November 19, 2018

Meet the OJB Team

Shane Sullivan is a Designer in OJB's San Diego office.

What inspired you to become a landscape architect? My inspiration to become a landscape architect came from a combination of things. I always liked being outside, enjoyed drawing and making things, but I also liked taking things apart and figuring out how they work. I started college as an architecture major, but quickly realized that I was much more interested on the spaces around buildings than the spaces within them.

Who as an artist or landscape architect influenced your design and plant materials? I’m inspired by Kate Orff/SCAPE and DE Urbanisten in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Both of these were some of the first firms I researched for precedent projects and case studies when I was in undergrad. SCAPE’s work with Oyster farming and replenishing the NY harbor gave me a wider understanding of what landscape architecture could be. The mix of ecological design, innovation, research, and tactical application is quite inspiring as a designer and a steward of the environment. In a similar regard, DE URBANISTEN is one of many inspiring design groups in the Netherlands. As I’ve learned more about landscape architecture, how we live and work with water has become more and more interesting and important to me. The approach that the Dutch have to handling rising seas, floods, and general stormwater management is something to take note of and DE URBANISTEN has been a great example of continued growth and exploration of ways to better handle our changing climate in urban areas.

What is your focus when designing? What makes your work rewarding? I think the most rewarding work is a design that engages people and gives them a space to connect with themselves, others, and the environment around them while also benefiting and supporting the natural systems already in place.

Where do you go to feel inspired? For me, going anywhere outside is how I find inspiration. When I lived in Boston I loved going to places where I could sit and look at the skyline or the water. Sometimes I needed to be under a tree along the river, but other times it was great to sit on a roof and take in the city. Here, in San Diego, it’s the ocean and the desert. I like places where I can just sit and look out at the world whether the natural or built.

What has been your favorite OJB project to work on and why? I’ve spent the majority of my time at OJB working on the Missouri Riverfront Revitalization project in Omaha, NE / Council Bluffs, IA. It’s been a tremendous chance to see a project’s beginnings. I’ve been able to greatly expand my knowledge and expertise in Sketchup and Lumion as we’ve done quite a bit of renderings and video fly throughs to show the client. I’ve also had the chance to see the scheduling and meeting side of things, giving me a much greater appreciation for effective consultant management and organization on such a large-scale project.