EDSA | Then and Now | Franchesca Carrera

Then & Now

Previous interns – now employees, share their perspectives, advice and insights about all things landscape architecture and their experiences with EDSA.

Franchesca first joined EDSA as an intern in the fall of 2018 and returned as a summer intern in 2019. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Florida, she joined our Fort Lauderdale office as a full-time designer. Working on a myriad of projects with an impressive dedication to her craft, we recently spoke with Francesca about her career journey thus far with EDSA and the impact it has had on her as a creative and landscape architect.

Q: Tell us about your career journey – what led you to EDSA?

A: Being a first-generation student, I didn’t really have anyone in my family who had the privilege of going to a university and choosing their own career. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to study my freshman year. I explored a few different majors before my final switch landed me into the world landscape architecture. Soon after that, one of our class opportunities included a tour of EDSA. It was a way to introduce the freshmen class to landscape architecture firms. I saw all the drawings that were spread out on the tables and instantly became inspired by it. I remember the moment my class got back onto the bus to leave – we were all so amazed by EDSA’s craft and high level of expertise. That experience helped me realize that this profession is what I wanted to do for a career. I’ve always been interested in drawing, along with the science and design aspect of things, but never knew of a place where those skills could flourish. EDSA helped me discover a name for my passion and made me feel confident in my chosen career path. After that, I couldn’t wait to apply and start my journey in landscape architecture.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: Most of the inspiration I find is through the communities I’m surrounded by, and the different ways in which cultures and identities weave together to create a space. I feel that the intersection of different backgrounds showcases the caring aspect that exists within people, creating a sense of safety and a sense of home. When I’m in a space that speaks to me socially or spatially, the unspoken respect and safety that exists within a community is very prevalent.

Q: Who is your mentor and why?

A: I would say my mentor is my first landscape architect Professor, Huiqing Kuang. She was my design communications professor and taught me how to better translate meaning through design. I find her teachings extremely useful because as landscape architects, that’s essentially our own language. She was the guidance that made me believe that I belonged in higher education and equipped me with skills to be professional in the work environment. To this day, she inspires me by being a great designer and I really look up to her.

Q: What have you accomplished since becoming an EDSA designer, both personally and professionally?

A: I feel like my biggest accomplishment is becoming a more confident person. I attribute that to working alongside other very strong and confident individuals. For instance, all the women we have here at EDSA are very strong and just so amazing in my eyes. They have helped me grow and become not only a more confident person, but a more confident designer as well.

Q: When you think about your time at EDSA thus far, what’s one word that comes to mind and why?

A: For me, strength is the word that comes to mind. I’ve met so many designers who are very resilient and quickly adaptable to any test thrown at them. It’s always very inspiring to see a how quickly they’re able to grasp something and turn out a project that achieves their goals.