Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.
Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.
At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.
Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990’s to mid 2000’s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….
Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]
Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.
1st Prize & Overall prize for Guildford: Return of Ritual;Team: Renante Go-Soco Solivar
“TownShift: Suburb Into City” sponsored by the City of Surrey was a sustainable design competition to provide vision for Surrey’s five growing town centres – Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton and Semiahmoo.
The competition attracted 138 submissions from 20 countries, and 27 finalists were selected by the five-member TownShift jury.
Renate Solivar of Vancouver took the overall top prize of $15,000 for his entry “Return of Ritual” which proposes structuring a new bold, brightly coloured construction along 152nd Street in front of Guildford Mall. In addition to the $15,000 first prize, his entry also won $10,000 for first prize in the Guildford category, for total winnings of $25,000.
All 27 have been on public display at Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey Central City for the past three weeks, and will remain on display until Feb 28th, the closing day of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The next steps in taking new ideas and making them into reality will be explored at a special panel discussion entitled “Where Do We Go From Here?” at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s main Surrey Campus on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:00PM.
OLIN is part of the team lead by KieranTimberlake that recently won the competition for the US Embassy to be built in Battersea (London), UK. From among 37 architectural submissions, four finalists were chosen to explore the symbolism of the Embassy and its presence and position in the cityscape of London. OLIN was the landscape architect of choice for three of the four competition finalists: KieranTimberlake, Morphosis and Richard Meier & Partners, all of whom worked for nearly a year before making their final presentations to the jury.
The U.S. Department of State’s goal was to create an Embassy and landscape with a timeless quality to appropriately represent the United States of America in the United Kingdom. The winning team was selected by a distinguished jury of both American and British leaders in the fields of architecture, academia and diplomacy for a design which “met the goal of creating a modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century.”
The anticipated ground breaking for the Embassy will be in 2013 with a goal to complete construction in 2017. In addition to KieranTimberlake and OLIN, members of the winning team include Arup for Sustainability, MEP/FP and Civil Engineering; Weidlinger Associates for Structural and Blast Engineering; Gensler for workplace design; Davis Langdon for Cost Consulting; and Sako & Associates for Technical Security.
Partners Laurie Olin and Hallie Boyce will lead the design efforts.
During the Winter Olympics in Vancouver a newly updated Granville Street by PWL Partnership Landscape Architects has become a lively impromptu event space for buskers, street hockey, olympic pin sellers and more. The street has been closed to traffic for 30 years with only buses allowed back in the mid-1970’s. Retail groups have lobbied to have cars reintroduced to the space. However, the success of the space which is usually the domain of club-hopping group has caused planners and downtown businesses to rethink the future of the space post-Olympics.
Could this be the catalyst for a renaissance of pedestrian malls in cities?
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg – Vancouver, British Columbia
The SWA Group – Sausalito, California
Partnered with: Corush Sunderland Wright Ltd. (Ottawa), The ARCOP Group, J.L. Richards & Associates (Ottawa), WESA (Ottawa), BuildGreen Solutions, CMS Collaboratie Inc., Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants Ltd. (PERC), PHA Lighting Design, Ned Kahn
West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture – Toronto, Ontario
Partnered with: Robertson Martin Architects Inc., The Municipal Infrastructure Group (TMIG), Halsall Associates (Ottawa office)
Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates Inc. (WAA) – Montreal, Quebec
Partnered with: Éclairage Public Inc., Michel Dallaire Design Industriel Inc., Les Architectes FABG, Vinci Consultants, Linda Covit
With this selection, the work of the design firms will begin promptly with the gathering of information and ideas for the new open space. On Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, the selected design firms will be meeting with the City, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Parks Canada Agency in a design symposium. Community groups and citizens will be able to learn about the design teams’ background and past projects, and provide comments about what they think should be built in the open space.
Competitors where given some advice and on the designs for the site including
……. more than one presenter that proposals needed to be environmentally sustainable, “preserve the historic integrity” of the site (including the Aberdeen pavilion), with an emphasis on “soft over hard landscape.”
Later in the day the design teams presented their previous work to the City and NCC.
In October 2009, Seattle Parks selected SvR Design + Hewitt as the primary design consultant for four Belltown blocks, from First to Fifth Avenues will be turned into Seattle’s first park boulevard with swales and natural landscaping. Last month SvR Design + Hewitt presented two different design options for Bell Street in the Seattle neighbourhood of Belltown to the community to receive feedback.
The design team presented two options for the first area of the project between 4th and 5th Avenue. The design team walked the audience through a comparison of the options requesting input on the “Sluiced Surface” option and the “Measured Movement” option.
The community offered positive feedback and direction for the design of the park. The community encouraged the designers to look into a combination of the two designs emphasising the importance of safety, activation, lighting, and using green / recycled materials.
Nate Cormier, senior landscape architect at SvR, said the two designs are meant to represent “bookends” of the area’s history. Bell Street and the area around it have changed dramatically in the past 100 years. Tons of rock and soil that originally formed a steep hill there were removed and the land was regraded.
After receiving the communities feedback the team will come up with a single design and present it at a public meeting in April. Construction should occur in 2011.
Over recent years video and digital animation have become another design tool for landscape architects and education and professional institutions.
For landscape architects digital animation and 3D rendering has become cheaper and cheaper to produce with tools such as Sketchup, 3Dmax, rhino, and maya allowing design firms to give clients another perspective and sense of place. Some of the amazing videos that are now produced are using a mixture of pure animation, still renders and imagery are stunning to watch. With the recent advances with VRL and 3D its a matter of time that the only limit will be the imagination of designers.
Recently education and professional institutions have started promoting their events and courses with the advent of cheap digital video cameras and the ability to publish cheaply with sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, Metacafe, Youku. Recently professional institutions such as ASLA, AILA, Landscape Institute have used Youtube and self published video to increase the profile of landscape architects.
Below are some examples of how video is being used in landscape architecture. I would love to hear and see how you and your organisation are using video in landscape architecture. Drop me an email at email@example.com.