With barren land for a canvas, make landscaping your art

CAREER


BEAUTIFYING BUILDINGS: There is a vast scope for designing farm houses villas, apart from gardens, roads and hotels. DH File photoL

andscape Designing can be termed as an art of modifying and arranging the features of a landscape or an urban area. More precisely, it is the selection of plants, shrubs, trees and making best use of them with the finest of technology to develop the outdoor spaces. This is how the field is a wonderful blend of many facets.

There are two main components in Landscape designing. The hardscape, which consists of adding on to the exterior parts of the home by constructing hard surfaces such as walls and wooden structures, and the softscape includes the soft materials that are used to add colour to the area including the plants.

Academic qualification

A masters programme in Landscape Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi or Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology College in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, will be beneficial. Botanical and Horticulture knowledge is an added asset.

The Yashwant Rao Chavan Open University in Nashik, Maharashtra, offers a diploma course in Floriculture and Landscape gardening, which can also be useful in designing.

Apart from these, there are diploma and degree courses in this discipline in universities both in Europe and Australia.

Skills needed

There are a diverse range of skills essential to be a landscape designer. Among them, creative and analytical thinking, deep understanding of the basic elements of landscape design like the texture, form, colour and knowledge about environmental conservation play a crucial role.

Elan Phirayan, a landscape architect in a Bangalore-based designing firm, Terra Firma, says that a flair for drawing and an aptitude for visualising and creating designs comes handy for the landscape professionals.

Career outlook

There is immense scope for landscape designers in India these days. The professionals can chart their career pathway in three directions:

*Employment in designing firms, real estate companies and government agencies.

*Establishing their own firms.

*Working as freelance landscape consultants.

Shikha Verma, the proprietor of Design Atellier, a Chandigarh-based designing firm, says:

“These days maintaining, designing and nurturing the shrinking outdoor spaces is very important against the backdrop of pollution and global warming.” She points that this is one of the vital reasons why landscape designing has taken a centre stage.

There is a vast scope for designing farm houses, resorts and luxury villas apart from the gardens, roads and hotels.

Work profile

This work involves visiting sites, analysing landscapes and applying the technical knowledge and creativity to design and breathe life into the dull landscape. Abhija Dalal, landscape designer and proprietor of Ahmedabad-based Arianee Landscapes, remarks that the designers should be driven by ‘a passion to create’ and have a vision of how the landscape will evolve after some years. She further adds:

“They should be prepared to put in long hours in tough weather conditions during the execution stage. The designers’ USP lies in being open to using different materials, plant and garden features to add new dimension and enhance the value of the place.”

Monetary returns

The payscale for designers who are employed with firms can begin with Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 a month. Those who establish their own firms earn according to their hard work and skills.

This field of landscape designing is intellectually rewarding and creatively fulfilling too! So wouldn’t it be wonderful to think about the career in blooming landscapes?

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