Can a new form of landscape architectural practice be achieved?

landscape architectural practice

Recently, I reviewed Overgrown by Julian Raxworthy, in which he calls on landscape architects to create a new form of practice that learns from gardening and “optimizes the exciting properties of plants through changing the way landscape architects work” which he is calling “the viridic”. Raxworthy provides a series of positions “for reformulation of landscape-architectural practice that combines the landscape architect and gardener” including:

  • breaking the split between human and plant
  • recognising that the nature of a plant is to grow and that the result of the design happens after planting over seasons, years, and decades.
  • landscape design should learn from maintenance techniques of gardening and tailor plans to suit.
  • the role of the garden is a learning environment and testing ground.
  • the nature of “the viridic” is iterative.
  • leaving the office and our plans & simulations to learn from gardening and gardeners.

Through reading Overgrown and Cleveland’s Landscape Architecture I began to consider whether a new form of landscape architectural practice can be achieved? Can we move beyond our prejudices to embrace and learn from gardening? Can we design without falling back onto plans and specifications or can they be reformulated into more flexible documents to achieve the design through site design?

There are numerous examples of garden designers and landscape architects such as Olmsted, Guilfoyle, Repton, Mueller, Brown, worked with plans and gardeners in the field to create, sculpt, position, and evolve their designs. Of course, we as contemporary landscape architects cannot spend hours, days, weeks, on-site to achieve the design outcome we desire; however, we can use some of the ideas and methods to enhance our design process from concept to ongoing maintenance.

read the full editorial on World Landscape Architecture

What are the stages of a Landscape Architecture project?

Landscape architecture design projects differ in scale and complexity, however they are separated into various stages to allow for ease of management. Due to the variation in project types the staging of landscape architecture projects requires a flexible approach to project management. The project stages often follow a similar pattern however, they may be shortened or not undertaken due to various factors including scale, complexity, client requirements, budget and so on.

I hope to assist those interested in landscape architecture by providing general information about the stages of design projects. The stage names and terminology may differ from country to country and region to region but there is a common process of managing a project through stages.

Before, the landscape architect gets to the exciting part of designing the project there are few stages that often occur prior to putting pen to paper. The client has contacted you and agree to provide a fee or proposal for landscape architecture services.

Read the more of my post at World Landscape Architecture

Reading outside your field

Reading is an excellent way to stimulate your brain and gain new insights and generate new ideas. We often get stuck in a rut reading the same newspapers, books, authors, blogs, and other media that our field of vision becomes too focuses and narrow. It may be good for your job to be up to date on all the latest news and information in your field. However, you often find that people in your company or profession are reading the same material and often authored in your country of residence. If you want to get ahead and learn more the best thing you can do is look for reading material whether online or in hard copy form that is outside of your field and in something totally different. Why? because often our jobs and lives are about solving problems whether small or large we are all looking to create better ways of how we do our job.

Reading outside your profession opens you up to different ways of thinking and different approaches to problem solving. So, if your in finance maybe read an architectural journal; If your in engineering maybe read a logistics whitepaper; If your in architect read a biological science conference excerpts; Reading a wider range of material stimulates your brain and gives you more to think about but changes the way you may approach a problem next time or provide a solution for a problem you have been working on for months or years.

I am always interested to hear from people and read their blog or material so send me an email at if you wish to send me something you think I might find interesting.