Natalia Beard Principal, Houston

"At its core, landscape architecture should provide a nuanced interpretation of cultural identity while responding to the environmental, social, aesthetic, and economic challenges that are increasingly prevalent in the context of globalized frameworks.”

Much of Natalia’s work focuses on elevating cultural significance of places through interpretive power of art and its creative integration in designed landscapes. Be it an urban, industrial, or post-industrial context, she prioritizes maximizing the effect of design by grounding it in research of cultural and historical heritage of sites and communities that inhabit them. Working in metropolitan regions in the US, she has developed multiple approaches to incorporating art and cultural expression in large infrastructural environments. She helped re-envision the Atlanta Connector downtown freeway as a linear gallery displaying original art within the busy transportation corridor, and directed award-winning installations along Houston highways. She assists her clients in re-imagining mono-functional urban landscapes as a more integrated part of the city that is beautiful, green, and accessible to the public. Her work on Avenida Houston plaza helped re-brand the city of Houston as an international cultural destination from solely a business hub, while deriving unique iconography and design language from its industrial roots and cosmopolitan values.

Natalia’s work has been recognized with several national awards and featured in design publications. She spoke at national and state conferences on the topic of “Art and Infrastructure” and taught architectural design studios at the University of Texas in San Antonio and Louisiana State University taking on the patterns of urbanization in environmentally vulnerable landscapes of the Gulf Coast.

Inspired By

Integrating public art, landscape, and infrastructure; developing design narratives through cultural research; branded landscape and place identity.

Education

Master of Architecture, Rice University (2007)

Bachelor of Science, Architecture, Summa Cum Laude, The University of Texas at San Antonio (2002)

Affiliations & Registrations

LSU, Senior Studio Lecturer (2016)

SWA Summer Student Intern Program: Critic (2014, 2015); Lead (2017)

Rice University, Senior Architecture Studio, Critic (2017)

Affiliate Member, American Society of Landscape Architects

Selected Awards

ASLA Honor Award, Planning and Analysis, Atlanta Connector Museum of Freeway Art (2013)

ASLA Texas Chapter Award of Excellence, Planning and Analysis, Airline Livable Centers Study (2013)

ASLA Texas Chapter Honor Award, Planning and Analysis, Museum Park (2017)