Hand Drawing

Dementia Care Facility

This architectural project is a proposal for the design of a care facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the project was to create an environment that gave individuals a level of independence through the navigation of space using sensory perception, not memory. In order to do this, there needed to be gradual changes in the space, from open to closed, from dark to light, from public to private. The use of shading and shadow in this set of drawings was an important tool to communicate the mood of the space as well as communicate how someone with Alzheimer’s disease could sense a change in the environment and navigate freely.

Paintings

As a college student, I was always seeking a counter process to architectural design, one which allowed for more richness of imagery and less constraint of program and client. I began painting as a creative outlet in my free time but it quickly grew into a means to incorporate more expressiveness into my school work.

My paintings fall into three categories: architectural space and projects, self understanding and interpretation, and finally and most prevalent, flowers.

Flowers have been a lifelong interest of mine in terms of their beauty, cycle of life, inherent geometry and physical make-up. Flowers, as an expressive medium of design, have also been one of my creative pursuits and because of this they continually are the topic of many of my paintings. These works are representations of the moment of enrapture one feels when seeing a beautiful fresh flower: the richness of color, the softness of the flesh, the freshness, volatility and passion of fleeting perfection.

Mediums: Oil on Canvas, Acrylic on Canvas

Sustainable Floriculture

In September of 2009, Susan Bigler and I decided to embark upon a new business venture focused on addressing the environmental impact of the floral industry. With nine years of floral design experience (which I accrued prior to becoming an architect) and Susan’s business acumen, Fleurish, LLC was born.

Fleurish was a floral design studio in Philadelphia that specializes in eco-friendly events. Our mission was to make it easy for our clients to decide to ‘go green’. We did this by not sacrificing creativity, drama or excitement in exchange for sustainability. As a sustainable business, we employed several techniques ranging from our choice of flowers and supplies to our business structure and strategy. Foremost, we purchase certified Veraflora, certified organic, certified fair trade and local flowers to offset the impact the cut floral industry has on the environment and third world countries. Additionally, all materials from business cards to floral accessories were recycled, repurposed or reclaimed.

The business became very popular, very quickly with 22 events in its first season. Fleurish was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine in our first month of business. We were also asked to exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower show. Our whirlwind success was exciting and challenging!

At the end of our first year, complications arose: the governing body certifying flower farms for sustainable practices (Veraflora) decided to make their standards more stringent. As a result, 50% of the certified farms dropped out of the program. We had a big decision to make: change our business model to eliminate sustainability as a goal or close our doors. We realized that this was an idea before its time and decided to close in hopes of implementing sustainability in other ways.