1: a cause of astonishment or admiration : marvel
2: the quality of exciting amazed admiration
3: rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one's experience

Re-purposing an industrial site - Thornton Quarry (current studio project)

My design philosophy as a landscape architect is to create a sense of wonder for the beholder, even if only for an instant. While we are not all designers, people innately respond to the space, texture, color, quality and mood of their surroundings, and I’m continually interested in how these psychological responses can manifest using landscape.

Studying landscape architecture in Chicago has given me first-hand exposure to urban sites, issues, changes and solutions, as well as the opportunity to re-evaluate how we think about and interpret urban spaces in the 21st century. "Stopping to smell the flowers" will take on new meaning, as we stop to behold the massiveness and significance of a former industrial structure or site instead. I also believe that these sites should also be thought of in a dynamic way, with design that evolves over time, making them continually enjoyable in new ways.

Additionally, I believe in an ecological approach to landscape architecture that has a positive influence on the surrounding environment, ecosystems and community. This involves preserving the integrity and working with the inherent fabric of a site, designing spaces that allow people to enjoy the flora and fauna of a site, while also minimizing disruption or harm to healthy balance that may exist.

Something that makes me different than many designers is my background in marketing and horticulture. Having this education and work experience has helped me to merge practicality and creativity. It has allowed me to more effectively communicate with others, inspiring in them interest and confidence in my design approach. It has also allowed me to step outside of my own design sense and think more logically about how people might utilize and enjoy their time within a created space.
 I look forward to implementing all of these beliefs and qualities in a professional environment.

Moments of “Here” Wonder: Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, Graceland Cemetery, Dan Kiley Art Institute garden, The Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, 1 S. Dearborn plaza, “Agora” sculpture installation in Grant Park, Lake Shore East Park, Zion Kirche in Pilsen, Bloomingdale Trail project 

Moments of “There” Wonder: Michael van Valkenberg’s Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana, Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park in Duisburg, Germany, and Highway 1/101 in California & Oregon.