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5 Questions with Leslee Temple

October 14, 2014

Leslee A. Temple, FASLA is President of NUVIS Landscape Architecture and Planning. In addition to her corporate operational, financial, administrative, and marketing responsibilities, Leslee devotes time to evolving and formulating the firm’s fresh directions with new emerging leader generations. As a landscape architect, her project inclination varies from several scales of leisure/recreation pursuits to mixed-use master planned communities.


What are you drawing inspiration from right now?

As a forty-year veteran and private-practice business owner, my inspiration for the profession of landscape architecture derives from several different perspectives. First, the economy has certainly transformed our business over the last year in generating new clients, office locations, and avenues for planning and design opportunities. Secondly, the talent and work ethic that is emerging from the colleges and universities is refreshing — our future seems quite bright as their efforts improve and are utilized. Next, the progress in significance and influence of the profession has not only been embraced but is essential and focal for landscape architects in the A&E community at large. Lastly, there is an incredibly optimistic future for the end-users of projects designed by landscape architects practicing today.

What potential for sustainability most excites you on one of your current projects?

“Potential” (?) or possibility for sustainability! Landscape architects are stewards of the land. If, as a profession or individual practicing landscape architecture, we are not looking at each and every project with sustainability in mind, our perspective would be unjustifiable. Sustainability should be all-encompassing for every conversation, planning effort, and design alternative with a client, industry associate, and potential user.

What do you need to know, but you don’t know right now?

Difficult question, in light of the incessant power and range of knowledge. Every professional — from emerging to twilight — should be committed every day to somehow stretching the mind to search the amalgamation of what one does not know and exploit such opportunities — through daily activities, business alliances, written word, leadership positions, internet searches, questioning/listening, being questioned, knowing one’s limitations, and/or involvement in community, business, and/or non-occupational endeavors. Someone once said, “question everything” and from several angles! By doing so one enters the world of knowledge.

What advice would you give to emerging leaders in the profession?

Never say “no” to an opportunity. Believe in carpe diem. Challenge your imagination.

What challenge would you give to emerging leaders in the profession?

Chase the rainbow and horizon — the real adventure for making a difference is beyond both.

With offices in the California cities of Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, San Ramon, as well as Las Vegas, Nevada, NUVIS influences integrated design solutions for people, environments, and experiences. The firm’s goal, as landscape architects, is to create inspired outdoor venues that exhibit a sense of place, opportunity for interaction, and dramatic results from texture, form, color, and pattern. Since 1971, NUVIS Landscape Architecture and Planning has been creating experiences that connect people with their environments worldwide.

Any opinions expressed in this interview belong solely to the author. Their inclusion in this article does not reflect endorsement by LAF.

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.