Educated in the fine arts as a painter, Kim studied landscape architecture and ecological planning at the University of Pennsylvania. "Here I learned that it was possible to 'read' the landscape," she says, "and that design was not only about creating beauty but revealing meaning." This commitment to beauty and meaningfulness has informed all of her award-winning projects. Kim is the recipient of more than a dozen design awards, is past-President of the New York State Council of Landscape Architects, and lectures frequently across the country on environmental design. She is an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Planning Association. Landscape architecture is a profoundly positive and collaborative profession," she adds. "It is a discipline that embodies hope and requires a longer, larger vision."
Designers are public intellectuals, turning ideas into realities. For Signe Nielsen that public role is paramount. "The urban arena is the setting where we can create places that are truly restorative to both people and the environment," she says. She has led more than 400 projects, nationally and globally, and these projects have won almost every possible design award. But her sense of design's public mission extends far beyond these interventions. In addition to her hands-on project leadership, she is the co-author of several books on sustainable and green design for the NYC Department of Design and Construction. Signe has taught at Pratt Institute for more than two decades and has also lectured and juried competitions at institutions around the world, including Harvard University and the Ecole Normale Superiure in Paris. As president of the Public Design Commission of the City of New York, Signe is a strong and effective advocate for a beautiful, inspiring and diverse urban fabric.
With 20 years of experience in design across the northeast, Molly has realized projects from conceptual design through construction. She has a rare combination of people skills and award-winning design talent. She has led multidisciplinary teams on high profile efforts including cultural institutions in New York City, waterfront parks, and large-scale campus renovations. She has been involved in all aspects of these projects including project design direction, coordination of consultants and agency submissions, project management, construction supervision, specification writing and cost estimating.
In Rob, technological proficiency and project management experience unite to form a leader who can keep design projects moving forward. He leads the firm's constructability review for Quality Control and Quality Assurance and is highly skilled in the use of AutoCAD data bases and internet-based project management sites. He is at home working with the multidisciplinary teams common to large assignments and also has significant experience on projects requiring multiple city and state agency reviews. His skill at directing complex recreational projects, including those on brownfield sites, has resulted in the successful completion of many fast-track school and municipal projects. Rob joined MNLA in 1999 and has 20 years experience as a Landscape Architect.
Design can only be great if it is also buildable, and Greg Leonard has extensive experience in making sure good ideas are grounded in reality. A graduate of Cornell and Harvard Universities, he serves as lead project designer on many of the firm's complex urban design, park planning and sustainable infrastructure commissions. Before joining the firm in 2004, Greg gained extensive experience working on major urban transportation and public space projects. Uniting design skill with construction document experience, he ensures that creative solutions are also practical and cost-effective.
Noriko, who joined the firm in 2008, is a master of the often intricate negotiation that is urban design. Prior to becoming a landscape architect, Noriko trained as a fine artist and has exhibited in both Japan and the United States. For more than 20 years she has brought her keen visual perspective to urban design. She has demonstrated skill in managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders and dexterity at balancing both project goals and design excellence. Noriko has managed many urban design projects in her career, and her work on a wide variety of parks, plazas and streetscapes, especially in New York City has given her an intimate knowledge of agencies and regulatory processes. Additionally, Noriko has been a guest lecturer at the Bauhaus in Germany and has served as an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden.