We asked eleven landscape professionals, all at different stages in their careers, to tell us what inspired them to follow a career in landscape and what advice they would give to others. Their answers show the breadth of talent, experience and passion across the profession. They explain how they trained, what is important to them about the profession and how they would recommend it to others.

Jai Warya

Jai Warya

Jai is a landscape architect CMLI with The Landscape Partnership. After a BA in Architecture at Indraprastha University, he studied for a Masters in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art.

What inspired you to study to become a landscape professional?

Growing up in a big, dense city where nature was difficult to access, I had first-hand experience of an unforgiving urban environment designed for vehicles. I became interested in understanding the reason behind this; how people moved, how they interacted with and inhabited spaces, and whether these spaces could contribute to a better quality of life. This interest led me to study architecture, but I came to the realisation that the key to healthy urban environments were the imperfect, incremental and sometimes invisible open spaces between them.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The opportunity to learn something new each day; about the natural environment, about materials and construction processes, and most importantly about how society organises itself to achieve its goals and face future challenges. Due to its generalist nature, the day-to-day work of a landscape architect can be more varied than a lot of other professions, which helps keep things interesting.

What do you find most challenging about your job?

Seeing how my work improves people’s lives and the way they interact with their surroundings and the wider community is the ultimate reward for working in the built environment. Getting the opportunity to breathe new life into areas that have faced deprivation is extremely fulfilling.

What do you find most challenging about your job?

Good landscapes take time and patience. Understanding this intellectually is easy, but truly appreciating it and communicating it effectively to people outside the profession, in order to influence decisions and bring about change, is harder than it might seem.

What trends do you predict for your industry in the next few years?

The profession will be faced with increasingly complex projects, shorter time scales and the possibility of a reduced remit, with aspects of our work being taken over by other professionals. Climate change and resource-scarcity will affect project briefs, and the rise of automation will change the way we work; every organization in existence today needs to realize that it is a tech company.

The importance of landscape architecture, and landscapes in general, is being recognised increasingly in current public debate.
Jai Warya, Landscape architect CMLI with The Landscape Partnership

Why is the landscape profession so important to the future of society and the environment?

No other profession is as capable as landscape architecture of so seamlessly bringing together the various strands of knowledge required to understand and create urban environments; design aesthetics, engineering methods, construction techniques, ecological processes and social organization, to name a few. This is critical when one accepts the fact that in a rapidly urbanizing world with limited resources, everyone will never have a big house, car and garden, but people can still share a city with vibrant parks, safe open spaces, efficient public transport, access to leisure, and even some wildlife.

The importance of landscape architecture, and landscapes in general, is being recognised increasingly in current public debate. Many recent books about the landscape have been highly successful, and citizen-led environmental campaigns are gaining popularity. I believe this trend will continue to grow, leading to an increased demand for the expertise landscape architects provide.