Friday, February 22, 2008

In the Land of the Landscape Architects

Yesterday, I drove faaar across our fair state to visit the open house for the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at an excellent state university department. This program also offers a dual degree with a Master of Regional Planning (MRP). I wanted to see what that was about.

The Landscape Architects were really running this show. Not a Planner in sight. Everyone was very nice, and they showed us their beautiful models of would-be parks, squares, and revitalized urban areas. The faculty and students talked in vague ways, and when they got specific, they used vocabulary I did not understand (swales? whosey-whatsey software?), while the other prospectives nodded.

Two thoughts began to shimmer at the edge of my mind:
  1. These people were landscape architects, and that is a different tribe from planners, even though they share a peninsula (or, in this case, a building).
  2. Most, if not all, of the other prospectives had already applied to the program.
(Why is Blogger turning my numbered list into a flowered list?)

Eventually, I escaped to visit the regional planning department. They were unaware that MLA was hosting an open house that day, which made me suspect that a dual degree might not be as easy as they want me to think. I liked the regional planning professor, and what she told me about the department, and the prospect of a potentially free education; I do not like that the department is on the other side of the state. I also left with the happy impression that I could get into a planning program, no sweat.

The RP gave voice to one of the thoughts at the edge of my mind. "You're either a planner or a landscape architect," she said. "By nature," was the implication.


Narya said...

You are so a planner rather than a landscape architect.

kStyle said...

Tell me why? Or are you being silly?

Narya said...

Well, compare it to your current work: you don't particularly enjoy the actual crafting of stuff. Bread, yeah. Or to do it a few times, sure. But executing someone else's plans? Building little models? Lordy; I'm seeing you HATE that. You've enjoyed putting together a business plan, the marketing stuff, etc., for your shiatsu business, but you're not sure how you feel about actually providing the shiatsu all the time. I can see you really enjoying the planning process, especially if it's interactive, especially if part of the process means incorporating other people's needs and concerns.

What's your sense of this all?

kStyle said...

That's my sense, exactly! You are an insightful one. And perhaps I blabber too much, too. ;)

I was looking at all the little cut outs of buildings the LA's made, and I could not imagine myself making those.