Known in the Office as: Saving Green, Conserving Blue
Actual Name: Luke Anderson
Job Title: Associate
Why landscape architecture? The fusion of art and ecology first attracted me. I see design as a sculpture we inhabit, touch, taste, feel, hear, smell… We sculpt the space, create the atmosphere and people will bring the meaning. Landscape Architecture is all encompassing; it holds the buildings, the infrastructure and the people. Our ceiling is the sky.
What’s your favorite outdoor space to design? Public spaces and the spaces in-between. The in-between pathways connecting stage sets of this “act” we call life are fantastic for informally bumping into people regardless of age, race, creed or socio-economic status. I have a soft spot for the people on the fringes of society. I love to wander. I love unprogrammed time and places. The best surprises are often the smallest. Insects and animals love good design too.
Would you rather spend the rest of your life indoors or outdoors? Outdoors… in the trees, in the rivers, in the dirt. Let me see the sky and feel the earth.
Which college did you attend? University of Washington in Seattle! Go Dawgs!! Let Purple Reign Again!!!
What is your role at K&W? Draw, design, research materials, draw, design irrigation, edit specification, draw, bidding facilitation, revise drawings, redesign, draw, train someone, draw, problem solve, answer emails, draw, repeat and so on. Add eating, drinking, and laughing in there and that’s it in a nutshell. Raw and unadulterated. I could use fancy jargon, but somebody has to say it how it is. I only talk fancy when I’m wearing a suit and tie anyway. P.S. Drawing really means clicking with a mouse and sometimes using a stylus.
Tell me some passions of yours. Family. Fun. Forgive and give. I try to be passionate about people rather than stuff…although most passions involve people with the same passions I guess. My dad used to say “I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none.” I may have heard him say it so many times that I adopted it too. Although I think it’s just another way of saying “I have ADHD” or maybe “I like to do everything”. What’s next?
What is your favorite part about working at K&W? The people. How many co-workers have brought their trucks over to help move your home? Or loaded up a 1000 SF of nasty old carpet and take it to the landfill for you? I love the surprise breakfast tacos and the afternoon delight cookies from Tiff’s Treats and Bird Bakery. Love the cookies. We take turns playing DJ and crank up the jams when the phone’s not ringing…we play some weird stuff too. I love the oak trees out our office window too…and Jeff, the guy that walks past our window air sword fighting and shooting enemies every day. Where’s the fun in designing in the digital world all day if you can’t enjoy the real world every day?
Which project at K&W do you feel most proud of? Why? Tavola. We preserved many native trees and our designs are seamlessly integrate with previous phases. We create the greatest benefit with the lightest touch.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be in this profession? Just do it. Don’t wait until you’re ready or wait for someone’s approval. Never give up. Don’t stop dreaming. Non-professional designers have great ideas too…a design degree doesn’t entitle us to secret knowledge. Don’t judge existing designed spaces by their failures because money, codes, and a changing society can mutate a fine design into a monster. Of course always aim for a timeless design that will transcend time and space!
What do you enjoy doing on the weekends? Making homemade pizza with my kids (Nathan, Tyler, Lily, Caleb) playing at state parks, swimming at Hamilton Pool and McKinney Falls, gardening, building stuff, camping, reading, running, riding my motorcycle along the Guadalupe River and wandering through the Hill Country…anything outside.
If you could live to see one future event, what would it be? I try to focus on enjoying the moment and being thankful for the past because I may not see tomorrow. But if I have to stick to your question I’d like to see a week-long family reunion with my 4 grown children happily married and my grandkids playing at a National or State park…and lots of great homemade food. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.
What was your favorite toy as a kid? Cars or Transformers or G.I. Joes…I still play with toy American muscle cars, Jedi Starfighters and nerf guns.
What is something about yourself that no one knows? My cousin Robbie and I were playing with gasoline and matches one summer and almost burnt down an entire field of corn at my grandma’s house.
Morning or night? Night with the occasional sunrise.
Pizza or tacos? Wood-fired craft pizza!!!
— Luke Anderson, LI
Below are images of 3 noteworthy projects Luke has worked on: