Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Landscape Architecture: Economy and Job Security.

I've been thinking about this a lot. Last year I had a meeting with other student chapter presidents of ASLA and a few on the professional board. I remember there was a push to get more students enrolled and interested in Landscape Architecture.

Since that meeting I had been thinking, "Do we really want that many people in the profession?"
Now that the economy is on a downward spiral and job security and the job market isn't what it used to be, these thoughts are again resurfacing.

It's simple really. If we have a lot of Landscape Architects on the market there is more competition. More competition means competing salaries, not from firms competing with higher salaries but from individuals competing for a job at lower pay. More Landscape Architects on the market mean more competition for projects, meaning not only will projects go to the lowest bidder but the quality of the work could be less (getting what you pay for). More Landscape Architects in an "economic crisis" could mean more unemployed Landscape Architects.

I'm not saying "lets get rid of some of the Landscape Architects" what I'm saying is "Let's keep our profession the well kept secret that it has been for the last hundred years."

Why do we need to push for more students to study Landscape Architecture? The market is balanced just enough. Landscape Architects get paid well, and they should continue to be getting paid well with a demand slightly higher than the supply. With the economy the way it is we don't want a bunch of jobless Landscape Architects.

Let's NOT push students to study Landscape Architecture. Let's keep it a secret, pass it on to our kids tell our close friends and instead pick and choose those that will do our industry some good.


toni said...

I totally agree! (So maybe you should hide this post from facebook ;)

I like LA just as secret as it is.

texxeen said...

Well my friend, as you know, in terms of demand and supply of labor ( the landscape architect), ours is a free market economy. Hence the movement of labor, especially in our current globalized job market does not lend itself to restrictions placed on by the government, or educational institutions . We live in an expansionist capitalist system, where the underlining goal is to increase production, and in this case, the factor of production is labor. This issue cannot be affected by educational institutions placing caps on admissions of LA students (which I think sounds rather socialist). It can only be affected by the ability of the "open" job market to screen out the least capable workers, while retaining the best most innovative ones. I feel your ideas of secrecy and perhaps institutional control, would thrive in a third world, socialist or communist closed market system. Unfortunately, our system is neither socialist, communist nor third world. Another thing one has to remember is that, architects are unlimited when it comes to environmental design. By virtue of being architects, their license encompasses landscape architecture (perhaps, less in terms of being stewards of the land), this means; the fewer the are landscape architects/firms, the more there are architects who expand into markets traditionally conceived as being more “landscape architectural”. Furthermore, architects have the ability to practice landscape architecture from the most elementary to the most complex levels of design.

Anduhrew said...

Takena, you're absolutely right. the reverse side of the issue is that with less Landscape Architects the less power we have in preserving our profession. by being outnumbered by architects in many cases must succumb to their rules in terms of permission by licensure. I don't think that institutions should put impacted in a sense. and our free market does allow for the best and the brightest to really excel. but it also allows for the worst and weakest to to drag us down as well, and though we are not socialist, i do feel there are good aspects to socialism just as much as the good in capitalist free markets. I do actually have mixed feelings about the whole issue. in many ways i feel we should be spreading the "gospel" of Landscape Architecture and the greatest profession in the world. but that's a whole 'nother post.
what do u think about that 700 billion dollar bailout? i'd much prefer if it were divided amongst individual taxpayers rather than used to bail out this company that screwed itself.

denied youth said...

yes thats right keep it secret for a very small tight bunch of pretentious twats!! shush!!

Anduhrew said...

lol @ pretentious comment

Jason said...

I don't agree with the ASLA advertising to high school students about what a great career Landscape Architecture its... So I agree, lets keep it a secret, this reminds me of why I've had this feeling for a while that the ASLA is really out of touch and not doing a good job representing. Wierd how we have to pay them to call ourselves "Landscape Architects." I mean really who the hell made them the champions of our occupation?