WHO ARE WE? SHOULD OUR TITLE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT BE CHANGED TO SOMETHING ELSE?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION WHO ARE WE? SHOULD OUR TITLE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT BE CHANGED TO SOMETHING ELSE?

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 54 total)
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  • #176936
    nca
    Participant

    Joe-

    That was pretty much the logic I was trying to get someone to latch onto. Sounds like you’ve spent some time on this one already.

    #176935

    Here is just a thought…….that ocurred to me……Would enforcement and creation of legislation that does not allow contractors, designers(unqualified, non-licensed landscape architects) to do residential or commercial designs without being licensed by that particular state in which they are practicing…..

    That seems like, if we could univeralize and enforce the practice and title act with penalties for practicing outside of the law that that might create, one, more need for everyone to have to use an L.A. to do all design work and landscape architecture across the board…….

    I think that that could help to create an added necessity and therefore more awareness and value of our profession in general……because people would have to use a licensed landscape architect for something as simple as a backyard landscape design…..

    Anyway……this might be a little off topic but your thoughts…..on this idea…..

    #176934
    Joe Vickers
    Participant

    I think we are into a completely different topic of conversation now with the practice and title laws. One that I could go on for days about and still would have barely cracked the surface.

    Brandon Reed said:

    Here is just a thought…….that ocurred to me……Would enforcement and creation of legislation that does not allow contractors, designers(unqualified, non-licensed landscape architects) to do residential or commercial designs without being licensed by that particular state in which they are practicing…..

    That seems like, if we could univeralize and enforce the practice and title act with penalties for practicing outside of the law that that might create, one, more need for everyone to have to use an L.A. to do all design work and landscape architecture across the board…….

    I think that that could help to create an added necessity and therefore more awareness and value of our profession in general……because people would have to use a licensed landscape architect for something as simple as a backyard landscape design…..

    Anyway……this might be a little off topic but your thoughts…..on this idea…..

    #176933
    Tim Waterman
    Participant

    The issue of landscape is quite central to the work that we do, and seeking to diminish its importance in the title could possibly be counterproductive. Will Alsop, the architect and (for better or worse) urban designer has taken the profession to task recently, stating that he consistently works with landscape architects with no understanding of soils, plants, geology, etc. I had occasion to argue with him, and to change his mind a bit, but I still left with the nagging feeling that he was, to a certain extent correct. We have become so defensive about the title, and we’ve tried so hard to distance ourselves from garden design that we have put ourselves at a remove from what has historically been our stock in trade. Worse, we are competing directly with building architects when we build treeless, plantless, “iconic” (argh!) spaces. If anyone asks me about diseases on their azaleas, I’ll answer them happily, but I’ll also take a bit of time to explain the scope of the profession.

    There are a couple of terms I have come to appreciate recently, and to try to use with regularity:

    “The architectures”, which refers to the whole set of spatial design and planning professions, including town planning, interior architecture, landscape architecture, building architecture, and even often civil engineering. This reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the work we all do, and helps to play down the role of the egotist/prima donna and establish collaborative practice and mutual understanding as the order of the day.

    “Environmental architecture” is a term I ran across at Waterstone’s bookstore, which allowed them to conveniently place urban design together with landscape architecture. Interestingly, many of the ‘garden porn’ books that the RIBA bookstore most irksomely likes to identify as landscape architecture are shelved in the gardening section or in photography.

    I still don’t see a good alternative to the term landscape architect, and the key is to educate the public about what the landscape means and what it includes (namely, everything – “If there’s sky, it’s mine.”, proclaims Kathryn Gustafson). The landscape – and not just the environment – needs to be moved high up on the political agenda and it needs to be lobbied for and shouted about most vigourously.

    Ultimately, though, I think I might like to be called simply an architect, and then I can go on to explain to people that I work with the landscape, which, of course, they’ll understand because of all that education. It may well be time to bring the architectures together under one roof again, especially if we can all learn to share. The future of the planet may well depend upon such a holistic structure – and for a lot more humility and understanding from all the architectures.

    #176932
    Rico Flor
    Participant

    Hello Andrew, Nick, and the rest.

    Here’s my contribution (attached). I actually stand by our title, though I feel we should bear without regrets the responsibility of explaining the scope of our discipline and the accompanying definition of our services. The attached article attempts to describe our profession, as I understand it, with the scope “widened” as compared to that stereotypically attributed us, with somehow the strong suggestion of our “innate” affinity to ecological sensitivity (maybe too presumptive sounding, but I’m hoping it is indeed the direction we are taking). The article also recommends labels that could be used. I do not see the need to aggressively re-invent ourselves via labels (though it is a task worth looking into), but I do feel we need to constantly define, defend and affirm that definition, our discipline. This informal brethren (or any gender neutral equivalent of the term, for that matter) we have on the net is, I believe, is an important start.

