What Differentiates Landscape Designers From Landscape Architects?

Do you have a patio or pool project that’s larger than you can personally handle? It might be time to consult a professional. Maybe you or someone in your family loves working with plants in conjunction with building and designing things to the point that one of you would like to go after an education in landscape design or architecture. If so, what differentiates landscape architects from garden or landscape designers? Interestingly, perhaps more than you think. There are quite a few things you should consider when you think about doing your next landscape project.

Would it be right to hire the services of a design firm or instead go with a design/build? Once you make the decision to run with a design firm, the next immediate question that needs answering is what separates going with a landscape architect as compared to a landscape designer? Just which one is going to work out better for you and your project needs? Many folks have notions about the distinctions between the two, and they typically center around plants. In the minds of quite a few, landscape architects put their focus on technical aspects and space planning, whereas landscape designers simply love plants. However, these both prove to be generalizations and you can truly get the best of both worlds when you choose the right design team.

Learn About Landscape Architects

Landscape Architects

If you want to identify yourself as a landscape architect and do so legally, then you need either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of landscape architecture from a college or university, as well as state licensure to design and then work on various landscape projects. Traditionally, you would attend a college accredited by ASLA, or the American Society of Landscape Architects, where you then pass requisite exams in order to get licensed. A reputable and trustworthy landscape architect will have training and/or experience in dealing with the obstacles presented by both residential and commercial sites, including the following:

  • Retaining walls
  • Steep slopes
  • The design of outdoor structures
  • Drainage and irrigation systems
  • Dealing with elevation issues
  • Designing or consulting on the placement of parking areas, driveways, entries, and service lines

Properly educated and licensed Landscapers Houston architects will plan and design many public outdoor spaces, including gardens, campuses, parks, cemeteries, resorts, waterfront developments, commercial centers, and transportation facilities. They also will plan and design how natural places get restored after they are disturbed by human activity. That might include mined areas, forested land, stream corridors, and wetlands. Landscape architects get an education in cultural resources and historic landscapes in the hopes they learn to respect them and preserve them when organizing local, state, and national historic sites or areas. Professional Landscapers Houston experts often get employed by public, private, and academic organizations.

Landscape Architect or Landscape Designer

Landscape Designers

The biggest difference between landscape designers and architects is that the designers typically only work on small-scale residential projects. It is true that some landscape designers have education and training equivalent to landscape architects, particularly if they got an education degree; however, they don’t have to have state licensing in most cases. It’s also true that many landscape designers are actually self-taught, but might have taken some college courses or online certification and extension work. In short, you can’t just get out of bed one morning and start calling yourself a landscape designer. The majority of garden designers do most of their work with the softer side of the field, which is plants. A number of garden or landscape designers might have experience dealing with hardscaping, particularly if they work in drought-affected areas, where bark and pebbles replace natives and succulents. However, for any electrical work, wall building, or earth-moving construction to be done, then the project needs a licensed landscape contractor brought in. Horticultural and plant expertise is the typical dividing line between landscape designers and Landscapers Houston architects in the minds of most folks. The love of plants is a typical starting point for many landscape designers to go into the field. However, many others also share that particular passion. It’s rare to find someone that dedicated their lives to understanding and knowing plants, but this rare breed of an individual can truly bring something distinct and creative to any project. That’s why quite a few design firms and individual designers tap into such experience when need be.

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