(PLAD) - Practice of Land Architecture Definition

Landscape architecture, as the broadest of architectural disciplines, is one of the three principal professions in environmental design. The land architects’ practice spans two other design fields, those of building architecture and urban/regional planning, while engaging civil engineering and earth resources. Land architects are distinguished as professionals who, in addition to architecture, have qualification in hydrology, geotechnical and ecological design. They address the needs of people for infrastructure and transportation, for facilities, for water and resource management, for preservation of standards of living and the quality of life in the natural and built environments.

Admission to programs of study in schools of architecture are competitive with typically 5-7 year degree requirements or advance MLArch degree with 1/3 of course content being in design and analysis of infrastructure, 1/3 of content in research, management and planning and1/3 in the physical and natural sciences. Throughout all course work, attention is given to professional architectural practice, design theory, human factors, and competency in mathematics, engineering and materials. Synthesis skills, in addition to philosophical reasoning, are directed toward deliberate action in designing and planning pleasing, innovative and efficient environments for society.

Some architecture projects undertaken by the profession are: resorts and recreational facilities, sporting and entertainment complex design or computational representation and infomatics, the design of cities, malls and public parks, urban plazas, coastal/waterfront designs and artificial islands, project engineering/ construction management, natural and environmental hazards, grading, drainage, freshwater supply and reservoirs, dams, bridge design, parkway/highway design, earthwork/plantscape design, housing, shelters, underground design, outdoor acoustics, utilities and civil or structural design.

As a regulated profession, the field requires 2-3 years of internship plus examination in order to protect public health, safety and welfare and is licensed to develop systems and solutions to be placed in the service of mankind. Landscape architecture practice is both an art and a science, with standards, principles and ethics governed and enforced by the rule of law. Land architects’ personal income can exceed that of other professions; interns in training can expect starting salaries of $32,000 to $38,000, while compensation of registered/executive principals of firms may exceed $300,000 a year.

The Council of Architecture Registration Boards and the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards are general design professional associations in the United States, with the American Society of Golf Course Architects being a specialized body. The Institute of Destination Architects and Designers is concerned with the international superspecialty of resort, theme and coastal architecture. Within this field, coastal design-related groups include the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the Society of Coastal Engineers. Entertainment-related groups include the International Association of Theatre Architects and Scenographers, and the Themed Entertainment Association. International unions and federations for architects are IUA and the IFLA and for Software Architects WWISA.