Tasting notes with
Geronimo bar, Santa Fe. (Next stop: Paloma patio.)
Recommended food pairing
The ahi tuna sashimi. It’s endless pairings through multiple combinations you can create with the pancakes, caviar, tuna, avocado, and sauces.
Film/art/music pairing recommendation
Matisse’s The Back Series, David Bowie’s “Lazarus,” Wings of Desire, Pablo Neruda.
Wired. Constantly. Until I alter my state of being, or my exhaustion takes me in a forced shutdown.
What is the biggest challenge you face this year?
I’m the incoming president of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, trying to balance personal and business schedules, all while making positive and impactful changes for our landscape architecture professionals in New Mexico and for the benefit of our state. All while I contemplate time, death, love.
What was your first job?
Magazine delivery boy. Back in the old days, magazine publishers tried to use a local delivery service in lieu of the U.S. postal system.
What did it teach you?
That a job/project takes a dedicated team (I have a stellar team at Surroundings). My grandmother, who co-raised me with my mom, loved me so big that she did a lot of the prep work and pre-sorted the magazines by address before I got home from school, and drove me around to deliver. And it was a great time for us to catch up after school. Damn, I miss her.
What images keep you company in the space where you work?
I have a weird rock collection from so many places I have traveled. I sometimes ask my staff to reorganize them in a line based on some ordering system, and we have to figure out what it is (lowest to highest, lightest to darkest, etc. are the easy ones. Smoothest to sharpest, lightest to densest, etc. are the more difficult systems to solve). Some Giacometti drawings are on my wall in front of my desk at home. I love the frenetic energy, drive, passion, and the revelation of figure in space through the constant work of the line. I had a brilliant drawing professor at Cooper Union who taught us to draw with a similar fervor.
What is most rewarding for you about working in landscape architecture and design in the Southwest?
That we are recognized as innovative leaders in arid desert landscapes, green infrastructure, and having a regional influence on solving the problems we face daily with drought and climate change, because so much more of the world is heading toward what we face as a norm.
How do landscape architecture and landscape design affect our daily lives?
Landscape architects are at the forefront of influencing the built environment to change our world for the better. Planting trees = carbon sequestration. Reducing/eliminating turf grass = reducing water use, gas mowers, fertilizers. Using recycled materials means less impact, too. And we create spaces of respite, escape, allure, inspiration, and play.
Teach us your design process in three steps:
- Dig into the PAST: research the history of a site, or of a client.
- Examine the PRESENT: analyze and uncover the layers of the site.
- Create the FUTURE: learn from 1 and 2 and then design like we have only a decade to make major impacts to affect climate change, and make it inspiring and beautiful, of course.
What comes next?
I have no clue, for once in my life.