American University of Beirut

Farah Ghoury | '17

Landscape Architect, ICON

Dubai, UAE

Farah shares her post-graduation story, highlights how competent the BLA program made her among other peers in the field, and discusses the importance of food security and landscape architecture in world contemporary issues.


After graduation, where did your BLA degree take you?​

Shortly after graduating, I went back to Jordan, where I explored different aspects of landscape architecture. I branched out to lighting design and improved my skills in DIALux; a professional program for light calculation, visualization, and planning.

I then worked at a local landscape design studio specialized in hospitality and high end villas. Although it was for a brief period, it gave me the opportunity to look at details, material selections, and to observe the process of crafting livable spaces. This was the end of my chapter in Jordan. 

My next chapter in Dubai began when I worked at Proscape, a landscape design and build company for a year and a half. The landscapes I have worked on differ greatly from those I have designed in Jordan and Lebanon, therefore providing me with a well-rounded understanding and a firmer grasp of my field. I developed my planting design skills and I familiarized myself with a more inclusive softscape palette used in public, commercial and residential projects.

I also had the opportunity to learn about hardscape materials. This strengthened my knowledge around the different types of materials, finishes, and colors that can be used, which in turn strengthened my ability to select different materials for different project types.​

My next move was to ICON, a landscape architecture and urban design consulting firm. As an emerging new office in Dubai, I delved deeper into the professional practice of landscape architecture. The scale and array of project types I have worked on deepened my understanding of the landscape design process as I was taught in the BLA program at the American university of Beirut.

How do you compare yourself to other peers in the field?​

I feel that I have a strong theoretical and conceptual design background that allows me to be confident, creative, and daring in my designs. Additionally, the numerous presentations, weekly follow ups, and juries really paid off when it came to my communicationand presentation skills to both colleagues and clients.  ​

You're much interested in agricultural technology; how do you think your future plans can be elevated from landscape architecture practice to be more relevant to world contemporary issues?​

I believe that within the next few decades, one of the most challenging issues to counter will be food security. With the enormous population growth and gradual lack of spaces to farm, the world is moving towards artificial intelligence for solutions.

 I believe that with a strong landscape architecture practice and background, and a strong master's degree in agricultural technology, I can be a part of the solution by creating spaces for food production and ultimately, a more food secure world.​

Do you feel that your current job sustains your daily life?​

With a $2,000-3,000 monthly salary range, I believe that the profession is intellectually and financially rewarding.

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