    Hope the attachment “sticks”….yucky pun…

    Rico

    By the way, I owe a lot of this via the inspired book of Jala Makhzouhmi, whom I still adore to this day…Hi Jala, I remain your devoted fan.

    #176931
    biancaKOENIG
    Participant

    Agreed! As soon as “famous landscape architect” does not sound like an oxymoron, we’ll be in good shape! We need to raise the bar in regards to quality and public awareness, and to live the definition through action, not a two page description.

    I haven’t written an article, but I did once send a letter to the editor of LAM July 2005– “Landscape Architecture Needs a Hero”

    Damian Holmes said:

    I think that all points are valid and we need to promote landscape architecture to the public. This is often left to associations and institutes with volunteers(usually working professionals with little time as is) looking after promotion of landscape architecture.

    Who we are, what we do and our perceived role varies from country to country and how old and how respected the profession is by the public and other professions.

    As for the title landscape architect as from what I understand is more respected in European countries whereas it seems in North America, Asia and Australia we lost the fight when anyone with a shovel or a pen started calling themselves a landscape architect or reality garden homemaker shows started using the term loosely to describe anyone who designed a garden. Also the word architect has lost some of its gloss when IT people grabbed hold of it and started calling themselves System or Information Architects.

    On the other hand the word Architect is held onto by some due to the legal protection that it gives Landscape Architects, Such as in some states in Australia were the word is protected by law and we come under this protection. Also Insurance companies differentiate landscape architects and landscape designers based upon qualification. The misuse of the term landscape architect in some states is the reason that Australian Institute Landscape Architect qualified members are now called Registered Landscape Architect.

    However, some Australian states see protecting the term of Landscape Architect as anti-competitive and against the law – yes stupid, I know, wonder how a Plastic Surgeon or Dentist would feel if I hang board on my office with Dentist and Plastic Surgeon M.D. under Landscape Architect. Don’t think it would last long.

    OK Seriously I can’t see many universities giving our Land architect degrees to me it sounds a little too close to an engineering profession(not that there is anything wrong with engineers). I think on the whole it will always vary from country to country based upon the age of the profession and how powerful the association/society is and how outspoken its members are about protecting the term Landscape Architect or whatever term they choose.

    My arguments are a little off tangent but I think you get the general message that its up to you in you state or country to promote landscape architecture and the profession of landscape architecture. I think that a title change is like syaing Land Architect (profession/consultant formerly known as Landscape Architect) . Name changes are the things that government departments or car companies do when there in the sh1t. Remember how great it was when Price Waterhouse Coopers changed their name to Monday – exactly.

    I think that that promoting the great work we do and getting more publicity through local, state and country wide news will do far more for the profession, however we are often too shy or self-effacing to promote our work.
    Architects and their associations (love or loath them) do a great job at promoting the profession, I bet most of your family or friends could name at least one or two starchitects or well known past architects but no great landscape architects.

    Land Architects or Landscape Architects you decide – just promote your work as best you can.

    #176930
    Ruthie Wanjiku
    Participant

    Jay,
    Your article is great and i identify with especially the practising on someone back yard. Most of the times when i tell someone am a landscape Architect,they either assume am a gardener with a fancy name, or they may just pick the architecture part and assume I am an architect.

    You are right we need to alldoourpart in promoting and making our profession well known.
    Jay Everett said:

    I agree that the title is confusing and that it is a problem that has been with us from the start.

    Olmstead struggled with the awkwardness of the title, at one point refering to the practice as “sylvan art.”
    Biographer Witold Rybczynski writes of Olmsted’s response to Vaux’s attempt to get him to move back to New York and partner with him in 1865:

    “The art is not gardening nor is it architecture,” he wrote. It was certainly not “landscape architecture.” “If you are bound to establish this new art,” he wrote Vaux, “you don’t want an old name for it.”*

    the author adds: *twenty-five years earlier, John Claudius Loudon had published a book titled “The landscape gardening and landscape architecture of the late Humphry Repton. According to landscape historian John Dixon Hunt, this is the first documented use of the term landscape architecture.

    I also agree that we have been using the title for too long to change it now (way too much trouble). I think the real underlying issue is the relatively low profile of the profession as a separate and distinct vocation. I have written about this before.

    >http://media.http://www.reflector-online.com/media/storage/paper938/news/2006/04/05/Opi…

    My opinion is that the profession is simply too small in size relative to engineering or architecture and I think the only way to solve our frustration is to grow in numbers and work to elevate the profile of the profession.

