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Top Differences Between a Landscape Architect and a Landscape Designer

There are a few key differences between landscape architects and landscape designers, some of which include education requirements, training, licensing procedures and the types of projects each professional works on. While both types of design professionals have a similar skill set, their distinctions allow each professional to cover different projects. Although many people mistakenly consider both jobs as the same, there are a few major differences between them. A landscape architect is generally licensed to work on large commercial projects, while a landscape designer works mostly on residential projects. A landscape architect will have a higher level of technical knowledge and experience in plant and structural design, while a designer will focus on aesthetics and plant selection. A lan...Read More

Designing for Decarbonization [Land8x8 Video]

2022 has been a year in which we are reminded in headline after headline that climate change is, in fact, not a problem to prepare for but a present and dire force to be reckoned with. The effects of increasingly frequent natural disasters and extreme temperature shifts are global issues that require innovative and imaginative solutions. Fortunately, the end is not nigh, as those same headlines are coupled with the groundbreaking news of climate capturing technologies and an increased awareness of what, exactly, our natural world is capable of. At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks, Matthew Gindlesperger, PLA and Associate at Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP), sees the potential of these climate resiliency technologies to play a substantial role in the practice of landscape architecture. “[We are] t...Read More

New Research Report on Accessibility Design for Landscape Architecture

In order to lead the planning and design of inclusive, healthy, equitable, and safe environments, landscape architects have an obligation to be aware of and work in compliance with standards for accessibility. To meet this need, the ASLA Professional Practice Committee created Principles of Accessibility Design for Landscape Architecture: ADA, ABA, and Other Accessibility Standards and Guidelines as a technical overview of the national accessibility standards and guidelines. The primary focus of this document is the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Standards). These standards exist within a complex web of national, state, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations’ related conventions, codes, and documents. While related, each agency ...Read More

Adaptive Landscape Master Planning [Land8x8 Video]

How can we better prepare for the future unknown? Martha Desbiens, Associate at MNLA, recounts how the last few years brought radical change and emphatic proactivity to the heart of her work at the Land8x8 Lightning Talks. Desbiens reflects on how much landscape architects have improved communication skills between colleagues, clients, and communities alike during the COVID-19 pandemic. The voice landscape architects have forged in the public discourse, especially around social issues and the climate catastrophe, has been massively impactful, but “largely reactive”. Looking towards the future, landscape architects must shift communication and action to proactive, adaptive design choices and communication efforts. To provide precedent, Desbiens details how MNLA’s Smith College “20-Year Visi...Read More

Grounding the Green New Deal Summit

Following from LAF’s 2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future and the resulting New Landscape Declaration and call to action, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is delighted to share that the next LAF summit is finally here! More than two years in the making, the summit will be a unique conversation with transformative leaders about the role of designers and how to advocate for and implement the ideas of jobs, justice, and decarbonization in the Green New Deal. The summit continues the excitement, hope, and momentum generated from the Green New Deal Superstudio. We are very excited to hear from the all-star lineup as they explore how to bridge the gap between policy ideas and on-the-ground reality to re-envision and re-build our future. Please plan to join us for this ...Read More

Landscape as Infrastructure and Other Imaginary Tales [Land8x8 Video]

When it comes to resiliency infrastructure, machine-like futures seem to lie ahead for our shorelines. As sea level rise threatens our coastal communities, projects are typically driven by the works of engineers in order to create the mechanical layer of protection cities and neighborhoods need. It may seem as if landscape as infrastructure is an imaginary tale, but according to Gonzalo Cruz, Studio Design Principal, it is the core of what he and the landscape architecture team do at AECOM New York. “There’s a lot of made-up stuff that we think through… that actually becomes realized” Cruz states in reference to the firm’s projects at the Land8x8 Lightning Talks. Driven by engineering, the team is juxtaposed to design a landscape in which the technical infrastructure necessary for resilien...Read More

