We’re thrilled Vivian Schoung has joined the GreenWorks team as a Landscape Designer. She’s hit the ground running and we’ve really enjoyed having her around. We wanted to get to know her, so we asked why she chose this work, where she’s been, and what she does for fun. Here’s our interview.
GW: What inspired you to get into Landscape Architecture?
My path towards landscape architecture and design began at the impressionable age of six when my mother, an architect at the time, asked me to draw house floorplans and community layouts for all my friends, real and imaginary. Later, while studying biology and environmental studies in college, I was still interested in the design of physical spaces and how the quality of design influences human behaviors. After I did a study abroad program in architecture and urban design in Denmark, I was pretty much hooked. So far in my career I’ve worked on a variety of planning and site design projects, including parks, trails, transportation, public schools, higher ed, and athletic facilities.
GW: What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on in the past?
The Coordinated Downtown Development Project in Eugene. It was a unique opportunity to do a high-level analysis of some major downtown facilities and public spaces and examine the individual and mutual needs of the city and county. It was rewarding to work in an iterative process with so many stakeholders in a part of the city that people care deeply about.
GW: What’s the most interesting Landscape Architecture related thing you’ve come across recently?
I’m always excited by cross-disciplinary transfer and application of knowledge, and recently had a conversation with a software engineer about how the idea of pattern language, based on Christopher Alexander’s work, has been used in the tech world. Patterns, in this case, can be an adaptive design tool in software technology and architecture for guiding design solutions.
GW: What keeps you busy when you’re not at work?
I’m typically off exploring – in the mountains, in the city, or in books. These days though, most of my free time is absorbed by DIY home improvement projects. It’s been fun to roll up my sleeve and (literally and figuratively) climb into parts of the house I never had reason to explore. The planning and execution of these projects soaks up a lot of time and energy, but I’m learning a ton in the process and expanding my tool collection. Plus, it’s satisfying to know that I’ve had a hand in fixing or improving the house I’m living in.
GW: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
One thing I’ll always remember is night diving in the Caribbean in high school where I experienced bioluminescence for the first time. Back in dry clothes after the dive, I was told sharks are particularly active at night in that area. By itself, night diving is not a particularly extraordinary event, but considering my abnormal and extreme fear of sharks, that was probably the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done, without even realizing it at the time!