Q&A with Kahoots: Landscape Designer Alyssa Jenkins

Want to know  a little more about what makes our designers tick? Today’s Q&A is with our Landscape Designer Alyssa Jenkins. Read on!

Visiting Hawaii in 2009


When do you feel most creative? 

First thing in the morning. After coffee.


What inspires you as a landscape designer?

My favorite part of the design process is the development of a basic design – like the visioning plan – into the detailed nuts and bolts of something that can be constructed. Even a simple design is made up of hundreds of little details: the material of a path, the way it connects to a patio, even how each piece of wood connects on a trellis. To me a great deal of design is in the little details. Each element can be executed in a multitude of ways; the art is in choosing the route which will best enrich the entire experience. A beautiful landscape takes the concepts of the base plan and carries them all the way through into the construction of each item, creating a space that feels natural and unique.



What is your professional background?

I graduated from University of Oregon back in 2005, with a Bachelors in Landscape Architecture. I went from there to work for two years in Dublin, Ireland at Tiros Resources, a firm specializing in planning and landscape architecture. I got a lot of experience there on the design and development of urban projects, particularly landscapes on structure like green roofs, roof terraces, and landscaping over parking garages. I moved back to Oregon in 2007 and spent three years with Lango Hansen Landscape Architects in Portland. There I continued to develop my detail design with work on residential, college campus, and park projects.


What brought you to Kahoots?

Jaime and I met back in college when we were both pursuing our landscape degrees. We worked on quite a few school projects together and it was clear from the start that our working styles and strengths were compatible. We even used to joke about working together one day!

Alyssa (lower left hand corner) working on one of our group studio project in Kyoto Japan.

It’s fitting, really, because Kahoots is inherently about cooperation and that’s what we’ve always been good at.

{Jaime’s note: I was never joking!}






What is one of your most memorable projects?

While at Lango Hansen, I worked on a park in Sherwood, Oregon, called Sherwood Cannery Square. It was an exciting project because, while relatively small, it is a highly-programmed space with multiple event spaces and an interactive water feature. Working on the details for the construction documents was challenging yet enjoyable!


Any hobbies?

I love making things – especially knitting and sewing. There is something soothing about working each stitch of a garment, watching the piece slowly develop from what is essentially nothing. Two seemingly opposing forces are combined: the technicality of construction -turning all those flat pieces into something three dimensional – and the freedom of creativity – making something which is utterly unique. It is not unlike landscape design really . . .  picking a pattern, selecting a material, and then carrying that design down into the details of each little stitch.


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