Landscaping Design Tools
Landscape architects sometimes design large-scale gardens for public areas.
Landscape architects are responsible for creating pleasing natural environments in backyards, parks, campuses and playgrounds. They also design the landscaping along public roads and highways. Landscape architects carefully analyze the terrain to be planted, determining the type of soil, drainage and existing plants. They can then create a design that works in harmony with the environment and any man-made structures. Landscape architects use a variety of tools.
A landscape architect might employ a variety of equipment to create a design. Digital cameras, camcorders and video cameras can be used to record images of the terrain. The landscape architect can then analyze the setting to see which areas receive full or partial sunlight and which areas remain in shade. If the client wants to incorporate existing trees or other features in the design, the landscape architect can refer to the pictures to see how to best satisfy his client. Laptop computers and scanners are also useful. Many landscape architects also make use of global position system devices.
Once a landscape architect has a concept for a project, he must translate it into a form that others can view. Most landscape architects use a computer-aided design program to render the design. Graphics programs and photographic manipulation programs are often used to create presentations. Proficiency in basic word processing, spreadsheet and database software is necessary. Some landscape architects also use programs to create maps or edit videos.
Although much of a landscape architect’s presentation can be done on the computer, there are times when a miniature model of the design is needed. Landscape architects use many of the same tools as an artist to draw, sculpt or paint models. Depending on the project, a landscape architect might use clay or balsa wood to create a realistic model. Drafting templates and supplies, such as compasses and protractors, are helpful for creating three-dimensional models. Markers, paint, pencils and pens find substantial use in the process as well.
Landscape architects must provide estimates to their clients or employers. They might use software programs to create their estimates or they might work them up manually and then type the report. If the landscape architect is in business for himself, he will need to issue invoices or statements, and if he has employees, he will need to prepare payroll checks and tax reports. He can choose to have brochures and flyers printed or use a desktop publishing software program to create his own marketing materials.