Individuals interested in creating functional and visually appealing landscaping often find themselves gravitating towards landscape architecture. Landscape architects divide time between working in the office environment to create the landscape design, as well as time outdoors, overseeing the transformation from their vision into a reality.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics , landscape architects can expect to see a growth of approximately 4 percent in the period of 2018 to 2028. This growth is going to be seen in construction in all areas: industrial, commercial, as well as residential.
One of the factors to consider with landscape architecture is the state of the economy. When there is a strong economic current, businesses and individuals have the extra financial resources to devote to landscaping and related areas.
The minimum requirement to become a landscape architect is a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture. Many landscape architects, however, also hold a Master’s in Landscape Architecture. In addition to education, many states also require landscape architects to be licensed and to show proficiency through certification exams.
Landscape architects usually possess strong visualization skills. They can look at an undeveloped space and “see” the best way to create the right landscape. They also have highly developed analytical skills, allowing them to understand how erecting a building in a certain location might have negative effects on surrounding areas when it comes to the issue of drainage. Also, landscape architects tend to be highly creative individuals, able to create parks, gardens, and even wildlife sanctuaries.
With the increased emphasis on the protection of the environment, landscape architects have developed a strong social conscience. They strive to balance the needs of the environment with the desires of the clients. Some ways this is accomplished is through the use of native plants (rather than going with exotic species) and making sure all the landscaping material is made from environmentally sustainable sources.
One area where landscape architecture had a large impact is found in the areas of New York and New Jersey that were hit by Hurricane Sandy. The New York Times explored landscape architecture working within the infrastructure of the local ecology to develop new ways to protect those areas from future damage in the event of another hurricane.
Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers
While there is some overlap between landscape architects and landscape designers, there are some distinct differences, as well. Landscape architects must be licensed and certified, while landscape designers do not have that requirement. This means some landscape designers do not hold degrees in landscape architecture and are self-taught or learned their skills while working under licensed landscape architects. Another difference between the two is found in the scope of the project. Landscape architects can work on large projects, such as wildlife sanctuaries, while landscape designers often work on smaller-scale projects, including gardens and lawn landscaping.
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Individuals looking for ways to take their creative vision and bring it to life in terms of flora and fauna need look no further than the field of landscape architecture.