Urban Infrastructure is Key to Austin’s Growth

Austin consistently ranks at the top of ‘most desirable’ and ‘best place to live’ lists. With the city’s unflappable job market, the migration of corporations relocating to Texas, and the desirable quality of life that is provided by the amenities the city has, it’s no wonder that the population has skyrocketed in the past several decades. An average of 180 residents arrives daily – even during the Covid-19 pandemic. With this kind of growth, there is incredible pressure on the housing market, both for sale and for rent. Houses and apartments are in short supply, and this leads to increased housing costs across the region. Home buyers are seeking affordable homes as far as 60 miles from the city. So, when a homeowner that lives 45 minutes or farther from their job in the core of the ...Read More

A Love Letter to the Outdoor Internship: The Importance of Experiential Learning

It was early spring when I sat down with the team at Summerhill Landscapes. It had been my third semester of remote pandemic learning, or one and a half years of my college experience put on “pause”. The confusion, disappointment, and cabin fever was amounting to an agitated escapism inside of me that I knew I couldn’t quell with a vacation or a walk in the park. I wanted to get my hands dirty, to put in work that was physically taxing- the kind that leaves you sore at the end of the day, a rewarding reminder of a job well done. The kind of work that I would not have seen inside the traditional classroom let alone within the confines of my new virtual world. I wanted to be involved in landscape architecture in a way that connected me back to the earth, to others, and to the reality of the ...Read More

The Public-Private Handshake

From the beginning there has always been an intersection: a place where private development and public needs come together and determine how a myriad of issues and improvements can serve their respective interests. Clearly, tax funding has long been a vehicle for the construction of roads, utilities, schools and hospitals. This tradition is long-serving and has established a grand structure on a national level. The scale of these agreements has expanded to include municipal reservoir projects in national parks to public art in alleyways. These improvements touch all of us, and ultimately—or at least usually—provide the intention they began with. Much of this dialogue goes unnoticed—but not always. There are many issues which rouse the citizens to clamor into public hearings and council cha...Read More

5 Reasons to Attend LABash 2022

Hey, YALL! Welcome to the chat. LABash is an annual student-run landscape architecture conference that brings together students and professionals in landscape architecture for a weekend of educational sessions, keynote lectures, social events, networking, and career-building opportunities. This year, for the 51st year of the conference, LABash is being held *in-person* at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the weekend of March 31- April 2, 2022. As a “Roaring River” desires to overtop its banks and flood the area with nutrients for growth and nourishment, similarly this conference is a call to flood the field of landscape architecture with OUR ideas for a future of environmental and social equity. By empowering new and unheard voices, we can be the droplets that jo...Read More

Social Media Awards in Landscape Architecture 2021 – Winners!

Here are the winners of the 4th Annual Social Media Awards in Landscape Architecture presented by Land8 and the American Society of Landscape Architects! Social media has the power to significantly increase the awareness and importance of the profession of landscape architecture, and Land8 and ASLA believe industry leaders in social media should be recognized and promoted. Be sure to follow the winners to help grow and promote the profession! Top 10 Social Media Accounts – LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE FIRMS SCAPE – Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn  SCAPE takes a narrative-driven, interactive approach to social media, using their channels to engage audiences within and beyond the design profession. In 2021, they leveraged high-profile coverage to raise the profile of landscape architecture—in...Read More

3 Ways to Make BIM Work for You in a Landscape Project

Building information modeling (BIM) can appear complicated if you’re new to it. How is it possible to manage potentially vast amounts of site information while remaining true to the project’s vision? And, perhaps more importantly, without getting overwhelmed or questioning the team’s commitment? Whether you’re approaching BIM confidently or with a bit of hesitation, this article is meant for you. We’ll concentrate on three proven strategies for staying on top of a BIM implementation. Strategy #1 – Focus on the Incentives What are the incentives? Many firms find that BIM streamlines project delivery. When your model becomes a singular source of truth for all proposed site elements you’re responsible for, you save time and effort during documentation. Some tools, like Vectorworks Landmark, i...Read More

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