• Welcome to life as a Landscape Architecture grad student at Penn Design! What a mouthful. It's partly dream-come-true, and partly Rocky-Training-Sequence. And of course, it is completely, inexorably soaked in caffeine. No other way to do design.

    Despite all this, I think that this is such a fabulous time to be a landscape architect. There is so much energy and will to change our world from both inside and outside the discipline. And there is such a NEED to do so. We are moving quickly - and in such fun and exciting ways! - to come up with new solutions to "save the world."

    Please feel free to leave comments and ideas for collaboration. I am always looking for interesting ways to combine design and social justice.

    I look forward to hearing from you!



#9: WAWA

#9: WAWA. I can’t even begin to talk about my love for this late-night Philadelphia institution. It’s part of the Holy Trinity of Things You Must Like to be a Philly Native. (The other two things are the Phillies and the Eagles) Here is a short piece I wrote about WAWA  for my cultural landscapes … Continue reading



Since my time at Penn is winding down, I wanted to start a top 10 list of all the things I loved here. #10 is the BLD Muffin. It’s my favorite treat in the week. Normally, I like to start off the day with a coffee (Swiss Mocha Almond flavor) and a bagel (sesame, with … Continue reading

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Starbucks Urbanism

David Gouvenour’s wildly popular “Theory of Urban Design” class shows that the most deeply held value among urban planners these days is having Starbucks access on every street. :)   The design exercise for this week was to divide up into pairs and design a spanish-colonial block. We assembled all of our individual blocks and … Continue reading


Elevated Reviews

  ha! This was one of my favorite moments this week. Although there was a bit of a reprimand-y email sent out afterwards (“please remember that reviews are held in the following review spaces…”) it definitely made me smile to walk into a review held in the elevator. It reminded me that thinking outside the … Continue reading

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Year of the Snow Storms

This has been the slowest, sputter-iest start of the semester yet. The steady procession of snow storms (and snow days, where school gets cancelled) have led to the dangerous delusion that school isn’t really starting. We were so convinced that school wasn’t in session yet that we even spent a whole afternoon and evening celebrating … Continue reading



Before the semester started, I had to take a quick trip out to Vancouver for my cousin’s wedding, and the mist-shrouded landscape with the towering trees and soft, sweet blues pretty much makes me feel like I could stay outdoors forever. 1) I can’t wait to graduate. With a well-trained dog and a thermos full of coffee, of … Continue reading


A Philadelphia Christmas

Somehow, it turned out to be perfectly lovely.   Enjoy the photos below:

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Done is Good.

Done is really, really good. We had two final reviews, which meant we were basically working up til Christmas Eve. …It was about as fun as it sounds.

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The Policy Police

One of my favorite classes last semester was at the Fels Institute of Government Administration, on policy and entrepreneurship. It was a nice break from DESIGNING things, to just LEARN about things. For example, I learned a great deal about innovation hubs. And that bureaucrats may be smarter than designers, because they don’t expect to solve global sea … Continue reading



“[Sub]stance gives voice to a new generation of young designers emerging from the University of Pennsylvania’s famous landscape architecture program. The mission of [Sub]stance …is to scope some of the fundamental issues impacting upon the global landscape of the 21st century. It is a platform for imaginative and critical discourse and design speculation about the … Continue reading

Life as a master of landscape architecture student at Penn Design


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