Landscape architect builds Xmas Disaster

Leave it to a landscape architect to come up with a Katrina-themed diarama.

Homeless for the holidays Xmas diarama – Homeless for the holidays Katrina display draws ire – Nov 30, 2005

METAIRIE, Louisiana (AP) — It’s no ordinary holiday season in the Gulf Coast this year, so Frank Evans built an unconventional holiday display at a suburban New Orleans shopping mall to match.

He thought the tiny blue-tarped roofs, little toppled fences and miniature piles of hurricane debris in the display he builds annually for the mall struck just the right humorous tone.

The mall disagreed and told Evans, a landscape architect from nearby Gretna, to dismantle it.

“Although most people did enjoy the decorations, a few customers found the display to be in poor taste,” said a statement issued Tuesday night by Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie.

Landscape Architecture

So, what good is this stuff anyway?

“landscape architecture” (n): the branch of architecture dealing with the arrangement of land and buildings for human use and enjoyment

If you were to ask the average citizen of the United States to define the words landscape architecture you would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of people who could produce the correct answer. Right there is the problem with landscape architecture, nobody knows what the hell it is, so they could care less about the people who practice this profession and the work that they produce.

Of the landscape architects that I have worked with, most lament the public’s lack of knowledge about their chosen profession, but they have no idea how to change the situation.

First of all, LAs need to get together and do something about the piss-poor state of affairs in their professional organization, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The ASLA is a joke… low membership, few ties to other organizations, no marketing campaign in the public eye, and they can’t even come up with a definition of what a landscape architect is. No one is going to take LAs seriously until there is a reputable professional society that stands behind them. Once the ASLA is something more than a source for free monthly magazines, it can become the tool that the profession will use to hammer out a place of respect in the design world.