We are delighted to welcome Matt Fisher, PLA, ASLA, Landscape Architect and Project Manager to the team. Previously a studio leader in San Antonio, Matt’s portfolio ranges from urban mixed use to workplace, hospitality and streetscape design. At Tryba, he will be leading landscape design efforts on several projects including large mixed-use developments in Denver and Centennial while continuing to expand the firm’s fully integrated design practice and portfolio. Matt graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Fine Arts and the University of Colorado with a Master of Landscape Architecture. We recently asked Matt to tell us about his influences, aspirations and the future of the profession.
You returned to Denver after spending time in San Antonio. What are you most excited about being back in Colorado?
Denver, and the mountains, offer such a unique perspective of the landscape. I’ve always enjoyed the sense of scale and humbleness that the mountains evoke, acting as a constant reminder of how small the human is in the larger ecological narrative.
What drew you to landscape architecture?
Growing up, I was always outside. I fell in love with the sense of discovery and adventure that the outdoors encouraged. In high school I completed my Eagle Scout project in the North Georgia Appalachian Mountains, creating fish habitats for the brown trout. Years later I visited the site of my project and discovered that the brown trout was flourishing in the creek. It really struck me that we could have a tremendously positive impact on the environment. I think that was the moment landscape architecture became an interest.
How does the design process begin for you?
Spending time at the site. For me it is critical to explore the site and observe context, views, sound, smell and texture. To experience the place with all your senses.
There are many. I’d say the Austin FC soccer stadium is my favorite large-scale project. It was built for the first professional sports team in Austin, Texas. The soccer entity is leasing the property from the City of Austin, so there is a public-private partnership component, with community input and permitting meetings being an early, important and enjoyable part of the design process. The client wanted the exterior of the stadium to be park-like and have a public quality. The intentional design made the games accessible to the public for free from outside the stadium.
On a smaller scale, a residential project west of Nashville called “Bridges” is another favorite. It was for a private client with an interest in the arts, resulting in a creative intersection of landscape architecture as art.
Places or things you’ve seen recently that will influence your work:
Valerio Morabito’s book The City of Imagination. It’s a series of amazing sketches that conceptualize the juxtaposition of the urban landscape and natural systems.
Tell us something about yourself that is not in your bio.
I ran cross country and track at the University of Georgia. I later ran with Boulder Express, a competitive distance running, training and racing group, while in graduate school at the University of Colorado.
Aspirations for your new role at Tryba:
Growing a landscape architecture practice and expanding the design portfolio of this already incredible firm. Traditionally, landscape architecture is its own practice, somewhat siloed from the other design disciplines. I’m looking forward to being a part of a multi-disciplinary practice, collaborating with and learning from my colleagues across studios.
Favorite part of being a landscape architect:
The landscape is constantly evolving. I think about how the spaces I create will change over time, and in conjunction, their lasting impact on the environment. Through landscape architecture, there is opportunity to make a sustainable and positive impact for years to come.
A piece of wisdom you’d like to share.
One thing I always tell younger staff is to not get lost in the hustle. Things move very quickly through the design process and it’s important to pause, reflect and let ideas, discussions and considerations take shape.
What does the future of landscape architecture look like?
There is a real opportunity for landscape architects to be thought leaders in tackling issues related to climate change and environmental matters – through initiatives like carbon neutral design and innovative stormwater management, and by increasing urban green spaces.