As an Senior Urban Ecological Designer for Asakura Robinson, Kari Spiegelhalter works on a broad range of sustainability and equity-related planning and design projects that enhance urban ecosystems, public health, and environmental justice. She is especially interested in how participatory design processes build ecological and social resilience in communities.
Kari’s portfolio at Asakura Robinson includes notable planning and design work such as the Healthy Parks Plan for Bastrop, Travis and Caldwell Counties, the Austin State Hospital’s therapeutic landscapes, San Antonio Trail Design Strategy, and Austin’s FC Soccer Stadium.
Kari received her Masters of Landscape Architecture from Cornell University and was named Cornell’s 2018 Graduate Olmsted Scholar. At Cornell, she became interested in community engagement and environmental justice, and co-wrote the “Landscape Architecture Student’s Guide to Environmental Justice,” which received an ASLA Student Award in the communications category in 2018. Kari has also been recognized through the American Planning Association as the sole landscape architect on the winning team for the APA’s 2018 Student Design Competition. Prior to beginning her MLA, she co-founded a volunteer natural resources commission to restore prairies and wetlands in her hometown of Prospect Heights, Illinois. Kari also holds a BA in Biology from Lawrence University.
What’s your creative tool of choice?
Trace paper, where I can dump ideas and separate the diamonds from the duds
How do you have fun at work?
By surprising the Austin office with a pop-up luau, Hawaiian decorations, and virgin tiki drinks
What project are you most proud of?
Austin State Hospital- we integrated evidence-based design strategies into therapeutic landscapes.