This course presents the application of landscape ideas as a process of engagement and building amidst financial, legal, cultural, political, and professional contexts. The course aims to introduce conventions and circumstances that may be encountered throughout one’s career while stimulating new and creative, alternative dimensions of practice in a global, inclusive and universal context.
Course content includes lectures, workshops and discussions led by the instructors and guests from around the globe, and incorporates student research, exercises and readings. Though concepts appear iteratively throughout the term, early topics include design leadership and community agency, professional identity, firm marketing and business development, and states of diversity in practice. Topics then move to conventions and circumstances influencing legal, ethical, financial and operational aspects of practice, particularly those that can contribute to and detract from the success of firms and their projects.
Recognizing that architecture, planning and landscape architecture share many aspects of practice, this course incorporates nuances and scope that are typically the focus of current landscape architectural practice itself, such as soils as a living medium, grading and planting, landscape architectural documentation and construction, landscape advocacy and stewardship, and liabilities specifically associated with the practice of landscape architecture.
The course meets twice a week for 1.5 hours (3 hours total). Key lectures will be recorded. Evaluation is based upon participation in guest lectures and class discussions, graded exercises, and a long-term group paper.
During this course students will develop the ability to:
1) Demonstrate a familiarity with the vocabulary, concepts and processes associated with the financial management of a project and an office.
2) Describe the key elements contained in a contract for landscape architectural design services and typical points of negotiation, risk and opportunity.
3) Review and respond to a Request for Proposal as part of a public solicitation process.
4) Analyze and describe the various ways in which offices acquire work and build their identity.
5) Consider the role and requirements of professional licensure and professional associations.
6) Describe the trade-offs involved with different types of practice and potential career trajectories, and begin to consciously build a professional network.