Faith Okuma is a Principal of Surroundings and is a licensed landscape architect, AICP Certified and a LEED Accredited Professional. She brings distinguished experience through programming, planning and design expertise for public agencies and private clients throughout the American West. Notable projects that she has led include: Santa Fe Railyard Master Plan; Planning Services for Los Alamos National Laboratory; Rancho Viejo Master Plan and Implementation and the South Santa Fe Transit Oriented Neighborhood Study. Faith graduated from ASU and studied landscape architecture at Utah State University and the University of Arizona. She has been involved with numerous professional affiliations and boards and has presented at national conferences of the APA and the ASLA.
Kenneth Francis, ASLA, PLA, RA
Kenneth Francis is a founding partner and principal of Surroundings, a New Mexico based multidisciplinary design studio. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from The Cooper Union in New York City and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. While studying at Harvard, he was awarded a travel grant to research the historic and cultural landscape of the acequias in Northern New Mexico. As a direct result of this study, Kenneth’s work has been focused on innovative and sustainable water practices in every scale of project that comes into the studio. Kenneth has 20 years combined architecture and landscape experience and has presented on the topic of green infrastructure at multiple conferences, including the 2014 ASLA National Convention. He has been interviewed on PBS Austin and was also profiled in Smithsonian Magazine for the stormwater design features of El Parque del Rio, a newly completed example of green infrastructure along the Santa Fe River.
Sandra Donner, RA
Sandra Donner is a a founding partner and principal of Surroundings. She holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Cooper Union and is a licensed architect in New Mexico. Formerly, she was a partner at ARC engine, an architecture firm engaged in commercial and high end residential design with projects in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and New York City. She taught design studios at the Boston Architectural Center in Massachusetts and has been a visiting critic at colleges and universities across the country. Sandra’s designs are built upon process-driven testing and experimentation to arrive at powerful and new solutions for our clients. Her methodical accuracy for drawing and critical eye proves to be an asset on every project. Prior to receiving her Bachelor’s in Architecture, she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design.
Joseph Charles, ASLA, PLA
Associate + Project Manager
Joseph Charles graduated from Rutgers University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Architecture. Previously he was an Associate at the Santa Fe office of Design Workshop for almost six years. He is a licensed Landscape Architect in NM. As a designer, Joseph looks to balance the functional and aesthetic requirements of a project with the responsibility of creating environmentally sound landscapes that positively enhance our quality of life. Joseph has been working within the Southwest region for the past ten years, and has designed and managed a wide variety of urban, institutional, streetscape, and residential landscape projects.
Abby Feldman, PLA
Abby Feldman received her Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design where she was awarded the Jacob Weidenman prize for outstanding ability and talent in design. After over a decade of working for award winning firms in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles, as well as dedicating five years to directing a Post-Katrina recovery project in New Orleans, she has returned to her home town, Santa Fe, to work with Surroundings. Abby has designed and managed a wide variety of projects from community gardens to public parks and living sculptures to private estates. Her passion is focused on community redevelopment, committed to the belief that every person deserves to benefit from living in or having access to a beautiful environment and that architecture is a powerful tool to build these places. Her work straddles the tension between the wild landscape and the insertion of infrastructure that underpins it all.
Will Iadevaia, ASLA, PLA
Will Iadevaia earned his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Arizona State University and has been practicing in the southwest region and internationally for the last 9 years. During this time, Will has designed and managed a variety of project types including urban design, community planning, and residential landscape architecture. Will’s approach to design strives to discover the opportunities in which the aesthetic intersects with ecological, cultural, and client needs to develop successful design solutions.
Chrissy Scarpitti, PLA
Christina earned a Bachelor’s of Urban Planning from The University of Cincinnati’s School of Planning in 2008. While attending the University of Cincinnati, Christina cumulatively completed ten months of work experience under Design Workshop in their Phoenix and Santa Fe offices. Her internship experience broadened her interests and skills in the field of landscape design and helped establish an understanding of native desert landscapes and environmental issues. With a background in urban planning and experience in the field of landscape design Christina’s skills allow her to tackle design challenges at all scales and levels of complexity, from mixed use master plans to intimate courtyards.
As a lifelong resident of New Mexico, Brian brings an intimate knowledge and love of the region's diverse landscapes to the Surroundings team. While pursuing his Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of New Mexico, he studied the complexities of stormwater infrastructure in Albuquerque’s environment. His final thesis proposed a meshwork of interventions to increase the hydrological, ecological, and social functions of an altered arroyo in the city’s foothills. Brian is drawn to complex systems such as green infrastructure and hybrid ecosystems and enjoys exploring the intersections between people, places and the environment through design. When not working with predominantly horizontal landscapes, Brian can often be found exploring New Mexico’s more vertical topographies while climbing and hiking.
Madeleine Aguilar, ASLA, PLA
Madeleine Aguilar received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Design and her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of New Mexico. Previously, Madeleine worked for the Albuquerque Public School's planning department where she focused on facility planning and programming needs. Madeleine continues to draw upon her planning experience in her approach to landscape architecture. While in graduate school, she and her student team were awarded first place in the national Better Philadelphia Competition for their master plan design addressing neighborhood health. Born and raised in Santa Fe, Madeleine’s design approach is sensitive to the unique cultural and environmental challenges that the southwest presents.