meet Jodi House, one of TBG’s newest principals
Q: How did you find landscape architecture?
A: “I discovered landscape architecture during my first year in architecture at Kansas State. During that year, you learn about the different architecture fields and select your field. I chose landscape architecture not only because I loved the projects during the first year but also to get away from one of the kids in my classes – I didn’t think I could survive four more years with him and he was going into architecture, or so he told me. The first day of second year, he showed up in my landscape architecture studio. We ended up becoming great friends and living together my senior year so maybe he was a blessing in disguise to lead me down the right path.”
Q: What’s your favorite movie line?
A: “I don’t necessarily have a favorite line but my goal in life is to be quick-witted like the Gilmore Girls. I have a lot of work ahead of me.”
Q: Describe your design philosophy in two lines
A: “Proper analysis and research (in users, comps, market, etc.) will set the tone and provide a baseline for the design and its progression through the process. If you do that right, the reasons for the design are steadfast and hard to alter.”
Q: Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster?
A: “Tiny Elephant – I had hamsters growing up and my dog killed a few too many for me to feel comfortable in that suit.”
Q: Who’s your celebrity doppelganger?
A: “Lisa Kudrow or Maggie Gyllenhaal”
Q: What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
A: “Studying abroad in Italy for four months. We had classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesdays were group travel days and Fridays were for individual travel. I will likely never feel the same freedom as those days to explore and spend some else’s (my parent’s) money freely. As an adult with responsibilities, Rosemary Beach or Sedona.”
Q: What was your worst job ever?
A: “I’ve enjoyed every job to some extent, but I suppose my worst job EVER would be when my mom would make me dress up as the Easter bunny for the nursing home she worked at which wasn’t bad, but I didn’t get paid for it.”
Q: How do you define success?
A: “Doing what you love each day and feeling fulfilled with that work. For me, success is equal to watching people use the spaces I helped create and building relationships with the consultant and client teams.”
Q: What road trip would you like to take?
A: “Coast to coast, hitting most of our national parks. Our family was fortunate to have traveled a lot while growing up, but we didn’t cross off any of those parks (except for Rocky Mountain National Park).”
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
A: “East coast – the fall weather starts in September, it snows in the winter and the amount of history and architectural design is impactful. I am fond of Washington D.C. and have travelled there several times.”
Q: Describe what you were like at age 10. I was a big nerd.
A: “I would practice my typing skills to see how many words per minute I could get. I was in 4H (cake decorating and photography). I would hang out with the kids on the block – most of them were boys, so I learned from an early age that I had to keep up or get left behind, which meant I was normally the first to get hurt.”
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to hit a deadline?
A: “Years ago, we were working on a project in the middle east and a group of five of us worked from 7:00 am Friday to 9:00 am Saturday. We were working as a team which was great, but it ended up being a good learning experience that proper management and schedule outlook can lead us down a path in which we don’t have to do that and the importance of being honest with clients on our limitations.”
Q: Who’s someone you look up to as a mentor?
A: “Someone I look up to as a mentor is Jim Manskey. I strive to have his leadership skills, personal connection ability and approach to design. To me, Jim is and always has been a great mentor to anyone who is opened to receiving feedback. For my career alone, I’ve had several mentors and they continue to evolve and change over time. Diane Collier, a product rep but also architect in her younger years, is my mentor for when I need a hand in navigation of office politics. Seth Atwell gives me guidance on the questions I feel are too dumb to ask out loud and how to navigate relationships with teams. Mark Meyer has been my rock in times of stress and helps me think bigger picture and problem solve.”
Q: Next up on your travel agenda?
A: “Hopefully, Colorado for Christmas/New Year’s (pending COVID-19 and my family’s desire to have us invade their home). Apart from that, I graduated with five great girlfriends, all in landscape architecture, and we do a girl’s trip once or twice a year. We are “planning” this spring and looking into Nashville, Napa Valley or Maine – pending travel restrictions.”
The Royal Gorge Bridge in Jodi’s hometown, Cañon City, Colorado