Faculty in Residence

Design Workshop’s Faculty in Residence Program was established to share knowledge and experience across academic and professional practice realms. The firm is pleased to provide the opportunity for academic professionals to experience a professional office while on sabbatical from their learning institution and to use the contact with projects and design teams for their research and teaching in an office environment. Design Workshop’s staff benefit from the infusion of outside thinking and exposure to academic research in the context of design and planning projects. The program nurtures the cultural exchange of design philosophies among academics and practitioners, strengthens the firm’s relationships with top universities and professors, and shapes the education of future design and planning professionals by deepening faculty understanding of the needs of practice. Over the years, the firm has hosted faculty whose expertise lies in the areas of planting design, stormwater systems and design, incorporating art into landscape architecture practice, and the interface of writing in design practice.

2016 Faculty

Lake Douglas

Fall 2016

Lake Douglas, PhD, FASLA, PLA, is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture and Associate Dean of Research and Development for the College of Art & Design. Having published extensively over the last four decades, he edits the Reading the American Landscape series for LSU Press and has worked in the past with DW staff on several writing/research initiatives, including a series of articles on practice-based research in Architectural Worlds. At the October 2016 ASLA meeting, he will lead an educational session on “Navigating the Publication Process” that will include DW’s own Kurt Culbertson. On sabbatical from LSU in fall 2016, he will visit several Design Workshop offices in November as part of a research effort to understand how writing interfaces with professional design practice. Douglas teaches a professional elective course, “Writing for Design Professionals,” and is seeking to understand how to prepare students to be competitive and how to make his class more responsive to what the profession needs.

He is investigating ways in which design practices use different formats and kinds of writing and wants to determine if there are demands in professional practice for writing skills among new hires, if demands are being met, and how might undergraduate and graduate curricula be adjusted to respond and better prepare students for practice. Following a survey sent to landscape architecture firms of different sizes, practice types and locations to seek answers to these questions, Douglas will visit Design Workshop to “embed” himself in a design practice to more deeply understand the ways in which writing is integrated into a design office and which types of writing skills are critical to practice. He will have conversations with firm leadership and staff, participate in project team meetings, and provide feedback to staff on any current writing efforts. Based on the results of the survey and his experience at Design Workshop, Douglas hopes to develop an article on writing in design pedagogy and practice. More info on Lake Douglas.

Previous Faculty

Bruce Ferguson

Summer 2007 and Summer 2008

During each of his two residencies at Design Workshop, Bruce Ferguson participated in work sessions with dozens of project teams across the firm, sharing his deep knowledge about stormwater systems and technologies. A highlight of each visit was a Design Symposium which connected all of the firm's offices to a web conference focused on contemporary stormwater design strategies. With the addition of representatives from Borgert Products, Inc. and Rehbein Environmental Solutions joining Ferguson at Design Workshop's most recent stormwater symposium in 2008, some of the top minds around this topic were convened.

Ferguson is the Franklin Professor of Landscape Architecture in the University of Georgia's School of Environmental Design. He is a landscape architect who has specialized in urban environmental design for 25 years. Ferguson's 1994 book Stormwater Infiltration is considered a landmark in the integration of urban development with natural watershed processes. His 1998 book Introduction to Stormwater is the most frequently referenced book in the field. In 2005 Ferguson completed the first comprehensive guide to porous pavements, which have been called “the holy grail of environmental site design” and “potentially the biggest development in urban watersheds since the invention of the automobile.” Ferguson's eight years of research for the book included a firsthand survey of 280 installations of all kinds of porous pavements, in all parts of North America. Since publication of the book, he has been asked to speak and consult as often as twice a month in every region of North America, educating multidisciplinary practitioners and guiding the design and approval of new porous pavement installations.

Ferguson is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a past president of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He is a recipient of the Council's Outstanding Educator Award, the highest award for landscape architectural education in North America.

Les Smith, ASLA, RLA

Spring Semester 2008

During his semester-long residency at Design Workshop, Les Smith was based in our Tahoe office, infusing his art-based approach into many projects and mentoring staff. In addition, Les had the opportunity to engage with staff across the firm by traveling to each office as part of Spring 2008 Legacy Design Days with an extra day in each location for work sessions with project teams and office sketching tours. He hosted a series of five Lunch and Learns conducted via Web conference that were a draw for many staff seeking a short break to participate in lively discussions about the role of art in our practice and hand sketching as a discovery process for design.

Les is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Graduate Program Coordinator at Ball State College of Architecture and Planning, where he has been a member of faculty community since 1982. Prior to beginning his teaching career and becoming registered as a Landscape Architect, he was educated in areas of fine arts and practiced in a landscape design-build capacity. He maintains a small yet active professional practice, with a particular expertise in equestrian facility planning and design. Les has designed numerous equestrian venues throughout the USA, and most notably, he assisted in the design for the cross country course and equestrian venue facilities for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Les is recognized by his dedication to landscape architecture students through his enthusiasm for his course subjects. As the role model for the design-build program, Les integrates students into this aspect of the profession by helping them design, engineer, and construct community service projects. As a designer, Les is noted for his experimental design processes that emphasize the art aspects in landscape architecture—artful thinking resulting in artful design outcomes. He promotes the use of metaphor and figurative expressions in design to enrich the functional needs and outcomes in project work.

Marguerite Koepke

Summer Semester 1989

Marguerite Koepke is Professor Emeritus in the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia.

Prior to her work at UGA, Koepke was a professor of Landscape Architecture at Kansas State University (1976-1984), a Landscape Architect at George Butler and Associates, Prairie Village, Kansas (1974-1976), and Sunn, Low, Tom, and Hara (currently M&E International), Honolulu, Hawaii (1970-71), and consultant for special environmental planning and restoration projects with the National Park Service, in the U.S. Virgin Islands (1978), and Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins Wyoming (1979). She was a faculty in residence at Design Workshop in Aspen Colorado, summer 1989.

Koepke completed her Undergraduate studies at Iowa State University (1972) majoring in landscape architecture. After six years in private practice returned to earn her masters in landscape architecture from Kansas State University (1979).

As a master’s student she was presented with the opportunity to teach a basic design studio. It was this experience that set her on the path of educational practitioner, began her thirty-year career in higher education, and initiated her deep and abiding interest in the art and science of teaching and learning. She has focused on teaching creativity, the design process, and understanding 3-dimensional concepts through modeling especially as they relate to teaching design. She is the author of Model Graphics: Building and Using Study Models and numerous papers and presentations on the topics of creativity and visualization skills.

Her design research focuses on the physical, psychological, perceptual, and cultural influences of garden design emphasizing the design of gardens for healing, play, discovery/learning, and other sensory/therapeutic stimuli. Her recent design work includes garden designs for specific patient populations; notably the Neuro Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Loren Smith Center for Cancer Care, Athens Regional Medical Center, Athens, GA.