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Becoming a Landscape Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design [Paperback]

by Kelleann Foster
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 28, 2009 0470338458 978-0470338452 1
Explore exciting options for a career in landscape architecture

Blending aesthetics and environmental consciousness, landscape architecture is one of the fastest growing fields, according to the US Department of Labor. Becoming a Landscape Architect gives you a comprehensive survey of the field as it is practiced today, and explains how to get started and how to succeed in this exciting, creative, and in-demand profession.

Featuring more than thirty-five interviews with leading landscape architects and more than 250 illustrations, the guide covers everything an aspiring landscape architect needs to know- from education and training, design specialties, and work settings to preparing an effective portfolio and finding a job in residential, ecological, commercial, and parks design.

  • Complete guide to the profession of landscape architecture, one of today's fastest growing fields
  • More than thirty-five interviews with leading landscape designers and educators give you an idea of what it's really like to work as a landscape architect
  • Over 250 striking illustrations and a lively interior make the book visually appealing as well as informative
  • Explains different educational paths and their prerequisites and requirements
  • Author Kelleann Foster is Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head, Department of Landscape Architecture, Pennsylvania State University and Managing Partner, Visual Interactive Communications Group

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Editorial Reviews


"As a practicing landscape architect and educator, Kelleann Foster has both the experience and academic knowledge to guide potential students in this quickly expanding field of design. In this practical handbook, she presents an overview of landscape architecture, touching on its definition and background, prior to a survey of the broad opportunities of work for diverse interests. The text contains a review of cutting-edge trends and technology in such careers. She concludes with advice on preparation for college; the different types of landscape architecture programs; the importance of internships in the educational experience; professional licensing; and a list of schools offering accredited programs." (Chicago Botanic Garden, 2010)

"The book includes every career type, from academic to national park designer, from a solo garden designer to an associate in the largest private landscape architecture and planning firm. Becoming a Landscape Architect is a solid and singular introduction to the range of landscape architecture work and what it takes in education and licensure to get there." (Landscape Architecture, May 2010)

From the Inside Flap

The growing demand for incorporating natural elements into man-made environments has led to increasing recognition of landscape architecture design by other members of the building industry. Society has also recognized the importance of restoring and preserving sensitive natural environments. As a result, landscape architecture is one of the fastest growing fields, experiencing a higher-than-average¿expansion rate as an industry.

If you're looking for a guide to making it in the landscape architecture profession, Becoming a Landscape Architect is your go-to book, introducing you to the individuals, tools, and trends that are shaping this field. Author Kelleann Foster provides an essential resource for anyone considering a career in the field and looks at the many areas of landscape architecture, covering everything from the education and training you'll need, practice opportunities to consider, and what it takes to become a successful landscape architect.

In addition to expert guidance, you'll find behind-the-scenes looks at groundbreaking projects and personal interviews with cutting-edge professionals that are included in each chapter. You'll read:

  • How Gerdo Aquino, Managing Principal of the SWA Group, uses CAD, GIS, and visual simulation to transform hand drawings into state-of-the-art computer drawings

  • How the Tilson Group designs and builds million-dollar properties

  • What Emmanuel Thingue, senior landscape architect of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, looks for when hiring landscape architects

  • How Cindy Tyler, principal of Terra Designs, collaborates with horticulturists, water feature designers, sculptors, artists, architects, and engineers

  • How Edward Blake of The Landscape Studio uses GPS technology in the design process

You'll also learn about specific exciting designs throughout the world, many award-winning, from a zoo to an urban waterfront park to a major land plan in China, including a project completed by university undergraduate students.

