Get to Know Matt Fisher, TBG San Antonio’s Newest Member
Matt Fisher, Senior Associate at TBG, recently made the move from Austin to join and lead our San Antonio studio. We sat down with him to learn more about his passions, his approach to design — and his excitement to join the Alamo City.
Question: How did you find landscape architecture?
Matt: The shorter version of the story is that when I was growing up, I used to go hiking with my dad, so I was always outside. I completed my Eagle Scout project in the north Georgia Appalachian Mountains – and what we did was recreate fish habitat for the brown trout, which at the time was on the threatened list – and it really made me excited about the environmental impacts and helping solve problems in creative ways. Fast forward, when I moved to New York, my two best friends worked for the Central Park Conservancy as landscape architects and I always admired their jobs and working in the park every day seemed really cool.
Question: Why are you passionate about it?
Matt: I like design. I love to see how people interface with things that we create. That really gets me going. I’d like to think that we are making an impact in our communities.
Question: Which of your projects has been the most rewarding and why?
Matt: I worked for a high-end residential design firm early in my career and one of my projects was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest – and I take a lot of pride in that. One of the coolest parts of what we do is playing in the world of materials and colors and textures – and how all of those things work together to tell the story of a place. Where it starts becoming really cool is once you’ve figured that out, you can observe how people interact in the space. This project, in particular, was really fun to combine the regional limestone and hardscape and it had this rhythm with the landscape and plants that is hard to emulate in other projects. At TBG, I’ve had fun working on the Travis County Court Facility, Oracle, and the Highland Mall redevelopmemt – they were both super challenging and complex sites in their own ways.
Question: What aspect of San Antonio are you most excited about?
Matt: The chill vibe. The pace is really attractive. Bigger picture of why it was so enticing to me professionally was the potential. There are already awesome pockets and cool things happening downtown and I’m excited to be part of it and having an impact on the city evolving.
I always wanted to be a part of running an office – and I’m really excited to get this opportunity in San Antonio.
Question: How do you see landscape architecture changing in the next decade?
Matt: I heard through the Landscape Architecture Foundation, that we [as a profession] are thinking about rebranding what we’re calling what we do. Defining landscape architecture has always been challenging and I’d love to see the profession collectively take a stand on how we define our purpose. I would hope that we’re at the forefront of helping cities figure out issues on transportation and affordability, food, climate change. Landscape architecture has so many awesome facets and I’d love for it to keep expanding its reach and progressing.
Question: How do you approach design? Which part of the design process are you most excited about?
Matt: I have degrees in fine arts and economics and where I get the most excited is where we have, what I call them, ‘graphic design moments’ in landscape architecture – where materials, colors, textures – the micro-scale of what we do is really fun to me. I like to figure out how things are built and how they all come together.
I always try to envision myself in the space and how I would use it. And something that’s always stuck with me throughout my career – something a professor in graduate school told me – imagine your parents in the space and then imagine explaining it to them. So I always try to simplify for people to understand.
Question: How do you spend your free time?
Matt: Cycling, running, hanging out with my wife and my dog. We love camping. I like detaching when I can – it keeps me mentally fresh.
Question: Favorite sports team?
Matt: Georgia Bulldogs (UGA) or any Atlanta team.
Question: Favorite color?
Matt: Forest green or black.
Question: Favorite dessert?
Matt: Chocolate chip cookies
Question: Favorite drink?
Matt: Espresso with a side of Topo Chico. Or a good west coast IPA.
Question: Favorite food?