About Our Team
Annual retreats are a good for team building, but we’ve been fortunate to also offer immersive educational experiences and team adventures along the way.
Cohesive teams share the same values. Sharing experiences together helps, too. In addition to a strong team, the foundation for great work requires great inspiration. We believe great design requires feeding and that inspiration can come from many places.
Looking at great work in other locations and seeking out high design – including gardens, and architecture – widens perspectives. Typically, along with the good, come a few lessons learned, which are enlightening.
Recently we had another opportunity to share an experience together. Before 2018 wound down, we took a break from our daily project work to widen our perspectives and study many beautiful projects. We ventured to Southern California to seek out some of the cultural sights, focusing on public spaces and gardens in and around Los Angeles. Luckily, the recent rain washed away any smog, leaving us nothing but clear blue skies and the ocean in view.
Each person has different interests and subjects that speak to them. Staff discovered the most gracious measurements of stair treads and risers (you’ll be reading more about that next year). They interpreted the multi-layered concrete work at the Getty Villa. Others drew a line between what is art and what makes a garden. Whether contemplating design intent or admiring concrete finishes and construction details at Tongva Park (designed by our friends at James Corner Field Operations), everyone brought something new back to the drafting table.
Considering how a design may have looked great in SketchUp or plan view but disappoints in the real world is an important lesson to learn. Thinking about how a space will feel is key to the emotive landscapes we strive to design. Taking a break to look at what makes a successful public space is never lost time for a designer.
We’ve spent time this year building our team, focusing on communicating well, setting goals, contributing our fair share, and supporting each other. The shared experiences from our trip have led to new camaraderie and knowledge. We all have a new perspective for the coming year. We can talk forever about what makes a great team, but going outside and playing together is the best practice for any team.