Kevin Pfeiffer is a Designer in OJB’s Houston office.
What inspired you to become a landscape architect? I first recognized the influence landscape and design have on one’s experience when a large mall was constructed near the forests I use to play in as a child. I witnessed a natural piedmont forest transform into a poorly designed traffic jam. This urban growth inspired me to take note of how people interact with a space and how it could be improved. As well, I grew up in the house of an artist and musician and was always encouraged to pursue creative endeavors. These factors manifested themselves in the form of me starting my own landscaping service, studying landscape architecture and pursuing it as my lifetime career. Since a young age I have found urbanization, landscape psychology and design to be integral to my curiosity and inspiration.
How has an artist or landscape architect influenced your design and plant materials? While not a landscape architect by trade, R Buckminster Fuller has likely influenced me the most. Known mostly for the design of the geodesic dome, one of the first modern sustainable home designs. He is regarded as one of the original thinkers of sustainability and understanding the interactions between systems and their influences on one another. This has influenced me to do my best to understand how and why the world functions as it does and how design and plant materials can improve it. “99% of who you are is invisible”, which also rings true for a well design space.
What is your focus when designing? What makes your work rewarding? When I design I try to focus on context. What has influenced this space already? What is its history? What are the best way to solve a landscape’s problems using its currents tools? No space is an island and I find it incredibly rewarding when a design finds those connections that improve not only the site in question but the surrounding context as well.
Where do you go to feel inspired? Mostly I try to experience other’s work that have nothing to do with landscape architecture. Whether it be a rock show, podcast, museum exhibit, a movie or a book, I find inspiration in seeing what others have creatively produced. I enjoy taking the influences and placing them in a design; “everything is a remix”. Experiencing these new things seem to reinvigorate me to be more inspired in my work.
What has been your favorite OJB project to work on and why? While still new at OJB, I have been fortunate to work on many different types of projects. Likely my favorite so far has been High Street Mixed Use Residential. Being able to drill down to detail level and understand how each space is constructed is vastly interesting to me. While coming on the project in its later phases, I have been able to work on detail level design, to which my main focus has been making thorough construction documentation.