January 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm #159095
I am in complete agreement and support the comments you are offering here in this discussion thread and the other current one. Some of the best and still valuable training I received was from working in civil engineering offices or multi-disciplinary ones throughout my career. I learned grading and drainage the hard and right way from working along with civil engineers. I sense that you have an enriched sense and ability in dealing with the micro and macro aspects of site specific planning that has proven both invaluable and highly marketable for you. In that same vein, it has never sold me short and generally enhanced my professional appeal. I can walk the site planning walk in very comfortable shoes.January 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm #159094
I’ve got nothing but props for you. Instead of lying down and giving up, you pulled yourself up and shifted to plans B and C to take care of your family. You’ll be in better shape mentally as well as career wise when you come back to the States.January 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm #159093mark fosterParticipant
I am also in agreement. Instead of worrying about the legal turf wars, perhaps it may be more important for us to be the best at what we do (which engineers, architects etc. are not). I never worried much about the turf. I just concentrated on what an LA is uniquely good at–site planning being one of them.January 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm #159092
Craig, he’s not out of the woods just yet! I wrote about a certain LA in Honolulu who was working in China back in 2010. In short, he was doing okay for 5 months until the firm just stopped paying him! But, they told him he would get a check soon; however, he never did receive one. To his fault, he kept working for additional two months and finally one morning quit going to the office. Fast forward 1.5 years later, he still waits for the paycheck! Where was he suppose to turn to in China? Think about it. Its not like he could hire an attorney in that foreign place. He couldn’t afford to stay there either, since there’s no unemployment checks coming in.
The China company was also a large architecture/planning/LA firm and not some 6 man, mom & pop operation. There was also a recent article in ASLA magazine regarding San Diego firms doing business in China and then not getting paid. They too had no recourse. Don’t think the grass is greener on the other side. Personally, I would never venture over there. The air and water are toxic! Shanghai and Beijing are two of the worst city environmental polluters on earth!!
LA is dead, Craig. DOA! Not just dormant. Its been dormant for how many years going now? And for how much longer can people realistically wait? It might be 5 years or a decade. And YES…the economy is picking back up, ask the accountants and health care workers! I’ll revisit this topic and explain what I see happening right now in my area: the LAs are being pushed out by Architecture and Civil firms, at least in the design phases. They’re only called in to complete the construction docs. These plans/projects come across my desk and I see it first hand. This is the worst I’ve seen it.January 6, 2012 at 12:29 am #159091
No barrel, Craig. The wide, open ocean is all the freedom a crab could ever need. Just jump in with eyes wide open!January 6, 2012 at 12:34 am #159090
I was going to make a comment about it too. I had to look at my calendar to make sure it wasn’t already April 1st. Maui county is advertising for two positions as engineering drafters which pay more. If prospective students see this Houston job, they should be running away from it.January 6, 2012 at 12:58 am #159089Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
I don’t get it. Why do so many of us feel like we do not do work that is valued by others? If I’m not doing work that is valued by others, I’d be both unemployed and out of business … or I’d be darn sure to find what it is which is valued and find a way to do it. I would not and do not worry what the model landscape architect is supposed to be or the model path one is supposed to follow.
It is particularly rediculous when people who moved on to other professions tell those of us who are still in it that landscape architecture is dead. The job market or business opportunities are not going to adjust to you or to me. They never have and never will. We have to adjust to them. If what you thought was the career path is not there and you still pursue it as if it was, then it is you who has failed to understand the profession and to adjust to it accordingly.
Eight years ago you could be a chimpanzee and get an internship and stay on with a firm if you had a degree in LA because there was so much development going on that no one could get enough help. That was not true twenty years ago and it is not true today. This is not a crash in the profession so much as it was a boom that brought in huge amounts of new people when the tide was up and washed them back into the sea when the tide went out … “Castles made of Sand slip into the sea, eventually” Jimi H. The thing is that not all castles are made of sand and not everything built is a castle.
Another rediculous thing is that some believe that others who do what is supposed to be done by us can do it and be valued, yet we can’t. This is often followed by discussion of how badly they do it. It can’t be both. If they have a leg up on getting the work, you should try to get it instead of them. However, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Get on a team that is winning if you think the team that you are on is inadequate for whatever reason get on the one that is doing it.
You have to go where the work is whether that is geographically, demographically, philosophically, or professionally. A job plan is the same as a business plan. If the market does not exist it won’t show up out of no where to please you. You have to figure out what does exist and adjust your plan to it.
Work is easier to get when you are perceived as over qualified. A third rediculous statement that is dropped left and right is that we are not hired because we are over qualified. No one passes on someone with high qualifications unless it comes with too much a price tag or threat of future competition. Who can’t tame down a resume so that it sounds like it is exactly the right qualification if you have more tools in the box? Are we too smart to fit the part? Usually, this is more about over inflated ego than over qualification.
