Mike

principal landscape architect

Mike does the geeky stuff in the office. Setting up CAD files, customizing worksheets, doing video and photography, making sure the computer system is working… and authoring this web site.

His background is in ecology and biology with an overlay of art.

Mike is current president of the Sacramento Valley Native Plant Garden Club, and is involved with the California Native Plant Society, where he’s often at the “Ask a Designer” booth helping people design with California native plants.

Unlike Annette, he’s not a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). He has his reasons.

Long ago: Mike’s history

Education

A native Californian, Mike first earned a degree in environmental studies from UCSC, then went on to get a masters degree in landscape architecture from Cal Poly, Pomona, where he met Annette.

We’ll always have Paris

Soon after getting married in 1990, they moved to France. "Of all the Americans I have to meet, I end up with one who wants to live in France!", Annette commented.

After almost six years in France, they moved to Sacramento, California to start their own landscape design firm.

First real jobs

He worked while attending Cal Poly, first at FMA drafting plans for model homes and planned urban developments, then at Clark and Green, where he drafted plans for parks, commercial centers and private residences.

After graduation, he worked for Befu-Donan Associates, in charge of CAD drafting. He mainly completed plans for parks and schools as well as keeping the computer system working smoothly.

Embauches en France

In France, Mike worked for Urbespace, designing commercial centers, resorts, and an oceanfront boardwalk.

After Urbespace, Mike moved to Atelier Zoe to work directly with an architect preparing plans and models for a mixed use development north of Paris.

Upon completion of the project, Mike began working as a subcontractor with Groupe Esprit Lumière in Paris, preparing project proposals, translating plans from French to English for international projects, and eventually becoming the Design Director of Sogetraser. With the Groupe Esprit Lumière, he worked all over the world, designing a park in Indonesia, lighting and concepts for the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, drafting plans for façade lighting of the Louvre, Palaca Sponza, and other monuments around the world.

When the Groupe Esprit Lumiere merged with another company, Mike and Annette decided that it was time to start their own firm, and that it was much easier to do this in America than in France.

Like Annette, he regularly attends lectures and seminars related to design, native plants, sustainabilty and water conservation.

Teaching

Mike lectured in the University of California, Davis landscape architecture program, most recently during the winter quarter of 2008, where he led a design studio class. In the past, he taught landscape graphics.

He served as president of the California Sierra Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and was the group's webmaster.

Mike is a past member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).

When Mike is out of the office, he enjoys rowing (crew), photography, gourmet cooking and travel.

Nobody has ever called him an ecomancer or geomancer. Not yet.