Finding Jobs in Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, ft. Liezel Du Preez at City Design People

Finding Urban Design Jobs with Liezel Du Preez at City Design People

Navigating Urban and Landscape Architecture: A Conversation with Liesel Du Preez

Urban Design and Landscape Architecture: Complementary Disciplines

Liesel Du Preez, a seasoned professional from City Design People, articulates the synergy between urban design and landscape architecture. These intertwined disciplines both aim to enhance our urban environments, albeit from different vantage points. Urban design emerges from an architectural perspective, focusing on large-scale city planning, while landscape architecture is often more site-specific, dealing with public realms and parks.

Educational Paths and Essential Skills

Prospective professionals can enter these fields through various educational routes. Landscape architects typically benefit from a master’s degree in the subject, paving the way for potential chartership. Urban design is more eclectic, welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds like planning and architecture, often culminating in a master’s degree. Irrespective of the route, proficiency in spatial and graphic communication is paramount.

Practical Tools and Day-to-Day Activities

In the day-to-day realm, urban designers and landscape architects employ a variety of tools. While the Adobe Suite and AutoCAD are essential, programs like Revit play a secondary role. Key to these roles are not just technical skills but strong communication abilities, necessary for engaging with a range of stakeholders.

Career Prospects and Current Industry Landscape

The landscape architecture sector is currently experiencing a talent crunch, partially due to salary dynamics and educational shifts post-Brexit. Conversely, urban design’s demand fluctuates with economic trends. Both areas offer a multitude of career opportunities, from private practices to roles in government and multidisciplinary firms.

Insights for Aspiring Professionals

Du Preez encourages continuous learning and industry engagement for aspirants. Portfolios should be more than a collection of projects; they should narrate the story of each project, highlighting the candidate’s problem-solving and impact. Active industry participation and a strong narrative in presentations and interviews can set candidates apart.

Concluding Reflections

Du Preez’s insights underline the importance of resilience, adaptability, and a passion for making a positive impact in the urban and landscape realms. She advocates for a broad understanding of these fields, emphasizing the need for professionals to be well-rounded and proactive in their career development.

Transcript:

Stephen Drew: Hello, everyone. Strapping Thursday special. Where’s this week gone? I have no idea. This is gonna be a good one. 30 seconds. We’re gonna talk all about those cities, all about that public space, amenities. I hope you’re not littering. My guests will not be very impressed with that. 20 seconds we will kick off.

All right.

I know you’re thinking about the weekend, but hold on, don’t worry. 10 an hour of bliss. Put the revver away.

I. Hello everyone. Welcome to the livestream special. You know what time it is? It’s one o’clock. Put that sandwich away for a second because we’re gonna go deep. We’re gonna go into a world that blurs into the Architecture world a little bit, collaboration in that space. However, if you are studying landscape Architecture or urban design, or you’re an Architect that maybe wants to transfer or learn those skills, Then I have the best guess for you.

And without favor ado, I have the fantastic Liesel Dere from City Design people. Woo. How you doing?

Liezel Du Preez: I’m very good. Thank you. You.

Stephen Drew: I’m all right. I f I forgot because I’m so excited to have you here to put my soundboard on, and I normally have a clap, but I’ll do a real one. So thank. Yeah. Thank you for joining us so anyone here that wants to ask a question, you can put it in the livestream while Liesel’s talking or I’m talking, so go for it.

But Liesel, for anyone that does not know who you are, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Liezel Du Preez: Yes. So I run a little small recruitment company called City Design People. I’ve done so for nearly six years or so, but before that used to work with. Steve and started my career in recruitment through this collaboration. But before that, I worked as urban designer for many years in South Africa and London.

So learned my graph on the job working in multidisciplinary practices, Architecture practices, landscape practices. So got a bit of everything to refer back to. Yeah. And now I try and help you guys find the right job.

Stephen Drew: Cool. Very interesting. So I am, I studied Architecture. Okay. And so they, what’s that? What I find interesting because you’ve done a bit of dual roles because landscape Architecture you know really well, but also urban design, you’ve done that role as well. So perhaps maybe to start with, it’d be really cool if you could say the similarities, but also the distinctions between both of those roles.

So what does a landscape Architect do and what does an urban designer do?

Liezel Du Preez: Yeah, so I guess urban Design has grown out of APEC a special interest in Architecture within, for the bigger scale things for. The how cities work, how we develop larger areas, how we renew larger areas within the city. So usually, urban design flows out of Architecture.

But you can also, approach it from lots of other different backgrounds often, the sort of environmental sciences, geography planning, but it’s definitely a concern with a bigger design issues. That face cities and how to do that and to, grow our cities and expand them and improve them.

Landscape Architecture often looks at the same issues the same concerns, but like Architecture, it can be a bit more focused on the site and development and construction. So you might be. Really, very much ultimately involved in the design and delivery of public realm parks, open spaces, and so on.

These things work together and can overlap and be a specialty for you. In a, in, I often see urban designers and landscape architects singing, the same. The same story, the same hyn book. It’s a very closely related field.

Stephen Drew: Okay, cool. Same mantra, same goal, improving the public space as well as everything else. I love that. Where I, what I would love to know as well, and you can probably bring me a little bit up to date because in Architecture, part one, part two, part three, I understand really well. And now we’ve got Architectural Apprentice which is the new.

Route on the block and recently the a rrb is thinking of doing changes to that, but how does one then study land become a landscape Architect or an urban designer? Is it a case of that there’s a particular course or narrative or like you said to maybe people who have done Architecture but maybe they do a masters with more urban and stuff like that, so they blur into that world?

What’s the typical ways Liesel to get into the industry?

Liezel Du Preez: I would say maybe it’s better to look at it going backwards in urban design and landscape because. As I said, people get into it from so many different angles and undergraduate degrees. I think for a landscape Architect in general, it’s probably, if that’s your ultimate goal and you want to be a landscape Architect, maybe even become chartered and get your chartered membership of the Landscape Institute is definitely advisable to, do a master’s degree in landscape Architecture that is classically what employers would like from you.

And then, but before that you could come into it with an undergraduate landscape degree. Geography, environmental sciences, Architecture, horticulture. Yeah, there’s a range of undergraduate degrees that feed into landscape Architecture as a specialty. Urban design similar people come into it from a planning undergraduate degree.

Sometimes being fully qualified architects as well. And then going and doing an additional masters in city planning. Urban design there’s a range of urbanism, kind of masters degrees that you can. You can, pursue dependent on an emphasis that you have yourself. So there’s lots of different avenues.

I think the commonality, I think that, that sits with all of these and can be harder for some people than others is a fairly, a fairly important Thing, of course, in the design field is that sort of ability to draw the ability to express yourself in a, in a. Graphic way is really, is really important that if you’re coming from a planning background, if you want to be an urban designer, if you want to be a landscape Architect, you need to develop those skills to communicate in a spatial and graphic way.

Which sometimes. You need to pay special attention to as you progress through your career, and especially when you do your masters, is to try and enhance your skills that you might lack from somebody who’s come through an Architectural education where there’s so much more emphasis on spatial ideas, drawing visualization of concepts and ideas.

Stephen Drew: Wow. So that’s really insightful when you were speaking there talking about, communicating graphically and so on and so forth. And I think that it’s interesting that when people study Architecture they’ve got a draw, they learn to draw and then they, they go on a bit of software, they do all the renders.

And then, hey, right now if you are looking, you come to me for a job, if you have Revit, which isn’t very academic, that’s like the hot piece of software that a lot of Architecture practices use. What I’d love to know from your perspective, Lael, and where I’m getting with this is what, Is the day-to-day.

When you go into the industry, what does that job like for an urban designer or a landscape Architect. And is it, like you say, very visual communication or do you do they use particular pieces of software like Revit is adopted in the Architecture industry.

Liezel Du Preez: So I think important skills both in terms of, software, but other skills that are important for you to have. And the qualities and skills. It is really important as an urban designer to have excellent communication skills, not just. Being able to draw and talk about your drawings.

It’s talking to a range of people about, their environment, their their sort of setting, their town, their place. You need to be able to really communicate in an, in a simple, But professional way. So communication, being able to keep your own in a group of people really important.

And that negotiation aspect of communication as well. You need to have it. You can’t be sitting behind a computer and hiding away. That’s, yeah. You get into this job because you want to make a broader impact in our world. So you need to have some thoughts and you need to be able to share it.

Now sometimes some of those thoughts will need to be shared on a piece of paper, on a computer program. Creating a spatial scenario for. A place and how it’s gonna look. So yes, you need to be able to draw still with a pencil because that’s interactive and it can be adapted quickly.

I would say the other sort of important graphic skills that eventually you need, To be really strong, as in is the sort of Adobe packages. You need to be able to whip together planning documents with, hundreds of drawings and sketches nicely laid out and presentations to, easy, good graphic design skills.

So the Adobe packages you need to be really good at. Yeah. Quick. You need to, AutoCAD of course. I would say Revit less important. Maybe in some practices because you are collaborating with architects. Yes, that’s important, I think good sort of visualization skills.

Ultimately, you need to be, I. Really wizzy with Adobe InDesign, Illustrator. These are the starting points. And then AutoCAD and being able to adapt master plans and drawings all the time. There’s lots of, in terms of landscape Architecture, there’s lots of more kind of technical software that you use for plant specification and so on.

We don’t have to get into that too much. Those things I often find people learn on the job. Because that’s you can only really, those things you learn on the job. But the Adobe suite really important. Yeah. I think technically that’s probably the first things that you need to be good at.

Stephen Drew: Nice. Makes sense. I think I scared Lisa Sonder when I said put away your sandwiches earlier so you have permission to have the sandwich. And I’m impressed on the with your attention here, actually Liesel is spilling all the insight info, so fair play. I I’m glad you’re with us.

Very interesting. It’s quite liberating actually what you’re talking about. It’s not necessarily. Five years of BIM that you need. It’s a diff it’s a totally different skillset which com, accomplished. Oh, I can’t even speak. You go, you work alongside the Architect. So it’s handy to know those tools, but it’s quite liberating to hear that it’s a totally different thing.

I remember actually my first job in, in our Architecture where there was a landscape Architect for a particular project and I was amazed. Just cuz I never thought about it. Like you say, the amount of work which goes into studying what kind of greener evil survive in certain climates, what would, work where they should be and orchestrating it.

So it was very interesting. And what I was gonna ask you here is because, I would imagine that there are some specific landscape Architecture practices, and maybe there are some companies which specialize in urban design, but maybe Lisa, you can paint the full picture of where it’s like to work in the industry.

Is there multidisciplinary companies where do urban design and architects typically happen to be in the industry?

Liezel Du Preez: Mel, there’s lots of career prospects for you as an urban designer and as a landscape Architect. You, you can. Obviously as a landscape Architect, you can work in an independent landscape practice that specialize in landscape. Full on all the different aspects of landscape Architecture.

There’s lots of, they tend to be smaller smaller practices. It’s not huge companies, but there are a couple of larger independent practices. Usually. They also have. Then within them strong ecological planning departments. They do landscape planning, visualizations planning lvs, which is visual assessments.

There’s a lot, they have all that environmental side of things as well included then multidisciplinary for sure. Engineering practices often have, landscape architects and urban designers within their sort of staff. Anywhere where you might have a big.

Planning project, small planning project engineering, multidisciplinary very popular and big employer Architecture practices. Of course, we’ve got, lots of large, the top 100, most of them will have urban designers. And landscape architects within their teams. Smaller, again, smaller teams, not huge, but they take a lot of front end work in terms of.

Winning work. Building the argument, building the new why are we special? It’s why are we gonna do this project better? What are we gonna add in terms of value to how this project is done? Like landscape, Architecture and urban design teams often. Clinched the deal for a lot of Architecture practices, creating work for the rest of the practice to then deliver.

So it’s often, that sort of strategic. Component within a practice. Then of course there’s roles in local government for for landscape architects and urban designers as it’s important part of the planning process. Then there’s. Developers often have urban designers and delivery.

It is, it can lead to a project management role as well for you, if you working, say for developer or a housing association and delivering projects? Yeah, so there’s loads of different places where you can end up dependent on your particular strengths and interests.

Stephen Drew: It’s, that’s really useful because it was nice really to visualize. The role, and we talked a little bit about the day to day on it, but it’s so fascinating. Like you say, there’s all these pockets of awesome urban designers and landscape architects throughout the industry. And like you said, I’ve seen a few even Architecture practices where they have a dedicated team which does more urban design and master plan, and you have.

Different departments as well. So it, it is interesting. What I was gonna say is, in the future, we might look back at this, or maybe someone watches the replay in the future, but right now it’s February, 2023 and we, the pandemic’s kind of gone down and we’ve gone through all that and we’ve all got our battle scars, a few extra pounds or whatever it is.

We’ve come out the other end. But what is it, what is the industry like at the moment then lies in landscape, Architecture and urban design? Is it. Busy. In your perspective, is there still a lot of opportunities if someone’s studying now, do you think that they’re coming into the industry at a good time?

Liezel Du Preez: I would say it’s slightly different for the two areas. I, as architects, As landscape architects, there is, there’s a shortage of landscape architects good qualified landscape architects in the uk. I guess it’s in part, from my perception it’s been an ongoing process for quite, quite some time that, we are not getting enough people getting into the profession.

And. The profession’s partly to blame for it. And that, and this is something, I’m sure you advocate a lot on this matter, but the sort of salaries that are, staying current with salaries and making sure that people can make a good living Is an issue.

So a lot of young people, have to think twice about pursuing long education. And what are they gonna get out of it in the end. So I think the salaries is a problem for landscape Architecture. But a shortage over time. With Brexit and fewer students coming in from From Europe or post-graduate students.

So you know, they might have studied in Italy, Spain, Portugal, but then wanting to come to the UK after their studies. We’ve seeing less of these candidates. And then. Some people decided to go back to where they came from originally during the tough times of the Covid Pandemic. So yes, there’s a shortage of good candidates but there’s.

There’s work, there’s definitely, the UK and London, there’s a center of design globally. Lots of, international projects being delivered and especially in the master planning and landscape design field. So there’s work there’s definitely work landscape, Architecture and high demand urban design.

It goes up and down as it’s an up and down kind of field as it is often, this sort of, some practices see it as a luxury and some senses having this sort of high level teams who are very much about selling and promoting the services of their practices, especially in Architecture practices.

They, they selling vision, they’re selling the future. And when times are a little bit uncertain we are not looking so far ahead, then, there’s less, the less certainty and less. Less new work being commissioned on big master planning projects.

And then urban design gets a bit affected. But I would say the practices that, that kind of have built strong reputation and has, a really good presence in the market and is highly valued for their continued work, their reputation, they. They can ride most of the storms because people value the contribution they make.

So it’s important to, to look, if you want to be an urban designer, you have to look to the future. You have to make sure that you join a practice that has a strong ethos, values. The contribution that people make in the profession that are out there, they are involved in different spheres of the development industry, and that you’re not just sitting behind your computer getting on with the job.

You have to be out there promoting yourself. And being involved in the broader industry, then yes it’s a great place to be. You can make a real difference to the world. There’s lots of big issues that need to be tackled and if you’ve got that ambition to, to make the world a better place.

Then this is a great, place to be. So y you have to be, take a positive attitude. You can’t be thrown off by the ups and downs too much because it, they are gonna be there and you have to be resilient. So

Stephen Drew: Yeah.

Liezel Du Preez: and no.

Stephen Drew: I like, okay, we’re all about being honest here, isn’t it? And it, there are opportunities that I’m also amazed, like you say, so there was an Architect Architectural Assistant who was switching companies between, visas and the absolute. The amount of stress that was involved in the skilled worker visa was a nightmare, and it’s the same thing for anything coming in the country.

Ironically though, we have lots of opportunities here, so post Brexit, we haven’t made it that easy for oars in the uk. My own personal opinion where we crying out for talent, but then it’s like, Can you come here? We’re not too sure. So I think that, hopefully, I know that Architecture and hopefully landscaping design is on the skills shortage list, but the

Liezel Du Preez: is

Stephen Drew: to change,

Liezel Du Preez: architecture sits with underneath within the same category as architects. So they under, they’re in there.

Stephen Drew: Okay. That’s a good, that’s a good tip on there. What I was gonna say, cuz listen, you’ve got the benefit now, if you’ve worked in the industry like me and we’ve for one reason or another, stumbled into recruitment, and there’s a lot that you learn behind the scenes, it’s not all pretty, as we both know behind the scenes and there’s a lot of mechanics there.

However, what I would love to know, Lisa, is there any. Things that maybe you weren’t aware of before, but now you’ve had the benefit of being in recruitment. Any advice that you would give to your former self or someone currently job seeking? Cuz you’ve given a really good overview, you’ve given a really good few tips.

But in terms of actually looking for the job and the bit that you’re involved in now, if you are a candidate, is there anything that would be useful in terms of advice or practical tips?

Liezel Du Preez: Think. I think the first thing is do make yourself. Appealing by, by being forever student of your subject matter. Be involved in the industry going to events, going to talks things like, I would say joining an urban sketching group or going on walking tours. Being able to talk eloquently about.

The industry really important. Then so that, your employer will see that you are, you are, you do have that communication skills and that knowledge often I guess with urban designers because Yeah, unless you are an Architect who then goes into urban design, it’s not a, it’s not a profession as.

In the same way as Architecture. There are sort of professional qualifications, but they are very By association they’re not, legal qualifications. So it’s very much about the per the professional that you shape yourself to be. Landscape Architecture. You can be a chartered landscape Architect and go through a qualification process.

And I would say yes. Do not stump that usually that is doing your C M L I is up to you. You, it’s not, it’s, you can continue your career without that qualification, but I would advise most of my candidates, I’d say if they’ve got a couple of years of experience in the field, get on with it.

Do your chartership. Get it done because life happens and it is very highly sought after and valued because you get the full picture of what your job entails through doing the process. So I’d say do your chartership. And for urban designers. Be involved in the industry, get out there know the politics, the economics, the housing situation in this country as per like CVS and portfolios.

Looking at those things as we do all day long. I would say because, the projects also varied in different and geographically, Different as well. I think it’s important when you talk about your projects and when you present them to, to be very, have in your mind a storytelling process.

You have to tell the story of why the project is happening. Why did why, what’s the point of it? And, a systematic clear logic. It’s less important to just have fancy drawings. Yeah. Like really flashy stuff because it becomes very empty. You need to have a good story that you can tell at, when you at interview and when you present your portfolio.

So I think that just keep that in your mind. You tell, have to tell the story of this project or this piece of work, and particularly what its purpose was and how that purpose was fulfilled by the solutions and that you’ve suggested. So I think those things, it’s about being involved in your profession and progressing your.

Qualifications and then telling a clear story in your portfolio? Yeah, I get really more just looking at like fancy, drawings that have, have no, no sort of logic. And I know my clients feel the same way. They need your brain. They really need your brain. And your capability of communicating when you join a team.

Stephen Drew: Very fascinating. So I was gonna say quickly to anyone, cause we’ve got Liesel for a few more minutes, if you do have any questions to ask her, now is the time. You can contact. Lies will later as well. Bring that up and you can, at the end, Lisa will tell everyone, where they can get in contact and stuff.

But now’s the time. I’m gonna ask one more question on it, and then Lisa, maybe you can ask me any question that you want after, but the Architecture world or my crazy self, although you’ve had to endure me for a while, so you know a lot more than some people as well. But you touched upon it.

Yeah. I know we get along, but you’ve you’ve dealt with the Welsh madness, shall I say? What I would love to do, going back, if you think, or even what you see now you touched upon just then, oop, I got all excited and hit the microphone. You touched upon drawings with no meaning and a repetitive nature and maybe the portfolio.

What are mistakes that people make Liesl quite consistently that you think? Come on guys. That’s an easy one we can fix. Is there anything that you see in the CVM portfolio or maybe an interview technique or whatever that pops up now and time again that you should flag to people not to do too many?

Liezel Du Preez: It’s, it is, I think because, it is so varied and people do come from. Varied backgrounds it takes a bit of time to sometimes get to their particular strengths. I think it’s the same thing that, that I said before. I think not telling the story of the project and the context from the variety of scales.

So I think it is important in urban design and landscape Architecture to show the scale. At which you can work. So at the sort of, the bigger sort of planning scale that’s looking at a whole kind of region or a city you do need to show that you think of it at that level, that you understand the analysis and the data that you need to process to understand and have an informed position as a starting point.

Because there’s a lot of. There’s a lot of research that goes on at the beginning, so you need to show a bit of that, but then you do need to work through the scales and be able to show that you understand the implications of what you’re doing on the ground at the sort of eye level where people live.

And I think if you can’t show those ranges of scale effectively, Then there’s something missing. And employers are getting a bit worried that you don’t understand the full sphere of where you’re working in. So I think, yeah, being able to show the whole, like the whole story, all the scales at which the profession operates at, that, if you have all of that in there, then then you’ll do well.

Stephen Drew: You are off to a good start now. That’s really useful because that’s something I wouldn’t have thought of, and it’s very interesting when you talk about scales, I think in Architecture, I. In particular, it can be, cause it’s more insular isn’t it? It’s a project that’s in inside, it’s all the RIBA stages, so it’s a totally different scale.

Very interesting. It looks though, Lisa, you’ve, we’ve both gotten the way with me cause there’s no questions and some that keep saying that. You’ve got great points, so we must be doing, we must be doing something right. Perhaps on that note, what I was gonna say is, While I’m here, interviews can be, I try not to make them too much a one way thing.

And we know each other for a long time. Is there anything that you’d like to throw into the fore of the conversation? That it could be questions to me, it could be questions on Architecture or anything on your mind, which you’d like to pick my brains on.

Liezel Du Preez: Yeah, I would say, sometimes, I think architects and the Architecture profession probably should actually promote. These fields of interest a bit more to, to, to some architects like as a way where their strengths can be utilized better. I think there should be a progression.

I think some of the best landscape architects come from. Working within Architecture and then, it’s not promoted to them as a, as an, as a way forward for them. So I think, do you, do you see that happens at all? I hardly see it. See, landscape and urban design promoted to architects as an alternative career, as an alternative focus.

Stephen Drew: I think you hit the nail on the head. I think it’s seen as an alternative career where actually I, I see it as another fork in the road of Architecture. You talked about scale. It makes sense for an Architect if they want to explore open design. And bizarrely though, when I did work in practice, it was seen as an asset.

There was one person who had like qualifications in urban design, and every time they would do a packet, they would try to submit a. A project which was large scale, that director was always involved in the submissions and was a key part of the role. So it was incredibly valued. But like you say, I don’t see people talking about that route to, from Architecture into landscape Architecture or specialize in more into urban design.

Equally, I find that I’ve, I ha. I have though seen resistance from someone that’s done a lot of urban design than going on different scales back into Architecture. And I think that’s a little bit shortsighted actually, because equally there’s lots of practices like you, you mentioned earlier about international projects.

There’s so many Architecture practices which are doing large scale master plans, all this stuff, around the world. Totally different countries and it makes complete sense. You need urban designers involved and landscape architects, cuz in a lot of these cases, especially when we’re talking about the Middle East, you’re creating places where there was nothing before.

So it’s like a sand sandbox and it’s a. It’s a really exciting challenge. It’s completely different. But then equally, like you say in earlier, these like a landscape architect’s role in London, or it’s for instance, maybe, God forbid you got a project in the borough of Westminster, they’re gonna be all over you.

Like a rash about does it fit in? Is that, and so it’s a totally different. Vibe and it seems really interesting and I think where it would be really cool is so if you’re an Architect and you are interested in that larger scale or the urban fabric, then I think that’s really interesting because there is a missed opportunity sometimes.

And I think sometimes I’ve seen amazing buildings and they just don’t connect to the existing fabric the best way. It’s like the Architect spent all the four on the building and then outside you’ve got some Crappy pavement, and it’s like a terrible I don’t know, unfunctioning seat and a bin, and it’s oh, it could have been something nicer, but instead it’s just a bit of a dossy area.

So I think I think it could be really good. And the last note I say is that especially in a practice, I do think though that the more ways you can specialize yourself, so this is from an Architecture perspective, but for instance, if you’re an Architect and then you did a Master’s in urban design, okay, maybe you’re not an urban designer through and through, but.

Then that O offers a another vehicle of talent for that Architecture practice. And then maybe you collaborate with the urban designers or equally, like you said, specializing in, is it horticulture? I wanna say, is that the right words for, is that horses or is that plants? I have no idea. I’ve gone totally, but.

Totally blank, but understanding that stuff is really useful for design and access statements and planning submissions and stuff because you need to talk about the urban fabric and the existing and what’s there and so on and so forth.

Liezel Du Preez: No, we we all need to understand what our colleagues do and how they can, enhance the end product. The more we can work together, the better the end result. And, I think. An important quality within all of the build professions is this sort of ability to not be too precious and be able to adapt and learn from each other.

And I think that’s the way forward because some of the challenges faced in our cities are. Very complex. Nobody’s no perfect solutions. And even, if you come up with a Ian vision for the world it’s not gonna work. You might think it’s fantastic, but yeah, is it gonna work?

It’s never gonna end up exactly the way you might envision it. So collaborating and bringing, finding the. The best options that will work for everybody. And putting down the sort of the bones of it

Stephen Drew: The

Liezel Du Preez: important. The bones of it. And I guess another field that I think, is probably something that you are more interested in, that relates very closely to Architecture and and urban design and landscape is the sort of data the world of data

Stephen Drew: Oh, I love all that stuff.

Liezel Du Preez: you get, where you get your intelligence from.

I think there’s a lot of urban designers and architects who. Who more and more focus on using smart and intelligent design methodologies. So if you’re a bit techy like that urban Design provides, an area where people can really dig deep and trying to understand these complex places and complex data that comes out of cities.

So I think that, yeah. Steve, something for you to go into.

Stephen Drew: Maybe may, I think it might be too late for me, but if I was to do it again. It is interesting, like you say, doing all the science on where people move cuz that’s what I find really fascinating about what your role is. It’s one thing to design the space, it’s how it get used and it’s the old example of you got a pavement.

That goes around this way and people cut through the path. And equally where I live in Lewisham, they’ve put down where they think the street sign should be. And what happens is that everyone cuts across, almost kills themselves, but to save that 20 seconds. And it’s interesting human behavior, isn’t it?

And it’s it’s completely

Liezel Du Preez: In contrast with the vehicle. But yeah it’s see, exactly, there’s lots of conflicting conflict, conflicting informants in cities and yeah. So we have to just argue it out and get to the best. And then in the end, people use things completely unexpected ways. And that’s human nature.

And what makes, It’s fun to be and live in cities. So yeah we could talk about stuff wherever.

Stephen Drew: It’s true. On that note, I’ve got one quick fire question from the audience. Eileen Round, who runs art jobs dot co uk really cool company. She asks though, and I think it was to do, when we talked about project length and going into detail, about showing the project’s perspective.

Two people find it difficult to keep it concise. I think that. And what I’ve learned in Architecture is the favor in your career, the harder it is to jam pack that all in. And then people do find it harder to keep stuff concise. Is that the same in landscape and urban design in your experience?

Liezel Du Preez: Oh yeah. I’ve, I get lots of graduates with, retelling half of this thesis in the portfolio. Yeah. But, it’s just, it’s like with anything people get very Attached to their work and attached to, the process. And you must remember typically a planning process for a new master plan can often take years.

It can take years and years of, the process from the, just the initial visioning and studies through to having A plan that will be, and then even then it will go into a more of a design process or a more technical design takes years and, people like wanna tell the whole story.

Yeah. It’s really, it is really hard thing to do. In part probably why I don’t do, haven’t design anymore. It’s like the time. The times that, you have to be really, that, you have to be in it for the long term and

Stephen Drew: Yeah,

Liezel Du Preez: concise. It’s difficult. Yeah.

Stephen Drew: try your best to keep it concise. I agree and that’s probably something I should do. With this podcast as well. Wait. There you go. So I think we’ve reached a really nice juncture where we can probably end this. Now that being said, you are on LinkedIn. You have an awesome recruitment consultancy. I’m a big fan of all you’ve done.

I’m gonna bring up the contact you us, but where can people find you?

Liezel Du Preez: Yeah, go to my website. And I think, You can always email me at liesl city design people.com or LinkedIn. Those are, or you can, maybe get there on, on Instagram or something like that. But I, I like people getting in touch and having a conversation about their own journey and their own career.

Because everybody’s unique and they all have something special to offer. The practices are varied. It’s not a cookie cutter kind of area, so

Stephen Drew: Yeah.

Liezel Du Preez: it’s best to take a considered view.

Stephen Drew: I agree. Thank you so much, Lee. It’ll been an absolute delight. As always. We’ve got some, smiley, some laughing, some comments that have come in, so I really appreciate you being here. And also you guys in the audience, whether you are live now, thank you. But also the replay cuz this is what it is.

It’s the modern world. Everyone watches the replay. So if you are on your tablet or you’re on your phone or you are on that commute or you’re thinking, do you know what? I’m interested in the urban design landscape. I hope this has been useful. Get in contact with these others as well. On that note though, I’m gonna end this live stream now.

Thank you so much. Thank you, Liesel, for being

Liezel Du Preez: you everybody.

Stephen Drew: And we’ll see you all soon, Lisa. Stay on the stage. Don’t go anywhere while I turn off the live stream. And bye bye everyone. And son, I hope you did eat that sandwich next time I won. Say that as a joke. Take care everyone. Bye.