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ASLA 2019 Professional General Design Honor Award. Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park Phase II. SWA / Balsley and Weiss/Manfredi >

Professional Practice Network News

In January 2013, members of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were surveyed about their favorite spaces, and the key themes, trends, and responses to that survey were highlighted in the PPN News section of LAND over the course of the year. For 2014, our PPN survey has a new focus: career paths in landscape architecture.

We received an impressive number of responses to this year’s survey from a diverse range of individuals in terms of sector, region of work, and level of experience:

  • Every PPN is represented, and Sustainable Design and Development—the largest PPN—had the most respondents.
  • The East, South, and Midwest are all equally represented, but the West had the most respondents.
  • Seven percent of respondents practice internationally.
  • Seventy percent work in private practice.
  • Fifty percent have 20+ years of experience.
  • Fifty-six percent work in firms, agencies, or organizations of 25 or fewer employees.

Responses were varied and there were many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months. Below are a few highlights from the results, which will be explored in greater depth later in the year:

What was your favorite subject in school?
Art was the most popular answer, selected by one-third of respondents. Science came in second.

What one characteristic or skill is most essential for success in landscape architecture?
Popular responses included:

  • communication
  • adaptability
  • attention to detail
  • creativity
  • passion
  • patience
  • problem solving
  • visualization.

Which sector do you find most rewarding to work within?
Nearly half of respondents selected the public sector, but the private sector was not far behind, with 42 percent.

How do you like to work?
Some 60 percent of respondents prefer sketching ideas out by hand rather than working on a computer.

What one word would you use to describe landscape architecture or a landscape architect?
Popular responses included:

  • awesome
  • creative
  • diverse
  • essential
  • holistic
  • multifaceted
  • steward
  • synthesizer
  • versatile
  • visionary.

In future features, we’ll continue to pull out unique responses, summarize trends, and highlight the most popular answers. By drawing attention to the many paths that might be taken within the broad field of landscape architecture, we hope to spark discussion among readers about their own experiences and the insights they’ve gleaned over the course of their careers.

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