Should I major in landscape architecture?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Should I major in landscape architecture?

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 82 total)
  • Author
  • #157888
    Jason T. Radice

    There are doomsdayers indeed, the same way that there are eternal optmists. The realists are the ones you need to pay attention to.


    LOL! Craig, great last paragraph! My NYC landscaper friend, I’m happier than you might think. I just bought a house in South Maui and it didn’t come from LA salary. It came from my past investments in the market and current planning position.

    Look man, I agree with you to a point. I just think you need to tell the hard truth along with the rosy forecast. How do you know Michael is young, “creative” and suited to be an LA? Have you met him in person? And what’s wrong with a computer programmer and mathematician? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Marc Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Bill Joy, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Galileo…to name a few were CPs and Ms. They have contributed more to society than any landscape architect. Only Olmsted and Vaux with Central park deserve to be in the same paragraph as those men I listed.

    I preach a reality check with caution about LA. You, on the other hand is about going blindly with the wind. “Everything will be better” someday…whenever that someday arrives. We both drive our cars and arrive at a yield sign in an intersection, I choose to look left and right before proceeding and you choose to put the metal on the floor.

    On your earlier comment about land development. I’ve come to realize as a plannner that not all development is good. You can’t build for the sake of building. There needs to be a balance between environment and economy. Some developments destroy pristine environments and wetlands. You know what I mean and I’m not wasting my Saturday afternoon further explaining. But, you on the other hand, need these developments to take place and it gives you work regardless of the overall cost to the land. I know, I was once in that position and wanted every shopping mall or subdivision to take root. You’re right, I’m an old man now who’s looking for a better outcome by preserving some of the open space!

    Jason T. Radice

    Here is an LA economic forecast.

    1. Europe will continue to provide economic stresses on the US markets, thanks to Spain, Portugal, Italy. Greece, and to a lesser extent, France. Major political upheaval in countries like Greece or Spain due to severe budget cuts will cause further instability. Meaning less investment. If they don;t change, they will go bankrupt, bringing an end to Euro. Germany can’t keep proping up these other countries.


    2. China has not lately had the growth it needs to perpetuate the illusion that it is stable. They are in the midst of a housing bubble that will make the one in the US look like a hiccup. There are entire CITIES in China that have been built, but never occupied. Look up “Chinese Ghost Cities”. Many of these were designed by western firms with LAs. Those jobs will soon be gone as well. China is also keeping the value of its currency artificially low, which will eventually need to be recitified or massive DEFLATION will occur.


    3. Washington cannot ever ‘dictate’ a solution that will make any impact on our or the entire AEC industry. It is not that big You need China money, lack of any regulations, and a pool of essentially free labor), is already broke, and mismanages pretty much anything it touches, i.e: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. $831 biilion and we are largely right back to where we started before it was passed. Remember TIGER? How much good did that do? A little burp of activity and rife with inefficiency and disappointing jobs numbers. The building industry has been and always will be fed by the private sector.

    Craig Anthony

    That’s great dude, I’m glad you’ve found your happy place.


    I’m not blowing sunshine up people’s butts. I’m telling them it’s hard and they might not make it. And if they do make it, chances are they’re not going to be rolling with the 1%ers. I’m also telling them that if they apply themselves they stand a pretty good chance of finding career happiness.


    Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Marc Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Bill Joy, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Galileo. What’s the common thread? Every single one of these guys where special people who were willing to take chances. These guys wouldn’t sit around listening to petrified yayhoos telling them to play it safe. They said screw the 25+ year career position. Who wants to be a bore?


    I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with accountants and computer scientist and the like, we need those professionals. What I’m preaching here is the fact that certain people are meant to do certain types of things.


    “…I choose to look left and right before proceeding and you choose to put the metal on the floor…”


    You have no idea how much I wish I could live my life more like that. I survived my youth and I finally acquired this thing people call wisdom.


    By the way nice spin mauiB you sound just like a politician. You’ve managed some how to turn me into some kind of a slash and burn industrialist while making yourself look like Johnny Appleseed. I’m not going to get into a debate about who’s greener than whom, but I will tell you I’m a big believer in brownfield development, denser communities and getting cars of the roads. Not all development is bad.

    Craig Anthony

    Thanks for cheering me up Jason; I think I’ll drive my car into the nearest body of water. Maybe 2012 really is the end of the world, so why bother.

    Heather Smith

    …”its the end of the world as we know it…and I feel fiinnnneeeeee.”

    Colin White

    Should I major in landscape architecture?


    I still haven’t read a single response strong enough for you to alter your course.

    Mark Miller

    I notice you are from PA, which means you’ll probably be going to school on the east coast and doing east coast LA.

