Welcome, Miranda Schmidt, SKS Studio’s New Landscape Designer
Miranda Schmidt grew up in the Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas areas. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study interior design. Though Miranda never strayed from her love for design, her passion for it switched from interior to landscape, which led her to the University of Oregon’s highly acclaimed landscape architecture program from which she earned her degree.

Miranda’s first position was with an architecture firm in Lawrence, Kansas. Like many firms that grasp the importance of and growing demand for landscape design in comprehensive projects, landscape architecture was added to the business and she worked closely with civil engineers and architects.

“I enjoyed working with other disciplines but was looking for a landscape-only discipline firm. SKS Studio posted a job opportunity, and I saw it as a refreshing way to challenge my skills as a landscape designer. After reviewing SKS Studio’s portfolio, I felt it was a place where I could learn about the world we live in, both built and natural environments,” Miranda explains.

Miranda jumped right in to the job, working on the preliminary stages of developing a landscape architecture concept for a luxury hotel located near SKS Studio’s project in conjunction with 40North, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai, as well as hospitality/senior living projects in Nebraska and Utah.

“Working with other landscape architects is what I really want to do. Having the chance to lead projects and talk directly with clients, instead of going through other disciplines, provides a better context of the project. It’s the experience outside of the building that excites people,” Miranda says. It’s this attitude that made her a good fit for SKS Studio.

Sean Simms, SKS Studio president, explains, “Miranda has a special quality that she brings in her everyday work ethic. She has an innate talent for interpreting a vision or a process out of very few words and running with it to bring that vision to the real world. Landscape architecture is a creative field with a vast realm of possibilities and solutions for any project. Miranda’s portfolio was proof she can marry a client’s vision with what we see and create a concise plan out of infinite possibilities. Getting started is the hardest part for many people, but not for Miranda.”

SKS Studio protects its cultural philosophy that what you do outside of the firm matters as much as work. Miranda says, “Transitioning to this firm has been smooth for me. The other landscape designers and architects have their processes down pat. These people know how to maneuver software programs and have taught me a lot of tricks for working more efficiently. With such a culture and processes in place, it allows us to do what we value outside of work, too.”

Miranda is filing away all the knowledge she’s gaining in preparation for taking the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) to become a licensed landscape architect. She volunteers locally with The American Society of Landscape Architects, for Pearl Clark Community Garden as an education coordinator, and with Explore Design leading presentations about the role and importance of landscape architecture in the world and specifically for children in Kansas City.