Hi. I just want to let you know that I have organised an International Student Design Competition and all details can be seen at www.slant.eu and that graduates from 2010 & 2011 are also welcome to enter.
My Engish is real bad, but beter than your Flemish I gues:-)
I've been working for quit some time now as a landscaper, and I still enjoy it. I started my education cause of my interests in design and nature, and after a couple of years I had the opportunity of teaching in the same scool I finished my education. First years I teached small-scale-design and landschapedrawing. Later my interests ans skills turned to larger-scale design, though i still am a passionate gardener (and feel no shame for that!). After 9 years I quit and started als a landscape-expert (that 's the technical term used in our administration) for the Belgian Community in an effort to 'close' our capital's peripherie on a ecological-recreative-public space based concept. I know the reasons why i chose a landscape-education as an 18-year-old still exists, but the reasons why I am STILL a landscaper are more fundamental. These have to do with job-conditions and benefits: I have some responsibility in the things I do, I feel sometimes even appreciation for what I am doing, I got a lot of possibilities for studying and more education, I can share my skills and realisations through lectures, and I can do the things were I am good in; the things I don't like are done by others :-)
If I didn't find those things in my professional carrier, I would try something els. But luckely I still love my job, both formally and substantive. And therefor I can design a little patio in the centre of Paris on one day, and on the other day I measure 2000 lane-trees in a 13th century parc in order to make a restauration-concept, or advise a large-scale open-area process, or guide an Ethiopic delegation visiting our public realisations, or make an interactive 12-step impression of the 6000-year old human impact of an interesting area... (See how I like my job? :-)
In one breath: the frustration Ana from Portugal feels, is no longer a negative circomstance for my functioning: part of the job is finding money for small scale projects, that's the deal. In the end, all that counts is a good result , wether there was money or not (though hopefully the way leading to that result was a joyfull way). In large scale public environmental processes money is often a technical detail, and should be resolved by local, regional or national authorities or politics. I think :-)
My favorite part of landscape architecture is the fact that I can be on a site and see something go from just an idea in my head all the way through the molding of that idea and fine tuning it to the actual construction and completion. It is a pretty neat thing to walk through a finished landscape you designed and say to yourself "wow, this is just how I imagined it". Not many careers have the satisfaction of actually seeing and experiencing your ideas and dreams, and then seeing others enjoy what you have created. It is definetely why I got into the profession.
The most challenging aspect of school for me was the mathematical and engineering side of landscape architecture. It is a neccesary evil in the field, and being a naturally "right-side of the brain" guy, engineering and grading were tough for me. As with anything in life, some things you have to work harder at than others, and for me, those classes were the ones that kept me up late.
Hi Liz.. as i had said, i just started to work on a company, so i still don't do all the work that landscape architects usually do, for example, like dealing with clients. So i afirm that i am really fascinated with this job and what we can do as landscape architects. In my country i can see that i will have some problems and obstacles in my career (like all the others architects): there is always few money for the kind of projects that we do... the exterior design is most of the time a second choice. So we are seen as gardeners (a lot of times).. Our work is not valued for a lot of people. So is frustrating in my opinion..
The discipline that i want to work on is public projects, work for the comunity, public parks, etc..
Hi Liz. The hardest part about the LA profession is convincing clients of the necessity to include us early on in the design process. Rather than just bringing us in after the building and site design has already been completed, we should be involved in the discussion from day one. More often than not, we discover ways to improve the overall design, or prevent issues only after it is too late.
As to your next question, I work for a relatively small firm in Kansas City that does a wide variety of projects. I am involved in every aspect of the profession on a day to day basis. My niche however has been computer graphics and 3d visualization. In today's business world, where project deadlines are "two hours ago" it is important to be able to quickly represent design ideas and make revisions in a timely manner. Over the past several years our firm has shifted significantly from hand graphics to computer generated renderings. You can check out some of the work we do on our website at www.thinkconfluence.com.
Thanks for your inquiry and best of luck with your project!