Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures,
but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life.

Edward O. Wilson

John Seitz

When I leave the garden to travel through the city I am always reminded of the huge task before us. I see a city that could be as a garden and imagine everyone wealthy with plants. This is my work, garden by garden, neighbor by neighbor. We were given a beautiful world filled with wonder and life and must relearn what it is to be a steward. I feel a great deal of urgency in this task, as we have largely lost touch with the natural world on which we depend.

Plants once shaped our inner worlds of experience, memory and collected meaning, as they directly provided for our outer well-being. Even as this world became unfamiliar it remained powerfully resonant and today there is a growing desire to bring plants (and the living world they connect us to) back into our lives.

Several years ago I left a Principal position as Director of Sustainable Design at a global architecture firm to better understand plants and find a way to build gardens that people could connect to. This followed 20 years of experience managing landmark building and sustainability planning projects that helped shape the history of sustainable design. My appreciation for the natural world began in a backyard and on a farm and has only continued to grow over the decades in Brooklyn, as I moved my garden skills to community gardens and a series of backyards, rooftops and terraces.

What fascinates me today is the rich potential within the design of “living buildings” and "garden cities". As an architect I am excited by buildings that mimic plant processes, adapting to their changing environment and sustaining resource flows. As an educator I am encouraged when this process is made visible and communicated. As a gardener I am captivated by the expanding realm of plants, including walls, rooftops and in all kinds of public open spaces. As an ecologist I value the increased support of native plant communities and living systems. And as a citizen of humanity I feel great hope that we can mitigate the damage done and rebuild in a restorative and life-affirming way.

We would love to help you with your garden!

Registered Architect, New York State
Adjunct Assistant Professor, NYC College of Technology, CUNY
LEED Accredited Professional, US Green Building Council

MS Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1993
Bachelor of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon 1987