What they do
Landscape architects plan and design landscape areas for a host of projects. They combine design skills with an understanding of science to create functional, sustainable and manageable landscapes and other outdoor spaces that reflect the requirements of their clients. They may work on projects such as parks, playgrounds, sports complexes, holiday resorts, housing sub dividisions, schools and other commercial, industrial and residential sites.
Landscape architects work in both offices or studios, as well as outdoors. While most of the actual drawing of designs takes place in an office environment, landscape architects must also visit clients to assess sites - and gather information on soil type, pre-existing vegetation and the shape of the land. Landscape architects generally work standard office hours, however when working to deadlines they may also have to work weekends and evenings. Landscape architects often work as part of a team and also have to interact with clients, other architects, engineers, community members, contractors and anyone else involved with a particular project.
Tools and technologies
Landscape architects use a range of drawing and measuring equipment. They may work with both manual equipment, such as pencils, rulers and drawing boards, and electronic equipment, such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and other specialised design programs. When conducting site visits, landscape architects may also use cameras and surveying equipment, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), theodolites (for measuring horizontal and vertical angles) and land levels.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a landscape architect you usually need to study a degree with a major in landscape architecture.
The University of Western Australia (UWA) is the only university in Western Australia offering an undergraduate degree with a major in landscape architecture. You will then need to complete the two-year Master of Landscape Architecture, also offered at UWA. Contact the university for more information.
Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in a related field at another university in Western Australia, such as architecture or design, followed by the Master of Landscape Architecture at UWA. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.