Are You A Young - Small Size Landscape Architecture "Start-Up Firm?

To ALL young LA's who are in the process of creating your OWN LA "Start-Up" Firm....and have less than 5 years of professional design "experience".

I am, J. Robert (Bob) Wainner....and have been practicing Landscape Architecture since 1977....Graduated with a B.S.L.A. in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University in 1977.  I have designed approx. 600 projects in 17 different States (wide variety of project types).  I began my LA career designing for (2) different LA firms for 14 yrs....then, in 1991 @ the age of 41, I created my OWN LA "Start-Up" Firm...a "one man LA firm".  I am still practicing today in Plano, Texas.

.For the past 4 yrs., I have been "mentoring", "coaching" and helping a young LA on the East Coast with his LA "Start-Up" Firm. We met when he needed assistance on passing the "Grading" portion of the L.A.R.E. exam...which he did pass and is now a Licensed LA in 2 different States on the East Coast.  Since this young LA (in his early 30's) has only about 4 yrs. of experience (2 yrs. actually working for a Licensed LA), he has been retaining my assistance for "Preliminary Color Designs" & "Preliminary Cost Estimates".  Then, I coach him through the Final Contract Document....design process, which he does on autoCAD.  I still continue to do ALL of my design work "by hand".  But, TOGETHER, we make a great team....my design experience joined with his experience with Computer Software Programs.

The reason I am writing this piece.....is to OFFER my extensive LA Design Experience to other young LA's who are in the process of creating their own LA "Start-Up" Firms....and feel they need help with the DESIGN end of NEW projects.  You just really can't teach yourself "Landscape Architecture"....and you only learn the basics in a University LA program.  You need a LOT of experience in order to produce....creative, bold, professional designs for all of your clients.  Once you have gone through the "design process" for many projects...and it's different for every LA.....you will be fine on your own.

With my LA friend on the East Coast.....He contacts me on NEW projects he KNOWS he needs design help with. I actually assist him in coming up with some of his LA Design Proposals and Fees for projects.  I only charge him $50.00 per hour for my design time & input....plus, I ask for reimbursable expenses for mail and Fed Ex charges.  He sends me "design criteria", "PLAT of properties", "Budgets", "property Surveys" and photos of the Project Sites.

This really is a WIN - Win situation....and NO, I am not trying to take advantage of young - inexperienced LAs.

J. Robert Wainner

P.S......on March 20, 2017

This offer is also extended to small and medium sized LA firms who have little or no design experience in the MULTI-FAMILY INDUSTRY.  I have personally designed over 450 upscale apartment communities (in several states) for some of the TOP 5 Apartment Builders in the Nation (see my LAND 8 Profile).  Multi-family LA design is just different....than designing commercial, retail or residential projects.  Most of my apartment projects had at least 25 sheets in a set (24" x 36" sheets)...and covered grading, planting, walks, pool amenity areas, retaining walls, pool decks, fencing, construction details, specifications, etc.  LA fees for these MF projects can easily run $25k to over $100k...depending on the size and scope of services.

So, if your firm lands a NEW upscale Multii-Family project contract and you don't feel the experience designing this type of project....just feel free to contact me...and I will help you.  Either specifically on a particular project OR consult with you and give you a "short course" in Multi-Family LA design.  This really has been my area of expertise for almost 40 yrs.....I know this industry.  NOTE:  I have some Porfolio samples here on my LAND 8 Profile of some areas of multi-family projects I have designed...signage, pool areas, etc.

Bob

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Wow Bob, seems like there's a better place than this discussion forum to solicit yourself. 

Jonathan;

I find it curious......that you have a total of (7) years of University education @ (3) different Universities....and yet, here you are, with less than (1) year of experience working for The State Of California (working in a non-design division).

You DO realize that you will never learn to be a "successful Landscape Architect" in that job don't you???

It looks like you've been playing "professional student".

I really don't think (with your VERY limited experience) in the field of Landscape Architecture....that you're in a position to criticize me for anything I write here on LAND 8. 

FREE ADVISE.......Do yourself a huge favor....go to work for a solid LA design firm and get some "real" experience.

Bob, I've been working professionally for over 13 years in more fields than just LA - stuff your condescension where the sun doesn't shine. Free ADVICE (that's how it's spelled FYI): Stop using this forum for your own advertisement. 

Jonathan;

Just because YOU and I do not agree "politically"....doesn't make it all right for you dog me here on LAND 8.  It's funny that you Liberals are OK with "Free Speech".....as long as what is said are issues you AGREE with.

I find it "ironic" that "Free Speech" actually got a big push in the U.S. years ago @ Berkley. Now, most of the students & Faculty @ Berkley are seriously Liberal and do NOT like anything Conservatives have to say......like we Conservatives are NOT entitled to "Free Speech" like you are.

i apologize for not being more thorough in my research of your LA work background, Jonathan....but, I'm hoping you're getting some "solid experience" working for a talented LA firm....that's where you will really learn this profession....NOT working for a Gov't agency.