    The thing about LA is that it is a broad field of study that will vary based on where you study it, and the practice will vary even more than that based on where you practice. The west coast is alot more savvy to environmental codes and the like than the east coast (it seems), which bodes well for LA’s on the west coast. On the ec there is more resistance to government regulation of what can be done with the land, but still a fair amount of “by the numbers” kind of work. That being said most of the work I’ve seen that is steady on the ec (I live in Baltimore, MD btw) and by “steady” I mean where most of the job postings have been, has been in the residential market and for project managers and multi-disciplinary firms.

    I think that teaching is an honorable profession and you’re crazy to believe that you won’t be able to get a job as a teacher… it might not be in your preferred location, but I believe you can always get a job teaching. I don’t have a teaching certificate, but I’ve still found myself on substitute lists and right now one of my part time jobs is teaching an after school program. If I actually had the credentials I could be teaching full time…

    If you want to be an LA though, then do this:

    Study your ass off in school: learn learn learn.

    Read every piece of info and “optional” hand out that is given to you

    learn GIS technologies

    learn Sketchup and other 3D platforms

    learn multiple CAD platforms (Autodesk, Microstation, Vectorworks)

    learn the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign in particular)

    work on your hand graphics technique: You don’t have to be an artist, just learn the tricks to creating good graphics (Mike Lin’s workshop is crucial, take it before he retires)

    When you’re not in school work for LA’s or related disciplines:

    Surveyors, Garden Centers, Landscaping Companies… DO THE GRUNT WORK!

    Pay attention construction details and learn how to do them, don’t just copy them from other sources

    Save all your projects and documentation of everything you work on, no matter how small.

    Once you graduate and get that first job, save a copy of every project you work on, even the stuff that the boss didn’t like that didn’t make it into the final draft…..

    if you do those things you’ll be set for life, you’ll be knowledgeable and marketable to any firm to work in any market you want. If you’re only interested in one tiny aspect of LA well you’re going to have a tough time of it, but if you throw yourself into the whole spectrum of it, you’ll find work, and if you don’t find a company to hire you, you’ll at least feel comfortable enough to start your own.

    Andrew DeWitt

    Agreed, architecture is hurting so much more than LA right now. 

    Plus, from the perspective of a student I know that even just 3 years ago my school got almost no visits or job postings sent it’s way from LA firms.  Now though, firms are visiting a lot this time of year and coming here to interview students and specifically requesting people from my program at Ball State, so I’d say things are looking up for new LAs.  Especially since Michael won’t be looking for a job in the field for at least 4 years, if not 5 or 6.

    Michael Tracy

    Thanks I wanted to work on learning some stuff over the summer before I go to college.  I’ve taken courses at my high school for Illustrator and Photoshop.  Like I’ve said I’ve taken 3 years of Autocad and I’m pretty good at that, I’m just getting into revit I’ve only completed a simple but detailed house.  My fathers a landscaper with his own business and I’ve worked with him for years so I know a few things already and he knows a LOT about nature and horticulture since hes been doing landscaping for over 20 years.

     I’ve trying to save most of my work from my cad courses but our school servers aren’t the best, they go down pretty frequently and I’ve actually lost just coming in the next day and I’m missing 3 things I’ve done.  I can show you guys some of the work I’ve done, it’s mostly architecture stuff but it has some LA stuff in it.  My best project isn’t done yet and it’s from when I was a sophomore, I’m going to try to finish it and touch it up with the little the free time I have but I should be able to get it done in a few weeks. 


    Lets see it!

    Mike Metevier

    NO.  Find something else that interest you or, have 2 degrees.

    Daniel Jackson

    Don’t be turned off of Landscape Architecture because of all the negative comments associated with our profession during these times. If it’s something you’re passionate about pursuing, go for it. Just because people are not finding work in the United States does not mean the rest of the world is in the same situation. There are many opportunities throughout the world, in countries with more stable economies or in those that are developing. I know not everyone can move but it’s these opportunities that I love most about our profession. It’s also want makes me most excited when looking to the future. I moved to Hong Kong and its been an amazing experience both personally and professionally.

    There are lots of positive stories out there of people being successful during this recession you just don’t hear about them. Unfortunately, it’s the hardships that dominate these posts. I suggest you go and talk to firms and recent graduates that were successful in finding work to see if this career is something you would be truly happy doing for your working life. 

    George McNair

    Are you a LA in Hong Kong?


    What kind of projects are you doing in Hong Kong?

    Daniel Jackson

    I’m a Landscape Designer. I’m not licensed. I’ve worked with two companies here on a broad range of projects across China, India, Vietnam and Hong Kong. I mainly worked on commercial and residential projects throughout China but I’ve also worked on theme parks, water parks, university campuses, green roofs, golf courses, resorts and hotels. Chinese clients put a high emphasis on landscape so its quite refreshing to work here. Budgets are typically higher as well so you can be quite creative with designs. 

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 82 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password