Ask a Landscape Architect

At the ASLA Annual Meeting's EXPO in New Orleans this October, attendees had a chance to sound off on what they’d like to find out from their PPN peers. image: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)
At the ASLA Annual Meeting’s EXPO in New Orleans this October, attendees had a chance to sound off on what they’d like to find out from their PPN peers.
image: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

Each year, a survey is sent out to members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs), asking them to sound off on a variety of topics. Past survey themes have included favorite spaces, career paths and work issues, creativity and inspired design, and more. For 2017, we’re asking our members what questions they’d like PPN members to answer.

So, if you had a chance to ask a fellow landscape architect anything, what would it be? Responses are welcome in the comments section below, or by email to We look forward to hearing from you!

Shaped by your responses, the survey will be sent to all PPN members in early 2017, and summaries of the survey results will be shared in LAND’s PPN News section and here on The Field.

To get an idea of what we’ve asked our members before, here are the past few sets of questions posed to PPN members:

2013: Favorite Spaces

What is your favorite iconic space?

Name a designed space everyone should see before they die.

Every child should experience which space?

What space are you most worried about losing?

What’s a great space to move through? And where do you love to linger?

What city has a strong network of open spaces? And the best space there?

Name a space that is small, but mighty.

Name a project that you believe is technically innovative.

What project changed the profession?

What is your absolute favorite space?

Other posts based on this survey: Favorite Places Around the World, Parts 1 and 2, and Favorite Places on Campus

2014: Career Paths in Landscape Architecture

What was your favorite subject in school?

How did you discover landscape architecture?

Do you have degrees or did you minor in any other subjects besides landscape-related fields?

What characteristics or skills are essential for success in landscape architecture?

Where is your favorite city / region / area to work?

Which sector do you find most rewarding to work within: public, private, academic, or other?

How much of your day is spent outdoors / on site vs. in an office? Do you prefer one work environment to another?

How do you like to work: on a computer or sketching ideas by hand?

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career?

If you could change one thing about your job or your career path, what would it be?

How do you keep up with current design trends—what websites, publications, or other sources do you check for the latest design news?

Name a book that should be required reading for all landscape architects.

What one word would you use to describe the landscape architecture profession?

What is the greatest challenge landscape architects face today?

2015: Creativity & Inspired Design

Who inspires you?

Where do you go to feel inspired?

Whose work (an individual landscape architect or a firm) do you most admire?

What is the greatest unknown landscape architect or firm?

What is your favorite place that may not be familiar to others?

What is your favorite portrayal of a landscape in a work of art? Paintings, literature, movies—any medium is fair game!

If you could travel back in time to a historical landscape, where and when would you go?

How do you recharge?

What’s the next big thing in landscape architecture?

What trend in landscape architecture annoys you the most?

What place has the most potential to be transformed by landscape architecture?

What landscape do you find is just as spectacular at night as during the day?

Name a place that you love to visit in any season.

What makes that place special at every time of year?

What is your favorite plant to add interest in all seasons?

How does the profession today stack up against historical achievements in landscape architecture?

2016: PPN Roundtable

Campus Planning & Design PPN: Think back to when you were a student (or if you’re currently a student, this will be an easy one): what was/is your absolute favorite spot on campus?

Education & Practice PPN: If you could go back and change one thing about your MLA or BLA education, what would it be?

Digital Technology PPN: How did you learn to use most software that you’re currently using for production and visualizations?

Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN: What is/are the most difficult challenge(s) you face when designing for children in outdoor environments?

Parks & Recreation PPN: What’s one epiphany or A-HA! moment you’ve had in a park or public space that changed the way you plan or design?

Ecology & Restoration PPN: How applicable is the term “ecological restoration” to your area of professional practice?

Design-Build PPN: What do you plan to do this year to positively impact your community?

Environmental Justice PPN: What does Environmental Justice mean to you?

Housing & Community Design PPN: What is the most important design element that makes for a successful community?

Residential Landscape Architecture PPN: You just won the lottery are now designing your dream home: name one feature you absolutely need to have outside, to make your dream home complete.

Sustainable Design & Development PPN: What technical skills do landscape architects need to further develop to compete in the evolving markets of sustainable design and climate resilience?

Historic Preservation PPN: How can design and planning be enhanced by integrating culture and history more fully into the process?

International Practice PPN: Thinking internationally, where would you love to work on a project outside the United States?

Women in Landscape Architecture PPN: Many professionals cite the importance of mentorship at different points in their careers. If you have a mentor now, or have had one, name one essential lesson you learned from them.

Transportation PPN: Why do we need Landscape Architects when there are plenty of Civil Engineers, Garden Designers, Urban Planners, Ecologists, and Architects?

Urban Design PPN: Why does landscape architecture matter in the 21st century?

2 thoughts on “Ask a Landscape Architect

  1. Chris M January 5, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    Having recently read more than my fill of contrived, BS articles about the need for resiliency and adapting to a changing environment here ( ) and here ( ), it seems ironic that the LA profession fails to recognize the tectonic shift that is occurring in its own professional ecosystem.

    Question: “Given the nature of overlapping practice in most states, how long do you think we have before Landscape Architecture is overrun by the Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Planning professions to the point where it finally becomes obsolete and Landscape Architects are relegated to being exterior decorators?”

  2. ChrystelleC February 11, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Hi 🙂 I am a grade 10 student in Canada I really want to be a landscape architecture someday in the future but I am having a hard time choosing courses that will help me with being in the architecture field. I know that drafting is a really important course to take but I missed the opportunity to take the drafting 10 in school. There is a drafting 20 for grade 11’s which I am planning to take for next school year but again I am struggling with taking it because I might find it really hard since I did not took the drafting 10. I would love to hear a response and advice from a pro landscape architect. Thank you so much.

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