2018 National Grant Competition for Emerging
Professionals in Landscape Architecture

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Profile Alyse Wright
SCJ Studio Landscape Architecture | Seattle, WA
University of Washington


What made you become interested in Landscape Architecture?
A landscape design class offered at my high school combined my early love for both plants and art, and introduced me to landscape architecture as a potential profession.

What one thing inspires you and your designs?
Imagining how it will feel to be in the completed space, and what I would like to see and do if I were there.

What do you think is the biggest challenge Landscape Architects face today?
Our continued effort to let people know we exist, and to differentiate what we do from other landscape-related industries.

What is the most important lesson you have learned so far in your career?
Listen to what the client wants, while also looking for the things they don't realize they need.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Designing incredible spaces where people want to spend their time.


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Describe a space that influenced your career in landscape architecture, which can help others relate to the profession.

In the most enchanted of spaces, my own backyard, I learned that your landscape must first call you out, then forever call you back.

A trove of camellias, each heavy with the weight of a thousand perfect petals. The hushed scatter of Douglas fir needles underfoot on ascent of the hand-lain rockery stair. The earthy scent of Western redcedar, followed by its embrace. A perfect seat on a thick bench of a branch. The call of a robin, and a ring of unexpected starflowers circling the tree's thick trunk.

My father is not a landscape architect by profession, but his love for his garden and his eye for design led me down that path each time he led me up the woodland path he had created. My backyard felt like an enchanted place. The colors, the sounds, the scents, the journey, and the secrets each space held kept me coming back. Although it wasn't large, my childhood yard felt like its own universe, and it inspired me to create sacred spaces such as this for others. It taught me the importance of getting outside, and thus the importance of making the outdoors inviting, inventive, & invigorating. I learned that your landscape must first call you out, then forever call you back.

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