IS anybody Happy?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 43 total)
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  • #169733
    Bob Luther
    Participant

    As I read more and more posts it seem that the majority of people who are posting are angry and bitter with the landscape architecture field. Everything need to change, nothing is good, nobody is hiring, nobody is working, we get paid less than the other industry consultants, etc. Is everyone really this bitter? can’t we see that no two jobs in the profession of Landscape Architecture (landscape design for those of you who feel I am excluding you) are the same and no two answers are going to fit everybodys vision of perfection. Lets hear from the happy people and lets try to add a little more positive attitude to our comments. Just a thought… have a great day!

    #169775
    Ben Yahr
    Participant

    I’m happy, I love the profession. I like my job, the projects, and generally the clients.

    However, I am concerned about future prospects, and believe that to be on the forefront of the profession and adequately poised for future options, it is important to understand and discuss both the good and the bad…

    #169774
    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    I love the work that I do, I’m generally positive towards the profession. But, it is not without its faults. The current employment crisis has little to do with the profession itself, its not it’s fault. Rather, poor legislation from congress and lax oversite of banks cause the housing bubble, which, of course, burst. Almost every profession faces difficult times, the AEC industry rides decade-long waves.

    I think what aggravates many of us is the perception of the industry. It is very often watered down into landscape design. ASLA hasn’t really pushed the issue, and has kind of “missed” on many opportunites, such as pushing LAs into prominent planning roles, LEED, and, in general, the health of the profession. Kudos on finally getting the 50th state with licensure, though. Having spoken with many prominent LAs, the sense of self confidence, and EGO is sorely lacking. The allied professions just don’t see much value in what we do. And those within offices of those professions do little to advance the field. We are just no aggressive enough.

    There WILL be a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be a train, it may be daylight. But it will come.

    #169773
    Bob Luther
    Participant

    why complain about what ASLA isn’t doing… many people run into the general public not knowing what they do, our profession is very diverse and confusing as to what a good discription of our work is. We should be promoting our own industry and profession within the public vision (at a local level) as well as the architectural engineering world (with the various consultants we work with). if LA’s don’t jump into the planning roles on there own actions, they will never get into them, can we really just sit and hope for prominance in projects? If you enjoy what you do and make a living wage that is a start, if you want to bring prominance and acknowldegement then you have to go get peoples attention, demand notice, make sure that your project list your compnay as “Landscape Architecture by: XYZ & Associates” on the specific plan, the job site banner, the article in the magazine or newspaper, when interviewed by the local newspaper, and then when people ask what the deck is Landscape Architecture find a good definition that you feel discribes the industry and also one that fits what you and your firm does and give that answer to whoever asks. As for being aggressive do we wait for ASLA to tell others to play nice or do we go talk to potential clients and show them how we can save them money, time, and resources, if yo wait for respect it will never come. We need to promote the positives of our industry and profession on our own, a thousand little voices spreading a positive message to local communities is going to hae more force than an ASLA press release.

    #169772
    Rick Spalenka
    Participant

    I hate to say this and when I do many of you are going to be angry with me. My first observation is that many of these comments and concerns are as old as the profession. They have, at least, been around since I graduated in 1977. The title, Landscape Architecture, equals LANDSCAPER and a landscaper is a person who picked up a shovel after he lost his job. This is the extreme but it is based in some reality. Grab a phone directory and look at the Landscape Architecture listing. I bet you will find many listings of firms and individuals who are landscapers and NOT landscape architects. Hollywood productions show landscapers as immigrants of different flavors. In a very large city I use to live in the firemen would work long shifts and be “landscapers” for extra money on their time off. As I have said many times in these posts when people see my business card they quickly say, “Oh, you’re a landscaper.” It’s an image we are stuck with and I don’t think there is anything we can do about it.
    The other observation I have is with regard to the postings. These postings are written by people who are suppose to have college educations. They forgot to learn proper grammar. We are suppose to be reel edjecated

    #169771
    Trace One
    Participant

    rick, I agree with your perspective that the complaints are same old same old..I agree completely..BUT I do not agree with you about grammer..Twitter, texting, and e-mail have caused grammer and spelling to be transformed..sorry, old man. u cn sy wht u thnk, i be dnebck tu hzy..
    ­čÖé

    #169770
    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    To clarify, I’m not placing this all on ASLA. It is an individual struggle as well (I’m trying to do my part). But it’s the industry association, it represents us all. They have been doing better, but could be doing more for the obscene dues we pay. I’ve seen the “industry promotion” thing as a priority of theirs for years, but see little result.

