Adventures of an Architect – Episode 5: Paintball
Recently we took an office “field trip” to Skirmish USA, for a day of playing paintball. What better way to promote teamwork, develop communication skills, and get some exercise than to shoot your coworkers with paint?! I am always pleasantly surprised to find well-thought-out design in unexpected places… and Skirmish did just that. The facility is made up of 700 acres and over 50 playing fields full of woods, tanks, forts, downed helicopters, city-scapes, and a pair of massive castles! While some of these courses rely solely on Mother Nature to provide the backdrop for your paintball adventure, the design of the built-environments on the other courses made the experience that much more enjoyable.
“Cargo” was a field we played that consisted of many recycled shipping containers, which have been modified to include narrow “window” openings. The containers were not just randomly placed in a field, but instead are arranged in various ways to provide multiple visual angles; propped up on one end to provide a ramp up to a higher vantage point; and even stacked on top of each other with stairs and walkways.
“Hood in the Woods” & “Tippman City” are small villages built amongst the trees, complete with one and two-story buildings, as well as old cars to provide cover during the paintball battle. The buildings are not just haphazard boxes, but contain design elements that help them feel like an actual town… such as covered porches, window shutters, vinyl siding, asphalt shingles and other decorative features. While it may be completely unnecessary, it just shows how putting a little thought into a design can really enhance the users experience.
There are many different courses with various features that make Skirmish one of the top paintball facilities in the country. Check out their website for more descriptions – http://www.skirmish.com/content/fields/ . I highly recommend experiencing this at least once, for an exciting, fun, adrenaline-filled day… the welts & bruises will be temporary, but the great memories will last for years to come!
Have fun out there,
Teams (MKSD staff) – Bottom left to right: Gage, Christian, Joudi, Maher / Top left to right: Craig, Alicia, Jason, Julian, Scott, Todd, Jon, Joel, Nick