Anya is a designer who grew up on the edge of Madison, Wisconsin. Anya has loved the outdoors her whole life. Countless days playing in the dirt, picking raspberries, and kayaking in Lake Superior have instilled in her a deep love of ecology and systems thinking. After receiving a degree in Global Studies/Environmental Policy from the University of Minnesota, Anya spent two years in AmeriCorps working on land-use issues in rural Oregon. In her first term, she worked on community and economic development revitalization for a small town and then transitioned to supporting food systems work across the state. She returned to Minneapolis to complete her Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota, focusing on the relationship between communities and the environment around them. Anya loves spending time with friends around homemade food, hiking with her (high-maintenance) dog, practicing yoga and cheering on the Packers.
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
I find a lot of inspiration in the soil and geology of a site. Not only does it tell us a lot about the history and needs of a site, but the textures, patterns and color palette of the soil can also inform the design.
If you could work on a project anywhere in the world where would it be?
Madeline Island in my home state of Wisconsin. The island is part of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior and was pivotal in shaping my connection to nature growing up.
What project are you most proud of?
I worked on a placemaking public art project in a rural community in Oregon. A pair of sculptures that represented the regional ecology was designed by local artists. I worked with the city and a local non-profit to launch a crowdfunding campaign which allowed us to collaborate with even more local artists and build community support. The campaign was successful and the sculptures are now installed!