Landscape design is a very large field and an essential part of the architecture. We don’t acknowledge the works of many architects who have dedicated their lives to this but without them, many places like Central Park in New York, Kanjurmarg, and many more won’t look as beautiful as they do today. Many people believe that landscape architecture is a subpart of practicing architecture but what they don’t understand is that it is a proper research-based field where the study of plants, ergonomics, and climatic studies is needed to develop parks, monuments, and gardens.

Today, we debunk 10 misconceptions surrounding landscape architecture:

1. Landscape architects are primarily a selector and arranger of plants

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They are expected to know all the standard design principles and apply them skillfully. Plant selection is regarded as supremely important and too often the foremost talent attributed to a good landscape architect. Improved plant knowledge is a wonderful example of the value of continuing education for landscape architects and greatly benefits clients. The horticultural world is vast, with new cultivars being drawn up in response to diseases every year. Landscape architects stay up-to-date on horticultural issues and use that knowledge to develop landscapes. The best designers use a good and interesting plant that stays alive.

However, the ability to select sensible pavers for the site is also a highly regarded talent. For instance, for a residential project, the client requires a track around the house, for its evening wall. A person without any professional training in the landscape would suggest a path made of one paving material wrapping around the house. On the contrary, A landscape designer will suggest a path with variant materials like pavers, gravel, softcover, etc, with variant levels and slopes. Thus, enhancing the experience of the client for its evening walks.

Landscape architects are primarily a selector and arranger of plants - Sheet1
The different kinds of movement experiences of the Highline, New York. ©www.thehighline.org

References-

Kiss, D. J. (2017). Designing outside the box: landscape seeing by doing.

https://www.houzz.com/magazine/what-a-landscape-architect-wants-you-to-know-about-what-they-do-stsetivw-vs~34450922

2. Landscape architects are gardeners.

There is a shared misconception that landscape architects build and maintain landscapes. They do love to spend time around plants and gardens, but the reality is that landscape architects spend a good amount of time planning, designing, and managing projects at their computers. The remainder of their time is spent at meetings with clients and collaborating with other professionals. The profession may also include the field of urban and town planning that deals with designing and planning cities and towns and the places within them.

Landscape architects are gardeners.
Site planning of Eco-Park at New Town, Kolkata ©www.psda.in

3. Landscape designers can’t draw out details. They only look at the bigger picture.

In addition to planning and drawing plans for outdoor spaces, they figure out grading plans and technical details for drainage, materials, finishes, and layout dimensions. “The design is in the details”

Designing the landscape of a site as a separate individual entity. Not with keeping the building and its user in mind - Sheet1
Landscape detail for National war memorial, New Delhi © www.architexturez.net

4. Designing the landscape of a site as a separate individual entity. Not with keeping the building and its user in mind

The flow of water movement at site, the relationship to the site slopes, the interaction of light and shadow, and local climate effects are all crucial aspects of a site’s context. Landscapes do not exist in a vacuum, and it’s the landscape architect’s job to work within the site context to design places that fit the big picture.

Furthermore, they examine the needs of an end-user. For instance, the residential project user is bound to a wheelchair, in response the landscape of the project would have to be universally accessible throughout. Moreover, if it is a school, the designer has to account for a child’s safety along with attempting to contribute towards the child’s development.

Designing the landscape of a site as a separate individual entity. Not with keeping the building and its user in mind - Sheet2
Plan- Grønttorvet spisehus, Denmark © www.lendager.com
Landscape architects are Lone rangers - Sheet1
Blend of the landscape and built form© www.lendager.com
Landscape architects are Lone rangers - Sheet2
Blend of the landscape and built form© www.lendager.com
Blend of the landscape and built form© www.lendager.com
Blend of the landscape and built form© www.lendager.com
Blend of the landscape and built form© www.lendager.com
Blend of the landscape and built form© www.lendager.com

5. Landscape architects are Lone rangers

Although, this might be valid for small scale projects which don’t require a lot of drawings and inspection. Larger projects require a team of designers to produce and inspect the design for the site. They are concerned with various aspects of design such as how vehicles move through a site, the practicality of the construction, how water flows across a site, and how to manipulate the soil to create experiences. The team is a distinctive mix because each of them brings a different skill set that they specialize in. It’s horticulture, for few. For the rest, it’s signage, lighting, construction, master planning, parks, and recreation, etc.

Landscape architects are Lone rangers
The landscape design team at work ©www.sayleegreer.com

6. Landscape architecture is only an accessory, not a necessity

Landscape architects design for how people experience and utilize the space. They are focused on the program of space. As such, they are concerned not just with how a landscape looks and what is planted. They are concerned with how space feels to the user. They ponder over whether it should be Intimate or vast, or lush or minimalist.

Outdoor spaces should have the same exemplary level of design as indoors which align with your development and design vision. To achieve the best outcomes, the involvement of a landscape designer from the very start is essential.

People are understanding its value after the usual revitalized park called the Highline effect. The High Line was an elevated railway that ran through three neighborhoods on Manhattan’s West Side, and when the train stopped running, it became a self-implanted landscape, a garden in the sky. People realized that landscapes of quality construction and plant material will provide a wide array of social, environmental, and economic values.

Landscape architecture is only an accessory, not a necessity - Sheet1
The Highline before- An abandoned site of a railroad ©blog.buildllc.com
The Highline After revitalization – A relief from the urban life; ©www.archdaily.com

7. Landscape architects contribute towards sustainability, solely by adding more green to a project

Landscape architecture has a pivotal role in ensuring environmental sustainability through design interventions. Site Planning focuses on the physical design and arrangement of built and natural elements of a site. Their thoughtful design thinking and planning help to prevent excessive building heat gain, reduce consumption of energy and water as well as manifest a natural and healthy atmosphere to the surrounding.

Landscape architects contribute towards sustainability, solely by adding more green to a project
Masdar city Landscape design promoting sustainability ©www.re-thinkingthefuture.com

8. Landscape architecture doesn’t have a variant scope of work

Landscape architecture is a very broad field. The scale of work can range from small spaces to entire regions, and the scope of design and planning can also vary widely. Examples of landscape architectural projects can include parks/recreation sites and facilities; streetscapes s; green infrastructure/stormwater management; office and commercial sites; academic and corporate campuses; housing developments; hotel facilities and resorts; residential properties; green roofs; landscape art; hospital grounds; historic preservation; environmental restoration; transportation corridors and facilities; and urban/regional planning.

Landscape architecture doesn’t have a variant scope of work
Landscape architects have various design opportunities © www.landizer.net

9. Landscape design is merely art

Often, Landscape design is considered an attempt to add aesthetics to the outdoor spaces. Also, referred to as ‘window- dressing’ or ‘face-lifting’ a site. Landscape design requires a combination of elements to create a functional yet aesthetically pleasing extension from indoor living to an outdoor escape. The purpose of landscape design is to enable man’s technology to fit into natural surroundings.

Landscape design is merely art - Sheet1
The Interlace by OMA/Ole Scheeren ©urban-hub.com
Landscape design is merely art - Sheet2
Courtyard concept of the interlace ©www.worldlandscapearchitect.com

10. Landscape architects have a minimal role in policymaking

Their contribution, although small, is crucial. The Landscape Team helps to determine policies that have an impact on the built and natural environment.

Landscape Architects work closely with planners and influence the development of the Local Development Framework, particularly about the balance of green space and the final built form. They identify urban renewal opportunities, transport network improvements, and renewable energy opportunities.

Landscape architects have a minimal role in policymaking
A design charrette organized for a public realm project.© one.arch.tamu.edu

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