Growing up in Vermont, I was inspired at an early age by the craftspeople, masons, farmers, and loggers that contributed significantly to the local economy and to our sense of place and culture.
During the five years I spent at Rhode Island School of Design, studying Fine Arts and Landscape Architecture, I realized my challenge was to combine the elements of both worlds - that of meaningful Design, exploring the human condition, and that of Construction, enabling and enriching human habitation within a Vermont landscape.
Since 1998, through my ownership of TERRIGENOUS, LLC, I've worked steadily to build a company committed to a focus on artistic expression, ethical and environmentally sound practices, and constructed work that is both transformative and long-lasting.
I rarely need to separate the exploration and design of a unique set of ideas from the intense effort it takes to see that same collection of ideas realized and constructed in space. This process of directing a project's evolution through the various phases instills a great amount of satisfaction in me and ensures you, the client, the highest level of management, craftsmanship, and detail throughout the process. It is my intent that the resulting spaces and elements will continually be viewed as both usable and sound, and artistically transformative. Enjoy!
How We Work
While all our projects are treated as unique and site-specific, the following guide highlights key stages of our work method:
Our work begins with an initial meeting. We listen as the client shares needs and expectations for the property. Then, we record and gather technical information, such as a topographic survey or a site plan. At the project site, we photograph existing natural and man-made elements and assess the property. We analyze the information to uncover any potential issues or benefits. Then, we discuss how all these conditions will influence the future design of the project. A list of objectives that explore desired uses and improvements of the property is developed.
Then, it is back to the studio to create our preliminary designs. We deliberate over several schematic proposals (or conceptual solutions) and develop site elements, including size, shape, and character. We offer our best ideas and implementation strategies to the client. Proposals can vary in form, e.g. as plan drawings, perspective sketches, and/or 3D models. From these synergetic sessions, a design concept is developed that will direct future work.
During this stage, the project is refined. The client is presented with dimensions, material samples, color palettes, and plant specimens. A variety of sketches—ranging from elevations to detailed drawings—may be utilized. In some cases, we initiate consultations with other professionals on aspects of the job that require specific attention. Some redesign may occur as project requirements and materials are clarified and often key elements of the design are marked on the site to better enable the clients to visualize the ideas that are being proposed. This stage culminates with a final design and a cost estimate.
For the majority of our clients, the construction stage of the project begins. The final design is translated into construction drawings that communicate dimensional design specifications and detailed costs. Based on these documents, a construction schedule is established, bids for contracted work are finalized, and permits, if necessary, are obtained. A project team commits to the project and is ready to build the work.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT & CRAFTSMANSHIP
Once work commences, our responsibility shifts to the management of all aspects of construction. Overseeing and participating in the execution of the work is very important to us. From the smallest detail of the crafted elements, we build to the daily supervision of the project’s goals. We work purposefully to transform the ideas into a living landscape.
Designing and building a rewarding landscape is a labor of love, and in many cases the results will outlast those involved in the process. Our clients understandably want their redesigned property to be maintained at the same standard of excellence that we set during the design and construction phases. Therefore, we explain basic principles of land stewardship, at project completion, to help the client care for their new environment. We will help initiate contracts with maintenance companies if needed. Often, we find ourselves returning to the properties as the years pass, guiding the evolution of the land, and documenting the changes that happen slowly over time. The sense of place, that matures slowly over time, has proven to be a reward for all involved.