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I’ll call it: I am old.  This is not bad news for someone like me who grew up during the height of the Cold War and squeaked past the AIDS epidemic. I never thought I would see this season of my life.  Now is the time for reflection before I am preoccupied with any other challenges that come with aging.  The goal of this portfolio is not to find the next client but to illustrate to students how every person’s path is different.  Once we graduate from college, our subsequent careers can follow very different paths that fork and meander.  Today, I see students following both traditional and nontraditional pathways to pursue their dreams, so I hope this portfolio enlightens just one way of following dreams.  The avenues to success are varied, challenging, and, with any luck, rewarding.

Pursuing a career in landscape design is perhaps one of the more unusual pathways to take, where every client, project site, requirement, and desire make one concept different from the next. Designers are taught to approach each design as unique as the project owner; therefore, we usually provide clients with up to three design variations to best measure the owner's interests, further lending diversity to our proposals.  Significantly, designers are impacted by outside forces, such as economic downturns, design trends, community influences, and climate challenges that affect the direction of a design.  The variety of design solutions is endless.

Then, we need to consider the designers themselves, the projects they want to design, and if they want to make their mark.  One of my professors defined landscape architects as falling into two categories: 1) the signature designer, whom clients seek out for their specific point of view or style, and 2) the toolbox designer, where the designer acts as the tools to realize the clients’ dreams, regardless of the designer's signature style.  I think of myself as the latter, listening to the client and performing my best to support their wishes over my own.  Neither direction guarantees success, but as the toolbox designer, I found it exceedingly rewarding to overhear clients being complimented for accomplishing their vision. As my clients’ assistant, I worked in the background, backstage, never intending to become a well-known designer.

The following portfolio is not in any order but rather a place for me to open up old files and share my reflections on the results.  “Results” is a funny word in the landscape industry.  Whereas architecture is static (or very slow to change), landscapes change constantly, every season, every day.  What I designed as a twenty-something will have evolved from its initial design: trees grow, plants wither, clients evolve, properties change ownerships.  This portfolio offers snapshots in time and might include rare opportunities to revisit old designs to see how they have progressed.  My hope is for readers to see one designer’s process over time.

(the portfolio will be added below whenever I have a hot minute.  In the meantime...)

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