Favorite Plant: Diospyros virginiana, American Persimmon
I graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in architecture and went to work for the architecture office of Mies van der Rohe’s grandson in Chicago. While working alongside notable Chicago architects Jim Goettsch and Steve Nilles, I helped define the windy city skyline through work on two tall buildings in the Chicago Loop.
I went to the University of Virginia (UVA) to work in the shadow of Mr. Jefferson and complete an advanced degree in architecture. A funny thing happened while in the studios at UVA and under the spell of the Academical Village: I discovered landscape architecture.
As a student at the UVA School of Architecture, I had the opportunity to take classes in the landscape architecture department. I encountered landscape architecture theory through the lens of Elizabeth Meyer and plants through the eyes of Cole Burrel. Between these influential instructors and an increasing amount of time alongside students in the landscape architecture studios I discovered a great love for the language of landscape. I ultimately graduated with master’s degrees in both landscape architecture and architecture and went to work for Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme in Washington, D.C.
While at Oehme, van Sweden & Associates I honed my plant studies and knowledge of the “New American Garden” style - the aesthetic defined by bold masses of ornamental grasses and perennials. Through projects at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, and residences in New York and Virginia, I began refining my thoughts on the ecological function and aesthetic power of plants in the designed landscape.
My current work builds upon my professional and educational background. I am influenced by distant travels, neighborhood gardens, accidental harmony, calculated beauty, and the pursuit of improved health through stronger connections between people, plants, and architecture.