Dustin graduated in 2020 and is currently working on developing master plans for destination tourism projects.
1. Tell us a little about your career trajectory since you graduated from UT.
After graduating from the MLA program in 2020, I joined the Tennessee RiverLine as the planning and design manager, their first full-time employee. I spent two years with the Tennessee RiverLine helping to build the foundational programs that are being grown today. After two years with the Tennessee RiverLine my wife and I decided to move back to our home state of West Virginia, where I joined the Landscape Architecture division of Civil and Environmental Consultants.
2. Tell us a bit about your current firm and team.
My current firm is a nationally based Engineering Consulting Firm. They specialize in a range of work predominantly in the civil engineering space. The team I am a part of works on destination tourism and resort projects mainly in the state of West Virginia.
3. Do you have any advice for future landscape architecture students?
My advice for future students is to take advantage of your time in school to explore all that Landscape Architecture and the world of design has to offer. This will help you set up a trajectory for where you can focus your efforts and eventually start your career in that space.
4. What do you wish other people knew about our MLA program/ Landscape Architecture/SoLA?
I wish that others knew how amazing of an opportunity the program is. The faculty are world class, and can help you explore so many different things during your time there. This program also has so many opportunities for internships, which is not the same across all programs.
5. Are there designers or firms that you follow consistently? What is it about their work that you are attracted to?
I follow many different firms but Scape is one that consistently impresses me with the work that they do and the thought and intentionality that goes into their work. Another is DWG studio, I have just been recently made aware of this firm but I believe they do some really great work.
7. How has your degree in landscape architecture helped you to achieve your goals?
As a professional my time at the Tennessee RiverLine really set the scale in which I view design and community development. It was instrumental in my professional development.
6. Any fond memories of your time at UTK that you would like to share?
My time in the MLA program was a blast, my fondest memories are with those in my cohort. The late studio nights and amazing friendships that I built there.
7. What drew you to landscape architecture?
When I completed my master of architecture thesis, I began to explore the MLA program and what it had to offer. I had previously worked in the Landscape Architecture field and was interested in how I could tie that in with my work in Architecture. I love how the two fields complement each other and create more holistic designs.
8. What skills that you learned in your MLA program have you found to be the most helpful?
The skills that I find help the most, is my ability to look at the broader picture when thinking through design projects. I feel as if many of my colleagues have a hard time moving out of the world of 20 scale to think about the 100 - 200 scale picture when working on master plans. This point of view is something that working on the large scale projects while at UTK SoLA gave me.