Angus Bruce, HASSELL
As part of the launch of AILA’s Work Experience Directory, we interviewed a number of members to discover more about the experience of practices in engaging and inspiring the next generations of landscape architects.
When/how did you first discover Landscape Architecture, what attracted you to it, and how did you pursue it as a career?
My father is an architect so I had a privileged insight into the world of the built environment from early on - architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. School holidays were spent at his office with large rolls of paper and marker pens, under the desks of the other staff, drawing and doodling over the top of discarded sketches and project design plans.
I chose landscape architecture over architecture because of the strong desire to see the evolution of a design - the change that occurs when a landscape matures and evolves, to witness the seasonal variations, to see a design morph and evolve (not remain static) and importantly to see the interaction of people within the spaces created.
How does HASSELL contribute to fostering the next generation of Landscape Architects (intern programs, educational seminars etc.), and what has been the greatest achievement of these initiatives?
HASSELL has an active student engagement program, one that exposes students to a broad cross section of the design world and actively engages them with real projects to test, theorise and play with. I firmly believe that, as landscape architects, we are a profession that is essential to the future of our planet, our cities and society.
It is for this reason that I believe it is important to expose new generations to the profession and to encouraging them to consider this as a career path for their future.
What would your advice be to other practices in the industry that are considering engaging work experience students or interns?
Embrace it. Share your passion and impart some knowledge. Excite someone who is at the very start of their career path and tease them with insights into the profession. Help them see landscape architecture as not only a career option, but as one that will make a lasting and significant impact beyond just themselves. Show them that it's small and large, it's private and public and it’s subtle, yet hugely impactful.
What would your advice be to Landscape Architecture student’s seeking/completing work experience?
Find a design studio that will expose you to a diverse cross section of project types, scales and complexity as possible. The profession is broad reaching and hard to pigeonhole. From parks and plazas, wetlands and natural system protection, zoos and botanical gardens, city making and public place creation...find a studio or office that will expose you to as much as possible so as to get a taste of the full potential of the profession.