Landscape Architects and the Bigger Design Pro Community

At the end of June I attended the 2014 AIA convention in Chicago. I am a member of ASLA but I had never been to a national conference of any kind. It may seem to be an odd choice to attend the AIA conference as my first, but it speaks to my bigger point in this blog. We can learn a lot from the bigger Design Pro community, not just other Landscape Architects.

Recently I decided to start a podcast and blog for Landscape Architects, Architects and Interior Designers. As professionals we have so many similarities in our client base, those we design for and how we do what we do, I thought there might be an undiscovered community there.  

I also believe that we owe it to our communities to share knowledge that will benefit the group as a whole. This blog on Land8 is an example of that type of sharing. It leverages our collective wisdom.

I listen to a podcast called Entrepreneur on Fire. The format is entrepreneurs telling their stories of how they built there business, the catalyst for starting it, how they financed it, hired the right people to make it work, left their dead-end job, etc…  I found that I didn’t really care what they were doing, it was their journey and whatever parts I related to that made it interesting to me.

That’s why I decided that if I could talk to people that were already swimming in the same waters professionally, that their stories would be interesting and informative to entire Design Professional community. Was I ever right!

Talking to the first Architect about his business, how we had some of the same clients, and how so many of the things we deal with day to day are the same, was great. I also got some good technology ideas from him, and he does a podcast for Architects.

The first Landscape Architect I interviewed runs a residential design firm like I do not far from me, and yet our clients are quite different. That said, we are both motivated by many of the same things and have very similar philosophies and enjoy the human connection of residential design. I got some great ideas from her on marketing the business and employee development. Since the interview she has been a great resource and help to me. 

The two Interior Designers I interviewed both started their businesses during the economic crash of 2009. They both had paid internships and talked about the huge value in that. One has an online business related to Interior Design and the other designs furniture to personalize the spaces for her residential clients. These are all ideas that can be applied to the different professions either directly or indirectly. All of these ideas give us more ways to think about how to practice and be successful in our chosen areas.

I went to the AIA convention because I realized in doing these interviews that I didn’t know what was really important to Architects as a community. To understand them better I needed to get closer to that community and hear the issues of the day for them. ‘Design with Purpose’ was their theme and being more connected to the human element in design. What a great message! The message applies to all Design Professionals. My bigger take away was that I needed to get more involved in my Landscape Architecture community which I had never really done before. There is so much to be gained within our tribe if we decide to contribute and be part of it. 

We can learn as much from other Design Professionals as we can from our own profession when it comes to so many areas of our professional lives. I encourage all Landscape Architecture students and professionals to reach out, not just inside this community, and see what you can learn from the larger community of creative professionals out there. Inspiration has never been easier to access. There are hundreds of design related blogs and websites, the most noteworthy is

If you want to hear conversations with Landscape Architects, Architects and Interior Designers as well as the resources they share, Check out Design Pro Success Stories . I know you will find these conversations interesting. 

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