Pride and prejudice too easily get in the way.January 6, 2012 at 1:44 am #159088
I’m in your choir, preacher. Amen brother.January 6, 2012 at 2:09 am #159087
Wow, Russell, much better and far rougher rant than my previous posting. I make no apologies for my survivalist instincts kicking in last year and coming to southwestern China. The mothership of the multi-disciplinary, highly architecture dominated firm I am on temporary overseas, expat assignment is actually in Hong Kong, still part of the PRC.
I can state that the traditional design process, sequence and timing it typically takes gets turned on its head here in this part of the world. You adapt, think fast, conceptualize more quickly and draw like your life (at least the working portion of it) depended on it. And then either the project dies an unnatural death (merely an exercise to increase the land value and sell it/spin it off) or it actually gets built and at an amazing pace, almost as fast as their high speed rail trains (that crash from time to time) travel.
That said, the Peoples Republic of Neo-Capitalism does continue to trample and run over its citizen’s human rights, no question about that. Corruption is on a scale that makes Madoff look like a check kiter Thje despoiling and poisoning of the environment and its natural treasures and resources marches on although this country is way, way ahead of our own in actually making green technologies and alternative energy generation a significant part of their national energy plan. You see, they actually have one, we don’t.
I do remember we interacted on a live basis a few times back when there were Friday morning chats here at Land8Lounge, and that was when I was still stateside. If remember correctly, you are a highly talented landscape architect (you have great freehand graphics and can draw while standing on your head ? ) and had experienced the same rough ride of the serious downhill run our national economy was taking back then. We both know things have not improved much at all, nor will they anytime soon.
Call me an opportunist or adventurer, I will take that faint praise. My body is actually warmer over here and my personality shines a bit brighter because I am doing relatively significant work, learning a helluva lot doing it and getting paid far more than I could make right now in our own country. Yes, a very pitiful situation, but one I decided to do something constructive for myself and others that I am concerned about and are concerned about me.
I believe you think the “F” in FASLA stands for something less than Fellow. I never want to have that acronym anyway, I’ll stick with the ones I already have.
I wish you well on your own rebound and renewal in our profession or something related to it.January 6, 2012 at 3:08 am #159086idaParticipant
Experiences in China vary. What you say about Beijing and Shanghai can be said about Los Angeles or NYC.
There will always be jobs for good LAs. We just need to adjust our ideas and skill set to stay relevant.January 6, 2012 at 5:02 am #159085earthworkerParticipant
“There will always be jobs for good LAs.” I know dozens of good and great LA’s who have been out of work for so long they have lost nearly everything. Do you even understand what is happening to this industry? Have you read any of the multitudes of topics on this site regarding the number of qualified LA’s out of work for years and months. Ida, you obviously have no clue what the hell you are talking about.January 6, 2012 at 8:04 am #159084idaParticipant
Chill out dude. I was responding to the previous comment that LA is dead. It’s not, firms are still working, and there is still work to be done. Our industry just can’t hand out LA degrees like candy anymore or spit out cookie-cutter crap like in pre-recession times.January 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm #159083mark fosterParticipant
I would add to Andrew’s–don’t get the micro and the macro confused. If you made a list of actions to take today (or in the next few weeks) to find work, you will find that “tackling the state of licensure between LA’s and Architects” will be way down on the priority list.
I found licensure to be important when working for a firm without one, or when I started my own. Almost every firm I worked for had the licenses they needed anyway, and hired me for my expertise–the license was more of a confirmation of my competence.
Be the best at what you do, and don’t worry about the rest. If you believe that landscape architecture has no particular value or place in the market, you have a bigger problem than being out of work.January 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm #159082
I must have missed something. I will do that search, because if there is plenty of civil, architecture and surveyor jobs out there right now, Happy Days are Here Again! The boom times are back and America is building again, and I missed it. Thanks for the good news KeithB. I’m a happy man because over the last 23 years that I’ve been an LA, I’ve noticed that the surveyors are the first to get busy, then the architects get busy then the Civils, MEPs and LAs get busy following a recession.
I’ll be sure to let my starving Civil and Architect friends know that there are plenty of jobs for them now.January 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm #159081
MauiB – We’re never out of the woods. There’s no such thing as job security in any country. In 5 months he may be out of a job, but he’s practicing and collecting a check today. If he gets laid off, it’s on to the next plan.
Landscape Architecture has been dormant for around 4 years now. It went dormant at the same time a long winter set in the US economy and everything else went dormant.
“…how much longer can people realistically wait?”
People will wait as long as it takes like we have been for the last few years, because most of us have no other choice. No one really knows where the greener pastures are.
Architecture and Civil firms are trying to do as much of their work in-house as possible so that they can survive. Yes LAs are the first to get laid off from Civil and Architecture firms because they know they can some how find a way to do it without us. But ideally most of the Architects I’ve dealt with would rather have the LAs on the design team. They understand what a good LA brings to the table.
If Landscape Architecture is dead, the ACE industry is dead.
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