With over 250 striking illustrations and a wealth of information, Becoming a Landscape Architect is your portal to a dream career in landscape architecture.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470338458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470338452
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelleann Foster, RLA, ASLA, has been a professor in Penn State's Department of Landscape Architecture for twenty years. A course she has taught to aspiring young professionals throughout her academic career is called "Professional Practice." For the past five years, as Assistant Department Head, she has orchestrated the department's student recruitment efforts. She also has over 17 years experience as a practicing landscape architect. Along with her professional practice experience, Kelleann's teaching and student recruitment background form the core of her expertise in writing the new book: Becoming a Landscape Architect - A Guide to Careers in Design.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Informative April 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I initially bought this book for my teenage son, who has been considering a career in architecture or landscape architecture. But as I glanced through it along with him, I was drawn into it and ended up reading it in one sitting. Even more ironic is the fact that I am a landscape architect myself, and have been in the field for almost 26 years. I found Ms. Foster's analysis of the topic to be not only thorough but exciting and diverse. The personal interviews offer a variety of creative approaches, values, and career paths -- a human touch often lacking in career reference materials. It also illustrates the artistic, environmental and social aspects of a profession that, while fast-growing, is still frequently misunderstood.
Reading this book was energizing for me as a landscape architecture professional, and it seems to have persuaded my son that it is the field for him too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professional inspiration for the aspiring October 9, 2009
I am frequently using this book to explain to fellow architects, architecture students and friends what landscape architecture is and is becoming. It is most beneficial through the wide variety of interviews and breadth of coverage, describing the opportunities landscape architecture offers and the critical role landscape architects offer for our collective future health and well being.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This beautifully designed book by Kelleann Foster is well-written and carefully crafted. It is inspirational in the way she defines the exciting field of landscape architecture and its future through the words of a diverse range of practicing landscape architects and students. She skillfully portrays and presents how landscape architects differ from other design professionals in how they approach problem solving and create innovative solutions through a range of skills in tune with both the natural and cultural world. She also shows how this field is unique because of its expansive nature to include the visionary and big-picture perspectives that are so vital to dealing with global issues such as climate change on a local level in each community, project by project. I highly recommend Ms. Foster's book for those wanting to have a hand in making this world more lasting, healthy, safe, productive, peaceful, beautiful, and fun for a long time to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While the concept for this book is all good and swell, the execution of it is quite lacking.

This book is basically 200 pages of professional interviews. All the interviewers are asked the same exact questions. Almost all of the interviewees give the same exact answers to those questions. Many of the interviewees also try to market the firm they work for. The professionals interviewed are from various disciplines within the whole of landscape architecture, showcasing some of the broader fields a landscape architect can practice in. That part was somewhat piratical I suppose. There are a few pages (3 or 4) dedicated to building your resume, finding a program of study, interviewing for a job, etc. And some information about specific landscape architecture projects. But overall, its largely full of bland interview answers, with people talking about why they chose landscape architecture. There's not a whole lot of meat to sink your teeth in. So my experience reading it, was sort of like reading the same page over again, 200 times.

I bought this book because I plan do a Masters of Landscape Architecture, and was hoping for a really informative, in-depth, modern take on the subject. My background is in urban planning, so I already have a general understanding/idea of the landscape subject.

So that being said, I suppose you may find this book useful/informative coming from a completely non-related field, or having no knowledge of the subject whatsoever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tangible Review of Landscape Architecture October 13, 2010
Delving headfirst into the question that has stymied landscape architects themselves for years -- "What is landscape architecture?", Kelleann Foster takes a brilliant approach towards answering this question. By posing a series of questions to a range of professional landscape architects in academics, non-profit organizations, government and private practice, in tandem with illustrated and detailed examples of national and international projects, Foster allows the voices and experiences of landscape architects themselves to provide definition of the field. Her simple inclusion of a photo of each landscape architect highlighted puts faces to the names, and the organization of the book makes it easy to read bit-by-bit, or all in one sitting -- readers can quickly scan the TOC or index to select landscape architects, topics or projects of interest. I highly recommend this book to schools, public libraries and universities, as well as aspiring and practicing landscape architects themselves. The clearer landscape architects become about who we are and what we can do, the more effective we will be at availing our services to those who want and need them. This book is a huge forward step in that direction.
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