Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Miami, Florida from her teenage years and on, Vanessa is widely familiar with both urban and subtropical settings. During her secondary education, she was introduced to several architectural drafting design courses. Vanessa quickly developed a passion and understanding of programmable space which lead to her decision to study Architecture at Miami Dade College. As her studies continued, she was introduced to the exciting field of Landscape Architecture by her professor/mentor. An introduction which furthered her understanding of how Architecture and landscape design elements consider ecological conditions can then be integrated to impact communities and qualities of life. Her ultimate interest in landscape architecture was sparked through its unique combination of art, architecture, and landscape design where visual concepts and ideas come to a reality.
During her academic career, she was honored by the Florida Chapter of ASLA, receiving consecutive Awards of Merits in both 2013 and 2014 in Landscape Architecture. Vanessa is a graduate of FIU’s Landscape Architecture Environmental + Urban Design (LAEUD) Program where she earned her Master of Landscape Architecture Degree in 2015. She was also recognized by the Landscape Architecture Foundation as a distinguished 2015 University Olmsted Scholar. Upon graduating from Florida International University, Vanessa joined RJI as a landscape designer, continuing her relationship with the firm where she began as an intern while attending her last year of graduate school. In her current role as Associate at RJI, she works on projects’ phases of schematic design through construction administration at various scales ranging from residential and hospitality to urban planning in cities in Florida and New York.
Vanessa aspires to continue growing her knowledge and abilities within the field of Landscape Architecture, while focusing on contextual, environmentally sensitive design. She endeavors to continue exploring how landscape architecture can act as a catalyst for regeneration. In her free time, Vanessa enjoys traveling, cycling, hiking, range target shooting, exploring the outdoors, and all things culinary.