Lastly....Just an FYI...I fully realize in my BLOG statement above that I'm NOT giving away my assistance for FREE....but, just so you'll know....I don't NEED the money.  It's not about that.  I'm basically semi-retired....but, I plan to remain involved in Landscape Architecture for many more years to come.  And, assisting young LAs.....or helping small to mid-sized LA firms who have little or no experience designing NEW apartment communities is a way for me to keep busy and stay engaged in our profession.  I just don't think I should be expected to do it for FREE.  But, there have been many times over the past several years...that I have offered FREE advise to young LAs....because, I was once where they are and it's pretty scary starting out in this profession.  So, I do help when I can and don't charge for that help.  I encourage other SENIOR LAs to offer assistance and advice to young LAs.....as I believe every LA should have a couple of friends who are VERY experienced LAs.....including you, Jonathan.  Instead of hammering everything I say....we could be friends.  Because, in our field, you really can't have too many friends.  You have 13 yrs. of exp...I'm very close to having (43) yrs. of LA experience...as I have logged in enough over-time hours to equal an additional (4) calendar years of exap....and those over-time hrs. were on holidays, weekends, during lunch hours, after all the other LAs went home for the day....I've been extremely busy bending over a drawing board my entire career....but, also, meetings, site inspection out of state...as I have been a (1) man LA firm since 1991.

You never know....one day, you may feel like you might need some advise from me...and I will be here and more than happy to help you out.

Kind Regards,

Bob

Jonathan -

In case you haven't noticed, Bob likes to talk about how awesome he is.  Since he is semi-retired, he has a lot of free time on his hands and this seems to be an enjoyable way for him to pass the hours, so cut him a break.

He is about the same age as Trump - it must be a thing with that generation.

Nice response, Chris.  Doesn't seem like your Mom & Dad taught you much about RESPECTING others......and especially, when it comes to a little respect for Senior LAs.

I'm actually 3 yrs. younger than President Trump.  And, you have to KNOW....he didn't need to run for President of the United States.  He took a MAJOR pay cut.  In fact, he has stated he will not be accepting a "salary" while he is our President.  Obama definitely accepted the salary...and he complained about having to pay for his families meals while he lived in the WH....Trump will have to pay for his family's meals as well.  Obama HAD to know after he got out of the WH, he'd make millions on speeches and books.  In fact, he already has a $50 million book deal.....which, I'm sure someone else will actually write it for him...he'll be playing golf.

And just and FYI....yes, I am semi-retired, but, I still remain active designing....because, I WANT to, not because I HAVE to.....there's a big difference.

And, unlike YOU.....I'm not afraid to show my Profile (background) or show samples of my LA Design Portfolio......you have yours' hidden.  I'd love to see 'your" professional background and samples of "your" design work.  

I certainly HOPE that if you ever get an LA job OR have one now.....you show a lot more respect for your boss than you have shown for me.  Otherwise, you won't last long in this profession.....I can guarantee it.

OK...Chris, it seems you have been the Owner of "Cultivate" in Annapolis, Md. for the past 8 yrs.....and you're still trying to put your web site together?  Seriously?  Hire someone, if you don't have the time....you don't have ANY work samples to view.

You should have been building your "Professional LA Portfolio" when you started your first LA job....so, you should have a LOT of work to show for 21 yrs. of experience....don't you think.

It wasn't difficult to find your LinkedIn site.....and "Cultivate".

OK, so you have 21 yrs. of exp....vs. my (43)....there STILL should be some respect.

You jump on me for my BLOG....wanting to help young LAs.  How many young LAs have you mentored during your career?

And, have you seen ALL of the SENIOR LA's here on LAND 8 who are pushing their L.A.R.E. Seminar Programs and Webnar Programs?  Those LA's are charging MAJOR $$$ for young LA grads to have to travel to various U.S. cities and pay substantial FEES for a couple of days on how to take the L.A.R.E. exam....OR they're offering (for a FEE) Webnars on-line to teach young LA's about how to study for the L.A.R.E. exam........would you consider those SENIOR LAS's as "Used Car Salesman" too'....OR are they providing a service to help LA graduates pass the L.A.R.E....when, maybe they couldn't otherwise?

I spent at least 2 weeks of my time to help a young LA grad (at not cost to him) to bring him up to speed on 'Grading".  It was the ONLY section of the L.A.R.E. he had not passed.  I did the grading on 3 different L.A.R.E. sample grading problems for him...then, taught him the process, so that he would "understand" HOW I graded those 3 sites. He went on to easily pass the Grading portion of the L.A.R.E.....and is now a Licensed LA in 2 different states...and his "start-up" LA firm is doing quite well now.

