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Penn State University

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Department of Landscape Architecture

What is Landscape Architecture?

All landscape architects have in common a deep appreciation for the environment, a commitment to the highest standards of design and planning, and the satisfaction of reward for work that directly enhances the quality of people’s lives.

Penn State Professor Kelleann Foster has written a book that details the exciting options one can find in a career as a landscape architect.

Landscape architecture encompasses analysis, planning, design, management and stewardship of the natural and built environment through a blending of art and science. It is a profession that is broad in scale and scope. As an academic discipline, it embodies creative, cultural, philosophical, and scientific knowledge bases. As professional practice, landscape architecture includes site and urban design, community and regional planning, and resource conservation and stewardship. With this diverse background, landscape architects process a unique abilities to help address local, national and global priorities, such as sustainable development, healthy communities, landscape urbanism and natural lands restoration.

It Is a Growing Profession: The 2006 ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Business Indicators Survey reveals that there are not enough landscape architects to meet the demand for services, which is expected to continue to grow in the next decade. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) expect to hire landscape architects in the coming 12 months. …”surveys confirm … it’s a very good time to be a landscape architect,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president/CEO of ASLA. “With only 30,000 landscape architects in the U.S. and the sustained growth in demand for landscape architecture services, there is significant opportunity for young people considering entering the profession. The traditional market sectors—residential, parks and recreation, planning, commercial—have all remained extremely strong while less conventional fields such as stormwater management, green roofs, and security design have grown significantly.” (www.asla.org/land/2006/1114/surveys.html)