What are the most used Landscape Architecture programs?
February 24, 2005 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know what the most common and/or best Landscape Architecture programs are for use in a small professional landscape arch. firm? Do they use the same programs as large firms? A friend is looking to switch careers and would like to become familiar with the software most in use. Thanks.
posted by R. Mutt to Work & Money (7 answers total)
The ones I work with just use AutoCAD, or some stripped down version of it like AutoCAD LT. Quite often they don't use anything more than colored markers and trace paper, but I'm in residential construction so the demands are a little less stringent. A full version of AutoCAD costs some hefty $. LT eliminates a lot of functions and sells for much less.

Note: Many states require you to be licensed to practice landscape architecture. Buying a drafting program will probably be the easiest part of your friend's career change--this isn't something you can just decide to be all of a sudden. The way you're asking makes me think your friend is being pretty breezy about it.
posted by LionIndex at 11:21 AM on February 24, 2005

While I'm dabbling more with DIY architecture than landscaping, I've found IMSI TurboCAD Learning Edition to be perfect. It's free and available on the Web for download. I don't know what the limitations are on it, but I haven't hit them yet and have done some big jobs on it. It feels a lot like Adobe Illustrator but is more tailored to design work. It might be worth checking out if you don't find any other good leads.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:35 AM on February 24, 2005

Thanks, actually the person is an incredibly non-breezy bushiness person researching plans for his (very early) retirement. I offered to ask here for him. I have no doubt that his information gathering is well planned.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:37 AM on February 24, 2005

*business ... sorry :)
posted by R. Mutt at 11:39 AM on February 24, 2005

actually the person is an incredibly non-breezy bushiness person researching plans for his (very early) retirement

Okay. I don't know anything about the requirements for a landscape architecture license, but if it's anything like architecture he's losing 8 years of his retirement right off the bat, plus he'll have to convince established firms to hire him as an apprentice at (early) retirement age. If he's got the time to deal with that, good for him.

The alternative approach is for him to just set up a firm, work as a designer, and then hire licensed architects to work for him that can stamp his drawings. But he still won't be able to advertise himself as a "landscape architect."
posted by LionIndex at 11:52 AM on February 24, 2005

Thanks LionIndex, I think the alternative approach you mention is closer to what he is thinking about. BTW, I think that is what I.M. Pei does.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:59 AM on February 24, 2005

Thanks for the tip re: IMSI TurboCAD. Just what I needed.
posted by JohnR at 2:53 PM on February 24, 2005

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