I'm writing this as Jeremiah and I (Amanda) are on the 5 1/2 hour flight back to LAX, and want to start off by saying that LABash 2017 at the University of Maryland was incredible! For those who couldn't attend, LABash is an annual student Landscape Architecture conference held in North America. It features many inspiring keynote speakers and sessions on hot topics in landscape architecture and design.
Many thanks go out to the entire organizing committee who made sure the event ran like clockwork and became the huge success everybody wanted.
Here are my top recommended takeaways from the event:
- Go to LABash as many times as you can. This is my 5th, after attending 3 as a student. LABash is a networking event. It can pull you out of your shell, show you things your curriculum won't have time to cover, and teach you how to land your dream job as a landscape architect. If you didn't come this year (or if you did), start making plans with your department to visit Penn State's LABash 2018 right now! See my previous blog post for tips on how to reduce the cost to allow more students to attend.
- Get used to networking. Sit at a table with somebody you don't know during the meals and presentations at a conference like LABash. You will need to be able to do this once you're out of school in order to have that chance encounter that lands you a dream job, or the perfect client. Like one speaker this year said, in school you're trying to fit in, but to be successful after, you need to stand out.
- This is a great time to be a landscape architect. In his presentation, Jeremiah went through where technology has come from and what's on the horizon. Want to order a survey of your site from a drone company right from CAD? That used to be something you'd only expect in Star Trek, and now it's not that far off! Nearly everybody stressed how important it is to get acquainted with your ASLA or CSLA chapter now, and I agree. Get involved, and get excited about what's to come after you graduate.
If you missed seeing Jeremiah and me present on Saturday, those who did attend can vouch that a lot was learned that afternoon. If you want a recap of my presentation, "Rendering a Plan Without Photoshop," I do happen to have a previously recorded webinar that goes step-by-step through the same techniques I showed off, as well as a few more. Here's a link:
If you attended, you'll remember that I'm not saying "don't use Photoshop"; I'm just saying "don't use Photoshop for 3 days." The link below will bring you to a webinar recording that takes what we went through on Saturday and applies Photoshop to it. This process will take what used to be days down to hours (or minutes, if you get good at it), and result in a plan rendering that is easily editable and uniquely you.
All of this led to an amazing LABash 2017. We hope to see everybody again at LABash 2018 in Pennsylvania State University next spring! Start planning that trip now with your landscape architecture department to make sure your university has the best representation at this important conference.