March 22, 2012 at 9:20 am #158313
What is VALUE PROPOSITION for Landscape Architects? What can we do better than others?March 22, 2012 at 11:00 am #158333
That is a vague and general question in a very diverse field where most within it work in specific areas of this field. It really comes down to what a specific landscape architect or firm brings on a specific project compared to what others potentially working on such a project are bringing.
The idea that all landscape architects are the same is the farthest thing from reality in my opinion.March 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm #158332
Well I agree with you, totally! But instead, can we define what is our competitive advantage compared to similar professions such as architects, gardeners and others? Let’s say in five bullet points?
The value proposition question was ridiculous, sorry for that 🙂 I would like to define is what makes us so unique, that no one else can do landscape architecture instead of us. I would just like to dig deeper…March 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm #158331
My opinion is that this excercise is a good one for indiviuals or firms to do within the context of their own markets. I think it is a complete waste of time to try to do it as an entire profession.
I know what I do, why I am able to keep busy, why I am making some money, and why it works where I am. Just yesterday a friend from school who is in Boise and has had almost no work in the last two years asked me how he could get work there …. I have no idea because he has different experience (not worse, just different – some would say better) than I do and he is in a different market. If I moved out of this market, I’d crash. If he moved in, he’d get no where trying to do what I’m doing.
Learn what your opportunities are, what you can do to get a foot in the door, what to do to get the busy people to want to bring you in, and how to get those other busy professionals to want to keep bringing you in – whether you are a huge firm or an individual residential person like me. What the rest of the profession is doing did not impact me (other than internship) twelve years ago and it does not impact me now.March 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm #158330jennifer BlochParticipant
Grading/Drainage is perhaps the one thing that all LA’s must be able to do that most architects, etc… cannot.March 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm #158329
-systems related design/analysis/thinking
-change over time
-understanding processesMarch 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm #158328Chris WhittedParticipant
What about civil engineers?
I’d have to go with something similiar to Tosh K’s answer. What we do better than anyone else is bridge the gaps between everyone else. You can find someone else profession-wise who does anything we do, but not EVERYTHING we do. And I would also venture to say we often have more understanding of the things we don’t do than other professions. These are broad statements and something of an oversimplification of course.March 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm #158327mark fosterParticipant
Our “value proposition” is uniqueness. We are blessed (and cursed!) by our medium– a tiny portion of the earth–every case a different one.
On the bright side, never underestimate the hunger for the unique– especially from the uber $.March 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm #158326mauiBobParticipant
Not very often we agree…but this guy is 100% correct! Too many variables to be specific.March 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm #158325landplannerParticipant
Christ Dude ….. if the best you can do is an inane and vapid question like this one, ,,, you
deserve some of the comments coming your way (and these people are being very polite).
Please spare us from the ill-conceived, poorly thought through airhead based questions like this one
from now on …..March 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm #158324
Can you define few of those variables? The ones’ that you feel are the most important?March 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm #158323
You know, I don’t ask anyone to be polite and I respect your answerMarch 25, 2012 at 2:48 am #158322
Isn’t this part of every project team meeting and client meeting? We, all too often, have to state why a client/team should have us on board. It’s a valuable question to ask day in and day out – it might be easier and rather inane to those of us who have been around for a bit, but one every student ought to be asking and challenging.March 25, 2012 at 2:53 am #158321
It all leads to… We should be leading project teams.March 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm #158320
There is a lot of cross over between architects, civil engineers, and landscape architects.
We like to box architects as all being the same – they design buildings and are clueless once they get outside of the foundation. We like to believe that engineers are all techno-bland gear heads that make the water drain in the most mundane way possible. We like to look at our profession as if everyone in it has the highest level of skill at every diverse aspect that it spans.
The problem is that these are generalizations that make as much sense as stereotyping races or religions. While many architects are inept outside of the building, many others have been doing “landscape architecture” day in and day out for decades and are only gaining more experience each day. Civil engineers may never have wanted to do planting and hardscape design beyond paking lots and roadways, but have been doing … they, too, have become very experienced long term practitioners of “landscape architecture” in many cases. They, just like us, have gotten most of their experience from working on projects and learning what works well and what does not work so well.
Most landscape architects are exposed to a great deal of the multi-facets that our profession covers, but most only work and gain experience within a much narrower range of the profession. Many inexperienced people entering the profession seem to think that we are all experts in every aspect because that is what many university professors lead them to believe.
The profession of Landscape Architecture, believe it or not, is not some kind of Commonwealth that has a net worth comprised of the highest achievers in every aspect of it which is then equally divided amongst all within it. The belief seems to be that if only the profession as a whole is valued, I will be valued because I’m part of it and all will be well.
Reality is that the individuals and firms doing what falls into what we consider “landscape architecture” all have unique backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets that are valued by those who hire them regardless of the letters or lack thereof which follow their names. The last way that anyone is going to advance or decline in this profession is by association with it. No one cares what your title is.
Last year I was at an invitation to bid meeting for a senior housing project (not urban). There were several groups looking to put together packages to take the project from concept to CDs. There were teams headed by attorneys, CEs, LAs, architects, and other consultant groups. The point being that it was all about what other similar projects these people had done and nothing to do with the professions that they came out of.
One particular architect (or engineer, or LA, … fill in the blank) could be highly qualified to run the project where another one would be a total joke. It is the same thing with everything our profession encounters. There is always a qualified person or firm capable of doing every project that fits under “landscape architecture” whether it is a hospital campus, regional planning, war memorial, roof garden, …. or planting on a residence. There is no project that we can honestly say that only a landscape architect is qualified to do. Moreover, there is never a job where we can say that ANY (as in each and every) landscape architect can do better than someone else.
Work on developing your own body of work and skill set to advance yourself or the firm you work for because you will never be valued for anything outside of that.
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