    If our generation of would focus on recruitment and public awareness then maybe the next generation of landscape architects would have the resources to invest more time and money into scientific research and methods of practice. Unless we can quantify our contribution and definitively document what we “feel” we contribute to society, we will continue to be a service industry on the margins.

    The question should not be “who are we?” the question should be “how do we shed our reputation as a luxury item?”

    #176929
    Peg Prizer
    Participant

    I think our name is fine. I think we should have the architects change their title to “building architect”. Their expertise falls within the walls and ours on all exterior work. But, exterior architect is not bad!

    #176928
    Dan Barnes
    Participant

    I have not read every response to this is issue so I’m sorry if I repeat someone else.

    I love the name Landscape Architect. I don’t care if I go to a party and someone askes me if certain plants will grow in the shade or what tree they should plant in the sun. I feel it is where our roots come from.

    I am very proud of my profession and the work I have done in the past 27 years. I love to go to a meeting and be introduced as the landscape architect. I feel proud. There are times in those meetings that the respect and ‘love’ are not shown to me but those people are not as secure and must feel threatened by my being in the meeting or they are just ‘know it alls’ and it doesn’t matter what your profession is.

    One more thing, I think Landscape Architects must show other professions the respect they deserve even though they are laying stone or planting trees. I have seen over my years the snubbing of myself on a job site from other Landscape Architects because they thought I was a landscaper or in one case the stone mason. I don’t always wear izod and khakis.

    I LOVE my job!!!!!

    #176927
    Andrew Spiering
    Participant

    Just found this article on our NEWS page. The author, Michael Spencer, explains very clearly why the title of our profession exists, facts about our profession, how to become a landscape architect, and why we are needed.

    Check it out: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/sep/12/make-it-green-landscape-architect-not-guy-who-inst/

    #176926
    Brad Hix
    Participant

    I get tired of being confused with landscape maintenance. we did not attend college for 5 years to cut grass for a living. I am constantly asked after telling people what I am going to school for, “when are gonna come and cut my grass”. I for one think a title more flattering is a must. I have often thought Environmental Architect would create less confusion on what we actually do. But being able to explain to people what we do will help clear the air about what landscape architects are capable to do.

    just my two cents

    #176925
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    i always got confused with the perception of OURSELVES what we see as Landscape and in the minds of companies, institutes and professionals internationally….There┬┤s a HUGE difference….
    For instance i never saw me as an Landscape architect in the sense of doing only site work, but much wider going into urban design, urban planning, regional planning, design strategies interconnected to architecture, design, sociology and business management.

    But when i was in the UK the perceiption of landscape was very much planting and site design or in the field of urban design work in streetscapes, squares etc. or than again coming from an architecture background. Thus i went defining myself as an Urban Designer with a landscape planning and urban design theory background – not short form available ­čÖé

    #176924
    Claudia Chalfa
    Participant

    I kind of like ‘environmental designer’. Then again, I think we would get just as far by promoting a film about a landscape architect, and having the definition of what we do worked into the script. Get Hugh Jackman to play the leading role. Then everyone will know what we do.

    #176923
    Claudia Chalfa
    Participant

    Michelle, I worked as an intern in Northern Ireland this summer, and I know what you are speaking of. The UK does need to catch up with the US in this regard, in my opinion. Here in the US you cannot call yourself a landscape architect until you have the degree, the work experience and you have passed the LARE exam. In the UK you tend to focus more on horticultural projects and site design work. I am completing my MLA here in the US and we have focused more on planning issues, urban design and participatory design. I understand your frustration and agree that you need to standardize the discipline over there.

    #176922
    Clayton Munson
    Participant

    I have a couple thoughts on this whole topic. First someone made a comment that we might call ourselves Architects with a specialty in Landscape. Using the example of Engineers, there are Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Computer, and many others that all call themselves engineers. This is also used in the medical field with Doctors. If we were to change to architects we would then gain some of the respect that they have earned over the history of the field.

    Second. I personally like the title Landscape Architect. That is why I went to school for a BLA. If I didn’t want that title I would have save thousands of dollars and just gotten myself a landscape design degree. I think the best thing we can do is to inform the public when asked about the field and to support and build-up the Professional Organizations like ASLA. 42 states are protected by the Practice Act, meaning that both the Practice and Title of Landscape Architect is protected. If someone is using the title and doesn’t meet the requirements they can be reported to the local governing body, either the state ASLA Chapter or the State Board of Technical Registration. All in all I think those that are licensed should take pride in the title and take action to protect its’ meaning. I know I will when I win the battle with Clarb and Lare.

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