IS SMALL BEAUTIFUL?
Landscape architects talk about the ups and downs of small
The first CEO Roundtable on the particular challenges and gratifications
of small firms was held last October at the ASLA Annual Meeting
in Minneapolis. The session was moderated by Joseph Lalli, FASLA,
president and managing principal of EDSA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Panelists were Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, of Reed Hilderbrand in Watertown,
Massachusetts; Mark Johnson, FASLA, of Civitas in Denver; Martha
Schwartz, ASLA, of Martha Schwartz Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
and London; Tom Oslund, FASLA, of oslund.and.associates in Minneapolis
and Chicago; and Ray Leone, of the marketing consulting firm Leone
Resources Group in Charleston, South Carolina.
OSLUND: I worked in a large multidisciplinary office for nine years
and I really had this desire to have my own practice, to test out
my ideas with free rein and free will, and to create a culture that
concentrated on the work but in which we could have a lot more fun.
SCHWARTZ: I was working for a corporate firm for about three years
after school and I wanted to have a family and it didnít seem like
it would be possible. I also wanted to make art. So I tried to convince
one of the senior principals that I would go out and find art opportunities
because it seemed to me that there might be just a few people in
the United States who might want to do big art and I would go and
find them and bring it into the office. He just blew me off and
told me I was crazy, so I decided to try it myself.
JOHNSON: To me itís incontrovertible. I couldnít work for anybody
else; it would be impossible.
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