Ye Luo Principal, San Francisco

“Design offers the opportunity to inspire people’s thinking of a space, a region, or something even bigger, like environmental or social sustainability. Aesthetics are important, but a design should be more than just decorative; a story needs to be expressed, no matter what scale or style you choose to tell that story. A designer should be able to explore all styles—classic or contemporary—using whichever one seems best fitted to telling the story at hand. Because in the end, the story is more important than the style.”

Ye has been a landscape architect at the SWA Group since 2002, working on a wide variety of projects of all scales, including several blocks of Beijing Finance Street and Poly International Plaza. Her additional architectural training equips her with a unique programmatic approach to landscape design, allowing her to blend her refined eye for beauty and scale with a scientific approach to effective site problem solving. She pairs keen intuition with rigorous organization to develop successful strategies for each step of a project. Ye is increasingly shifting her focus to the regional scale, which allows her to grapple with the complex intersection between urgent social issues and beautiful design. Within that larger context, she continues to explore the dialogue between inside and outside, equally valuing infrastructural planning and the perfect detail on a bench.

Inspired By

Photographs that aren’t necessarily landscape- or project-related: they can freeze the moment in a way that inspires the creation of a space that brings people back to that moment of time.

Education

Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania (2002)

Bachelor of Architecture, South China Technology University (2000)

Affiliations & Registrations

Registered Landscape Architect: California #5227

LEED AP

Selected Awards

ASLA Honor Award: Poly International Plaza (2009)

Architectural Record / Business Week, Good Design is Good Business Award of Excellence: Poly International Plaza (2008)

ULI Asia Pacific Award of Excellence: Beijing Finance Street (2008)

ULI Global Award for Excellence: Beijing Finance Street (2008)

Asia Pacific Real Estate, Architectural Design of the Year: Poly International Plaza (2006)

Dream project

"I used to dream about doing whatever I wanted, without constraints, but now I believe you can only have freedom when you have certain constraints. That said, I’d love to do a regional-scale waterfront project, perhaps in Spain. I like how the Spanish are adventurous and open to different things. You need to be an original designer to do something people there haven’t tried before, a little bit funkier, and you have to be willing to take risks. You can be clean and contemporary, for instance like the Germans, but I’d like to be more like the Spanish, who try something new; they might fail, but they’ll try again. That’s more interesting to me. It’s a little scary. That’s what I like about being at SWA, because you can try different things, and you can always pretend you’re still young.”