Principal - Lango Hansen Landscape Architects
Areas of Specialty
- Public and private gardens
- Parks, urban plazas, campuses
- Contemplative and sacred spaces
Designer Q&A with Jane
What is your design philosophy?
My goal is to heighten the way people perceive the environment around them by exploring new ways to experience and enjoy outdoor space. Landscapes are complex, dynamic systems with many layers, both natural and cultural. Good design is a balance of extracting meaning from a place and uncovering potential opportunities while considering the desires of the client. I aspire to create a kind of resonance in the landscape, where through planting design and craftsmanship of materials, the smallest details build upon the conceptual whole.
What led you to this career?
Having grown up in the midst orchards and farmland in eastern Washington, landscape architecture appealed to me as a profession because I was able to combine my interests in art and architecture with my agricultural upbringing and love of gardens.
What has been your favorite project and why?
My favorite project is the Hotel Modera courtyard because we had an adventurous client that encouraged us to push the limits, and we were able to experiment with new technology in the design of a green wall. It has also been a popular project in downtown Portland, and we continue to get positive feedback from hotel visitors.
Tell us about your most challenging project.
My most challenging project is my own home garden! I am an impulse buyer when buying plants for myself, and I tend to have crowded overflowing plant beds since I have squeezed plants into every square inch of bare soil. I like to experiment, too, and let’s just say some experiments are more successful than others.
What is your design process?
For residential projects I first begin by having a conversation with the homeowners about what landscape improvements they might be interested in, how they imagine using the space, their budget and their level of commitment to gardening and maintenance. Ideally, it helps to walk the site together while talking about what the garden could be. I also like to spend time in the space alone to get a more intimate sense of the surroundings. At this point it often helps to look at photos of garden designs together with the clients to develop a similar visual language when discussing likes and dislikes.
From this initial contact, I’ll develop several conceptual options, which through a series of meetings with the client will be refined into a final concept. Depending on the complexity of the project, additional graphics such as 3-D modeling or perspective sketches may also be included to give a better idea of what the garden will feel like spatially. I will then fully detail the design in a set of construction documents that will be used for the purpose of soliciting bids from landscape contractors. When the project is under construction, I meet with the contractor on a regular basis to oversee the progression of the installation. I also like to handpick the specimen plant material from local nurseries.