Landscape architecture translates as the design of spaces between architecture. Think of iconic places like New York City’s Central Park and the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. But also consider your downtown square, your local park, or even your own backyard. Green roofs, urban farms, corporate campuses—all define landscape architecture.
Landscape architecture covers a huge spectrum, perhaps best understood by the profession’s mantra: achieving a balance between the built and natural environments. It requires a multidisciplinary approach involving environmental science, art, ecology, and much more, leading to extraordinary results: restoring endangered wetlands, reducing hospital stays, increasing student attention spans, securing government and other buildings, removing toxins from rainwater. These aren’t pie in the sky. It’s what landscape architects are designing right now.
Landscape architects typically hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape architecture, covering a broad spectrum of design, science, and technical know-how. Topics include site design, historic preservation, planning, grading and drainage, horticulture, and even subjects like psychology. All 50 states require landscape architects to earn a license to practice. This not only involves earning a university degree, but usually several years of work experience, passing of a rigorous exam, and taking continuing education courses.