Even though it has been thirty years since I was in the Landscape Architecture program at Ohio State, in some ways it seems like yesterday and in others light years.
One aspect of Landscape Design that has seen tremendous changes is in design graphics. The way our Landscape Designers convey their ideas and visions to our clients is rather unique. The fundamental principles of landscape design such as balance, simplicity, texture, color, scale etc. are all still the same as they were when I was in school and in fact the same as they have been for the last hundred years.
However, the changes in design graphics are truly astounding. Back in the old days, we designed our projects using pencil and paper, in Plan View as if we were looking down on the project from the sky. This view is helpful to a landscape designer to ensure that the fundamental elements of design are followed and especially helpful when working with spacial relationships.
However, it isn’t very helpful when it comes to presenting our ideas to the client. Whereas a good designer can truly see his design creation in his minds eye it is pretty difficult to help the client visualize the project in the same way.
I recall one class at Ohio State where Professor Jim Hiss, a brilliant man with degrees in both Architecture and Landscape Architecture, taught a technique to draw Elevated Perspectives. Elevated Perspectives were hand drawn sketches that would show a project as if one were viewing the project from a vertical distance. Although this was a great way to convey a Landscape Design to someone else, it was also incredibly tedious and time consuming to create. Personally, I don’t think the Elevated Perspective design concept ever gained real traction among Residential Landscape Designers.
Fast forward thirty years to today and you will discover that we are creating these Elevated Perspectives using Computers. At McCoy Landscape, we still begin the design process with the Plan View, but once we have a working vision for the landscape design project we use computer technology to create a 3-D animated landscape design. The main purpose is to transfer the ideas we originally saw in only our mind, into a working model our clients can see with their eyes.
It is still time consuming to create and can take hours to complete, but the difference between the hand drawn Elevated Perspectives of my college years and the Computer Generated Landscape Designs of today are truly astounding. Now when we present a design to a client they can clearly see what their property would look like with the changes we are proposing. In fact, we can literally “fly/drive” them around the project so they can see our proposed changes; as if they were viewing the completed project from a helicopter. We enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when our clients instantly “light up” by being able to see their completed project before it has even been started.
We invite you to visit our website Photo Gallery and see the evolution of some of our projects from the Plan View to the Computer Generated Animation to the Completed Project.
Matt McCoy is a Nationally Certified Landscape Professional and the President of McCoy Landscape Services, Inc. a Full Service Landscaping Company that specializes in designing and installing Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patios and Colorful, easy to maintain Landscaping. McCoy Landscape services the Central Ohio Communities of Delaware, Powell, Lewis Center, Westerville, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus, Galion.