Learning the Business of Design

by Sahar Teymouri, ASLA, and Patricia Matamoros Araujo, Assoc. ASLA

Do you have questions about how a landscape architecture design on paper gets implemented in the real world, and don’t know the answers as a student? Or do you wonder about the practical details of the work you are supposed to do in the future? Maybe you’re a recent graduate just entering the profession, or an emerging or mid-career professional wanting to take the next step on your career path and learn about other aspects of landscape architecture in addition to design.

ASLA’s virtual SKILL | ED program took place across three afternoons last month, with a wide range of sessions addressing many of these questions. Registration to access recorded sessions on-demand is open through this Friday, July 16, and you can watch the sessions until August 31.

First, you’ll learn how to create a killer LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills, pursue the role you’re aiming for, and craft your career path. Next, you will learn how well-known, award-winning landscape architecture firms handle their business development and their strategies to stand out among their competitors. Finally, if you want to manage the business side of design, you will gain some critical insights.

Several sessions focus on the client relationship, how to identify clients and projects that fit your company’s culture and vision, and how to maintain connections through different projects. Community stewardship, volunteering, and pro bono projects as tactical business development approaches are also addressed.

You will find about go/no-go strategies for winning projects, responding to RFPs/RFQs, and closing the deal. Pricing your landscape architecture professional services’, knowing your value, and developing clear processes seem hard to tackle. However, once you understand billable rates, you will find it much easier. You will learn about contracts and the importance of construction administration in projects’ implementation and success. And finally, if you are actively studying for the Landscape Architecture Registration Exam (LARE), a LARE Prep session provides you with more in-depth knowledge to understand the definitions and overall ideas.

Here’s why one SKILL | ED attendee and session moderator enjoyed the program:

The SKILL | ED event really impressed me. Every speaker put a lot of effort into delivering organized, targeted, and well-thought out content on topics that are rarely discussed within the profession. ASLA did a great job coordinating all sessions (recorded and live), curating the content, and bringing together professionals across the country in a key time of adaptation and creation of a “new normal.” I encourage everyone to register for the on-demand content and take advantage of these sessions where experts shared their knowledge and secrets to help push the industry forward!

More than half of SKILL | ED’s speakers and moderators were women, and the impressive lineup included a number of Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network (PPN) leaders, past and present:

On-demand access registration is open through July 16. Experience everything SKILL | ED had to offer at your convenience.

To take advantage of your membership discount, use your ASLA member login and password when you register. Registering more than three team members? Use the firm discount! It offers 25% savings when signing up at least three team members. Email conferences@asla.org to benefit from these special rates.

Sessions will be available on-demand through August 31, including:

  • Opening Keynote featuring David Rubin, FASLA, and Maura Rockcastle, ASLA
  • One-Hour Instructional Sessions (available for 3.0 LA CES-approved PDH)
  • 30-Minute Express Talks
  • 15-Minute Build Your Own Brand Sessions

Sahar Teymouri, ASLA, is a landscape designer interested in learning and applying the socio-cultural aspects of design in her work. Her work focuses on utilizing landscape architecture design as a tool to celebrate art, culture, and nature for different projects. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University (2017). She is a landscape designer at SEPI, Inc and has worked on diverse projects, including parks, nature preserves, schools, and libraries from schematic design through construction documentation. Sahar completed her Bachelor of Architecture in Iran (2010) and worked in this field before narrowing down her focus to Landscape Architecture. She is a recipient of a 2019 WxLA scholarship.

Patricia Matamoros Araujo, Assoc. ASLA, is a landscape designer and associate/project manager at Savino & Miller Design Studio with a background in both landscape architecture and architecture. She is an active advocate of resiliency, bringing four years of experience working on large-scale resiliency public space projects in Miami, engaging in public speaking opportunities, and volunteering in efforts to raise awareness and take action to adapt to climate change.

Leave a Reply