All posts by wedesign

About the author
WE Design is a New York City based landscape architecture and urban design firm led by Tricia Martin, RLA, LEED AP and Winston Ely, LEED AP that applies landscape architecture solutions to our city’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.

Pop-Up Under the Elevated

Students participate in design charretteThis past spring, students from Sunset Park High School got a taste of what it’s like to be a landscape architect while reimagining the underutilized leftover space beneath the Gowanus Expressway on 36th Street, just around the corner from their school. In four after-school sessions, six students explored the process of site analysis, schematic design, and defending their design before a larger group of stakeholders.

Upon completion of the after-school sessions, Tricia and her fellow Design Trust design fellows presented the schematic design to city agencies and the community during a three-day pop-up workshop. Some of the ideas generated by the students will be incorporated into building the pilot project, including moveable planters (pictured under grow lights) that maximize flexibility of the space, and a larger area for public gatherings and events.

Gardens Rising

WE Design is pleased to have been chosen by the NYC Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) to develop a feasibility study for the design and construction of green infrastructure in 47 community gardens located throughout the Lower East Side. This project, “Gardens Rising,” combines community participation with urban planning, landscape architecture, and engineering to increase the permeability and stormwater capture in these gardens, the majority of which are located within an area that was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy, as well as adding native plants to support habitat and beautify the neighborhood.

We’ve had a blast getting to know the gardeners and their gardens at each of the 47 sites, and are now evaluating the potential for green infrastructure through research of existing and relevant documentation, onsite fieldwork, and extensive community engagement. Based on information gathered from this first stage, we will develop an outcomes-based approach toolkit that matches specific existing garden conditions with various green infrastructure strategies. Working closely with the client and community, we will then develop criteria for evaluating priority sites on which to test the toolkit, creating concept designs for the most at risk gardens.

This extensive project has the potential to demonstrate, through specific hydrological metrics, the critical role community gardens can play in any city’s climate change resiliency plan.




Cooper Hewitt to Feature Superblock Project

Cooper Hewitt Exhibit

New imagery for our Brownsville, Brooklyn Superblock Retrofit project will be featured in Cooper Hewitt’s fall exhibition, By the People: Designing a Better America as part of the “Live” theme. The project is a collaboration with Terrapin Bright GreenCommunity Solutions, and the Brownsville Partnership.

“The third exhibition of Cooper Hewitt’s series devoted to humanitarian design will examine how design is challenging social and economic inequality across America. Curator of Socially Responsible Design Cynthia E. Smith conducted over two years of field research—traveling to shrinking post-industrial cities, sprawling metro regions, struggling rural towns, along our border, areas impacted by natural and man-made disaster, and places of persistent poverty—in search of collaborative designs for more equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities. Sixty design projects from every region across the U.S. will be organized into the themes of Act, Save, Share, Live, Learn, and Make to showcase the innovative and impactful actions generated through design.”

5th Fabos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

On July 1st, Tricia traveled to Hungary to present a New York perspective on Landscape and Greenway Planning with “Greenways as Resilient Infrastructure: The Brooklyn Greenway Case Study.” The peer-reviewed paper was part of a larger publication titled Landscapes and Greenways of Resilience (Jombach et al, 2016). Tricia shared the stage with panelists from Colorado, Washington, Poland, China, and Serbia.

“The Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning is held every three years to bring together experts who are influencing landscape planning, policy making and greenway planning from the local to international level. It is intended to highlight recent trends and expand the literature about landscape and greenway planning. The aim is to explore how landscape architects and planners from different countries have approached greenway planning and to understand how greenways have been tailored to each county’s unique geographical, cultural, and political circumstances.”

More information here.

Welcome, Taylor!

Taylor DrakeWe are pleased to welcome environmental designer Taylor Drake to the WE Design team. With a dual degree in Product Design and Environmental Studies from The New School, Taylor is passionate about research and design for environmental systems. He works to address social and ecological resilience using media ranging from technical 2D and 3D design outputs to digital information systems, data visualization, and project research. Water systems, as a multi-scale global challenge, have been a specific focus in much of his work.

Resilient Waterfront Parks Summit

Tricia Martin (WE Design) – Greenways as Resilient Infrastructure from Regional Plan Association on Vimeo.

On March 16th, Tricia Martin and other leaders in parks design, policy, planning and community engagement participated in the Regional Plan Association’s “Resilient Waterfront Parks Summit.”

According to the RPA, “The goal [was] for participants to collaboratively explore issues and engage in cross-cutting, in-depth conversations about the challenges and opportunities for New York City’s waterfront parks – and the communities of which they are a part – in the face of climate change.”

Watch Tricia’s lightning talk “Greenways as Resilient Infrastructure” online for a 5 minute introduction to the ways in which greenways can protect and enhance their surrounding communities, using the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway project as a case study for resilient infrastructure.

RPA Summit

Welcome, Coe!

Coe HoeksemaWe are pleased to welcome Coe Hoeksema, Marketing Manager, as the newest addition to the WE Design team. She brings over a decade of experience in marketing, digital media, and architectural photography, working at FXFOWLE, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and Perkins+Will. Coe is excited to help us grow our business through outreach and communications.

Tricia Presents at Gowanus Design Summit

Tricia presented the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway’s Design Guidelines for Green Infrastructure, Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency at the Gowanus Design Summit in October. The Summit brought together a dynamic group of design-oriented professionals who are shaping the future of the Gowanus Canal Watershed, with the goal of fostering dialogue, collaboration and innovation. Because of Tricia’s work on The Brooklyn Greenway, she was asked to participate as a panelist and engage in an active Q&A.

Tricia presents the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway's Design Guidelines for Green Infrastructure, Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency at the Gowanus Design Summit in October.