Landscape Architect & Specifier News

APR 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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26 Landscape Architect and Specifier News still receives notes from people telling her how much the garden means to them. "People are so busy these days. It is such an honor for someone to hunt you down and send you a handwritten note like that," she said. The firm is receiving similar kind of reactions from its work at the National Museum of African American History, in Washington, D.C., completed in 2016. These kind of reactions speak volumes to not only the project work GGN is producing, but the work of landscape architecture in general. "It's a hard and beautiful profession," Guthrie avers. "It is part science, art, experience and health. There is a seasonal quality to it, and it does so much for the environment and the community." With 25 years in the profession, Guthrie still enjoys engaging in the creative work that her chosen field allows. "When building a project it is about how all of the elements come together," she notes. "The history and context of the site, its adjacencies, the client's objectives, the politics involved—how all of this comes together is exciting. Left: "Landscape design needs to be a piece that inspires, that brings you something that uplifts you in a way, and brings you back."—Kathryn Gustafson, FASLA PHOTO: GGN: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE, WASHINGTON, D.C. Above: "When building a project, it is about how all of the elements come together," she notes. "The history and context of the site, its adjacencies, the client's objectives, the politics involved—how all of this comes together is exciting. We bring it all together to create a place that is cohesive and comfortable for people to be in."—Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA PHOTO: GGN: BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION CAMPUS, SEATTLE "I wanted to be in a creative field where it would take longer to create and where I would have a longer impact on people's lives." — Kathryn Gustafson, FASLA We bring it all together to create a place that is cohesive and comfortable for people to be in." She feels extremely proud of her office, her partners and their clients. "I love what I do. We have accomplished so much more than we ever even set out to do," she marvels. Although her comfort zone is the technical side of the work, she truly loves the "front end" work. "It brings so much energy. It's exciting and exhilarating to figure out the conceptual story," she explains. "This is the story that starts the conversation with the client and the team, and you carry it all the way through to construction." Initially an architecture student in college, Guthrie recalled that when building models she found herself spending more time working on the outside of buildings. "A smart and kind professor directed me to the landscape architecture program," she recalls. "I knew in the first course I was where I should be." To those starting out in the profession, Guthrie advises taking on every opportunity you can get. "You always learn so much," she asserts. "Be ambitious and open." "Landscape architecture is a profession of the long haul," she added. "You never reach a point where you 'take it easy' and coast," she observes. "We are always looking for unique and different ways of doing things."

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