Why become a landscape architect?

landscape architect
See article footer for image credits

Landscape architecture is a profession that has many different areas and specialisations. There are opportunities to design, research, and manage within areas of landscape architecture. Landscape design is the most well-known area of landscape architecture as it is what most of the profession does daily. However, many others within the profession get to research or manage spaces, ecologies, people, natural networks, and many other facets of the landscape. Your job as a landscape architect can be more than design.

Creativity

The most inspiring part of being a landscape architect is that you can be very creative as a professional. You have the opportunity to create elements(art, lighting, paving) and places for people to enjoy and habitats for flora and fauna. Many people are drawn to landscape architecture to be creative, but many realise it is more than just creating; You can also work as a professional to teach, research, collaborate, write and much more.

landscape architect
landscape architect
Sketch Studies from The Roof – Image Credits: ASPECT Studios

Go places

Landscape architects spend time in the office, but they also travel to see new places, projects, nurseries, quarries, workshops, factories, and much more. Depending on the firm or organisation you work for, you could spend many days of the year travelling the countryside, seeing new places, meeting people and learning about different cultures and landscapes.

Student Project – Gambier Island, Vancouver, Canada – Students from the University of British Columbia, School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture – Image Credit: Courtesy of University of British Columbia

Solving problems

As a landscape architect, your core job is to solve problems, whether they are highly conceptual such as addressing an issue within a city’s natural systems or more practical such as a detail of how a wall and paving go together. As a landscape architect, you constantly solve problems and create solutions that address one or several issues.

Stadium Park & Chevron Parkland | Image Credits: HASSELL

Collaboration

As a landscape architect, you work with various people and communities. You have the opportunity to work with allied professionals such as architects, engineers, artists, horticulturalists, ecologists, lighting and irrigation designers, contractors and many more. Your clients will include local communities, indigenous people, developers, government officials, education institutions, environmental groups, and others who work with you and seek your knowledge and expertise.

LOOP – Pioneering Community Consultation for Shanghai’s Laneways – Images
Gossamer

Challenging

Landscape architecture is a challenging profession. You need to be a generalist who knows different areas of expertise whilst also working with many other people to come together to create a landscape and place. It can be challenging when balancing environmental, social and economic issues whilst creating a design and working with people who have differing viewpoints.

Chicago Riverwalk – Under Construction – Image credits: Courtesy of Sasaki
Chicago Riverwalk – Completed Project – Image Credit: ©Christian Philips

Rewarding

Landscape architects have rewarding careers creating beautiful spaces that people and animals will enjoy for years, decades and sometimes centuries. You can solve big and small problems whilst working with people who are invested and interested in creating places. At the end of each project, you can stand within the space you may have designed, managed or developed and realise that you have made a difference, no matter how small or large.

Day in the Life: Landscape Architect from ConnectEd Studios on Vimeo.

Janice Nicol, landscape architect at The Office of Cheryl Barton, an award-winning firm in San Francisco, shares the importance of creative expression and past experiences when creating eye-catching public spaces.

Title/Cover Image Credits:
Top (Left to Right)
(L) 823 Congress Avenue – Landscape Architect: dwg. | Credit: Jason Radcliff; Adam Barbe
(M) Climate Pulse – Emancipation Park, Houston TX – Landscape Architect: Falon Land Studio Image Credit: Peter Molick, Photographer
(R) North Carolina Museum of Art -Landscape Architect | Civitas | Image Credit: mmcite
Bottom (Left to Right)
(L) Community Consultation for Shanghai Laneways – Landscape Architect: Gossamer | Image Credit: Gossamer
(M) 40 Oaks Parkette – Landscape Architect: Scott Torrance Landscape Architecture | Image Credit: Arnaud Marthouret, Revelateur Studio
(R) Turramurra Memorial Park Recreation Precinct – Landscape Architect: Corkery Consulting | Image Credit: Corkery Consulting

Article by Damian Holmes, Editor – World Landscape Architecture

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About Damian Holmes 5447 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/