Presidents Message

Courtney Landoll, ASLA 


I was fortunate to return to my alma mater, Virginia Tech, early this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. It was rewarding and gratifying to see the complex issues today’s students of landscape architecture are grappling with—looking at problems from the macro and micro scale, using research to inform design, and considering interdisciplinary approaches to aid their problem solving. In addition to the now typical computer-generated 3D models, they were also using sketching and physical models to produce design concepts. It left me feeling excited about the future of our profession and the students who will carry on the landscape architecture legacy. While today’s students embrace modern software and ideas, they have not forgotten the basics behind good design and are no less driven in their pursuit of making the world a better place than previous generations.

In the media, there are a lot of opinions about Gen Y. I choose to believe in the good ones—that not accepting the status quo and trying to achieve a positive work-life balance are valuable attributes to have in a designer. It is up to the rest of us to figure out how to harness millenials’ potential in the workplace.

To those of you who are millennial landscape architecture graduates and students reading this newsletter, it’s up to you to prove the naysayers wrong. Show everyone that you are here to really make a difference. Get involved in the broader community around you. Volunteer and support organizations that lobby for positive change, industry and non-industry specific. Show us that entrepreneurial spirit; be a self-starter and make your voice be heard. We need your drive and your spirit to the make the world a better place.


Courtney Landoll