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Thread: What are landscape architects like?

  1. #1
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    What are landscape architects like?

    Hello everyone, I hope that someone here can help me with my conundrum. I'm thinking of going back to school for landscape architecture but I'm not sure if it is right for me, and I'm hoping maybe some friendly LA's will reply and help me out.


    A little about me and my skills:

    A) Anthropolgy major/Art (Photo concentration) minor. Good eye, decent at drawing and tend to improve at it quickly (when I apply myself, lol)

    B) I love large scale planning of the environment, especially the interrelation between built and natural - love street trees, urban parks, etc. Love to study maps, cityscapes, take train rides, explore neighborhoods etc. Your typical planning geek in some ways, I guess. (But I'm drawn strongly to design, not so much to policy)

    So far, so good, but here's the embarassing part:

    C) Below average math skills (Anthro major kep me safe) and a massively brown thumb. Not interested in gardens, or soil, and tend to keep very forgiving houseplants.

    Am I hopelessly wrong for this field? I feel like I fall somewhere close to the urban design specialty, but I'm not sure if such a thing exists in LA and while I'm not a conformist, I don't want to feel totally alone in my profession.

    Are there any LA's our there who are sensitive to the environment but not the composting/mountain climbing/gardener/naturalist type?

    Any advice/help would be gratefully appreciated as this has tormented me for several years now....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Welcome!

    Have you looked into urban design? With all the available tools out there such as GIS and CAD, you can pick up the needed math skills very quickly.

    As for L.A. I started out in that, and moved to Urban Planning. I think that there will still be the same amount of Math and Science (if not more science) than Urban Design.

    I think that both will offer the design and art aspects that you are looking for.

    And no, I am not a “naturalist” nor do I compost.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Do you really want to know what landscape architects are like? Well, I knew one - she was really nice & sweet & could drink any guy under the table! Other than that, she is extremely artistic, based on how you described yourself - you sound fine.

    But are you a good drinker?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by teshadoh

    But are you a good drinker?
    I think that is also a requirement for a planner as well.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian GeoTech's avatar
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    I know a few LA's and also work with a few. For sure, you have to be able to drink mass quantities of your favorite alcoholic beverage. But unfortunately, they are green thumbs. Their love for greenery and weird plant species abounds. They surround their residences with wacky flowering plants and do not sleep very much in the Spring.

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    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I think that is also a requirement for a planner as well.
    That's why I'm strictly GIS - I care for my liver, I only feed it fruity martinis & white russians

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    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Have you looked into urban design? With all the available tools out there such as GIS and CAD, you can pick up the needed math skills very quickly
    Where exactly does urban design fall in the spectrum of Planning and Landscape Architecture? I think that urban design is also the thing for me, yet I don't really know what training is required for it. I've never seen a degree in urban design.

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    A lot of landscape architects that I've worked with have done lots of land planning on AUTOCAD -- laying out and grading new subdivisions in far-off suburbia. I've run into fewer that have employed their skills in more urban settings, but we have some in my firm that have a good sense of urban design and use their skills well.

    If I had known of landscape architecture earlier while in school, I might've made an effort to combine it with my planning background.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Ah, Urban Design is listed as a branch of architecture at the University of Texas. It looks like it is a Post-Professional degree: http://web.austin.utexas.edu/archite...emic/main.html

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    Quote Originally posted by teshadoh
    But are you a good drinker?

    Hmmm. I don't know if I could drink anyone under the table....I guess that's one of those professional skills that I will have to cultivate. Bring on the mojitos!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Where exactly does urban design fall in the spectrum of Planning and Landscape Architecture? I think that urban design is also the thing for me, yet I don't really know what training is required for it. I've never seen a degree in urban design.


    I've noticed that too. I guess that's where my interest lies too, but UD seems more like a specialty of architecture - I live in greater NY area and in the programs here to pursue a degree in UD you need a previous pof. degree in architecture. It seems unfair to me, they are very different disciplines I think.
    Going somewhere else for school is not really an option because I have a family and own an apartment here.

    I'm drawn to Landscape Architecture because of the emphasis on design skills, a way of working that's project based, and because I love the relationship of built and natural worlds. But I love nature in an aesthetic way, not a tree-hugger type way, if that makes any sense.

    Thanks for all your opinions though. It helps to hear about different paths in the field.

    Does anyone know anything good/ bad about the City College porgrams in NY?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jerseygirl
    I live in greater NY area and in the programs here to pursue a degree in UD you need a previous pof. degree in architecture. It seems unfair to me, they are very different disciplines I think.?
    It IS unfair... I completely agree!

    I am interested in urban design but I am not interested in becoming a professional architect. I feel like urban design should be a hybrid degree of architecture courses and planning courses, especially focusing on the relationships between the two.

    Ah well, my other major interest is urban analysis which they do have degrees for. I'm not quite as interested in the policy side of planning but I will take what I can get. Beggars aren't choosers

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