Like many landscape designers and architects, I receive the Landscape Architecture magazine on a monthly basis. But I have to say that over the past year or so, I’ve been less inclined to read it. It’s not because the case studies or product information isn’t important to me or that it’s not relevant to the profession; it’s because there seems to be this glaring disparity between what goes on in LA mag land and the real world. Take this excerpt from a much appreciated reader in this month’s Letters to the Editor, written by Buck Pittman, ASLA of Jacksonville, FL:
“Am I missing something in Landscape Architecture? Where have been the articles and commentary concerning our profession within the worst economy since the Depression? To read our flagship publication each month, no one would guess there’s anything wrong at all – but there most certainly is… This profession is in the middle of a major reshaping because of this economy and Landscape Architecture seems to be missing it…”
He goes on to say, “I urge you to take a much bolder step toward engaging our circumstances in this most difficult time and letting us know you care.”
At first I thought, YES! This means there will be more content on what we really want. But the reality check has not come in the mail yet. The magazine may be letting the comments in but they’re not changing their approach.
What I think we would all benefit from learning about in addition to the project pieces are some real hard facts. Industry data about our profession as it relates to the economy, which sectors are hiring and which are remaining stagnant, direction for new graduates throughout the country and the world, or even a valuable section on how to create such systems as green roofs and bioretention ponds, not simply the finished product.
I believe it was ASLA that posted not too long ago that Landscape Architecture was one of the top fields to work in. Maybe it’s time to see the facts behind the figures and for Landscape Architecture to show us that they’re really listening.Published in