Kene Okigbo, ASLA
Emerging Professionals Chair
RDG Planning & Design
When did you realize you wanted to become a Landscape Architect?
My sophomore year at North Dakota State University. I enjoyed taking community issues and finding solutions within the site to best serve that group of people. I had a serious sit-down with one of my professors about the feasibility of me being a landscape architect. With my passion for the industry and their support, I felt confident enough to pursue entering the profession.
What is your favorite landscape and why?
My favorite landscape is always changing—right now it’s Prospect Park. I love how the citizens of New York have taken the canvas started by Frederick Law Olmstead & Calvert Vaux and finished the painting. They’ve assumed ownership of the park, using it for slack lining, Spikeball, and picnics in trees. Whenever I’m in New York, I stop by and these are just a few of the uses I’ve observed.
I am a member of ASLA because…
The people I most aspire to be like are members. I joined when I was a student and noticed that the best upperclassmen were members. Then—I stayed a member when I was impressed by the professionals in the Nebraska/Dakotas Chapter. Now—I’m fortunate enough to serve at the National level, bumping into personal heroes I never thought I would meet. It’s given me good friends, great coworkers, and outstanding mentors.
What do you believe needs to be the next area of innovation in our profession?
I think water management is going to make a shift. Retention for future use will cycle out and detention for immediate use will likely take it’s place.
What is something you find joy in other than landscape architecture?
I love a good story, whether it’s telling one or learning one. That’s why you may find me editing video, volunteering with TEDxOmaha, or at a comedy/art show on my down time.
Who would you choose to switch places with for a day?
Dr. Chioke I'Anson - Dr. l’Anson is the voice of NPR. His baritone backs an array of public radio programs. I think voice-over work looks really interesting! It’s an under-appreciated artform in my eyes.