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Thread: Confused about career direction

  1. #1

    Confused about career direction

    Dear All,

    Hi, I'm a geography graduate currently working in an unrelated field as a research assistant. I am looking to move into either the urban planning or design areas, but I am having difficutly knowing which disipline is the right one for me.

    My areas of interst are broad, but include mainly design related areas, not the policy side. I am wondering if a planning degree would the right way to go, since site planning of developments is an interest of mine. I am confused whether I should go the architecture/landscape architecture route or the planning route.

    On the subject of site planning, do urban planners or architects usually do this work?? As it is called planning, I assumed planners do this, is this correct? For example, would urban planers generally deal with the design of a resort hotel, where the locations of the various buildings, swimming pools, pathways, restaurants, are distributed over land? How about the design of building layout for a new waterfront residential or office development?

    Would a degree in planning or in urban design / architecture be the best thing for me?

    Appreciate any advice,

    Thanks
    Alan





    This type of work, where the

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    The example you describe (resort hotel) could be led by a planner, architect, landscape architect, engineer, ecologist, real estate agent, financier, development agent, politician .......

    If you want to deal with the placement of structures, I suggest landscape architecture or urban design are likely to give you more of this work more regularly than the other professions. You will have to learn however that the final decision on these sorts of questions is always a compromise - sometimes one profession will define more opportunities and constraints than another - next time roles may be reversed.

  3. #3
         
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    urban design

    it sounds like a degree in urban design is what you are looking for. generally, planners deal with placement of structures on a larger scale i believe.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    “Planning” deals with the creation and enforcement of controls and regulations more than design. It sounds like you are leaning more to Urban Design. I have a back ground in planning, but I have been thinking about exploring the idea of urban design.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    “Planning” deals with the creation and enforcement of controls and regulations more than design.
    That's planning in the public sector. Private sector planning is a lot more varied, and often includes urban design.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian chasqui's avatar
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    Public vs. Private

    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    That's planning in the public sector. Private sector planning is a lot more varied, and often includes urban design.
    I agree completely. At the public local level you will find that most of the work will be policy. For the "good stuff" - the design work- the consultants get called in. It sounds like you want to go with urban design.

  7. #7
    Hi,

    Thanks for your help. One further question:

    Placement of buildings, etc, is usually is done by the landscape architect rather than the architect or planner, is this correct?
    I assume an urban desinger would do a similar thing on a larger scale, for city developments, yes?

    Thanks
    Alan

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Hi,

    Thanks for your help. One further question:

    Placement of buildings, etc, is usually is done by the landscape architect rather than the architect or planner, is this correct?
    I assume an urban desinger would do a similar thing on a larger scale, for city developments, yes?

    Thanks
    Alan
    Who determines the location and massing of buildings will depend on site conditions and scale of teh development. For smaller projects, an architect will make the call, for larger projects architects might make the calls after consulting with urban design staff.

    An urban designer typically looks at neighbourhoods and provides design solutions and options for them so that they work and look better.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Urban Design

    Maybe its just me....but Urban Designers seem to be a very specialized group and I'm not sure how easy or difficult it is to get a job in that field.....maybe easy with a large company...? Planning is good, because it will expose you to a little bit of everything, including site planning and design.....but if you just want design work....get the Urban Design degree.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  10. #10
    Member Nor Cal Planner Girl's avatar
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    Usually architects are the ones that are hired to do the site design for projects. I have never encountered and 'Urban Designer' with any projects that I have ever looked at or worked on (millions of projects-almost)... and, the planner will usually ask an applicant to shift a building around, lower it, change the looked based on existing rules and regulations. The Planning Commission, Design Review Board and sometimes, Board of Supervisors may ask for further modifications- however, based on existing rules and regulations. If you want to be involved in the design process from the begining- you will probably need to choose architecture- possibly with a 'specialty' of urban design.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by donk
    Who determines the location and massing of buildings will depend on site conditions and scale of teh development. For smaller projects, an architect will make the call, for larger projects architects might make the calls after consulting with urban design staff.

    An urban designer typically looks at neighbourhoods and provides design solutions and options for them so that they work and look better.

