Meet ALA’s Director and Lead Landscape Architect, Jon Donisi. Jon shares his journey in the Landscape Architecture industry, what inspires him and why he chose to start his own business.
What do you do?
As a Landscape Architect, my job is to design, plan and manage design-driven landscape solutions for a range of clients across commercial, civic and residential sectors. I consider myself a designer first and foremost but our clients are looking for more than just great design; they want us to help them deliver value. So, once the client’s brief has been prepared and a creative concept approved, I spend the majority of my time drafting detailed technical drawings and working with local authorities, consultants and contractors to ensure that a project is delivered on time, on budget and to the highest possible standard.
How did you enter this field of work?
I studied for 4 years at The University of Western Australia to gain a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. Like many students, I chose a course that sounded interesting without really knowing what it entailed. Looking back now, I feel extremely lucky to have pursued a career that combines my enjoyment of the natural environment with creative problem solving, as well as helping people to connect with others outdoors.
Why did you start Align Landscape Architecture?
I started ALA in 2018 after seeing an opportunity to deliver both beautiful design and cost savings for clients (and neither at the expense of the other). By being creative and clever with what I design and specify, I can ensure that landscape interventions go beyond the client’s brief to create a sense of pride and joy in the project, whilst also delivering cost efficiencies through the design process.
Unfortunately, design has a tendency to be undervalued and this can result in a compromised outcome. Engaging a Landscape Architect should remove the uncertainty for decision makers and save money. Every client is different but all can benefit from adhering to a good design process. In doing so, they allow themselves the best opportunity to meet their individual objectives. For councils, the more engaging a space is the more vibrant their community feels. For developers and builders, an attractive space is a valuable one. For homeowners, an architecturally designed garden not only looks great, it adds value and enhances their lifestyle.
What inspires you / your work?
I genuinely enjoy designing and creating spaces that people love and I never get tired of seeing them be enjoyed by the people they were intended for.
It seems hard to imagine but is there a silver-lining to come out of the coronavirus pandemic?
People have a new-found appreciation for their local park! Many are also prioritising areas of their gardens for productive activities like growing their own fruit and vegetables. While it may not be “glamorous”, it provides a sense of pride, allows people to be self-sufficient and spend much-needed time outdoors. I would expect that the urban environment will come to reflect these same values.
What landscape architecture trends are you seeing gain popularity?
Trends come and go so my goal is to design spaces that reflect a project’s unique context, meet the client’s brief and stand the test of time.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
Anyone who has spent enough time with me knows I’m obsessed with fishing and love spending time in the water, up north or down south.