Landscape Architecture’s Stem Designation- It Matters a Lot


Landscape Architecture Design has become the talk of the town! Landscape architecture links to concepts of sustainability, biophilia, public health, environmental design, and re-wilding. It also emphasizes how closely technology and the discipline are related. In order to project how ecological interventions might change an existing urban system and identify the best course of action that will benefit both humans and the environment, landscape proposals are depending more and more on cutting-edge science and technology. 

For a couple of years, there has been a growing momentum to either restore the ecologies surrounding our built environment to their natural state or make them adapt to the increasingly uncertain climate future. If we look back, there has been a paradigm from well-kept lawns to meadows filled with wildflowers, with people now inclining towards more affordable ideas and styles for landscape architecture features and designs. 

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The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) advised the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to classify degrees in landscape architecture and art as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline. The ASLA made this announcement on July 12 of this year which is truly remarkable. 

Innovative research and technology development are being spearheaded by landscape architecture programs. These include applications of artificial intelligence in urban agriculture, autonomous vehicle urban planning, hydraulic modeling, robotic fabrication, augmented reality for water features, and more.


A growing number of practices devote their time and energy to holistic rehabilitation projects that involve highly specialized scientific methods in order to shift from an anthropocene design language to one that centers ecological symbiosis between humans and nature. This is because landscape and architecture are more intertwined than ever as a result of global climate change.

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There’s a significant change happening in the design and architecture industry as a whole. The new designation recognizes the landscape architecture field as a STEM discipline, one that—in the words of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) CEO Torey Carter-Conneen—“applies science, technology, cutting edge research, and engineering principles to design healthy communities, active transportation projects, campuses and parks.” Landscape architecture elements are really diversified and with this recognition, it has gone a level ahead.

This recognition plays a pivotal role in the field of global architecture and landscape upliftment. Carter-Conneen says, for both the profession itself and for the important work landscape architects must accomplish in the fight against climate change. “Landscape architects are the ones bringing forward solutions to help the climate and biodiversity crises,” he says. “The more powerful decision-makers and elected officials who understand the impact and importance of landscape architecture, the more freely we can move to create meaningful change that helps communities adapt to these environmental circumstances.” 


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