EDSA | Then and Now | Megan Perry

Then & Now

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

Megan joined EDSA in the fall of 2018 as an intern and quickly became an asset to the organization. Brought on as a full-time designer in 2019 after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia, Megan has since been promoted to the role of Associate and works out of our Orlando office. We were lucky enough to catch up with Megan and chat about her experiences as a landscape architect and a designer at EDSA.

Q: What does landscape architecture mean to you?

A: I know many minds automatically default to thinking about the profession of architecture, but to me, landscape architecture is really the practice of why we build things. Ultimately, we’re providing a service that allows people to flourish in a functional environment catered towards their needs. As planners and designers, it’s our job to understand the wants of a user group, utilizing those assets as an art form to create something new.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: People are my inspiration. I enjoy considering the end user and creating experiences that provide a certain level of happiness and comfort. At the end of the day, I remain passionate about understanding the wants and needs of a community, and how they can be incorporated into a final design. I also draw a lot of inspiration from the thoughts and feelings of my younger self and those around me, utilizing those nuances to fuel my designs and creativity.

Q: Who is your mentor and why?

A: I would say Alex Fenech. As a young leader at the firm, he really listens to understand. He also has a knack for problem solving – and if for some reason he can’t figure it out – he makes sure to utilize his resources, always following up with his team to discuss the process and how he got to where he needed to go. I think this comes from his passion for mentorship, which makes him easy to talk to and learn from.

With Alex being in the Fort Lauderdale office, I’ve learned a lot from those around me in Orlando as well. Designers like Jeong Park, Aaron Emerson, Craig Verniel, Rob Hutcheson and Jeff Sugar are all great mentors. I know I can go to them with a problem or for advice, and even if it doesn’t stem from a project they are working on, they always serve as sounding boards to point me in the right direction.

Q: What about landscape architecture are you the most passionate about? Have your passions shifted since becoming a full-time, practicing designer?

A: Construction documentation and construction implementation are things I’ve become very passionate about. As a landscape architecture, there is a lot of emphasis on needing to be super artistic to create something that’s beautiful – but over time I’ve realized that amazing design can be incorporated during all phases of the process. When it comes to construction specifically, I love knowing that I’ve solved the majority of the problems for the group in which I’m designing for. And as this process continues, you begin to see the blend of beauty, practicality and functionality in tandem. There’s a lot to be learned and it’s always a very detail-oriented process, which is what I really enjoy.

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

A: I would say growth. I’ve been with EDSA for almost four years, and between my internship and roles as a Designer and Associate, I’ve worked in two different offices and on four different teams. I also went through a pandemic and continue to touch a countless number of projects. And though it may seem overwhelming, it has given me limitless opportunities to learn, engage with others and understand what my passions are and how I can continue to move in the right direction.

There’s no question that growth is not always comfortable, and it becomes even more challenging when you are working in a profession that is ever evolving. I would just really encourage people – specifically students, to push themselves out of their norm. Recently, I’ve had a few students say that they’re worried about going outside of their cohort, taking a year off school or doing something that might cause them to misstep – but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. My path has changed plenty of times and I’m absolutely better for it.