    I absolutely agree with your addage regarding we have to take on the initiative ourselves. Its a tough row-to-hoe (oh, crap, a gardening reference, sorry).

    #169769
    Eric Galvin
    Participant

    im happy. i have a new design strategy. I will make this an integral part of all my projects! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gppbrYIcR80&feature=player_embedded Let the happiness commence!

    #169768
    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    I like yor posts, Rick.

    I stopped getting bogged down in the “Public Perception” of landscape architecture a long time ago. The people who think it is “this” or “that” are people who will only understand “this” or “that”. Having those people know that there are other aspects to landscape architecture does not really matter that much because if they were going to be doing other things they’d know that some landscape architects cover those other things. It is like trying to sell caviar to the fast food crowd – a wasted effort. BUT, some landscape architects ARE providing “this” and “that” and are part of the profession just the same.

    Those developers who do the big involved projects are not often first time developers. They know who does what and have their preferences on who they want to be involved in their projects, for better or worse. It is not because they are the “uneducated public”.

    “Landscaper” as an image that we are stuck with is really much the same as above. The people who have any higher level of understanding do not see us as “landscapers”. If we are trying to work a demographic that does not have a well developed understanding of what we do, we are probably not going to be finding much work even if we do enlighten them.

    Quite simply, if they don’t know what we do, it is because they don’t have either a need or want for what we do. Making them know what we do might make us feel better, but those peolple are still not going to use us anymore than without that lesson.

    And yes, I am happy. I’d like the economy to heat up and have more choices, but I am currently happy to deal with reality.

    #169767
    Steve_White
    Participant

    I agree with you and I don’t think you are telling anybody anything new.

    I hate to say this and you may be angry with me….but I want to call you Old Man Rick.

    You always have valid and valued points but I have the impression that you are a bit jaded.

    Are you happy?

    #169766
    Rick Spalenka
    Participant

    Ah, grammar is spelled with an “a.” I may be old but I still keep a dictionary handy so I will not perpetuate ignorance.

    #169765
    Rick Spalenka
    Participant

    Jaded? Maybe. I used the phone book example in another post because I just received our new phone book. Damn if the Landscape Architecture listings aren’t Joe’s Backhoe and Landscape Architecture services. I pay over $350 per year for my license so that I may legally call myself an LA. If I was practicing medicine without a license you can bet someone would be knocking on my door. We do not have Landscape Architect license police to enforce a practice and title law. I know that some of the listings know the law because I personnaly told them years ago. Am I happy? I was yesterday. I may be tomorrow. And, Damn It, I turn 60 this year.

    #169764

    I’m about to graduate (this Friday!). I have no job. I’m moving to another state due to family circumstances, so I’m not going to know anybody there. I’m happy though. I’m happy because I’ve been doing my thesis research in a city in Russia and after studying the city topo map for a couple of weeks I realized that they haven’t invented swales. None. In the entire city. Yes. And they wonder about inundation and flooding issues they are having (there is no underground stormwater sewer either).
    I love design and fancy conceptual stuff but the idea that I can be of use to somebody just because I know about swales – yey! – is mesmerizing! Not even because there is any chance of me getting hired to do that for them. I’m happy because these simple things we know of can make a huge difference for somebody. And the right job will show up. I’m staying optimistic.

    #169763
    Steve_White
    Participant

    The theme of your response Rick is spot on with many of my gripes with Colorado and choosing to start my ‘career’ here(the timing didn’t help). I love it here, its beautiful…..I too would like to pay over $350 to be asked if I mow lawns also….only time will tell.

    #169762
    Socorro Alatorre
    Participant

    I would like to say that I am happy but then again I am also very frustrated. Yes the financial crisis has hit us hard and it will be a long and slow recovery and we are not there yet. I do agree with Jason’s comments in regards to the association’s response. I was hoping to get more out of them during this time but somehow they have failed to provide, I think. And most of all I feel a bit of ignorance from their part, lack of acceptance of where landscape architecture is… but then again, part of our frustration is finding someone to blame.
    I do believe that the profession needs a stronger presence. A few years back we started to see more LA firms acting as the prime which was a big step – and challenge as well… but with all these we will continue to be subs to architects or planners and that will put us a bit behind. So I just hope that with time we get atop and start being the bosses on many jobs.

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