Landscape Architects design outdoor areas that are beautiful, functional, and compatible with the natural environment. This means planning the location of building, roads, walkways, and fixtures, and also the selection and arrangement of flowers, shrubs and trees. Landscape Architects design our residential areas, parks and playgrounds, college and industrial campuses, golf courses, and many other areas.
Landscape Architecture improves our lives by making the landscapes we experience every day more pleasant to be around. For example, highway roadside beautification project designers put wildflowers and wild grasses along roadsides to break up the monotony of asphalt. Landscape Architects design the entrances to our neighborhoods, so that there are bright and inviting plants and paths for us. They are also instrumental in creating some of the beautiful designs for environmentally restored areas, such as wetlands, river sides, and reclaimed Superfund sites.
The Academic Requirements
Students need a bachelor's or master's degree to get a good job in Landscape Architecture. There is an accrediting board for programs in the United States, called the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Students will learn the technical aspects of surveying, landscape design and ecology, construction, and urban and regional planning. Students will also learn about the history of the field. Plant and soil science, geology, and environmental science classes may be taken. Students will need to possess good communication and general management skills.
Students spend a lot of time in their design studio, preferably working on real projects to get good hands-on experience. Computer courses in GIS and graphic design will probably be offered.
Here are some courses that we've seen:
- Planning and Design of Landscapes
- Landscape Architecture Design
- Landscape as Urbanism
- Studies in Landscape Representation
- Site Systems Representation
- The Visual Landscape: Analysis and Management
- Advanced Drawing
- History of Landscape Architecture
- Landscape Technology
- Plants and Design
- Landscape Ecology
- Soil in Landscape Design
- Landscape Architectural Construction
- Plant Installation and Management
- Irrigation and Drainage
Landscape Architects work for organizations that are developing a site. They work with architects, surveyors, engineers, environmental scientists, foresters, and horticulturists. Landscape Architects collaborate with co-workers and team members on a regular basis, and they must be good at communicating their ideas and incorporating others' input.
Landscape Architects come up with a design, present it to their clients, revise the design and then the landscape contractors or someone else follows the detailed design plans to create the architect's vision. They spend most of their time in offices, but they also visit the site during the planning stage and after the plans have been approved.
Increasingly, Landscape Architects are involved with environmental remediation projects, where they work with environmental scientists and others to develop a natural habitat for a reclaimed site. They may also collaborate on the making of an environmental impact statement for a proposed development site.
Here are some job Urban and Regional Plannings that we've seen, including some of the organizations that offer them, all of which included a requirement for experience in Landscape Architecture:
- Site Designer (Smith Group )
- Landscape Architect (Gresham Smith & Partners)
- Project Manager / Landscape Architect (Gresham Smith & Partners)
- Landscape Architect / Urban Designer (Gresham Smith & Partners)
- Landscape Architect (Abel Bainnson Butz LLP )
- Project Manager (Research Triangle Park)
- Site Planner / Designer (Research Triangle Park)
- Project Landscape Architect (Design Associates)
- Landscape Designer (Purkiss Rose / RSI)
- Landscape Design Assistant (Poynter Landscape and Construction)
- Senior Landscape Architect (Ken Kay Associates)
- Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture (University of Rhode Island)
- Landscape Architect / Greenway Coordinator (Lee's Summit Parks & Recreation)
- Interviews with Students and Professionals in Landscape Architecture
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Landscape Architects
- Harvard University, Landscape Architecture Program
- Landscape Architecture Internet Resources
- Washington State University, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture