UC Davis undergraduate, 4th year
Major: Landscape Architecture
As we continue on our journey to create a garden designed for Green Care, I found
myself with a lot of questions and anxiety about its completion. What if something is wrong with my design? What if the plants don’t survive the sweltering heat of Davis? What if I’m doing
something wrong? But the most pressing question of all, what if I fail?
This is my first time working such a large scale project, and this experience is truly taking
me out of my comfort zone. For most of my classes at UC Davis, I work exclusively behind a
computer, and I’ve never had the opportunity to see my designs through. As I look at my talented coworkers and my accomplished supervisor, and the amazing accolades they have collected throughout the years, I experience a lot of imposter syndrome. I constantly doubt myself, not knowing if I am actually deserving of this position.
I recently spoke to my fellow Garden Whisperer, Dalia, about my feelings of anxiety and
self-doubt, and found that she shared a similar sentiment. Emily Hu, a clinical psychologist,
made me realize that my feelings of being a fraud didn’t stem from my own self doubt, rather it
was a lack of “examples of people who look like us or share our background who are clearly
succeeding in our field.” Our feelings of imposter syndrome stem from the absence of
representation in the Landscape Architecture field. UC Davis curriculum teaches us about these
incredible white landscape architects from the past, like Frederick Olmsted, Lawrence Halprin,
Lancelot Brown. Repeatedly seeing these faces of people who don’t look like me makes it nearly
impossible to identify and imagine myself belonging in the field. While not intentional, the
underrepresentation perpetuates a false narrative that LDA is reserved only for white men.
According to Zippia, a career resource site, 79.9% of landscape architects are men, and 85.3% of
individuals identify as white (Project Landscape Architect Demographics and Statistics in the
US). Exclusivity in the Landscape Architecture field has greatly contributed to these feelings of
inadequacy that Dalia and I share. I hope that Dalia and I can help to change these statistics, and be the representation for others as women of color.
Green Care Blog
Here you can find blog posts from each Green Care Lab intern. We'll be talking about our research process, the benefits of Green Care therapy, and sharing pictures of our work. Follow along with us!