A few questions about Masters of Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION A few questions about Masters of Landscape Architecture

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    Mark Nelson

    I have recently been accepted into Masters of Landscape Architecture at Deakin University (Geelong, Australia) having completed my Bachelor of Environments at The University of Melbourne and have a few question that you guys might be able to assist with.

    -I’ve been told I need to select a specialisation that I will need to become an ‘expert’ in and focus my design and class work towards this; The University requires me to select one of the below and I’m wondering which would which would provide the best job opportunities along with some specific pathways I could follow.

    -Project Management

    -Public Art


    -Cultural Heritage


    -Urban Design

    (Being a young designer am not 100% certain on path I would like to follow but during my Bachelor I did enjoy focusing on sustainable design, along with resort design and coastal design).

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Stephen Lovering

    Hey Mark

    My only response to this would be to go with what you most enjoy. One thing you realise after being in the profession for a couple of years is that its not all “unicorns and rainbows” and there is definately a boring side to the profession (just my opinion). Every LA probably wishes that they had gotten into a firm that specialized in what they enjoyed doing, that way you are doing what you love to do and actually know what your talking about.

    Life is about enjoyment of your work and personal life, aim for the stars my friend. Get into sustainable design if thats what you enjoy, there will be firms out there that purely specialize in that. Dont let this profession take you where you think you should go to get “some” work, take your professional life on the road that would make you most happiest.

    Enjoy and good luck!!


    Hello Mark;

    I’m probably not the best LA to give you advise on this matter……though, I probably would choose “URBAN DESIGN”. 

    And, I know that Universities now are pushing “sustainable design”, but, personally, I’m sort of tired of hearing about it.  Yes, of course, I believe whenever possible…..we as Landscape Architects should consider “sustainability” as we design.  I guess I just think in the “real world”, this is still a little bit too “ideological”.  Maybe as we all move forward in time, the “sustainable design” movement will get more traction….and we’ll be seeing more and more of this type of design.

    Though, I like your thinking with respect to “resort & coastal design”.  Personally, I have always had an interest in “resort” designs, but really never had opportunities.  Though, approx. 8 yrs. ago, Belt Collins’ Hong Kong, China office offered me a Sr. LA position…and they are one of the top LA firms in the World who have designed many “resort style” developments.  I just decided to remain in the U.S. closer to family and friends.

    But, maybe IF you do focus on “Urban Design” in your MLA program, you could convince your Professors to allow you to “focus” a bit on “resort style” community design?  I believe there is definitely a market out there for additional LA’s in that design area.

    Best of Luck to You!



    Some very good points here, Stephen.

    You’re right, I think, too many LA’s just allow their design careers to sort of meander aimlessly.

    Everyone SHOULD “follow their dreams”…..take your LA career in the direction that YOU want it to go.  It’s not always possible – all of have to start some where…get some experience.  But, as an LA moves forward in their career…it’s wise to have short and long term goals.  Continue to learn, build your professional LA portfolio and don’t be afraid to switch LA firms if you feel it’s in your best interests and is part of your goals.  Though, in this difficult economy…I wouldn’t recommend leaving your “current” position without a firm offer from another LA firm. 

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