Will LAs always be at the mercy of architects?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Will LAs always be at the mercy of architects?

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    Gregory Walker

    cevrena – this question of who the ‘prime’ is comes up a lot with one of the l.a. firms we work with on a regular basis. and it really depends, in my opinion, on what the prime drivers on the project are (in the client’s mind). case in point: on a project that we’ve done at georgia tech, the l.a. firm was the prime on phase one of the project, which involved designing the overall site layout, tie ins to the existing campus infrastructure, and coordination with the overall campus masterplan (mostly the landscape portion), which included thinking about an adjacent playing field/park area. we were a contractor to them, in charge of designing/re-thinking a prefabricated ropes style challenge course that would go on the site.

    for phase 2 of the same project, we switched over to the prime, with the l.a. firm as a sub to us, primarily because that phase (about to wrap up) consisted of creating a new outdoor pavilion structure to complement the course. the general location for this was set in phase 1, although we contributed the schematic design for the building then.

    could either of us have led both phases? sure. in the end, the client made the decision, based on the scope. however, (and again, i simply don’t know any other way to work, so i’m listening to what you all are saying and just shaking my head at what’s there) we both trust each other enough that we listen to each other’s suggestions and ultimately figure out what’s ‘best’ and that’s what tends to win. sometimes it’s our idea, sometimes theirs, but really, we don’t keep score like that, nor care. likewise, i do everything to protect their fees (along with everyone’s) and they do likewise.

    ultimate point being: if you don’t like the way your architects work, find another architect…

    Cliff See

    yeah, guess i am one of the old guys too, ha-ha,… still need to learn about InDesign


    Does 7 years experience while concurrently in school allow me to offer advice to another young designer in a blog setting? If not, I’ll be glad to request that a moderator delete my post,



    I would consider you a special case. You probably will have a leg up on the average person with say 2 years of experience and a 5 year professional degree. With 7 years in a good office, I would expect that at the very least, you learned a good deal about the business of landscape architecture.

    With that said, the point I was trying to make is that a person would be a fool to come into any new situation or job and expect to have the same influence as a person with 20 plus years of experience. For example, if I decided to become a plumber right now and I were being trained by someone with 10 years of experience. It would be a long time before I would have anything to say about anything, even if my trainer is considerably younger than me. Unless the person is a total idiot, I would just try to learn as much as I can from them. I would do that by asking questions and giving very little advice.


    Ok – well I agree with your restated point completely.

    I couldn’t help but read in your last paragraph that “young designers shouldn’t be giving advice to other young designers (on here) about being a young designer,” which, frankly, upset me. I realize now that wasn’t your point.


    Pardon me! I don’t recall writing anything that comes close to that. Please read that statement again. I am totally against stiffling the flow of communication in any way. Besides why would you get upset if someone would write something so ridiculous as that on a post. Lighten up Dude.


    “…if you’re a year or two out of school there should be more questions than advice coming out of your mouth:

    I think this was the line that threw us off a little. I think someone could interpret that statement a number of different ways.

    Also, as Andrew stated earlier, there are a number of things that get stereotyped inthe architecture/LA profession. It may be worth taking note that not all of us junior designers are ‘young’ nor followed a ‘traditional’ career/academic track.

    I think we have a better understanding now.


    I realize this is taken out of context but this is what I read:

    “if you’re a year or two out of school there should be more questions than advice coming out of your mouth.”

    You replied to a reply of MY post, where I say I am “a year or two out of school,” and where I am offering Mandy advice on how I’ve handled this LA vs. ARCH dilemma. That was my ridiculous logic.

    You corrected me in your following post, where I realized I basically had a direct/indirect object conflict. Sorry for the misunderstanding and for getting upset.


    No problem Man. I guess I could have said in a less abrasive way. I have a better understanding now why you would be upset. Please, no need to apologize.

    Thomas J. Johnson

    If they are paying you, then they are always right. It is their project, not yours. They are bringing you on board and they can just as easily kick you off the ship.

    That being said, I don’t think there is anything wrong with bringing something to their attention that they may have over looked or not considered. I just wouldn’t argue your case and risk damaging the relationship… that is, unless you like eating macaroni and cheese…

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