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Being a Landscape Architect

Clouston Design Studio frequently get a lot of the same questions in what it takes to be a landscape architect. In an effort to fill the void, we have compiled the most commonly asked questions and put them together in one place. We also reached out to a few landscape architects that we know to get them to answer the questions. Hopefully this post would be useful for all the upcoming and current landscape architects on this journey in landscape architecture.

What kind of tasks were you doing when you first started as a landscape architect?

After graduating, my very first project as a landscape architect was preparing a tourism masterplanning report for a government agency. I remember being so excited as I love travelling so the fact that my first project involved travelling around potential domestic eco-tourism spots for few days doing the site analysis and site survey from local people was amazing. When I joined another firm, the tasks given to me was totally different. I was going to client/contractor meetings, preparing for conceptual design proposals and presenting to client and other disciplines, producing drawings and BQ. Moral of the story, different firms different type of projects.

At what point did you see the company you work/ed for trusting you with more responsibilities in the company?

I do not think there is an exact timeline. I think I saw the firm trusting me more when I was assigned as the person in charge for projects. How it happened for me was my senior Landscape Architects would bring me along to attend meetings or discussions. Eventually, you will learn how to communicate and coordinate with other project members and most importantly, the client. When my seniors saw the competence I had in communicating and coordinating, I was assigned the projects. Pro tip; the key to communicating and coordinating with project members and clients is honesty! Always try to be honest with yourself, your team members and your clients.

How many projects can you expect to be working on at one time?

During my junior years, I was handling about 2 or 3 projects at one time. I was struggling to manage my time and stress due to lack of experience. After 8 years with more technical and field experience knowledge, I now work on at least 4 to 8 different projects at a time. There is also the firm's technical assistant, junior landscape architects and interns that assist me in managing these projects. Time, stress management and teamwork are crucial when you have a lot on your plate.

How often did/do you work in a team?

Always! I cannot do my work alone without my team members. No matter how competent I think I am, I still need to have a support system. Everyone in the firm is part of a team. Everyone has unique individual skill sets. When we work together as a team it eases the pressure to achieve deadlines.

Would you say Landscape Architecture is a field for everyone?

Honestly, no... maybe? I think it takes a certain type of brain to practice landscape architecture but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone can’t find a place. As long as you have common sense, tough when going through obstacles and confident in yourself, you can succeed in landscape architecture.


So thats it for our first blog post. Hopefully, this will help you guys for your journey in lands ape architecture Please feel free to let us know on what other topics you would like us to write about. Peace :)

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