Natalia Beard

Principal, SWA (Houston)

“Water as design medium compels us to appreciate its histories above those as built form, and guides us to shape sites that can perform overnight, over seasons, over decades, over a century. If we allow the built environment to emerge out of the living hydrological imprint that underlies it, possibilities for design can surprise us with unexpected authenticity and beauty.”

Natalia’s work focuses on elevating the cultural significance of places through the creative integration of art in designed landscapes. Whether the context is urban, industrial, or post-industrial, she prioritizes design effects by grounding them in the culture and history of each site and community. She has developed approaches to integrate art and cultural expression in large infrastructural environments, including re-imagining the Atlanta Connector downtown freeway as a linear gallery, displaying art within a busy transportation corridor. Her work has been recognized with several national awards, and she is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on the topics of art, architecture, and urbanization.