Sometimes life unfolds, unforeseen, like a desert mirage becoming a great lake right before your eyes. The past two years have felt like this for me. The Landscape Architecture Foundation fellowship that gave me the time and resources to explore design strategies to support mental health led to connections, ideas, and opportunities. After a decade of piecing together work around writing and thirteen years practicing landscape architecture at two of our region’s best firms—EPTDESIGN and Studio-MLA—this new career shift encompasses both. This fall, I became an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Cal Poly Pomona.
To all of you who have been a part of this journey, directly or indirectly, professionally or personally—thank you. Thank you for supporting my work, my journey, and—through your friendship, support, and love—my mental health. My decision was made easier by Island Press editor Courtney Lix, who contracted me to write a book on designing K-12 schools to prioritize students’ mental health and wellbeing. Look for it in the next year or two. In addition to Cal Poly Pomona landscape architecture’s continued mentorship and guidance, thank you to the recent support of:
Landscape Architecture Magazine for this article on the work
University of Nebraska, Lincoln for inviting me to the Hyde Lecture Series
Occidental College departments of kinesiology and environmental economics, who are among other things hosting Dr. Frances Ming Kuo to share her groundbreaking research on nature and mental health and wellbeing
With gratitude and excitement at this next chapter,
Claire

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