100 LESSONS LEARNED FROM STUDYING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
#100 Drink coffee.
#99 Avoid negative people and those who hang around the watercooler.
#98 Help those who need help.
#97 Don’t waste your time with people who don’t want to work.
#96 Always be reading at least 3 books, on different subjects, which are related to landscape architecture.
#95 Plan for the “What can go wrong, will go wrong” scenario.
#94 Never leave printing to the last minute.
#93Question your lecturers.
#92 Take breaks.
#91 Travel as much as possible.
#90 “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein
#89 Drink coffee.
#88 Post-design rationalisation is fantastic if you can pull it off, but never rely on it.
#87 Photoshop and AutoCAD do not make you a good designer.
#86 Always carry a notebook to write down & sketch ideas.
#85 Creativity doesn’t adhere to a 9-5 timetable.
#84 Phone home.
#83 Go to as many lectures and talks as possible.
#82 Google “Gestalt”.
#81 Make it multi-functional, make it fun.
#80 You will use the word sustainable so much, it will lose all meaning.
#79 “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time”. – Leonard Bernstein
#78 Read Edward De Bono.
#77 When it comes to planting design and specification, KISS.
#76 Drink Coffee.
#75 Your computer will crash. You will lose all your work. Backup, backup, backup!
#74 Don’t replicate, innovate!
#73 Listen to music.
#72 Keep your workspace tidy!
#71 “Creative minds are rarely tidy”. – Carl Gustav Jung
#70 Engineers are the Oompa Loompas of the planning process.
#69 Planners have no souls. Don’t be fooled.
#68 Architects are not as self obsessed as you would think. They’re much worse.
#67 Crocus.co.uk will be your lifesaver if you know nothing about plants.
#66 Objectives don’t make sense if a SWOT doesn’t identify them.
#65 “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
#64 Avoid energy drinks.
#63 Drink coffee.
#62 Students go to University to make mistakes. Just make sure you learn from them.
#61 Be silly, but never stupid.
#60 You will at sometime, spend several nights sleeping in the studio. They turn the heating off at ten. Bring a blanket.
#58 Draw on BIG pieces of paper.
#57 Limitation inspires creativity.
#56 Ask “what the design wants to be”, not “what you want it to be”.
#55 Procrastination is a death sentence. JUST DO SOMETHING.
#54 Horizontal rain is a common occurrence in Ireland.
#53 No one knows what a landscape architect is or does.
#52 When rolling drawing sheets, roll them with the drawing side facing outwards. It will avoid an unnecessary struggle on presentation days!
#51 Pantones are expensive, but never buy crayola.
#50 You cannot design a space without understanding “prospect – refuge” theory.
#49 Drink coffee.
#48 Pack rain gear for site visits.
#47 If you can’t take criticism and use it positively, you’re in the wrong career.
#46 Dream out loud.
#45 Don’t ever sketch an element literally.
#44 Good drawings are drawn hierarchically.
#43 If anyone ever suggests Begonias, say no. In the face. With a shovel.
#42 “Stupid”, “boring” and “pointless” first year studio exercises are the most important lessons in design you will ever learn.
#41 Cool colours recede, warm colours advance.
#40 Studio is about developing a good design process, not the “perfect” project.
#39 Learn the language of design.
#38 Learn (and understand) the design principles as well as the back of your hand.
#37 A variety of uses, to attract a variety of users.
#36 When giving a presentation, start with general information and then move on to specific details.
#35 During a presentation, make eye contact.
#34 Drink coffee.
#33 Never use “erm”, “kinda”, “its not great”, “i just” during a presentation or critique. You might as well shoot yourself in the foot.
#32 “Less is more”. – Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
#33 Less is less is if you don’t understand Modernism.
#31 Leaving time for test printing runs will save you a great deal of stress and worry.
#30 Presentation boards should be legible from 10ft away.
#29 Give areas/elements within your design a name. It gives them character, identity and a sense of reality. “Cloud Gate” sounds a lot better than “The Bean”.
#28 Mind mapping works.
#27 Take up meditation.
#26 The journey to a space and its experience, is just as important as the one within the space.
#25 The most creative people are critical of their own thought process, constantly assessing their thinking methods, seeking out and testing new ways to think and be creative.
#24 Design like you give a damn.
#23 Printers break down.
#22 An idea is a specific mental structure by which we organize, understand, and give meaning to external experiences and information.
#21 Revealing and screening, denial and reward are powerfully strategies for drawing users through a space.
#20 A steeper slope will slow a person down and appreciate a framed view for longer.
#19 Design firms don’t want a standard CV. Show off your skills and add a bit of design flair to your portfolio.
#18 Know your native species.
#17 Don’t be xenophobic in your plant choices.
#16 Perspective drawings will sell any project.
#15 If you can’t present, it won’t matter how good a designer you are, people won’t understand your ideas.
#14 It can take 6 – 9 years to become a chartered landscape architect, from university enrolment to professional exams.
#13 Hand drawing is not dead, so don’t pretend like it is.
#12 The Planting Design Handbook by Nick Robinson is a must read.
#11 Work with community groups for free. It will pay back in time.
#10 Drink coffee.
#9 Get out and raise awareness about landscape architecture. Talk to people on the street, post about it on Facebook, become involved with the ILI.
#8 When intimidated by a project, start with the easiest tasks first. This will help you build momentum and confidence as you progress.
#7 Ask for advice and help when you need it.
#5 Design WITH models
#4 Making a final presentation model will always take longer than you think it will
#3 Landscape architects are design obsessed people. It will happen to you.
#2 Don’t take anything seriously. Have fun with it.
#1 Caffeine withdrawal is terrible.