Publish your thesis on Landscape Architecture Resource

I want to publish your thesis work here on Landscape Architecture Resource. Yes, I know you are busy with school, going to LABash, and looking for a job. But if you’re working that hard on your thesis, don’t you want the world to know about it?

The central body of theory that defines landscape architecture has been developing for a very long time. It has borrowed from art, architecture, ecology, horticulture, psychology, geology, civil engineering, cartography, geography, sociology, and many other diverse fields. People have been doing landscape architecture since before the profession had a name and even before it was a profession. Creating human habitat is something our species has always done.

But as professionals, we are still at a point that the medical profession was at about 100 years ago. We rely perhaps more hypotheses, dogma, habits, and styles than on a solid central body of knowledge that we all agree on. The design process is central to what we do of course, but the body of theory with which we make our decisions is still rather young. The nucleus of the landscape architecture world view is there, but it is still maturing.

I’m not suggesting that we don’t know what we’re doing or what the outcome of our work will be. I’m only suggesting that their is still a gap between research and application.

Don’t worry about losing the opportunity for creativity. Having a stronger foundation of facts and statistics to justify our decisions won’t remove the need for us to make decisions. Design will still be an interesting journey. Each project will have its own unique challenges, as always.

But when we are wondering if a park will really work, or exactly how far apart the street trees should be we can rest on hard, tested and proven numbers. What makes a successful zoo exhibit? How much maintenance will my planting design really require? Will my park design really serve the needs of the community? The answers to these questions are out there. But new work is being done all the time that can improve our understanding of the problems we face and give us better tools to solve them. And it’s important to keep up to date.

That is why I want to publish your thesis research on Landscape Architecture Resource. Isn’t science all about sharing knowledge and discussing ideas? Get in touch with me at dan at LArchRes.com. Ideally we could post your abstract with links to the rest of the thesis and maybe your other work as well. Check with your advisor about any copyright restrictions on your work.

Use the right font

When someone is reading your writing, one side of their brain is decoding the written words into meaning and ideas, while the other side of their brain is decoding meaning from the lines, form, color, size, and shape of your writing. Take a look at the text in any magazine or billboard ad and you’ll see what I mean.

Every aspect of your design presentation says something about you, your vision, and your work. Choosing the right font has a impact in setting the mood of your design. Don’t just slap on the basic arial, times new roman, or verdana font because it’s the default in photoshop, inDesign, or whatever software you’re using at the moment. And for heaven’s sake don’t ever use AutoCad’s default font unless you’re a civil engineer.

Pick a font that embodies the theme of your design. You may not think it’s a big deal, but fonts send a message. So does your use of capitals. Choosing a great font can be the finishing touch that makes the whole page sing, or a starting point for designing your slides, panels, or drawings.

You should also give a great deal of thought to the fonts you use on your letterhead, business cards, website, and other communications. Think of your typeface as one of the materials you are using to build your brand.

Two of the best sources for fonts online are Linotype and International Typeface.

If you are looking for a font that gives a real hand-drawn feeling, then make your own! YourFonts.com is one of the coolest things I’ve found online lately. You can quickly and easily make your own hand-drawn font for free, and then use it in your work.

Free Screen Capture Program Aids in Communication

Jing is a very cool screen capture program that I use to communicate ideas quickly to clients, contractors and other design professionals.

This is a unique screen capture program in a couple of ways. For one, you can capture images on your computer screen as well as video from your screen.

What really makes Jing unique is that you are quickly able to share your screen captures. You don’t have to e-mail really large files. Jing gives you a link to send your client where they can view your screen capture.

This is really easy to use. I had never used a screen capture program before finding Jing. It took me about 5 minutes to download the program and another 5 minutes to figure out how to use it.

You can download Jing for free at www.jingproject.com

Below is a video showing exactly how I use Jing to communicate ideas as part of my workflow.

Social Media for Architecture Business, Could It Be Worthwhile?

Should you operate a small architecture company you’ve most likely spent a while establishing a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account. Maybe you have requested yourself why? Could it be even well worth the effort? Rapid response is yes, but you’ll need a plan as well as an approach which works for you as well as your business. What services or goods would you sell? Will they translate well to the net? What’s the best platform for the business?

The Social Networking brand list just get longer every single day and includes websites like these as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumbler, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Digg, reddit, Google+ and Bebo. Right now Pinterest has taken everyone’s attention but moments are fleeting and you never know who the brand new social networking darling is going to be in a few days.

Facebook is undoubtedly the greatest player in the overall game with more than 900 million customers. Just make sure you pay great attention to the security of your architecture business Facebook account and protected the account from being hacked by those who use Facebook password sniper. Twitter is really a distant second with roughly 220 million customers. The majority of the other platforms offer some type of specialized media discussing and do not necessary permit just as much customer engagement as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Bebo. Listed here are five top reasons to pursue a social networking advertising campaign regardless of what business you’re in or the number of employees you’ve:

It ought to be noted that although a number of these platforms have the freedom time it requires to setup and keep a merchant account isn’t. That’s why you should keep the social networking plan simple by concentrating on the a couple of platforms that is useful for your architecture company. Maintaining just one account for example Facebook for the architecture business may take between 4 to eight hrs per week if done correctly. Twitter demands that you simply publish regularly to be able to gain fans which may also be time-consuming.

