one firm, many voices // lindsey white
How does one get from a university dining hall to becoming one of TBG’s newly promoted Associates? By boldly charting her own path! Lindsey White’s tenacious spirit compelled her to boldly leave behind the state she grew up in for the big city of Dallas and with a growth mindset she has found her own path. Read on to learn about Lindsey’s story, her design philosophy and career goals and what she loves about landscape architecture.
1. How did you find landscape architecture? How did you decide to pursue your current job/career?
I went to a magnet art school for high school. We had to audition for the school through a chosen “major”. Mine was visual arts. We then took 2-4 art classes per year in our chosen “majors”. By the time college rolled around I knew being an artist wasn’t for me. I found landscape architecture halfway through my first year of college. My first naïve impression of landscape architecture was that I wanted to design landscapes that people would want to paint. I was drawn to the artistic aspect of landscape architecture and also the practical problem-solving aspect of the profession.
2. What is your job title and role? Describe the things you are responsible for day-to-day and big picture.
Big picture I am responsible for project management and pushing forward a holistic vision for a project. My strengths lie in visioning and schematic design. I enjoy crafting big ideas for projects and helping the team maintain the big idea throughout the design process.
3. What do you love most about your work?
I love the challenge that each project brings. I think that it can be easy to get in a design rut, clients and projects can start to blend. But I enjoy the challenge of having to look at each project with new eyes. I am a person that likes to grow and I like to apply that mindset to my work by trying to always evolve the work.
4. What is the biggest challenge to your role? Greatest challenge to the profession.
I think the biggest challenge to any role is collaborating with different personalities. Each of us approach communication and problem solving differently. Discovering and utilizing each other’s different strengths is a real challenge.
We as practitioners have to stay flexible and be willing to change. Art and culture are constantly evolving. Landscape architecture and design both reflect and inform culture. I think the biggest challenge to the profession is to responsibly evolve.
5. Please list three goals that you currently have your sights on.
Personally and professionally, I enjoy growing and I think setting goals is a great way to measure growth.
Goal one – evaluate performance factors and how they are used in our design process. I think they are an essential part of the design process, I want to push mine and my team’s limits on how we think about them
Goal two – I want to grow holistically as a designer. I really enjoy the big picture design process. I need growth in the fine details that accomplish that big picture goal. As Mies Van Der Rohe said “The devil is in the details”
Goal three – I want to grow my leadership skills and team building skills.
6. What accomplishments (in your career or life) have given you a sense of pride and satisfaction?
Personally, I take a lot of pride in moving to Dallas after graduation. I am from Georgia and never lived outside of Georgia before graduation. I’m really proud of myself for moving halfway across the country and building a life from scratch.
Professionally, at the start of each project or phase of project, I feel satisfaction that I’ve grown and learned since the last start of a project. It is gratifying to feel processes get easier or have new, more complicated, challenges arise.
7. Describe your design philosophy in two lines
Gathering and synthesizing data to create a compelling and informed big idea. Allowing that big idea to be the backbone of the design process
8. How do you define success?
A quote from Maya Angelou’s work informs and reflects how I define personal and professional success, “You are only free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” This quote inspires me to not conform to status quos just to fit in or take the easier path. It inspires me to find my own path no matter how uncomfortable or scary it may be.
9. How would you like to see your career evolve in the next 1, 3, and 5 years?
1 – Get through COVID and working from home. Grow my leadership and team building skills, push design and my understanding of design, explore social, economic and environmental performance factors and their role in design.
3 – I would like to do some deep thinking through research. Either through TBG’s Idea Lab or the LAF Fellowship.
5 – I would like to push those deep-thinking ideas to a larger audience through speaking roles or writing. I would really like to write a book one day.
10. What are your three biggest career and leadership strengths?
11. You have $100 to burn, all your friends are busy, and you have the whole day to yourself, what do you do?
I love cooking and I love exploring new recipes. It’s a different type of creative outlet that’s kept me sane during COVID. I would definitely pick an involved recipe and go spend the money on ingredients.
12. List the one song (only one) that you play at full volume whenever it comes on the radio
Bring Me to Life – Evanescence
13. What was your worst job ever?
Working in a UGA dining hall. I lasted maybe a month before I quit.
14. Who’s someone you look up to as a mentor?
Jodi House, she’s amazing. She is my friend and my mentor. I know that I can count on her to give me authentic feedback. We can have hard conversations and ridiculous conversations. She’s really been there for me and I really value having her in my life.
15. What motivates and inspires you?
I try to practice gratitude every day, even if that just means being grateful for the small given things. I find that when I live a more grateful life, motivation and inspiration come more authentically.
16. What words describe you when you are at your best?
Patient, empathetic, yoda
17. What do you do when you’re up against an obstacle or barrier?
I take a step back and get some space from the problem. I take some meditative deep breaths and try to see if I can get a new look at it.
18. What are two personal habits that have served you well?
_Budgeting and knowing exactly where all my money is going
_Self-care – I take mental health pretty seriously. I’ve seen a therapist for a long time and it’s really made me a stronger happier person. I wish that people would treat their mental health like their body health. It needs regular care with the help from professionals.
19. Ask me about_____ ?
Food – I can be snobbish and highly opinionated. My greatest food accomplishment was cooking a five-course meal for 12 women with multiple dietary restrictions (gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and picky eaters)