What knowledge do you need to become a landscape designer?

How to Become a Landscape Designer Get your high school diploma. Full training in computer-aided design technology. Complete an independent or voluntary project. Do you know those dinosaur shapes that people trim their bushes to look like? Yeah, they pay people to do it.

And as a landscape designer, this is your job in a nutshell. But you won't just be able to design people's patios. You can even design landscaping in parks and other outdoor spaces. The general requirement for landscape designers is that they have a license.

While this may vary by state, the license usually requires at least a bachelor's degree. Now that you're ready, let's roll up our sleeves and start dreaming about designs. I think that as long as the program being taught is based on a solid knowledge of landscape design, it is a good start for design theory. A good program should be practical to teach students doing real projects, rather than reading and researching how others did their work.

Landscape architects must understand how their designs will affect locations. When designing a building's drainage system, for example, landscape architects must understand the interaction between the building and the surrounding terrain. Landscape architects share their ideas, both orally and in writing, with clients, other architects and workers who help prepare the drawings. Effective communication is essential to ensure that a project's vision is translated into reality.

Landscape architects create the overall look of gardens, parks and other outdoor areas. Your designs should be pleasing to the eye and functional. Landscape designers often work in residential or small-scale environments to produce a pleasing landscape that meets the customer's aesthetic and functional needs. A landscape designer does part of the same design work as a landscape architect and may supervise a landscape designer, but may not use the designation or title of landscape architect by law in some states.

A landscape architect designs and plans parks, recreational facilities, campuses, houses and many other places. Landscape designers combine knowledge of horticulture and plants with fundamental design principles. A landscape designer must work to be able to collaborate with landscape architects and land maintenance workers during the design process. Learn more about landscape architects by visiting additional resources, such as O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

Improved technologies are expected to increase the productivity of landscape architects, which should reduce overall occupancy demand over the decade. In addition, becoming a student member of organizations, such as the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA), offers the opportunity to network with design professionals by attending events and conferences. In landscape design school, I was taught to identify trees and shrubs, and also the names and colors of many of them. Students have the opportunity to practice sales, marketing and management techniques and learn how to do landscape contracting.

Three institutions offering landscape design programs are Columbia University, Purdue University and Kent State University - Salem. Despite limited employment growth, about 1,600 vacancies are projected for landscape architects each year, on average, during the decade.

Stephanie Scales
Stephanie Scales

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