bdla spokespersons for education exchange ideas with teachers and students at the University of Kassel
The constant exchange with universities on the teaching and study of landscape architecture is a central concern of the bdla. In the course of this, the lead working group on education held its meeting on March 17-18, 2023 at the University of Kassel.
The members were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Andreas Mengel, Head of the Department of Landscape Development, Environmental and Planning Law of the Faculty of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Planning with a total of about 1,000 students.
It became clear in the presentation of the study program "Landscape Architecture and Landscape Planning" that it is broadly positioned and offers numerous elective and specialization options. The lectures and seminars offered convey a wide range of design, planning-conceptual and scientific contents of landscape architecture and landscape planning. In addition, current topics such as "Climate adaptation in the urban context" or "Street spaces and urban mobility" are concretely dealt with in practical professional studies.
In the ensuing discussion with student representatives, they emphasized the personal support provided by the professors and the university's "short distances". The wish was expressed for better interaction between project work and systematic teaching, as well as for a stronger link between ecological aspects and design tasks. From the point of view of professional practice, an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to studies is particularly valuable.
Within the student body, pressure to perform and dropping out of studies are often issues; moreover, in view of the low starting salaries compared to other professions. bdla spokesperson Marion Linke pointed out on behalf of all working group members that studies usually provide enough room for one's own learning rhythm and that everyday life in the office is very enriching.
Against the backdrop of constructive exchange, those present explored the question of why, in times of "Fridays for Future" or "Last Generation", the study of landscape architecture does not experience the demand that politics and society attach to the core topics of the profession, such as strategies for climate adaptation or the creation of multifunctional open spaces. Only by strengthening and expanding teaching could the upcoming projects be implemented. One consideration is to transfer practice-oriented study opportunities, which are already offered in some cities, to landscape architecture offices by means of model contracts.
The bdla has already launched various initiatives in terms of attracting young talent: from the classic internship exchange, an internship kit for offices, information about study opportunities to the hybrid regulars' table format "Meetup frischgrün_vernetzt" for young landscape architects. However, further efforts are needed to arouse interest in the study of landscape architecture and to increase the perception of the profession in society. In addition to the contact to the universities, offers to planning offices should be further consolidated. The online training series "Green Basic Academy", which was relaunched this year and is aimed at career changers and colleagues from outside the profession, is in great demand.
Only in cooperation between the profession, educational institutions, politics and civil society can the challenges of climate change and the energy transition be successfully met with high-quality open spaces and the transformation of the landscape for all.
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