Tarah Brand is a Senior Associate in OJB’s Houston office.
What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect?
Landscape architecture is not a profession one really knows much about growing up. You hear about architects, engineers, gardeners, landscapers, artists, ecologists, but not what seems to be a combination of them all. Upon learning more about landscape architecture, I found the diversity of the career very intriguing as I never had just one favorite subject. It is inspiring to be in a career where you can create spaces with endless possibilities and ways of looking at them.
How has an artist or landscape architect influenced your design and plant materials?
I can’t say any one artist or Landscape Architect has influenced my design. Being a young designer, I have learned a lot from the people that I work with and they collectively have influenced the way I design. Each project that I work on has had its own character.
What is your focus when designing? What makes your work rewarding?
It is inspiring to design spaces that have a positive influence. Landscape Architecture makes our environments more enjoyable. We create spaces that people can interact with and enjoy being outside and connect with nature in an age where people are stuck behind computer screens and cell phones. To be able to create spaces that make our environment a better and more beautiful place is very rewarding.
Where do you go to feel inspired?
There are three types of places I go to feel inspired. The first is by traveling to and exploring cities. You learn a lot from people watching, observing and experiencing how one interacts with a space. The second is going golfing. I grew up on a golf course in central New York. There is a beauty to the way golf courses are designed. Understanding how to read the landscape and layout of the course to get a better score is inspiring to me. It makes you think about how you can design a landscape to influence how people interact with them. The third is the great outdoors. The natural wonders of the world are awe-inspiring.
What has been your favorite OJB project to work on and why?
High Street, a mixed-use development located near Atlanta, has been my favorite OJB project that I have worked on because of the numerous spaces and types of spaces to design. There are many different pool decks, each one having its own character. There is an auto court with a grand water feature staircase leading down to a plaza and on to the park. Being able to work through the design of each type of space or even element within the space has helped me grow as a designer and as a young professional.