4 February 2011 | Posted inBlog News & Updates
Posted by Megan
Meet “the Matts”! Matt Friesen + Matt Livermore are the dynamic duo of aspiring landscape architects who reside in the Atlanta office. The Matts started within days of each other in 2007 and were immediately thrown into the madness known as KAUST. Since then, they have worked on countless projects together and are ideal teammates. Friesen, who grew up in Thomasville, Georgia, is the designer. Livermore, raised in Farmingham, Massachussetts, is the builder. The combination of their natural talents and shared passion for the craft lead to innovative designs with buildable solutions.
We had them answer some questions about each other and projects that they have worked on together. I hope you enjoy getting to know some of the best young talent in the planning group, my colleagues + friends… the Matts. (And did I mention they are hilarious…)
1. How did you first get interested in the profession of landscape architecture?
MF: I always wanted to be an architect until my last year of high school. At that time I decided I wanted to be wealthy and so began my college career at UGA in business school to be an investment banker. I was good at it, but I wasn’t exactly inspired. Next, I was to be a doctor until I received my grades in organic chemistry. After some reflection I decided to get back to architecture – wait, UGA doesn’t have a program… landscape architecture it is. It all worked out.
2. What is one of your favorite projects?
MF: KAUST – not at the time, but now I can look back at the team chemistry and experience gained in one year which would have otherwise taken three.
ML: Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, travel to Jamaica and a great plant palette.
3. What makes you + the other Matt a good team?
MF: He’s the blaster to my master.
ML: Matt and I have a common experience and a similar frame of reference starting with both of us receiving degrees at about the same time from UGA. Our first project together at HOK was KAUST, and through that challenging project we got to know each other’s skills and thought processes. In a short time, we can have a good idea what the other is thinking and how best to break down the workload on a new project.
4. What is a skill you envy of the other Matt?
MF: His beard growing skills are superb. Seriously, his organization and ability to instantaneously think through the constructability of a design to the most minute details. He’s also really knowledgeable when it comes to plants – or at least knows enough Latin to fool me.
5. What does the other Matt do exceptionally well?
ML: Matt can sketch very well. Most of us in the field can handle ourselves with a pen, but Matt has the ability to sketch an axon, off the cuff and upside down for the other person’s perspective, that really captures the idea at hand. He is also really good at wearing a tie at inappropriate times.
6. Dream Project or Collaboration
MF: Right now our big landscape project in the Middle East – our current KAUST. It’s a trial by fire for the both of us. Not to sound grossly cheesy, but I think this will be the project we look back on as a teachable moment in our careers.
7. Where would you like your career to be 10 years from now?
MF: At the point where I am awarded Philip Johnson glasses… and a cape
ML: The question is irrelevant. I just bought 5 mega millions tickets so statistically I can’t lose.