Celebrating World Landscape Architecture Month!

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The career of being a Landscape Architect is one that plays a huge role in modern civilization through transforming outdoor areas, public and private, into aesthetically pleasing and useful spaces.  April was World Landscape Architecture month and to celebrate, we are reflecting on the history, current industry, and the career of being a Landscape Architect.  This post is dedicated to taking a look at what it means to be a landscape architect and how to get into the field that is in need of a more diverse community of architects.

How long has landscape architecture been a part of society?  The first gardens existed in 10,000 BC and from there on, civilizations in the early world began to create enclosed open-spaces as gardens.  Tending to the land for more than just farming use, countries all over began detailing their own landscape to incorporate the natural land to create lavish scenery.  Around 15 BC, Roman architect, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio wrote “De Architectura” which translates to “Ten Books on Architecture.”  The books covered various topics such as town planning, qualifications of an architect, building materials, temples, civil buildings, pavements, aqueducts, sciences that have influenced architecture, and more.  When urban planning took off in the 19th century, landscape design was a crucial part of the developing cities.  Urban planning and landscape design emerged together from there and have since gone hand in hand within cities and towns to encapsulate the local characteristics of the community and culture.

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Villa Mimosa, Calistoga, California

Landscape architecture renovations provide the opportunity to recreate outdoor areas to maximize utilization of space and resources while making it aesthetically unique within its own location.  In America today, the industry of landscaping architecture brings in approximately 77 billion dollars in revenue per year.  Home gardening, horticulture, and micro-farms have risen as trendy hobbies to maintain at home.    Environmentally-friendly trends have caught on amongst the public over the past few decades to encourage recycling and attention on our dwindling supply of natural resources.  Drought awareness has become a priority for Californians over the past four years, and with it, water conservation measures have been emphasized as a priority amongst landscape and irrigation systems.  Residents, businesses, and municipalities have sought out landscape renovations to upgrade their look as well as their ability to be environmentally-conscious while conserving natural resources.

To be a Landscape Architect, one must have a passion for creativity, style, and a greater appreciation for the outdoors.  Landscaping Architects are used in many areas including: private residential projects, public parks, commercial and municipal locations.  Duties of our designers are: project estimates, designing and planning of areas, and management of needed consults and installation crews, while working directly with clients to manage projects through completion.  Skills a future landscape architect should harness include: critical thinking, design and drawing skills, computer-aided design (CAD), excellent written and communication skills; and mathematic and scientific knowledge as applicable.

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Mayacama Residence, Santa Rosa, California

Prerequisites for becoming a landscape architect include holding either a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture (BLA) or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA).  It is possible to go for a Master’s in Landscape Architecture, but more important than that is receiving a Landscape Architect license through the State.  There are other certifications available to add on top of a license, such as ones obtainable through the International Society of Arboriculture and the Irrigation Association.  These certifications allow landscape architects to have more control over different aspects of their projects that they would otherwise need to seek outside consulting for.

Landscape architects are encouraged to join the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).  Members are able to be a part of the national landscape design community, keep up on new policies, regulations, design styles, and be a part of a network that includes architects from all over the nation.

In celebrating the history and career Landscape Architecture, Firma Design Group hopes to shed light on the amazing work that is done in public spaces while simultaneously taking action to implement environmentally-conscious upgrades.  We hope we’ve inspired those who may be interested in Landscape Architecture to pursue it as a career to serve the future needs of our communities.

References:

American Society of Landscape Architects: https://www.asla.org.

International Society of Arboriculture: http://www.isa-arbor.com.

Irrigation Association: https://www.irrigation.org.

Landscape Architecture. (2016, April 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  Retrieved April 25, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landscape_architecture.