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American Society of Landscape Architects


March 2004 Issue

The Least You Need to Know About Computers
A digital primer for busy principals and project managers.
By James L. Sipes, ASLA

The Least You Need to Know About Computers
Eric Giriat/IMAGES.COM

There is a disconnect in the profession of landscape architecture. While the principals and project managers are typically the decision makers in a firm, the support staff are usually the most knowledgeable about technology such as computer-aided drafting (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS), web site development, and 3-D landscape and structure modeling. In many landscape architecture firms, the decision makers are not technologically savvy; as a result, the profession has not embraced technology to the point where we consistently use it in innovative ways.

Decision makers in landscape architecture firms have so many other duties that they don't have enough time to also become computer gurus. In the digital world, every six months is a generation, and changes occur so fast that just trying to keep up is a full-time job. However, despite the effort required, principals and project managers must at least become more technologically literate if our profession is to expand its use of innovative technology.

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