American Society of Landscape Architects offers this advisory to journalists to
help them better understand the landscape architecture profession and
accurately represent it to the public. Here are some guidelines.
How to Avoid Incorrect
term “landscape architecture” became common after 1863 when Frederick Law
Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed New York's Central Park.
“landscape architect” is a specific title protected in all 50 states based on
licensure; “landscape designer” does not require licensure. They are not interchangeable. Becoming licensed
generally requires holding a professional degree, completing a period of
supervised practice and passing the national licensing examination.
and “landscape contractor” are related but different professions. Landscape
architects are licensed professionals who often work with landscaping or other construction companies to install those
designs. Think of the fashion designer imagining an outfit while a clothing
manufacturer makes the apparel, or an artist designing a wall poster that's
printed by another company.
do not use the terms “landscape architect” and “architect” interchangeably.
While the two professions collaborate on many projects, both are separate
professions that require years of rigorous and distinct training, education,
and licensure. Architects primarily design buildings and structures with
specific uses, such as homes, offices, public buildings and schools. Landscape architects primarily design outdoor environments
and related green infrastructure, such as plazas, campuses, parks, playgrounds,
streetscapes and residential properties. An easy way to remember the
difference is architects generally work vertically while landscape architects
with architects and landscapers, landscape architects also work with other
Civil engineers are primarily concerned with hard infrastructure systems
to manage practical needs; landscape architects often collaborate on projects
with engineers. Like landscape architects, engineers must meet educational,
experience and testing requirements prior to licensure.
plan the development of physical land use, such as master plans, communities,
transportation plans and historic/conservation areas. They also develop and shape
land use policies at all levels. There are two states that license planners, but
the most common credential is administered by the American Institute of
developers may or may not be involved on a team, depending on the type of project.
They typically manage the overall development of the built site, such as financial,
real estate, coordinating architectural/landscape contracts, permit oversight and