the Layers aligned in case project requirements change?
The meeting will be held at the Seattle Central Community College Wood Construction Center lecture hall. The Wood Construction Center is located at 23rd Avenue South and South Lane Street. Parking is available in the gated lot off South King Street, one block south of Jackson Street. The lecture hall is the building directly adjacent to the parking lot at its south side.

This being a reminder, I’m not going to run on and on with this drill or that task or continue to shame you into doing more with 3D (although this is the season for new resolutions!). Instead allow me to go off-topic just a bit to encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the new Seattle Library to make time to see this amazing structure. There is a CAD related art piece there--a continuous film of CAD objects in wireframe mode which I think you would find interesting. These objects are projected on a huge concrete wall in the center of the building. I went up to the eighth floor, took a left upon exiting the elevators and walked east on a short, narrow hallway to look down on this unfolding art. What you see is a huge globe of sorts rotating toward you, bringing CAD objects of all kinds and sizes lazily up and over the horizon where they finally roll off and dissolve into space. This art installation is part of a permanent collection. While you’re enjoying and observing all this wonderful library space, try to imagine designing it without CAD.
The other discovery was a wonderful book of Architecture found at the University Bookstore in the U. District. They have an open display of The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture, down from $160 to the rock bottom price of $128. This large-format color atlas shows architecture not just country by country but region by region within each country. There are some fine CAD drawings included as counterpoint to many of the project photos. Our very own Experience Music Project building designed by Frank Gehry Partners is shown in the US/West Coast selection of buildings along with the new Gehry Walt Disney Concert Hall and, in the middle of the country, Gehry’s Weatherhead School of Management building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I have to say we suffer in comparison, what with the “guitar strings” structure cluttering the roof along with a satellite dish. Gehry’s forms prove to be fragile, in my opinion, when overlaid with angular shapes, somewhat like a flowing french phrase with a gesundheit stuck in the middle. But I risk creating a real debate here when I really only wanted to pass on the joy of looking at a beautiful book with no intention of paying for it.
See you Wednesday after next!

PS. Check out the brand new Training Guides on the NNA website.
Note the link at the bottom of the release.

Tom Greggs

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