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Kevin Brooks Christa Pojanowski Thursday, September 24, 2009 The Field of Landscape Architecture as a Profession

This memo is on the subject of the profession of Landscape Architecture. Landscape Architecture is a growing professional field that deals with issues in our everyday life. There professionals are care takers of our beloved earth, they counter react our actions as a society. • • • • • In the practice of Landscape Architecture there a series of steps to further the development of the principles of design. Recently technology has been playing a greater role in this profession. Most designs are now created using computers and other technology. Education is another important aspect of Landscape Architecture many levels of degrees are offered. Another step to entering the practice of Landscape Architecture is accreditation and licensure. The most important factors to look at are some skills that Landscape Architecture demonstrates.

"In facing the growing urgency of environmental issues confronting human societies, we must do more than sustain the earth; we must heal, enhance and manage the life-sustaining processes of the planet and ensure the integrity and strength of the global landscape which connects them." American Society of Landscape Architects, Declaration on Environment and Development Landscape Architecture as a profession is the practice of doing such things as the Declaration above states. As the American Society of Landscape Architects believe so does Pete Lawrence. Pete is the Landscape Architect I interviewed. He has recently started his own firm, Landscape Direction, and is located in my hometown of Lindstrom, Minnesota. His firm practices based on his own Mission Statement, some of the ideals are that: If things keep proceeding down the path they are going now there will not be the landscapes for our children, and future generations to see and experience. He also believes that care for the land is important, to make careful decisions to how people impact or improve the land. The words he lives by are, “Every landscaping project is a journey...and I want to be sure no one gets lost…I want to help you get to where you want your landscape to be for years to come.” The designs done by Landscape Architects are designed with great thought behind them. They design for functionality, also along with that they design with the principles of beauty, and compatibility with the natural environment. Some designers also plan with the ideas of restoration of a natural place that has been disturbed by humans. Landscape Architects are professionals that deal greatly with conserving and restoring natural resources. The first step to designing a site is in the planning stage. They must first study the project fully, also come up with a purpose and funds available, this is also considered the inventory and analysis of the site. The first design they come up with is a preliminary design, to meet the needs of the client. Finally there are adjustments made to satisfy the client’s needs, than there is the finished product.

Most of the designs are prepared using computer technology. A computer-aided design program called Auto CAD has become a necessity to most Landscape Architects. Also other computer programs that allow Landscape Architects to create their designs in 3D video simulations to help envision what their ideas look like. The computer has other programs for things like mapping called Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to map out the areas of the site. There are different ways that Landscape Architects use to express their thoughts, and ideas about a design they include written reports, sketches, models, photographs, land-use studies, and cost estimates. Drawings they use to show their designs are some that show past, present, and future of all the amenities, they also may show construction and a list of materials needed. Landscape Architects monitor the progress of the installations of their designs. One necessity to get into the profession is a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. The bachelor’s degree has two parts, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA).The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is the master program degree. Design studio in these studies play an important role for the hands on experience of the profession, in many situations students are assigned to real life projects. The next step in becoming a Landscape Architect is to become licensed. This is based on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.). The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards puts this examination on. It is focused on laws, environmental regulations, plants, soils, climate, and other characteristics. When looking at Landscape Architecture for a career there are certain aspects that should be taken into consideration. First of all one should appreciate nature, and enjoy working outdoors with their hands. Some skills that would be good criteria are analytical skills, oral and speaking communication skills, and writing skills. Qualities that are desirable are creative and artistic talents. In being able to convey ideas of a project in a presentation is significant. Also being able to understand and have knowledge of computer applications is a great quality to have. Finally having the ability to draft and design by either hand or on the computer is a strong trait. Summer internships with a Landscape Architecture firms are an important thing, most of all to familiarize with the different technical skills and gain understanding of the day-to-day operations of the business, such as how to win clients, generate fees, and finally to work within a budget. In conclusion to this memo I have done my research and will be continuing my education to become a professional, licensed Landscape Architect. While doing this research I came a crossed an incredible job opportunity. I would like to take action on this opportunity and engage myself to build on my knowledge in this ever growing field. I feel I want to become a Landscape Architect for the reasons in which I researched. The most important thing I feel as becoming a Landscape Architect is to make it known that we only have one planet earth and after we use up all our resources we are not given another one, so to use the practice of sustainability, and a green way of life.

References:

American Society of Landscape Architects - Home. Web. 06 Sept. 2009. <http://www.asla.org>.

"Landscape Architects." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 06 Sept. 2009. <http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos039.htm>.

Lawrence, Pete. "Design & Build Specialists." Landscape Direction. Web. 06 Sept. 2009. <http://www.landscapedirection.com/about.htm>.

"Profession of Landscape Architecture - Landscape Architecture - Cal Poly." Landscape Architecture Department - Cal Poly. Web. 06 Sept. 2009. <http://landscape.calpoly.edu/prospective/profession.html>.