July 15, 2009 at 9:42 am #173651
I still can’t believe that there is no history in the exam – when and why did that happen? Isn’t history important to Landscape Architects?July 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm #173662James L BirrellParticipant
It seems to be happening across many disciplines, hundreds if not thousands of years of knowledge is slowly being neglected and lost. The great modernist designers were all trained in the classics, they new and understood what they were reacting against.July 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm #173661
I disagree. Just as knowledge of ethics is a part of being a landscape architect, one should have knowledge of the history of the profession – it is part of being a landscape architect. A knowledge of the development historically of building materials can help you to recogize problems with new processes, or to recognize a practice that has already been tried. Synthesizing old processes may help us to come up with new ideas to deal with new problems. And because landscape architecture is so much to do with human behavior, you cannot be a landscape architect without some knowledge of human behavior, as it has dev eloped over time. Do you mean to say it does not help safety and welfare to know the advances of william white? or the road of the Roman empire? HIstory cannot and should not be separated out like some orphan from our required body of knowledge. Do you mean to say we should not be tested on knowledge of the Triange Shirt Factory fire? On the cantilever designs of Frank Lloyd Wright? ON the advances in public parks designed with nature, as developed by Olmsted? It all has to do with design, effective design, good design!July 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm #173660
It is, as far as I am concerned, a question of competence..I do not see how one can be a competent landscape arch. and not have a familiaritly with historical precedents. We aren’t making this up from scratch. Also, I think as professionals, we should be invested in promoting knowledge of landscape architecture – it can only raise our status…But you are right – they say over and over for the test, ‘Minimal competency required…” Depressing…We can and must do better. Ido think it is a problem with our society in general. Those who don’t learn history, are doomed to repeat it…July 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm #173659Bob LutherParticipant
How can you ask questions about history? I love history but do not see how to prove your knowledge of the past will be used in future works (lee’s health safety and wellness comment). If you ask a bunch of multiple choice questions then you are testing memorization, not theory or implementation, and if you ask in an essay from then you are pitting opinion against opinion, look at the forum debate last month about Fredrick Law Olmsted, one group of people thought he was a genius who was the father of Landscape Architecture and the other group thought he started urban sprawl and was not eco-friendly, how do you grade such a wide range of opinion?July 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm #173658Charles A. WarsinskeParticipant
Here in Washington, we just passed legislation to upgrade our license from a Title Act to a Practice Act. We have been working with the legislature for 5 or 6 years to get this done. The senators and respresentatives had a hard enough time understanding the relationship between landscape architects and health, safety and welfare. To throw history into the mix, or aesthetics or plant materials would really confuse them. One thing I learned is that only about 30% of the Washington Legislature members have college degrees. Many don’t seem to value higher education. We had a heck of a time convincing some of the committee members that a 4 year degree in landscape architecture from an accredited university program was important.July 16, 2009 at 4:54 am #173657
Wow. I think that our country has taken the idea that history is completely influenced by the perspective of the viewer to the point of absurdity..There are facts, in history. There is an evolving attitude towards nature, or cultural attitudes towards nature, that can be studied and learned from. To say that we do not know more about human behavior from Jane Jacobs or William Whyte is false. Paley Park was revolutionary. Olmsted was revolutionary, with a scientific attitude towards nature that can be effectively contrasted with the Alhambra. So the question for the exam will be, compare and contrast, of course, and believe me, there are right and wrong answers…I think the fact that there is so much push-back, or even lack of interest in history is to our detriment. Even the history of building materials, construction techniques, is relevant. I think to deny the importance of history is to loose the glue that holds us together, and serves only to make us smaller people, and much less important professionally. Health and safety must include mental health, should include ecological health…the relevance is endless..I cannot understand how an entire profession that is so steeped in culture, and has so much to learn from the past, can simply let it go. We can even learn, as landscape architects, from military history, for that matter – how different generals used the land, the environment, to their detriment or success…It is not a minor thing – it is everything. And of course, in learning about history, we will emphasize cultural tolerance and understanding. What is a plum tree in a Chinese garden? What has that same plum tree become, in Celebration Florida? What has it genetically become, and how did that happen…This attitude towards history has got to change, it is just wrong.July 16, 2009 at 5:01 am #173656
So the solution is to water our profession down even further? We need to raise ourselves up, to be able to teach those in the legislature how important the design of the land has been, and will always be..Here in California Jerry Brown may run for governor again, and so everyone is recalling his attitude towards the Department of Highways – he wanted to focus on mass transit, in 1976..Good grief, if we had focused on mass transit SINCE 1976, understanding (it was obvious then, although it may seem a long time ago to some) the sprawl caused by car-centric development…The environmental degradation.. That attitude REQUIRES a knowledge of HISTORY. The Brits still learn history. Our brains are big enough..I just can’t understand it…and intend to work towards getting HISTORY back on the exam.July 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm #173655
Thanks for the contact – there are committees that I just missed the deadline for last year, intend to re-apply when it comes around again..I don’t know – I think we should have a basic knowledge of landscape architectural history, like a basic knowledge of US history, which I think is required to graduate from high school, or at least used to be…I just can’t see how an entire profession has no requirement for historical knowledge..I think I have elaborated enough on how I feel it is integrally connected to health and safety…If you are desiging a public or even a private space, and are starting with a tabula rasa in your head, it will not be a good space…I wonder if the AIA exam requires historical knowledge…July 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm #173654Kevin J. GaughanParticipant
Trace, I completely agree with you that understanding the history of our profession is a vital part of our education as Landscape Architects. However, I do not see the necessity to have it be part of the exam. From what I understand, every accredited LA program has a history of landscape architecture requirement. And for most states, in order to get licensed you need to have a degree from an accredited LARC Program. So, that essentially should fulfill the requirement you are wishing. I do understand that this is not a requirement for licensure in all 50 states…so, maybe that is what you should be fighting for.July 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm #173653Bob LutherParticipant
We should all have a basic understanding of history from our university education, a requirement for graduation was a senior level class at Cal Poly, I am with everyone else in saying that the LARE is not to prove knowledge of Landscape Architecture, it is to certify that we know not to run with scissors (health, safety, and wellness) by know ing the legal issues and laws of our industry we are accepting the failures of the past, the laws are guided and written based on the past. SO lets come up with a better test that is not apart of the LARE, a master Landscape Architect, someone who embraces history, ecological/environmental ideals, Art, and sciences and uses them in the field of Landscape Architecture. with additional accreditation you would be able to prove that you are not only able to satisfy the basic requirements of the LARE (which are very detailed and dynamic) but you also understand and embrace the advanced issues of the industry, much like what LEED is becoming a proving ground for sustainable issuesJuly 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm #173652
I went to U of Penn – no history. I have looked at many programs, as I am interested in teaching. I see very few history courses..So I am not sure about that accreditation claim..Perhaps I am wrong, but it is certainly not evident in the programs, both graduate and undergraduate, I have looked at…I’m sticking to my guns..We need history. It should be part of the exam. I also think the exam should be given in the third year of graduate school, however…I am sure I am going to get it for that opinion. but compared to how doctors are treated, we toss our newly minted professionals out of school with nothing. Doctors are placed in well-paid apprenticeships, while in school, which lead directly to taking your boards…I don’t know why we want to dumb ourselves down…for anyone….
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