Karen Mannion - Landscape Architectural Technologist

Works at Park Landscaping Ltd.
Years of experience: 5

Last updated: September, 2023

Career Journey




Career Milestone 1


Future Ambitions

NAIT - Landscape Architectural Technology

Landscape Designer/Technologist  Park Landscaping  Edmonton, AB Jun 2019 – Present

To work closely with a landscape architect

Question and Answers

After graduation, what was the first position you had? How did that shape where you are now as a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

Subcontractor /Landscape Designer  Garden Magic Landscaping Inc.  Edmonton, AB Summer 2018/2019

Worked in collaboration with manager, providing valuable input and suggestions on various residential landscaping projects;
worked with other team members and designers. Competed full-scope residential design projects, including detailed planting plan – drafting in AutoCAD and rendering in PhotoShop. Participated in hands-on work.

What is something that surprised you at the start of your career? or What is something that surprises you about being a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

It surprised me the level of knowledge that is required to put together a plan or design.
I had to emerge myself in learning and gather all the necessary "tools" before providing a well-thought-through plan.

What are some of your roles and responsibilities?

Uncover client needs, providing solutions through design consultation, material selection, and ongoing customer service before, during, and after the project. Create accurate, diverse, desirable, artistic, and inspirational landscape designs to suit various site conditions and client preferences. Cost estimate, and planting plans. Prepare accurate construction drawings.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Flowing up with new leads.
Scheduling site visits.
Analyzing the site, including taking measurements and determining the elevation. Meetings with clients to understand the project scope and their goals.
Drafting RPR and plot plans.
Design and plan residential and pool projects in 2D rendered drawings and 3D images, as well as detailed planting plans and accurate cost estimates.
Sending contracts to booked clients and managing the deposit payment.
Guiding and instructing the construction package for booked projects.
Meeting with the operation team to hand over the complete project (rendered 2D drawing, planting plan, construction package, cost estimate and other reports).
During construction, frequent visits are made to ensure that the crew is following the design and checking if there are any questions they may have.
Working closely with the operation team during the construction phase.
Responsible for any change orders that may be needed during construction.
Being the main communication person for clients and being available at all times.

What skills do you feel are important to have as a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

Attention to details
Broad knowledge of plant materials
Good drafting skills and ability to read RPR plot plan
Understanding the construction process allows one to draft construction packages with sections, details, and dimension plans.

What are you passionate about as a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

I love everything about this profession.
I enjoy seeing the transformation of a good design and planning can produce - like magic :)

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have been a part of.

I designed and planned a major residential pool design project.
The project included an inground spa and pool with an elevated stone patio with a retaining wall.
The design was based on the 45-degree angle, resulting in a dynamic design with large planting areas.
The materials that were chosen supported a modern, clean look and feel.
Intimate seating areas were created in memory of a loved one per the client's request.

Another project that I enjoyed was a small sloped backyard.
The design was challenging due to the small space and the existing slope.
I created two-level patios with a 2' HT retaining wall. The lower patio includes a composite L-shaped to maximize the space.
Outdoor lighting had been added to create an intimate atmosphere and ambient.
More elements were used in this design. The information above is to give a sense of the project scope.

Describe something that you have found challenging as a LAT?. How did you overcome this?

Determining elevations in sloped yards and drainage projects.
Since I don't have building experience, I found this part challenging.
In complex projects, the construction manager will meet on site and he will use the laser level.
I will use a string line, two stakes, and a bubble level to check various heights in a simpler project.

What advice would you give a new Landscape Architectural Technologist?

The love of learning

What are your future goals?

To keep learning and improving design and planning ability
The love of learning all aspects of Architectural Landscape Design is my passion, and I am always looking for ways to perfect and improve.

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