Luciole Design began as an idea in France. After working in Southern California, France and around the world for other people, Annette and Mike decided that it was time to start their own business.
At the time, starting a business in France was very difficult, involving a lot of paperwork for several unsympathetic government agencies before we would even be allowed to accept payment from clients.
Our work situation was never stable, either. An upcoming company merger meant that Mike's permanent employee status would become dubious, and Annette's limited contract had recently ended.
When we returned, Annette and Mike worked for a Brand Name landscape designer as contract employees. This meant that they legally had their own business, although they were working full time for someone else. Not a situation destined for the long term. Eventually they struck out on their own, sustained by a project they had started in collaboration with a local architect.
In the early years, Annette and Mike designed and built several showcase gardens in local home and garden shows (see the News archives).
Over time, their completed project portfolio grew. Projects were featured in various publications, and Luciole Design was invited to participate in River Friendly Design guidelines.
Today, Luciole Design continues to design contemporary sustainable landscapes that mix drama, art and Earth friendly design principles.
With two masters degrees in landscape architecture focusing on ecosystematic design, Luciole Design's principals have been working toward more sustainable, earth friendly designs for well over a decade. Mike's initial bachelors degree was in environmental studies with a large amount of biology thrown in, and both have attended numerous green building, native plant and ecological design seminars since graduation.
Artistic elements are abundant in Luciole's design style. Both principals happened to study art before or during the time they earned their degrees in landscape architecture. Annette's art tended toward two dimensional, whereas Mike preferred sculpture.
As a multicultural couple, Annette and Mike draw upon European, French and American design backgrounds. They begun attending landscape architectural conferences in Mexico in 2007 to enrich their design palette and see how Mexican landscape architects are dealing with severe drought issues and what methods they are using to create landscape designs that are in tune with their environment.
Luciole Design is active in the local community, recently giving a series of free lectures on the principles of sustainable landscape design, including plant maintenance methods and irrigation system optimization.