one firm, many voices // juan gabriel rosillo
Since joining TBG’s Houston office in 2018, Juan Gabriel has brought a passion for creativity, artistry and appreciation for the potential landscape architects have in making the earth a more memorable place.
How does he do it? Getting a good night’s sleep is a habit he attributes to his unstoppable success, but you know it takes more than that. His creative confidence and thoughtful communication style help this newly promoted TBG Associate become an inspired designer who contributes on a wide variety of projects.
Juan Gabriel is a Houston area native and LSU grad and we are so proud he is a part of TBG. Keep reading to learn more about him.
1. How did you find landscape architecture? How did you decide to pursue your current job/career?
I found myself in architecture school fully involved doing the landscape architecture of projects as much, if not more than the building. I also drew inspiration from architects that had a “whole site” approach to design. It just felt natural. It wasn’t until I began working professionally that I learned what landscape architecture was.
As far as a job in design, I grew up watching This Old House and had a natural inclination to art. Even now, I am fascinated with putting things together and crafting spaces for people through my artistic and problem-solving efforts.
2. What is your job title and role? Describe the things you are responsible for day-to-day and big picture.
I am an associate at TBG. I facilitate discussions between the team, delegate work, and coordinate efforts with clients and staff.
Day to day, I draw a lot. I take projects at multiple stages and try to see them from multiple perspectives. Then through drawing, I problem solve, testing ideas to see the one that works best. It is like a lab except we use trace paper, ideas, and budgets in lieu of chemical compositions.
Big picture, we are trying to make an impact in this world, led by our vision for a better future. Landscapes and architecture become a mirror of our values and what we value as a society.
3. What is the biggest challenge to your role? Greatest challenge to the profession.
The biggest challenge to my role is not having enough time to do the things I would love to do. As a team we can create a lot of ideas and ways to resolve things, but time constraints always bring us to reality. In a perfect project, we could spend a lot of time refining designs and expressing our creativity.
Landscape architecture’s greatest challenge is our short sightedness as designers. I think the potential for our profession to influence our world is limitless. Aside from budgets, clients, and markets the limits lie within us.
4. Please list three goals that you currently have your sights on.
_Get into the high-tech side of landscape architecture, green walls/roofs, and digital fabrication
_Learn good old revit and explore the paths of fully integrating it into Sketchup, 3DS Max, and Civil 3D
5. What accomplishments (in your career or life) have given you a sense of pride and satisfaction?
Seeing a finished project being used by people is always satisfying. It gives you a direct connection to the community and sense of involvement which is why I love working on highly used public spaces. A finished art piece also always gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
6. Describe your design philosophy in two lines
I haven’t stablished my everlasting design philosophy just yet. I try to learn from the most seasoned professionals. “There isn’t better advice than the one time gives us.”
7. How do you define success?
Finding the purpose and having the courage to pursue it.
8. How would you like to see your career evolve in the next 1, 3, and 5 years?
Evolving relationships with colleagues, entering the professionally licensed circuit, and improving in as many areas as I can. I would like to be a lot more immersed in technology. I would also like to pursue the purpose in our profession beyond our immediate work life, and our connection to other professions, collaborations, and opportunities for impact.
9. What are your three biggest career and leadership strengths?
Listen not just hear, communicate with drawings (digital or hand drawn), and a work ethic of constant effort.
10. What’s your favorite movie line?
“Chewie, we’re home”. Joking, I don’t have a favorite line.
11. What should they teach in school, but don’t?
Besides autocad xrefs, they should teach the “old school” work ethic that is now becoming extinct and manners.
12. List the one song (only one) that you play at full volume whenever it comes on the radio
“Call me the breeze” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
13. Describe what you were like at age 10.
Simple, charismatic, fastest kid on the field, read a book a week, took apart and reassembled every electronic in our house. I still remember my mom walking in on me with our radio completely disassembled down to the last screw on our living room floor, neatly organized.
14. What would surprise people to know about you?
I listen to all types of music, except for classical and K pop of course. I am also an INTP personality type which makes me quiet and soft-spoken.
15. What was your worst job ever?
Removing weeds for my dad’s peanut farm by hand. Worst summer of my life.
16. What are two things you know you should know how to do but don’t?
Endless small talk and make a clean pool dive face first. I tried in middle school on the shallow end and ended up with tile marks on my forehead. I just can’t. Haha! I do have an awesome canon ball.
17. Who’s someone you look up to as a mentor?
I don’t have just one mentor. I have a circle of family that guides me through many obstacles. Even the in-laws get involuntarily adopted. We always find time to talk and be there for each other. I would say we are like the “this is us” siblings in the series but my brother hates that so don’t tell him.
18. List out what you would like to be remembered for after you’re gone (i.e. What would be written on your tombstone?).
Not only did he help shape this world, but he saw people beyond the job and the suit and inspired others to build with him.
19. What do you do when you’re up against an obstacle or barrier?
Always problem solve or decide if “the juice is even worth the squeeze”.
20. Ask me about_____ (something you love to talk about)
I grew up with an INTJ brother so I developed an understanding of complex ideas about science and a ton about cars (not necessarily the oldies or muscle cars), inshore saltwater fishing, UH football, 90’s movies and comedy