What is a Landscape Architect?
Committed to designing and creating a better environment, landscape architects shape the world around us. They conceive, reimagine and transform the outside world from streetscapes to parks and playgrounds, transport solutions to tourism strategies, private backyards to new suburbs and even cities. It is a blend of science and art, vision and thought; a creative profession requiring skills in strategic planning, delivery and management. Landscape architects combine knowledge of natural sciences, environmental law and planning policy to create spaces that improve amenity, add beauty, support the environment and the economy, and increase social health and welfare.
Who do they work with?
Landscape architects are key to tackling today’s challenges, shaping our outside world and creating better health, social, economic and environmental outcomes for the future. To do this, landscape architects collaborate with architects, city planners, civil engineers and other professionals.
Landscape architects are employed in private, public and academic organisations. Private sector opportunities are found within landscape architectural, engineering, architectural and planning firms. Landscape architects may also work with other types of private corporations that have physical planning departments, or offer products and services related to land planning and development. Public sector employment opportunities are found within federal, state, regional, and local councils involved in land planning, development and preservation. Landscape architects in academia teach and conduct research in the professional programs offered by universities across the country. Landscape architects can also be found in the faculties of architecture, art, planning and other related fields.
Key attributes of a landscape architect
- A love of the outside world
- Sensitivity to landscape quality
- Understanding of the arts and a humanistic approach to design
- Ability to analyse problems in terms of design and physical form
- Ability to deal with the increasingly complex relationships between the built and natural environments
- Ability to lead teams, engage stakeholders and manage conflicting demands
- Technical competence to translate a design into a built work
- Skills in all aspects of professional practice including management and professional ethics
Qualifications and job prospects
A formal university education is essential to gain the necessary skills and knowledge and can be obtained at the undergraduate or graduate level, usually requiring four or five years of study in design, construction techniques, art, history, natural and social sciences.
Landscape architectural salaries vary depending on the years of experience, geographical location and type of position. As at April 2016, joboutlook.gov.au states there are ‘very strong growth’ prospects for the profession over the next five years.
Become a landscape architect and shape a better Australia. You’ll have an impact, make a difference and create a legacy!