    I do agree with u. It depends on site condition and scale. For example, project like resort hotel, landscape architects usually design buildings' location, for smaller projects, architects can handle by themself. To design the functions inside architectural plan such as where the restaurant should be is architect's task. For swimming pool's location ,it can be both architect and landscape architect to desing where it should locate.
    Well, when all desingers discuss together(planner,architect, landscape architect, landowner)all these can be revised.
    Universe is not wide enough to be planned.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by Mee
    I do agree with u. It depends on site condition and scale. For example, project like resort hotel, landscape architects usually design buildings' location, for smaller projects, architects can handle by themself. To design the functions inside architectural plan such as where the restaurant should be is architect's task. For swimming pool's location ,it can be both architect and landscape architect to desing where it should locate.
    Well, when all desingers discuss together(planner,architect, landscape architect, landowner)all these can be revised.
    Hi,

    So, Whats the Best route to Urban Design? I assume you need architecture, but is there any way to get in with just planning and still be able to design in the real world? I mean, is it really worth doing an architecture degree just for urban design?
    Alan

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Hi,

    So, Whats the Best route to Urban Design? I assume you need architecture, but is there any way to get in with just planning and still be able to design in the real world? I mean, is it really worth doing an architecture degree just for urban design?
    Alan
    There are programs out there that specialize in the design aspect of planning, without actually getting into architecture degrees. The Cal Poly schools in California are design oriented, or at least used to have design heavy programs. Up here in Alberta, the Universtiy in Calgary has a good Urban Design program. If you already have a geography degree, you may also do well with a certificate type of program in Urban Design. I think that schools like Simon Fraser in BC have programs that are geared toward people that already have related degrees. These aren't all of the answers, but I thought I'd go for some less traditional options to education.

  14. #14
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    To add to the Canadian content, University of Toronto also has a Master of Urban Design (3 years) I believe.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Hi,

    So, Whats the Best route to Urban Design? I assume you need architecture, but is there any way to get in with just planning and still be able to design in the real world? I mean, is it really worth doing an architecture degree just for urban design?
    Alan

    Nerudite answered your question already. I came late.
    Universe is not wide enough to be planned.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by Mee
    Nerudite answered your question already. I came late.
    Please, I'd like to hear your opinion anyway if you wouldn't mind.
    Thanks
    Alan

  17. #17
    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Please, I'd like to hear your opinion anyway if you wouldn't mind.
    Thanks
    Alan
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16392
    Here's a link . We discussed about urban planning and urban design.
    As I live in small country which is much smaller than USA. I haven't had much chance to cooperate with urban designer, nor urban planner.


    For my understanding, and I believe that it's true.....
    Architects design architecture starting from the rough concept till details. They design the appearance (mass, shape, height, length,facade, style), functions on each floor, and also select materials. They also have to draw working drawings for constructin process.

    For landscape architects, we do everything except those in architects' scope starting from site analysis, cocneptual design, design development and working drawing. It depends on the scale as well.

    I think architects and landscape architect get involved in porjects which need detail design.

    Hope this can help.
    Universe is not wide enough to be planned.

  18. #18
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    Landscape design

    I asked a similar question around a month ago because I am also interested in planning regarding hotels. The answer I received was to do a landscape design degree not a planning or urban design degree. There seem to be a number of private firms out there that do the planning for hotels and resorts and they tend to be landscape design firms. When I contacted people at these firms, they told me I would be better off with a landscape design degree.




    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Dear All,

    Hi, I'm a geography graduate currently working in an unrelated field as a research assistant. I am looking to move into either the urban planning or design areas, but I am having difficutly knowing which disipline is the right one for me.

    My areas of interst are broad, but include mainly design related areas, not the policy side. I am wondering if a planning degree would the right way to go, since site planning of developments is an interest of mine. I am confused whether I should go the architecture/landscape architecture route or the planning route.

    On the subject of site planning, do urban planners or architects usually do this work?? As it is called planning, I assumed planners do this, is this correct? For example, would urban planers generally deal with the design of a resort hotel, where the locations of the various buildings, swimming pools, pathways, restaurants, are distributed over land? How about the design of building layout for a new waterfront residential or office development?

    Would a degree in planning or in urban design / architecture be the best thing for me?

    Appreciate any advice,

    Thanks
    Alan





    This type of work, where the

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