Congratulations to AR’s Newest Principals

May 20, 2021   /   Studio News

Reflecting strategic long-term growth and an ever-evolving national presence, Asakura Robinson is pleased to announce a significant expansion of our leadership team. Our landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm has elevated three key senior-level teammates to the position of principal!

At the beginning of 2021, we announced two new offices – in Seattle and San Antonio – and two of our newest principals will bring their strong background in visioning and project management to these locations. To round out this amazing group, the third principal is currently developing our New Orleans design presence while co-leading the Austin studio.

MEGHAN SKORNIA, AICP

Meghan Skornia focuses on small area planning, downtown planning, vacant land strategy, highway removal, creative placemaking, strategic planning, and public space strategy. A certified planner, project manager, and leader in our Planning Studio, she has held leadership roles on a variety of projects including Plan Downtown, the South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan, the Corpus Christi Downtown Gateways project, and the Walker Lake Revitalization Plan in St Louis Park, Minnesota. Meghan brings her past experience in urban design, development, and regulatory strategy to push projects in exciting new directions and has also taken on lead roles in helping Asakura Robinson build new tools and processes for project management that have significantly improved productivity, firm-wide work, and company culture and work/life balance. 

Meghan recently relocated to San Antonio from Austin to open our newest office, and is excited to bring her expertise to this new market while still continuing work on pressing regional transportation and housing issues. Meghan has also taken a special role in training and mentoring junior staff and in developing strong processes and procedures for our planning staff. . Outside of work, Meghan likes to discover all of the special swimming holes the Edward Aquifer has to offer, travel to tropical and foreign  places, and spend time with family and friends.

“I am proud to be a part of Asakura Robinson during this time of change to the way we approach our work and plan our communities. Our staff, clients, and colleagues continue to amaze me with their ability to change course, be nimble and flexible, and truly do it all to provide equitable, implementable, and lasting support for our communities. Thanks for letting me push you every day and for pushing me right back!”

TAYLOR MCNEILL, PLA, ISA Certified Arborist PN-9009A

Taylor McNeill  initially joined our firm in fall 2016 as part of our Houston office, and he was an instant asset to our landscape architecture studio. After a few impactful years at Asakura Robinson, he left to take some time to trek through southern California before he found his heart in Seattle – and where our work with Taylor began again in fall 2020.  Taylor’s work focuses on projects with integral low-impact development features and increasing biodiversity within cultural + social contexts. He is an advocate for science-based sustainability in design, which is advanced through a focus on low carbon materiality, natural process adaptation, soil microbiology, designer/novel ecosystems, and organic landscaping practices.

 Taylor advances landscape architecture as an evolving and dynamic role within the community, layering in concepts from nature therapy, environmental ethics, critical regionalism, tactical urbanism, and permaculture into the design process. He believes thoughtful site analysis, observation, active listening, and organization are integral to successful and impactful project work. He advocates that aesthetics are secondary to creating spaces that fit the context of culture, economics, and natural process.He now leads in innovation and conceptual framework of the AR landscape architecture practice, mentoring junior staff in purposeful design work and marketing our strength to growing market sectors that value nature in our fast-changing climate and environment. Taylor has taken a new challenge in managing our new Seattle office.

“I’m grateful to be a part of a team that cares deeply about the people we serve through design. We all seem to rally around common goals and a dedication to upholding our mission-driven values through our design and planning work. This focus is inspiring and challenges me and our team to be intentional in decisions made for design work, community involvement, and how we can foster supportive and transparent communication with clients, consultants, and staff members. I look forward to what is to come in Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest region as we build relationships and continue our firm’s reach and mission into a new market. I hope to continue learning and growing from the dedicated professionals and residents that surround us and to inspire and support communities looking to make lasting change to the built environment.”

CLAIRE EDDLEMAN-HEATH, PLA, LEED AP BD+C, SITES AP

Claire Eddleman-Heath joined the Austin AR landscape studio in 2019, as the office was moving into a new E. 12th  Street home. She quickly jumped into managing several high-profile, complex projects with accelerated schedules such as the Red River Corridor Redevelopment, the Austin State Hospital for Brain Health, and recently the Williamson Creek Greenbelt.  She has shown leadership in business development and project management of New Orleans projects like St. Anthony Green Streets and the Ochsner Innovation Center projects.  Claire brings her passion for beautiful and performative landscapes to everything that she touches. With each project, she aims to integrate design and landscape systems-thinking in order to improve the environment for all.

Through all her work, Claire has shown exceptional client management skills resulting in scope/fee expansions and recommendations for new projects. She couples that skill with strong interpersonal abilities and collaborating with, mentoring and directing colleagues within multiple AR disciplines.

“I am thrilled to take on this new leadership role in our Landscape Architecture studio of passionate design professionals, with the support of the Founding and Managing Principals,” Claire said. “Asakura Robinson’s mission of strengthening environments and empowering communities speak to my core values. As an ardent supporter of equity, inclusivity and the environment, I will lead our company with devoted attention to our mission, implementing functional landscapes that make a difference.”

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