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Insight > Perspective | 13 May 2021

Bringing a Landscape Perspective to the Team

Jonathan Cook joined the Pickard Chilton studio in 2018 after completing his undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. Learn more about his perspective on joining the team. 

I grew up in the small town of Wellsville, Utah, with a population of 3,700.  While I was in high school, I started to attend city council meetings to observe the discourse surrounding the civic issues affecting our town. I learned a lot about the social dynamics of a community and discovered my interest in urban design.  

As an undergraduate landscape architecture student at Utah State University, I first learned about Pickard Chilton for its reputation as a collaborative firm.  Professor Todd Johnson spoke highly of his experience at Design Workshop designing the landscape at Eaton Center in Beachwood, Ohio.  Citing a specific conversation in which Pickard Chilton chose to orient the master plan of the project in response to the natural landscape, Professor Johnson’s words left a lasting impression in my mind when I applied for a position.  

My first project was for a masterplan in Stuttgart, Germany. I was initially hesitant that my background in landscape architecture would not align with the work of the studio. I learned quickly that my unique experience had a direct correlation to my first project, and I could offer my experience with site selection, analysis, and GIS resources. I was reassured by the early opportunities to draw and offer input to the design conversation. The Pickard Chilton studio environment welcomes the opinions and voices of all members of the team.  

Your teammates are your first client: selling them on an idea can help hone your argument and build a case for solving design problems. Always remember to establish relationships with mentors that can provide support and advice. I have been fortunate to take more responsibility - and risks - thanks to the support network of my mentors and teammates at Pickard Chilton.  

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