Whether it’s a logo, a ball gown, architecture or anything in between, you can’t underestimate the importance of great design. One of my favorite quotes about design comes from the influential Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa, who said, “Great design is a multi-layered relationship between human life and its environment.” That’s especially true when it comes to landscape design, where by its nature, people will be in and around it.
I thought I’d take the opportunity here on our blog to answer a few questions I’ve been asked about the importance of design in landscaping.
Why design in the first place? Going into a project without a clear vision on "paper" would be unwise. Without a design, most people are not able to visualize the landscape. A 2D or 3D design helps define expectations and eliminates unwelcome surprises. It also helps us establish the budget. And, it's easier and cheaper to make changes during the design phase, so if you have a change of heart, it's best to change your mind at this point in the process.
Why do you charge for design? We've all heard Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth's famous quote: “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” We take design very seriously, so we partner with creative and experienced landscape designers to visualize our clients' ideas. Great detail is put into our 2D or 3D plans to avoid unexpected issues during construction. At the end of the design process, you will get 2D and/or 3D renderings that, if you so wish, can be used somewhere else.
Do your designers have a process? At Landscape America, our experience has allowed us to hone a firm process we can follow for the design of each project. We’ll start by getting to know you over a cup of coffee. Then we visit the property to get a feel for the space, take measurements and make note of existing conditions. From there, we take a look at your budget and consider any components we might be able to add to the project, like sitting walls, pools, cabanas or outdoor kitchens. At that point our designers can finally start designing. The concepts are run by you and we don’t stop until you’re happy. Once the conceptual design is complete, we’ll sit down with you and review both the design and the budget. After it’s approved, the design is finalized and we get ready to start building!
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the importance landscape design. And to illustrate the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to design, I’ll leave you with one more quote from a galaxy far, far away. Han Solo and Chewbacca are flying a stolen enemy ship, when Han says to his giant, cramped partner, “I don’t think they had Wookiees in mind when they designed it, Chewie.”