The power of cardboard: Layout Thoughts and Cardboard Planning

Last week I read a blog post over on 78 MIles to Yosemite that just impressed the heck out of me. I meant to immediately post a link to it here in case other folks might not have seen it. Here’s the premise:

When planning a layout, I find it immensely helpful to have a go at some idea design in 1:1 ratio, so I can stand next to it, fiddle with heights, with depths, with overhang and clearances and the like.  This is incredibly difficult to fiddle with in wood and final product, but in cardboard, it’s hardly more involved than grabbing a new box and spending a minute or two with a straight edge and box knife to make some changes.

He couldn’t be more correct. Through the course of the post he provides some great examples of how he’s using basic materials from around the house. Brilliant!

I feel like I tend to launch into a planning exercise today in much the same way I’ve done for most of my life: how much room and what can I fit into it? I’ve started evolving that basic premise into something that pays more time to the story I’m trying to tell using model trains as my medium and I’m thinking a lot more about my anticipated experience with the finished product. In Layout Thoughts and Cardboard Planning he goes even further and provides some truly superb examples of how we could experiment with various layout heights and similar dimensions. A couple of weeks ago I had a lot of fun simply tacking corrugated cardboard over my layout’s frame so I could mock up an operating session to test if what I was considering reflected the story I wanted to be immersed in and it’s a process I look forward to leveraging more often.

Anyway, time for me to stop writing and send folks to read something really good:

Categories: How I think

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