February 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm #165055Steve FuscoParticipant
Hypothetically speaking what kind of firm would you create if your start-up capital was completely covered, lets say by a family friend, venture capitalist, ect.
Tell me what kind of set up it would be, ie. design build, interdisciplinary, consultant, and what of work you would specialize in and why? Is it because its your passion, or because its going to be the most profitable, ability to travel?
Just trying to get a feel where everyone’s head is at, I feel like we to often get sucked into our niche’s and dont communicate what we really wish we were doing.February 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm #165091Trace OneParticipant
Monumental sculptures and landscape ceramic art.February 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm #165090Theodore TegenParticipant
From a purely practical standpoint, I would go the route of interdisciplinary firm. Simply put, diversify, diversify, diversify. It is a biased opinion, as I am employed in such a firm, but the ability of one discipline to pick up the slack of another discipline has helped us weather this proverbial storm.
This type of firm can also hinder what types of projects one can get, as multidisciplinary firms are sometimes seen as “jack of all trades, master of none.” This of course depends on marketing strategies, etc, etc…February 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm #165089
hhhhmmmm… that’s fun to think about…
My head is all over the place so my ideal set-up would be a mad-scientist type workshop. Part art studio, part wood-shop, part metal fabrication, part design/drafting, part patent office. Sometimes I’d design landscapes, sometimes tools, other times truck bumpers…sculpture, furniture… I find inspiration all over the place and would like to be able to pursue those ideas… if the idea sticks, I’d like to patent it and bring it to market… I’d like to make gobs of money having fun designing cool sh-tuff. I’d like people to come to me and say, “Tom, I’ve got this problem…” or “I need you to design this…”
I still love landscape architecture, since it started me down this path of discovery, but I see the potential for greater design freedom and profitability beyond the typical landscape design studio… I’ve become more interested in technical/product/industrial design as related to everyday experience. One of my gifts and curses is that I see problems (and solutions) all over the place. I’d like to design everything and not be pigeon holed as this or that type of designer. As New Belgium Brewery says, “Follow Your Folly”…
I see an old barn/mill/manufacturing type space…wood, stone, concrete, steel… big doors that slide open to let in the sunshine and breeze and encourage big stuff to be built (though we build little stuff too)… tall golden grass…a great gnarled tree… a natural woman with an easy smile who works with me, not for me, and who has interests of her own that I help her with… friends come and go (and respect that there are things they can’t see-prototypes)… it’s a small outfit, maybe just two plus a couple little ones, if we’re lucky… there’s a great network of similarly minded and passionate people who we collaborate with… a close knit community of artisans without pretense… that’s what I see… oh, and we also do regionally appropriate landscape designs using local materials and native/adapted species that will blow your mind…February 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm #165088Bill DelaneyParticipant
I would work for/with Tom. He could deal with the sh-tuff like running the business…February 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm #165087Ryan C. DeaneParticipant
Wow Fusco… You’ve come a long way from the ‘How much money would it take for you to…’ series that you’d throw out to us in studio at UMass…
Let me marinate on this one for the night…February 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm #165086
That’s why it’s small… Like, maybe just me and a partner or two who have a vested interest. I don’t want to have to deal with people / employees. At a certain point it becomes baby sitting instead of designing. When I need something done, I’d rather hire a local individual on a contract basis.February 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm #165085AnonymousInactive
I would start a design build firm. So that there would be a better chance of my designs being built the way I envisioned them. I would also offer maintenance so that the shrubs on my designs wouldn’t be sheared into gumballs and beer cans. I recently drove by a high-end design job I did a few years back and everything was sheared including a huge Coral Bark Japanese Maple. To add insult to injury, they used red colored mulch in the beds. I almost died.
Now that I think about it, does this make me a control freak?February 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm #165084mark fosterParticipant
I love Tom’s world. Also agree with Craig–it is a sickening feeling to see your work abused or abandoned. Too bad we can’t prosecute for landscape abuse.
I would start an intensive post-BLA work/study program which taught what an LA going into private practice really needs to know: how things are built and why they fail, consequences of details, what (and if) contractors think, the psychology of your clients, pros and cons of partnerships, basic accounting/taxes/insurance, employee rights and labor laws, the art of negotiating and legal documents, how plants really work and why they don’t, irrigation, lighting, public speaking, sales, marketing, how to really find a job, how to keep one, how to manage people and projects, etc………
It would be staffed by tradesmen and professionals in each respective field. No one with prior higher education experience would be eligable. There would be no classrooms–just firms, works sites, nurseries, offices, production facilities, short-term work assignments, discussions in coffee shops.February 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm #165083AnonymousInactive
I like that, real world stuff with no academic chin stroking. No offense to the academy, but it just bugs me that so many of my professors had very little to no practical experience. I graduated with a BSLA with very little knowledge of construction.February 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm #165082BoilerplaterParticipant
That pretty much covers everything my program was lacking! Slightly relieving to see that it wasn’t just my school. I would add “basic economics” so that you understand the cycles in the construction industry and can make preparations.February 11, 2011 at 12:56 am #165081Trace OneParticipant
landscape design history tour business, travel by boat and bicycle to all the best landscapes of the world, 1 year school credit at end of it..and only every other year.
spend intervening year working on history section of the registration test and a landscape architecture museum, both of which improve design work immediately throughout the world, promote world peace stop environmental destruction, reverses global warming..Welcome a posse of polar bears and walruses in the arctic who want to thank me personally, and cover me in sardines..
yum!.February 11, 2011 at 1:26 am #165080
No it does not make you a control freak. You should seek out the “maintenance” company that did the work and use a line trimmer on their shins while you recite proper pruning techniques.February 11, 2011 at 1:32 am #165079
That sounds like a great program! Would you tell the students what they were participating in or would it be a covert education program that feels more like a mind-game than a real-world learning experience?February 11, 2011 at 1:51 am #165078AnonymousInactive
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