IS anybody Happy?

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    Bob Luther

    I am very happy! one of the things that I have been fortunate enough to do this past few months is to take a new job with a firm that is managed by two “old dogs.” These two guys have seen the ups and downs of the iindustry since the 1960’s and have thousands of stories that are great preparation for whatever lies ahead. They know that they will see another “boom” just as they knew that they would see another “slump.” I am fortunate to have a pair of mentors who can teach me something more valuable than how a pilaster should be designed, or how the slope of a sidewalk is calculated, I am learning the business and learning how to ride the wave of the industry…

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    The Association is like any other. Membership numbers come first. It is hard to increase membership if you are declaring the profession more stressed than others.I’d go further to say that they went out of their way to attract environmental activists by projecting part of our profession onto the whole profession. It loaded schools with activist would be landscape architects, but it also hurt us by presenting us all as agenda driven to the developers who are actually the base of our existence. Some are afraid that we will work against their goals and force an environmental agenda on them. Many stick to their engineers and architects instead.

    The association may do us all more good by promoting to the base rather than tappping into potential recruits. I think we are seeing a lot of those recruits are the ones having the hardest time finding work in the environmental work that they expected was going to be in great demand for them. No one wins.

    Mark Sanford

    I am happy with the landscape Contractor that I am working for, they are a great company with a great reputation and they are helping me out anyway possible for design work.

    I am not happy with the track I am on to become licensed….. I am not under a Landscape Architect ( which there seems to be no jobs under one) therefore I can not pursue my license…… I am on a long road to becoming a Landscape architect and that is frustrating to me because i have gone through all the schooling, done the internship, and now because of the economy it is near impossible to get a job with an actual LA..

    I am however, getting real world experience and I am thankful for that.


    Well said mark and I too share the same concerns as you. I am happy, as most people i think are. If you choose landscape architecture chances are you like living though I am slowly beginning to think that my idea of what an LA does and is capable of doing is changing before our eyes.

    Tanya Olson

    The perception of happy vs unhappy might be a bit skewed in this forum; people share frustrations, observations and challenges in this peer group for support, comiseration, ideas, debate and, yes, to share interesting links and projects. I don’t take it as reflective of general happiness at all. Dissatisfaction and discontent are the seeds of growth and change – but they are not the same thing as happiness.
    We are all undergoing a lot of change right now professionally (and often personally) in and extremely challenging environment. If we can’t share that here, what good it is?
    Also – it has been a long winter for most of us and spring up here in the north has been miserable (we’re expecting 9″ of snow tomorrow!!! In May!!!) I would bet that at the end of summer you will find far fewer negative posts.
    There is the additional barrier of the media – my post is meant to sound earnest, compassionate and sincere. Did it come across that way? Gripe away if ya’ want. I think we have a good balance here.


    “They know that they will see another “boom” just as they knew that they would see another “slump.”

    Just hearing that is relieving. I know it, I have been told before, I have said it myself. The difficult part of unemployment or employment challenges is that it can begin to feel like there is no end. but there is ups and downs good and bad.

    strikes and gutters as the dude said

    Tanya Olson

    Well said.


    Bob, I’m glad that you asked the question. I am happy to be an LA and I will remain one if I have any choice in the matter.

    Landscape Architecture is still a relatively new field compared to Architecture and Engineering. We are still evolving and trying to figure out how to define ourselves. I knew when I went into this field that there would be a certain amount of “educating the public” that would take place. After a couple of decades in the business, there are still quite a few people who know nothing about the profession. But, we have come a long way as far as recognition in a relatively short time and as I have stated in previous posts, the best days in this profession are ahead of us.

    If you’re looking for the title “Landscape Architect” to give you respect or prestige as an individual, you need to get over yourself. It’s not going to happen; you’ll be frustrated forever. So many of us walk around with a chip on our shoulder and want to lash out at people when they put us in the “landscaper” category. Maybe it would be more advantageous to nicely explain to them what an LA does. I think we should all see ourselves as “Ambassadors” of the profession.

    Landscape Architects are suffering right now (me included) along with everybody else. But, I am still proud and happy to be an LA.


    I am happy.

    Happy with my choice of profession, happy to have a job, happy to have clients that actually pay. I am not happy with certain aspects of the profession, such as our professional standing amongst other allied professions (i.e. Architects and Engineers). I am not happy with the LEED process, ASLA’s inability to recognize, react or acknowledge a brutal downturn in our profession or with the state-by-state licensing process.

    Overall, I am very happy.


    Pretty much the same as Phillip.

    Peter Clement Shaw

    I have to say that I am pretty happy, I still have a wife and I do have work even though it is not what I was thinking but it is work, I still get to read and do some design work. I know it is tough but I have no doubt things will be better, we will surely be needed more.

    Tim Zhang

    I’m barely getting by freelancing for different firms. When I got out of college I was unhappy about my profession for a while because most of my friends in other fields are making 5k+ a month right out of college. Now I’m just happy to be in the profession doing what I like.

    Tanya Olson

    You cannot imagine how heartening your words are! Thanks!


    Maybe because its all ive done professionaly for over 15 years, but Landscape Architecture doesnt feel like a job. Its much more a part of who I am than just what I do.

    And because of that, many of us tough out the market driven ups and downs….kudos to you Keith!

    Rick Spalenka

    Am I happy as a landscape architect? Yes. Here is a current picture of a project I designed and built 15 years ago. I’ve seen worse disrepair after just two years. This project is passing the test of time.

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