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Then & Now

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

An intern during the summer of 2019, Jordan was eager to begin their career with us as a full-time designer. They graduated summa cum laude from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and minors in architecture and sustainable environments. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jordan and get their fresh perspective about planning, design and starting their career.

Q: How did you first learn about the profession of landscape architecture?

A: I had a music instructor who worked as a landscape designer during the day. Since childhood, I have always been involved in the arts and felt that landscape architecture was a way that I could explore my creativity while still weaving in practicality. So, I explored the profession by speaking with professionals and attending a summer workshop program. From there, I knew this was the path for me and decided to apply for college programs.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a landscape architect?

A: For me, it’s the realization of lines on trace all the way into fully built works. We’re able to see the way our designs positively impact communities, and there is truly nothing like it. It’s amazing to see people using and taking pictures of our spaces – and even tagging them on social media – and knowing that we contributed to that. It’s a rewarding feeling.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: I try my best to find it everywhere, in everything. Culture, movement, processes, natural forms, sensory experiences – options are endless. I like to think that we can find inspiration anywhere really; just as long as we’re looking for it.

Q: Who is your mentor and why?

A: I’m lucky to have several mentors, and among them are two of my professors. One of whom used to work at, and introduced me to, EDSA – Miran Jung Day, along with Ellen Burke. They both have pushed me both personally and creatively, invested a lot of time and effort in my growth and taught me about the creative, technical and human aspects of the profession. For those reasons, I’ll be forever grateful.

On a similar note, I want to mention that representation is extremely important. Being able to see people that one can look up to in this profession, that look or identify similarly to oneself, has been essential to my growth as a person and a landscape designer. I think many other young professionals can relate, and as we grow, I hope each of us take some time to continue passing that mentorship on.

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

A: Illuminating. Being able to work alongside so many hard working and talented people – EDSA is an environment where I’ve learned so many things about important skills, the profession, as well as myself.