Product News by Forms + Surfaces, Victor Stanley, ANOVA, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Product News by Forms + Surfaces, Victor Stanley, ANOVA, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities


Your Path Considered

Members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed on a number of topics, with questions created with member input gathered at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, on social media, by email, and through comments on The Field. Responses were varied and included many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months, and also used to spark ideas for ASLA Online Learning webinars and posts for The Field.

A number of ASLA members took a long and winding route to end up in the profession of landscape architecture—some pursued it as a second career, or first heard about it only when they got to college. To get a sense of how landscape architects view the profession from a later point in life, when they have a moment to look back, we asked PPN members: If you knew then what you know now, would you still pursue landscape architecture as a career?

Out of the 237 responses to this question, 169 (71 percent) were firmly on the yes side. Others expressed more ambivalence about the profession, or would have adjusted their career path slightly, had they known a little bit more about related disciplines. Below, we take a look at comments from members who have absolutely no regrets, and some that have a few reservations about their chosen field:

No Regrets
• “Absolutely. I very much like coming to work every day.”
• “Definitely. Has been my passion for 40 years.”
• “Definitely. Wish I had found it sooner.”
• “I could not think of anything else I would rather be doing!”
• “I got a degree in computer science after 10 years as a LA, but couldn't pull the switch for a better paying career. The satisfaction derived from site design was too strong.”
• “I love what I do so it's not really work.”
• “The profession has provided me with opportunities that I could not even image as a student, and after many years I'm still learning and watching the profession grow.”
• “Without a doubt. It has been a wonderful career that has let me touch the lives of thousands and thousands of people.”
• “Yes. By and large my career decisions were good--some of my personal decisions were not ;-)”
• “Yes. My grad-school training provided a balance between the arts and sciences as well as delving into policy and community law. My program afforded me the opportunity to play in multidisciplinary studies within my home university and the local university consortium.”
• “You bet; we are so lucky to do what we do.”

On the Fence
• “Difficult question. I've been happy, though the profession for me has not been as lucrative as I had hoped.”
• “I am in San Francisco so I know landscape architecture is not the most lucrative career choice, but it challenges me and fulfills my needs.”
• “I probably would, as I really enjoy the work. It is frustrating though seeing many others around me being more successful as civil engineers.”
• “Maybe. It's a good career, but I think I would prefer the schedule of a school teacher.”
• “On the fence. There are pros and cons, but I don't know that I would be happier doing anything else.”
• “Unsure. It’s been a trial. But I remain optimistic that eventually my ideas will be realized. They just might be realized under another professional umbrella even though they should by all rights be as an LA.”

A number of members answered, “Yes, but differently.” Here are some of the changes members would have made:

• “I would have done it much earlier in my career.”
• “I would have learned how to read music and code, too, but yes.”
• “Yes but with a masters in economic development.”
• “Yes, but I would also have a civil engineering degree.”
• “Yes, but I would have been more open to moving and broadened my opportunities when I graduated.”
• “Yes, but I would have studied more civil engineering and ecology when in school.”
• “Yes, but with a concentration in something related but more specific: like biology or environmental science.”

Other Comments
• “I barely knew about landscape architecture when in school yet I always knew this is what I wanted to do; I just never knew it had a name until late high school.”
• “I think the profession is worthwhile. I would look at more schools other than what was available to me locally.”
• “I would explore Ecology in more depth.”
• “I would probably pursue a degree in planning.”
• “While I have enjoyed it and been very successful professionally and financially, I would probably not do it as it is simply too hard to be excellent across the many areas you need to be to be a good landscape architect.”

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