Making Waves in Barbados! Learn to Relax a Little

imageWhen was your last vacation? If you’re having trouble remembering then I think one’s overdue.

When you work as a consultant every deliverable is left to your initiative. Some days you wind up working more than 10 hours.

Just finished covering the Caribbean Urban Forum 2014 in Barbados via Twitter under the handle @CARILED_Jamaica and successfully delivered my PowerPoint presentation on ‘Infrastructure and Local Economic Development in Urban Centres: Case study of the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville.’

When you’ve worked that hard on an almost daily basis, it pays (not monetarily) to have some downtime to yourself to recharge ye olde batteries. A

s they say these days “work hard and play harder“.

Surf’s up!

How Your Creative Skill Can Result in an Extraordinary ‘Goal’!

The Breds – Treasure Beach Foundation has embarked on the creation of a sports park in the very picturesque south-west community of Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth. The sports park has gone through several phases of development over the last year and now boast football (soccer to some) pitches, cricket square, a tennis court, multipurpose court for basketball and netball, children’s play area with a bright red pirate ship set atop one of the most magnificent landscape you can find on the south coast of Jamaica.

A friend who is an integral and active part of the organisation asked me last year (late 2011) to create a site plan of the existing completed phases of the sports park and illustrate the features that were to follow. I was unsure of how to even approach a project like this as I had never attempted anything like this with the aid of Adobe Illustrator® aka “Ai” but knowing my persona, I was not going to refuse the challenge. More importantly I understood what it would mean for the organisation and the community as a whole. It was a noteworthy project and I accepted the job and immediately started to play around with mock-ups after doing a lot of research on the final presentation of other site designs.

Site layout for the Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park and Academy.

I wanted to ensure the integrity of the design through an accurate depiction of what was already on the ground and therefore enlisted the assistance of a good friend and colleague who is an expert in using Geographic Information System (GIS) to solve this issue as it digitally creates and manipulates spatial areas.

My colleague and I made the trek from Mandeville to Treasure Beach on a Saturday and spent over 5 hours under the blazing sun capturing each and every feature within the sports park in between excessive cloud cover that affected the satellite signal to the hand-held global positioning system (GPS) unit to the unit having its own glitches while simultaneously I took photographs, wrote notes and sketched specific features throughout the space for my own visual reference that would be used later. Our efforts were supported by the assistance of members of Breds and staff of the sports park who laid out pegs to earmark unaccounted for features not yet delineated.

The process was “simple” – my colleague would create a map via GIS and I would then translate this map into a site layout in a visually compelling way that would be at the highest possible standard. As I anticipated, it was a difficult project and I was forced as always to push what I always think are the boundaries of my creativity. After messing around with a number of effects (thanks to Ai’s capabilities), the design was finally complete.

It was well received by Breds and that for me was the greatest compliment as I knew exactly how this design was going to do a lot for the community in being a part of what was going to be a brochure and marketing tool to attract international football (again, soccer if you like) teams to the area to use the facilities in the Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park and Academy and also to attract more funding opportunities to further promote the development of sports tourism.

I had a lot fun on this project and learned some very important lessons one of which was… always bring a hat when working outdoors!