David Thompson Managing Principal, Shanghai

“Begin projects without preconceived ideas about their solutions. Let the site, the client and the users speak through you. Use your skill as a ‘form giver’ to help create truly exceptional places. Think beyond the obvious and create something memorable.”

David is a project designer with a broad range of experience, from detailed site design to complex urban planning. During his 25 years as a designer at SWA, he has worked mostly abroad, particularly in China, Latin America, and Russia. As a result, he has developed a flexibility of approach in solving complex design problems, and has become adept at exercising the basic tenets of landscape architecture with the subtle complexities of culture and contextual geography.

Inspired By

Jim Reeves, an early mentor at SWA; Bill Callaway’s leadership; co-worker and creative counterpart Chuck McDaniel; Jared Diamond, for his understanding of the concept of sustainability; Euell Gibbons’ comprehension of the culture of plants; the simplicity and strength of Richard Serra’s work; the writer Charles Bukowski.


Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Louisiana State University

Affiliations & Registrations

Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects

Selected Awards

ASLA Texas Chapter Award of Excellence, Design Constructed: Tunica River Park (2005)

ASLA Texas Chapter Award of Excellence, Design Unrealized: South Ren-Min Boulevard Urban Streetscape (2005)

ASLA National Excellence in Design Award: Westlake Corporate Campus (2003)

ULI Finalist for the Award for Excellence: Las Ventanas al Paraiso (2003)

ASLA Texas Chapter Honor Award, Commercial Built: Dallas International Center (2001)