I've given back and continue to give back.....so, i don't appreciate your smart A$$ comments aimed at me.  

Instead of wasting time here on LAND 8......I would think your time would be BETTER spent completing your company web site......ya' think???

So your retort is blah, blah, blah, which predictably concludes with your favorite subject - yourself. I don't think I questioned your website, the quality of work that you do, or the depth of your experience, so why so much anger attacking mine? BTW, any idiot can go on the interweb and use The Google to find that stuff out, as you have just illustrated, so that is no big secret.

It sounds like you have had a solid, proven career, which only makes it weirder that you talk about yourself so much. What kind of validation are you looking for? Most people your age have either sought counseling or out-grown disorders like that by now. Maybe try serving meals at a homeless shelter or teaching at a University or whatever, because it sure as heck doesn't appear that you are getting the validation you need from this forum, given your ad nauseam self-aggrandizing.  You don't show much respect yourself with the patronizing tone of many of your posts.

P.S. Thanks for reminding me about the website. I needed the push to power through the new WordPress template that's been giving me hassle.

Cheers

Chris;

You just can't help yourself, huh?!!!......continuing to attack and disrespect me. Your insults are NOT appreciated.  Like I said, I really think your TIME would be better spent completing your company web site....it doesn't take 8 years to build a web site, you know!!!

You have quite a bit of experience as an LA......HOW MANY young LA's have you helped or mentored during your career?  

I happen to be semi-retired....I doubt I will ever fully retire. I continue to design, just don't put in near the hours I used to.  Funny thing about AGE and DESIGN....I once had an LA professor that told me, as designers, we will only get better as we get older.  That's exactly what happened with Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture career.  He retired at about age 65....then, family and friends talked him into designing homes for them....next thing he knew, he had a staff of Architects working for him (I'm sure he mostly handled the preliminary or conceptual designs). But, some of Frank Lloyd Wrights BEST Architectural Designs were designed when he was in his 70's.  I fully realize he was an exceptional designer....but, do you think he should have spent his retirement years working in a "soup kitchen"?  I don't.

I believe EVERY LA should have LA friends with different experience levels...and especially for the younger LAs....they should have at least one Senior LA who they can turn to, to help guide them through their LA career.

It will be "interesting" to see the quality level of your LA design work....if you ever post any samples for anyone to view.  You have, what 19 yrs. of experience and no Porfolio samples???

Chris, your comments and sarcastic remarks here on LAND8 are NOT useful to anyone.  Is it just a HOBBY of your's to get on web sites like LAND8 and hide behind your computer and criticize fellow LAs?  You can say what you like about me.......but, you're making yourself look pretty foolish as well as VERY unprofessional.

I respect the fact that you have a right to "freedom of speech"......but, personal attacks against me and my character are NOT OK!!!

Bob

P.S. Chris;

Last night, I looked at the web site HOUZZ (for Landscape Architecture Firms) in the Annapolis, Maryland area.......there were a total of (604) listings.  Curious that YOUR web site or name was NOT on that list.

I guess I'm just "curious" HOW you're getting any design work?  I also noticed that there were only (6) LA job openings in the Annapolis, Md. area.....business can't be that good up there and there sure looks like there's a TON of competition.

I know there are ways to "position" your website.....so, that when people Google "Landscape Architects in Annapolis", you could have YOUR web site come up among the TOP 5.  IT people know how this is done.  

Now that it's SPRING and I personally believe that President Trump's economic agenda will do more for the LA profession......it would be in your best interests to have your LA firm's web site up and running.....have some of your BEST work samples....maybe even include a video of one of your best ;projects (I've seen that done very effectively).

I have designed projects in Maryland, Virginia & the D.C. area......seems like there would NOW be a good market up there for LA design services.

Bob

I get it. It sounds self serving and is to some extent. But if I were looking for such help I would hope that this would be an excellent place to find it. Where else would you look? ASLA?

Everyone hates a car salesman unless they are trying to buy a car. Then you kind of need one if you can't find a car on your own. If you don't need one, well, they rub you the wrong way. It all depends on your perspective.

The young LA on the East Coast that Bob has helped is probably not the only one who would like such help. Not too many in our industry are either willing, will take the time, or will put in the effort to help someone out like he is offering with or without compensation. I know I'm not up for it, so I can't knock Bob for it.

The profession needs opportunities for people to grow in it - especially after they are looking to move on after getting licensed. It is another option in the mix that is good if it only works for one or two people.

It is not as bad as exploiting interns through revolving doors which is pretty much the alternative these days.

Exploiting interns and new grads is the norm nowadays (or maybe it always was), but irregardless I don't think Bob's posting was altruistic. He senses that there's a market niche and is trying to exploit it. Okay, that's great (I don't really care), but notice how no one else is listing services or asking for a job on this thread. It's just not appropriate and we all know it.

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