When we are subconsultants, we are aware of our place within the world. Site design and landscape often aren’t the highest focus of attention within a project. We’ve developed approaches and skills where we try our best to deliver high value, even in the face of a lack of engagement or sub-optimal processes.
We operate at our best when our teams recognize our role no matter how small, and provide us with what we need. Sometimes we just need some sympathy, but more importantly… it comes down to understanding what we do and supporting our role.
Landscape architecture is a profession for a reason. We bring a high level of value for understanding and acting on how people use and enjoy their lives outside of buildings. This certainly relates to health, safety and welfare. This might be off the radar for some clients, but there are many small decisions on a site that could bring immense value. Without anyone ever knowing.
I think that we gain some pleasure realizing that much of what we do will never be actively recognized. We realize that what we do actively and positively shapes people’s experiences and quality of life. Conversely, I think we also gain guilty pleasure when our advice wasn’t heeded, and you hear grumbling about how a site design doesn’t function so well. We’d love to say, “We told you so!”… but we don’t. One of the best descriptions of landscape architects is that “we are a shade loving species.” There’s more in that for another post at some time.
When we work with architects and engineers who have realized our secret value, they see it as something that they want to harness in order to deliver value to our client. They have developed teams where no matter how small, they work with the people that they value. It’s human nature that we all work at our best when we are valued.
If you are a client, architect, engineer or another person who might work with us… if you don’t fully understand what we bring to your project, please ask us. Our goal is to create a site and atmosphere that benefits your business or mission! We will only be successful when our clients are successful.
This applies to everyone. When you seek to understand the value that someone brings to you, you will create value that wasn’t there before.
(In short… if you actively engage with us to encourage our expertise, we’ll do even more to try to help you. It’s human nature. See Benevolent Manipulation.)