The advantages still greatly over-shadow the disadvantages and social networking may be worth going after for just about any smaller businesses looking for more exposure. To become effective you need to keep the social networking plan simple, publish regularly and make significant content. Developing a social networking calendar is another must to be able to stand above your fans and fans. If you’re searching for maximum return having a minimal investment for the architecture business then social networking is essential.

Lanscape Water Use – No Longer A Secret…

Recently American President Obama’s transition team recommended the use of technologically advanced irrigation controllers in an effort to reduce irrigation water consumption in residential and commercial landscapes.

Today water conservation has become a huge issue all over North America, however the fact that the new American government is specifically looking at irrigation efficiency should tell all of us in the horticultural industry that landscape water use is no longer flying under the radar.

Recently research has been done and studies are ongoing (in the U.S. as well as right here in Canada) as to how much water we actually use outdoors to keep our turf and landscapes green. In a recent study published by the OWWA (Ontario Water Works Association,) it was found that outdoor irrigation accounted for up to 50% of water used on properties during the summer months.

So why do we use so much water on our landscapes?

In the past, and still very much today, when an irrigation designer or contractor is approached by an landscape architect or another client they were simply asked to make sure that everything on site was watered and stayed green. The only concern irrigation designers and contractors had, was that there were no dry spots left on the property anywhere.

A large issue with how much water is wasted in irrigation has a lot to do with design and installation as well as the rapid pace at which we install construction projects.

In many cases a great landscape design will be produced and installed well, unfortunately, the irrigation contractor or designer is often not brought in on the project until the very end of construction or after the project has been completed. This results in irrigation being designed and installed as quickly as possible and with a minimal budget. The fallout of this practice is that corners are cut and the resulting irrigation system, while it currently may meet “traditional” installation quality standards, can in no way effectively use less water without additional upgrading.

Irrigation contractors and designers are not often given any information on plant and turf water requirements, and create designs and watering schedules that are appropriate only for the turf or plant species on site that they assume uses the most water or are the most susceptible to dying from under watering. As we saw in the previous section, the irrigation on a project is given the smallest portion of the total project budget (time and money) as a result a contractor or designer will try and create and zone an irrigation system to meet the budget rather than the landscapes needs. This practice results, in an irrigation system that will typically water the parking lot, sidewalks, buildings and while the grass stays green, the trees and shrubs on site will usually receive too much or not enough water.

Finally, over the years a misconception of irrigation systems has developed. We just assume that after the irrigation system is installed and the controller is set to “Auto” that we no longer need worry about the irrigation system or the plant material. As most landscape architects are aware of, turf and plant species require more water when they are initially installed and after they are established the plant material will need to use less water. This also applies to different times of the year. After turf and plants are established in a landscape their water requirements will change as the season does. When an irrigation system is scheduled on a new project it is scheduled for new plant material and it can often take a few seasons for someone to get around to changing the irrigation schedule to reflect that the turf and plant material has become established. Very often this never happens and because of this “set it and forget it” attitude most irrigation systems apply the same amount of water all year round. If we write an irrigation schedule based on hot dry summer months we will be over watering during the spring and fall.

Over watering contributes to plant/turf diseases and death, property damage, and with the rising costs of potable water can greatly inflate monthly operating expenses. If we take a birds-eye view of the process of landscape and irrigation design, installation and maintenance we can see that something is wrong. When we cut corners and rush at the design and installation level we will be using far more water than we need over the lifespan of the landscape and will increase maintenance costs for years to come.

So what is the solution to all of this?

Many of the new breed of irrigation professionals and consultants are working hard to get involved in landscape projects from their very inception. If we take a holistic approach to landscape and irrigation design and consider not just the new installation, but also the future maintenance, we will use less water. We can design quality irrigation systems that better reflect different plant species water requirements. We can manage and monitor irrigation systems remotely and make necessary schedule changes when they are appropriate. We can also look harder at advance irrigation control products that use data gathered from weather station networks and will make automatic adjustments based upon accurate plant species information and weather data.

There is no one single thing that will help us reduce water use in landscapes but there are many tools we can use and practices that we need to change.

In coming articles we will take a closer look at the problems associated with over watering, “conservation based” irrigation design principals and exciting new water saving technologies available to reduce our water footprint in the landscape.

Matthew Sandink is the Conservation Solutions Specialist and is responsible for Marketing at SMART Watering Systems. SMART Watering Systems is a water conservation & rainwater harvesting consulting firm with it’s roots in the landscape irrigation industry.