At Space Designs, we have both landscape architects and landscape designers on staff. What defines a landscape architect? Landscape architecture is a self-governing profession in Australia. That means that there are stringent requirements that they must meet in order to be considered members of the profession.
The Profession of Landscape Architecture
Registered landscape architects must graduate with a university degree that’s accredited by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and practice under a registered landscape architect for two years. Then, they can register with the AILA themselves and call themselves “Registered Landscape Architects” or “Professional Landscape Architects.” Landscape architecture is a respected profession with substantial requirements for education and practical experience. After registration, landscape architects are subject to continuing professional education requirements so that they can keep up with new industry knowledge and changes in government regulations.
What Landscape Architects Know
Landscape architects don’t just draw up garden plans. They have a sound theoretical background in topics like chemistry, mathematics and plant biology. They learn about native ecosystems and plant species, about the larger environmental issues and about nurturing and managing nature on both small and large scales. They know about designing landscaping and plantings to work for all four seasons. They learn how to design outdoor structures, various types of pavement and even green roofs. They even learn about the sociological and psychological effects of landscape design. Landscape architects have a complex, multi-level understanding of the living world and how it relates to our households and communities.
Finally, landscape architects study design and visualisation throughout their academic careers. Their designs are subject to review and critique, and their skills develop with plenty of input from both experienced designers and members of the community. Then, they apply what they learned at the university in their internships and get feedback from the registered landscape architects they’re working for and directly from clients. When you work with a registered landscape architect, you know that you’re working with a true professional.
What Landscape Architects Do
What do landscape architects do with all of that knowledge and experience? They design projects that are well thought out, well suited to their clients’ needs and backed by a wealth of knowledge. Landscape Architects understand the importance of balance in an outdoor space. They take everything into account; their design will incorporate the slope of the land, the local microclimate and all four seasons. Rather than repeating the same ideas over and over again with each client and each outdoor space, they design a unique solution that begins with your specific requirements and your specific property, not with their own preconceptions.
No other type of designer can match a landscape architect’s knowledge of growing things. A landscape architect has a full picture of the 12-month aesthetics of each species, its growth patterns, its requirements for sunlight, shade and water and how well it will fit into the local ecosystem. All of that knowledge goes into plant selection. As you might guess from the name, they are also part architect. They know how to design patios, pavements, pools, water features, cabanas, retaining walls, decks, canopies and outbuildings. A registered landscape architect sets the standard for high quality, complete and professional outdoor design.