KAT SUPERFISKY

making the world a more beautiful place

technical skills

Refined Residential Design-Build: Rain Garden + Shoreline Plantings

Posted By on 14 April 2013 in analysis, design process, native planting, site planning + planting design, stormwater mitigation, technical skills |

Refined Residential Design-Build: Rain Garden + Shoreline Plantings

I thought having my parents as clients would make the process of designing a native rain garden and shoreline habitat simpler and less stressful. I was wrong. Come to find out, proposing the removal of sacred suburban front lawn in order to make room for a rain garden planted with “messy” looking native plants posed quite a challenge, and required a significant amount of collaboration and design iteration, until the perfect blend of environmentally sensitive AND aesthetically appealing design came to fruition. I presented...

Site Design + Construction Docs for Saginaw Forest Conference Facility

Posted By on 8 April 2013 in native planting, site planning + planting design, stormwater mitigation, technical skills |

Site Design + Construction Docs for Saginaw Forest Conference Facility

Saginaw Forest is an 80 acre parcel of land owned by the University of Michigan, located 5 miles west of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The majority of the site is currently undeveloped, and used as a field research area. The University is interested in developing a small facility on site (approximately 5 acres), which would provide an off-campus venue for meetings, retreats, and other University events. Proposed plans for such a facility must be conducive to the property’s size and character, impact the ecosystems as minimally as possible,...

6 Ways to Skin a Site Analysis…

Posted By on 6 April 2013 in analysis, technical skills |

6 Ways to Skin a Site Analysis…

The first step(s) to any solid design is analysis. It’s essential to identify current site conditions, assets, uses, etc in order to inform and deliver the most fitting design. Analysis comes in the form of site visits used for sketching, photographing, and getting a feel for the sights, smells, and character of a site; technical GIS analysis of a site’s soils, topography, hydrology, demographics, etc; sun-shade analyses; on-site soil testing and surveying; online research; and even talking to folks who know or live in...

Making Modern Art Into a Landscape: A Creative Process

Posted By on 5 April 2013 in conceptual design, design process, News, technical skills |

Making Modern Art Into a Landscape: A Creative Process

Sharpening one’s creativity is essential for designers, especially landscape architects. Our work aims to excite and engage audiences in their surroundings, and requires designers to sharpen and drawn from both the technical as well as creative parts of our brains. This project seeks to sharpen the skill sets associated with quality design generation by converting a famous piece of modern art into a 3-dimensional conceptual landscape. See the steps taken to achieve this outcome:    Step 1: The original artwork was replicated in colored...

Devil’s in the Details: Construction Documents

Posted By on 4 April 2013 in site planning + planting design, technical skills |

Devil’s in the Details: Construction Documents

It’s one thing to dream up a design, and another to figure out the details behind how to actually build it! Time consuming and meticulous as it may seem, drafting details and construction documents (CDs) is an essential part of design implementation, since it’s how our designs actually get built! AutoCAD ain’t so bad after all…it’s kinda like Lite-Bright for adults! See the fun I’ve had hand drafting CDs and generating them using AutoCAD…   Construction Docs with Character          ...

Stormwater Mitigation for Big Boy Restaurant Parking Lot

Posted By on 3 April 2013 in analysis, design process, native planting, site planning + planting design, stormwater mitigation, technical skills |

Stormwater Mitigation for Big Boy Restaurant Parking Lot

An owner of a Big Boy Restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan was fed up with the many challenges associated with stormwater runnoff (such as increased maintenance costs due to continued parking lot re-paving, unappealing aesthetic condition of the asphalt, and the wastefulness of all that water going down the drains!), so approached my Planting Design studio to ask for advice on how to best mitigate the stormwater on his site.    Numerous site visits were conducted to: + survey the lot’s topography, + assess...