Strange Question?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  mark foster 4 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #156683

    Andrew Slater
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently doing research on making Landscape Architecture more fun, productive and profitable. 

    As a Landscape Architect what are the biggest problems you face on a day-to-day basis?

    Basically I would like to identify common problems that we all face in the office and find ways to solve these problems. It could be anything from annoying CAD files, client emails, site inspections, communication between contractors etc etc.

    I am a Landscape Architect of 5 years how has worked in the Public and Private Sector in Australia and now as a freelance in Japan. Across these different areas I have seen lots of room for improvement and would love to focus in on solving some of the problems (big or small) and discussing my findings here on land8.

    Here are some questions to think about:

    ● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
    ● What takes up most of your time?
    ● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
    ● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?

    I would love to hear from you, even if it is only one sentence!

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    #156699

    mark foster
    Participant

    If you want meaningful input, you may want to frame your question better.

    #156698

    Boilerplater
    Participant

    Reconfigure our society so that aesthetics in the built environment are more highly valued than plastic surgery, celebrity gossip, and cheap beer.  Disconnect it from the sprawl boom and bust cycle so that it can be a more viable lifetime career.

    Hey, you didn’t say it had to be realistic!

    #156697

    Andrew Slater
    Participant

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the feed back. Yes your right my question is currently quite vague and open ended.

    Basically I am trying to break down the day to day routines of Landscape Architects and the common challenges faced in the office, weather it be marking up a design, organisign a site inspection, handling emails from clients, toublesom CAD files etc etc.

    I am interested in identifying  the most common problems, finding solutions and sharing and discussing them on Land8.

    #156696

    Andrew Slater
    Participant

    Thank you Boilerplate, that`s quite the challenge you have put forward! I might start of with some smaller issues but that is certainly a good goal to aim for 🙂

    #156695

    landplanner
    Participant

    Boilerplater:

    Once again, a spot-on commentary. We definitely think alike. 

    #156694

    mark foster
    Participant

    Having gone the design/build route, I think the thing that has removed the most drudgery is developing the craftsmanship and professionalism in my installation staff so that I don’t have to do working drawings/specs.  It also allows for lots of flexibility and creativity during the build process.

    Interesting you bring up emails.  I am very careful with these because it is so easy to take things the wrong way–especially if a bit of irony or humor is involved.  When in doubt, I phone or meet.

    Fun things are always those never tried before.  Also collaborating with other professionals–especially the “out of the box” types like artists and musicians, 

    #156693

    Andrew Slater
    Participant

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your reply. So since you have your own team that understand the creative intent and the level of detail you require you can just give them a site plan and they will work it out from there?

    That`s a great level of trust to have. Do you consult with your installation staff during the design process or discuss with them after your design is completed?

    Also when collaborating with other professionals what do you find the hardest aspects to be?

    #156692

    Madame Dirt
    Participant

    Well done Andrew – this could be a fun, yet helpful forum!

    Coming from a local govt / civic projects (in Australia) perspective, here’s my two bobs worth:

    Get ‘face to face’ when things get tricky (like Mark mentioned);

    Build relationships with other professions (artists, structural engineers, civil engineers, archeologists, community development experts, horticulturists, landscape & civil contractors, maintenance staff, etc etc) so you have a network of ‘go to’ people / collaborators;

    Be part of the solution not the problem, by constantly advocating for change / funding / best outcomes.  Build relationships with decision makers and funding bodies.

    Stay inspired by doing stuff you love (day seminars / camping / whatever) and try not to become bitter and twisted.

    Employ designers / design trained professions in senior roles / ie as decision makers.  ie we should apply for these roles and make change that way.

    I could go on forever!  But I’ll spare you  🙂

    #156691

    Andrew Slater
    Participant

    Hi Madame Dirt,

    Thank you for your input, all good points on how to make the most of the profession. You sound like you have a lot of experience in govt/civic projects and would love to hear more from you about your day to day office experience.If you could answer any of the following questions I would greatly appreciate it!

    ● Can you walk me through a typical day for you?
    ● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
    ● What takes up most of your time?
    ● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
    ● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?

    Do you think its easy for LA`s or other designers to build relationships and create good networks? What ways have you found are the best to create good networks?

    #156690

    Madame Dirt
    Participant

    Typcial day involves way too many meetings / talking about the work we need to get done, but having no time to do it cos of all the meetings / talking!

    The most painful task is that our MS Outlook ‘inboxes’ are always full, meaning we can’t send emails until we clear them. SO frustrating. I can spend the whole morning – in between meetings – dealing with this.  Again – it takes me away from DOING work.

    At the moment, most of my time is taken up by Councillor requests.  They are Number 1 priority, really important, but, again, take us away from the ‘doing’ of our allocated projects.

    Im finding the open plan office frustrating at the moment. and all the interruptions.  feel like I can never get more than 7 mins to focus on something.

    Tasks which could be made easier / less tedious are often IT related.  We have no real backup from IT with ACAD, Corel, Photoshop, etc.  Having never 100% mastered these programmes (I graduated in 1997 & was a gardener by trade first so no real computer nouse), I have to revert to simple sketches / whatever can demonstrate stuff in the quickest possible manner.  Report writing, internal governance requirements, process process process stuff can really wear us down (hence my comment about trying not to become ‘bitter and twisted’.  eg Ive just lost 4 hours work – working from home on a sunday in prep for a scarey meeting tomorrow – cos my works remote access thingy just crashed. gotta fly and get an 8 yr old to a party now!

    Thats another thing – juggling parenthood!  🙂

    #156689

    mark foster
    Participant

    Andrew,

    I’m pretty hands on during the build–constantly checking in, if not working alongside them.  (I do this mostly because I enjoy it, but also because I get some of my best detailing ideas by working with the materials themselves) 

    The hardest thing when designing with other professionals (non-site oriented folks) is going from concept  to site.  It’s easy to come up with 20 great ideas for a space but–as LA’s know all too well– a successful design on the site may only accommodate 4 of the them.  

    #156688

    Randy Royer
    Participant

    The business side of Landscape Architecture!  Contracts, insurance, HR, finance…  All very important to a successful practice but also very time consuming. 

    help
    close
    #156687

    Andrew Slater
    Participant

    Hi Randy,

    Thanks for your input!

    Do you find any all of these tasks require daily organization?

    #156686

    Heather Smith
    Participant

    We need to learn how to develop this in our staff…just finding hard, reliable workers is challenging enough. :/

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