parametrix inspired people blog

Meet the Landscape Architects of Parametrix

4-20-2021

April is World Landscape Architecture Month. We’re celebrating landscape architects for their role in deepening the connections between people and the environment. Meet our team of landscape architects who work on projects that have a profound effect on the places we live, work, and visit.

 

Frank Ide headshot with water in background

Frank Ide, PLA

Frank is a Senior Planner based out of our Spokane, WA office. He has over 30 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture? 

I initially pursued landscape architecture to become a park planner or park designer. Basically, I wanted to be a designer but spend as much time outdoors as possible. My career, however, directed my landscape architectural expertise more towards land planning, site and master planning, and commercial design. 

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect? 

Several things! I enjoy being part of a diverse design team of allied professionals, often with engineers, where I am able to provide an alternate perspective, including contemplating how the public will utilize the outdoor spaces. Also, I receive satisfaction from residential master planning and platting, knowing that families live in and enjoy communities where I was involved in the design. Finally, I enjoy working with clients to transform their vision into reality – often in ways they never would have contemplated.

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

Tough Question. The first project that comes to mind is the Eagle Ridge Master Planned Community in Spokane. We had a fantastic, energetic client who gave us freedom to design the community and open spaces. The parks and trail system are creative, whimsical, and uniquely designed to foster a sense of community. I have friends who live there who would never live anywhere else because of the relationships formed within the Eagle Ridge community.

Colorful playground at Eagle Ridge

Anything else you would like to add? 

Landscape architects are trained to take a holistic approach to problem solving, which often sets us up to be good facilitators. The profession of landscape architecture is extremely vast and varied. This diversity is represented within the talented landscape architecture professionals at Parametrix. 

 

Darby Watson Parametrix

Darby Watson, AICP

Darby is Vice President of our Puget Sound region transportation and community building practices, based out of our Seattle, WA office. She has been with Parametrix for 2 years and has 25 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture?

It seemed simple enough, I attended a large urban high school that taught mechanical drafting and botany and I fell in love with both. I though landscape architecture would bring those together and it did but I had no idea all of the other aspects of the profession that would come with that.

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect?

I don’t really consider what I do now to be Landscape Architecture but what I like about the practice includes:

Scalability: you get to work at every level, from master plans to details and specs

Four dimensions: you get to think about growth and change over time, and it’s fun to bring that perspective to projects

Designing spaces: I love the idea that we design the spaces that people move through, not the objects that they move around. 

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

I helped design the landscape and outdoor play spaces for an elementary school for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. I loved that we were given the time to explore story and myth and pull those themes through the spaces and that they were designed with specific ages in mind so that the play could be tailored to each cohort.

 

Jason Ceralde woodworking

Jason Ceralde, PLA

Jason is a Planner based out of our Bremerton, WA office. He has been with Parametrix for nearly 7 years and has a total of 9 years industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture?
My inspiration to pursue a career in landscape architecture stems from my dad. I grew up watching him recreationally draft architectural drawings. When the time came for me to go to college, I went to the University of Washington planning on studying architecture like my dad did when he was in the Philippines. But, I took a class in planting design my freshman year and fell in love with it. Interestingly enough, my dad was also an amateur orchardist, so much so that I grew up helping him take care of nearly 500 fruit trees (apples, Asian pears, cherries, peaches, plums, etc.) and kiwi vines. I guess you can say that my career comes from two of my dad’s passions: architecture and plants.

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect?
Landscape architecture is such a vast profession, my professors used to say that “landscape architectural design can be everything from the window-planter to the watershed” and that “designers are story tellers”. Being so closely related to the allied fields of architecture, civil engineering, environmental science, horticulture, public art, etc. landscape architects have this great opportunity to work together with a diverse pool of professionals to help shape the world. And we can do this world shaping while helping to tell (and facilitate) a story for the communities we work in.

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?
Even though my career has not been all that long, I have been able to work on what seems like countless projects. The Stormwater Parks for Kitsap County Public Works definitely stand out as a merger between my varied interests in environment, architecture, civil engineering, planting and public art. But if I had to choose one, I would have to choose the Duwe’iq Stormwater Treatment Wetland.

Duweiq Treatment Wetland

It was the first project which I was given design freedom on, and it is right in the heart of my hometown of Silverdale, WA. We were able to design Duwe’iq to have great naturalistic beauty while serving important environmental functions of allowing pollutants to settle out of a stormwater and offering habitat for wildlife.

Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity to share a bit about myself and allowing me to spread my wings to grow into my role as a landscape architect here at Parametrix. Thank you all. Happy Landscape Architecture Month everyone!

 

Jens Swenson on soccer field with family

Jens Swenson, PLA

Jens is a Senior Planner based out of our Seattle, WA office. He has over 30 years of industry experience, 20 of which have been with Parametrix.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture?

I learned about and investigated the program at University of Washington. I liked what I saw with the program and landscape architecture as a practice area and decided to apply.

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect?

It’s a rewarding practice in that your making people’s lives better by providing places that offer recreation and help relieve stress. At the same time, we’re restoring natural systems and improving access for people to interact with nature for recreation and education.

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

Cama Beach State Park is a cool waterfront park with cabins and retreat facilities and a wooden boat center. I worked on parking, access, and landscape for this project. It has a lot of cool rock walls and the parking and trail layout that we developed was interesting and works well separating cars from trail users.

Anything else you would like to add?

