it’s the final (spd) countdown

So after a slight emotional breakdown two nights ago (snotty nose and all) I’m finally back to making some progress on everything as I enter the final push. Things were rough there for a while, and as my eyes welled up with tears I did the only thing I knew that would make things better: talked to Mom. After seriously considering postponing the exam (the deadline to do so was 10 hours away at the time of our conversation) I ended up convincing myself that all I was really panicking over was the site design vignette, and there were still 6 days to figure it out.

Now that I’ve had a few opportunities to work on it, I’m feeling like I’ve got a strategy for this vignette figured out. I’ve stumbled through all the alternative vignettes with limited success, (someone hit the nail on the head with Alternative 5 by the way. Hilarious.) and managed to get through the NCARB original with a solution that I felt was complete enough to post the following solution for review on arefourm. Haven’t heard anything back…still hoping I will.

5 trees were harmed in the making of this site plan. don't tell any portlanders.

Parking isn’t quite as intimidating as it once was, and I’m improving on locating elements so that trees are not being sacrificed with the ferocity they once were. I’m still struggling with winds and screening. I wonder if the plaza is protected from winter winds appropriately in my solution, and if I can get away with the shape. I know they say design/taste doesn’t count, but I just can’t help but try to do something reasonable. The conifers blocking the views to the service drive seem right, but again, I’m not sure. This solution took me about an hour to do. I’m hoping to get that time down to 45 minutes, just so I’ll have plenty of time to review during the exam.

As promised, here’s my Site Planning + Design Study Guide. It’s only 43 pages (unlike the 60+ page PPP novel) and I’m sure I didn’t address everything in the detail I could have, but it will have to do. My next step is to work on memorizing all the standards for grading, parking, accessibility, etc. and read over the concepts and processes a few times. It sounds like there will be a bit of CDS and PPP information on the exam too, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to reread. Given those notes and the few years of professional experience I have (drawing/climbing around on muddy sites) I’m hoping multiple choice will be fairly straight forward.

But first…more vignettes! Perhaps tonight I’ll come up with some better solutions with a beer. (Doubtful, but hey, you never know unless you try.)

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2 thoughts on “it’s the final (spd) countdown

  1. Jenny,
    Keep the faith.
    I think the site planning design vignette is just a puzzle like the rest of them, once you find that one piece that brings all the other components together everything falls into place.

    Post your results no mater how they look. As you know the AREforum is a great resource, other people see things we miss, we miss them because we look at something too long and only focus on the end result and miss the peripheral information.
    Think of the AREforum as a camera, when you take a picture the camera lens does not discriminate, it takes a picture of everything is sees. When we look at one thing too long we see what we want to see.

    There is lots of good advice on the forum and everyone will try to influence you with how they tackle the problem and their strategy. That’s great, but everyone solves problems differently.
    I promise you; after you do a few vignettes you will develop your own strategy for this and all the other vignettes. Practice that strategy over and over again and again and let it become second nature.
    Your strategy should be a result of how you solve problems.

    The SD&P and PPP notes are fantastic. I thank you for your efforts and most of all sharing your hard work with everyone.

    Hope this helps. I wish you the best on SD+P exam, I know you will pass and I look forward to seeing your PASS posting on the AREforum.

    Again, thank you for all that you do with and your AREndurance website, brilient.

    Ilija Trajkovski

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words Illija, they were a major form of encouragement as I prepared for and took my exam. I will be sure to follow your advice and post my future vignette solutions on the forum. It truly is an unbeatable reference. Best of luck to you and your endeavors!

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