Landscape architecture, like civil engineering, is a broad and diverse practice. I think it is helpful to think about the work we do as making places user friendly. Making roads and urban settings less stressful, designing parks that provide the most active and passive recreation, and restoring natural functions in the environments where we live.

 

Dylan Bailey stands in front of a lake and snowy mountain

Dylan Bailey, PLA

Dylan is a Planner based out of our Puyallup, WA office. He has 11 years of industry experience, nearly 4 of which have been with Parametrix.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture?

My dad owned a small residential design/build landscape firm where I worked for him during summers through high school. I graduated high school not knowing what I wanted to do and started taking gen ed courses 2 days a week at a nearby college while living at home and working for him 3 days for a few years. I began to really enjoy it so he suggested I look into landscape architecture which I knew little to nothing about. It seemed interesting so I transferred to the University of Georgia to pursue my bachelor’s in landscape architecture which became a 7 year trek (ha!). I quickly discovered I had zero interest in residential design and instead became inspired by the concept(s) of preserving and enhancing the environment. I honestly can’t envision any other “traditional” career I could be nearly as passionate about and enjoy.

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect?

There are so many things I enjoy about being a landscape architect. It’s both a blessing and a curse that we’re somewhat a jack of all trades and get to wear multiple hats quite often. The blessing being that it keeps work fresh and interesting but the curse being it sometimes causes me to step outside of my comfort zone and challenges me to design things I never have before (several signage packages over the past year or two come to mind). I particularly enjoy projects that are either public or for marginalized communities – I recognize we’re paid professionals, but I get a great sense of satisfaction from “giving back” to the community by providing an opportunity for others to experience the built environment.

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

I’ve been fortunate to work on quite a wide variety of projects that literally run the entire possible gamut. Honestly though, my favorite and most rewarding of my career so far has been working on several projects at Northern Quest Casino & Resort for the Kalispel Tribe outside of Spokane, WA.

Aerial view of Northern Quest Resort plaza at night

Beginning with the previously mentioned notion of marginalized communities and the unique (to me at the time) experience of traveling to the reservation to meet with tribal elders to listen to stories of their history and include them in the design process. We collaborated and distilled their creation story down into a key central fountain in the main plaza and tribal members at their trade school built the sculptures we helped design among several elements throughout the design that paid homage to their history. We were lucky to have a client with a big budget, big ideas, trust in our team, and a strong desire to collaborate. It was also my first sizeable project I was able to participate in from nearly the very beginning planning stages, all the way through multiple trips over during construction and after to see it coming to life and being used.

 

Darren sandeno

Darren Sandeno, PLA

Darren is a Senior Planner based out of our Puyallup, WA office. He has over 24 years of experience, nearly 20 of which have been with Parametrix.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture?

Having spent the first two years of college in pursuit of a Biology degree, I came to the realization that this degree was ultimately too broad for me to identify specific fields of practice that I was really interested in. In an effort to counterbalance the analytical aspect of my personality, I started to explore fields where I could apply my knowledge of biology and natural systems creatively, which is how I arrived at studying landscape architecture. I ultimately completed both degrees and, although it was a longer haul than expected, I feel fortunate to have the studied both as they continue to provide me with a unique way of seeing the world, my work, and evaluating its overall contribution to our built and shared environments.

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect?

A number of things come to mind – the opportunity to be both creative and technical, designing spaces for the public to enjoy and return to whether that be parks, plazas, streetscapes is a huge privilege, working on multidisciplinary teams, and contributing to meaningful change in our communities. Also, the focus of the profession on user experience and appearance of things is something that’s a great deal of fun for me.

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

Projects are like pets, it’s tough to pick a favorite. The types of projects I have enjoyed the most have been multidisciplinary in nature and involved team members who were passionate, creative thinkers in their respective fields. The projects that come to mind share similar qualities in that they were challenging, fun, inspiring, and led to some of the most meaningful places I’ve had an opportunity to design.

 

David Sacamano stands in front of a river and tall buildings

David Sacamano, PLA LEED AP

David is a Senior Consultant based out of our Portland, OR office. He joined Parametrix in November 2020 and has 26 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in landscape architecture?

I have always been interested in natural sciences and geography and as a child I could spend hours studying maps and field guides. In college, I started studying environmental science with a special interest in the connections between the natural environment and the built-world. Inspired by this interconnected ecology, I sought a career that would allow me to blend my passion for the natural environment with my interest in how people interact with places. This path led me to landscape architecture, a profession that involves the planning, design, and creation of the built and natural environments.    

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape architect?

Landscape architecture allows me to be blend my science-based thinking with creative process and design. I have the opportunity to get involved in projects at the initial visioning and planning stage and also stay with projects through final design and construction. My projects are at a range of scales, from small pocket parks and individual stormwater planters, up to regional comprehensive plans that build communities and miles-long roadway and transit corridors. I also get to work closely with community members and project stakeholders and think that public outreach is integral to the design process. Every project can be a little different and I appreciate the variety of my work.

Which is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

I am finishing up the final design documents for a new visitor facility at the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on the north shore of Kauai. The project includes trails, parking, viewpoints, and interpretive and educational signs. The project site is unique with spectacular views of the Hanalei Valley, distant mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. 

The Design team clearing vegetation to find potential  viewpoint locations

The project is layered in with cultural and environmental considerations. This resulted in a planning and design process that required a thoughtful approach, patience, and creativity. I was challenged and learned a lot on this project. I was also fortunate to work with a great client and really enjoyed the community-focused design process.

Anything else you would like to add?

Landscape architects can add value to a wide-range of project types, hire one soon!