Andrew Watkins

Principal, Laguna Beach

“Design starts with context in order to bring forth what is most inherently unique about a site—what defines the strength of place. My approach hybridizes natural processes and development goals, yielding innovative plans that combine beauty into development patterns that reduce infrastructural costs by respecting the site’s existing ecological systems.”

Andrew is an architect, planner and urban designer with over 15 years of professional experience. As a principal at SWA in Southern California, his work focuses on large-scale urban design projects that explore the confluence of ecology and urbanism. Andrew has led the design of community plans, urban design and new city planning projects in diverse locales, the United States, China, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Botswana, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Armenia and Mexico.

Andrew’s community planning work focuses on placemaking and creating high-quality public realms. His project experience includes green-field development and urban and suburban revitalization, with new community work totaling over 20,000 acres of development featuring more than 50,000 homes, retail, commercial and light industrial districts. Additionally, Andrew has worked on projects that tie together development and agriculture, whether integrating food production into residential communities in which we live or exploring how development can sensitively support rural agrarian economies.


Bachelors of Architecture, Syracuse University

Masters of Architecture in Urban Design, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University


Registered Architect, State of California and Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Member, Urban Land Institute

Member, American Planning Association

Member, American Institute of Architects

BIA Member, Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc.

Member, American Society of Landscape Architects


2016 ASLA Southern California Chapter Honor Award, Greening Plan for Inglewood & Lennox

2014 Emergent Leadership Award, ULI Orange County/Inland Empire

2013 ASLA Honor Award, Changsha Liuyang River Waterfront

2013 Cal Poly Pomona ENV Conference – Keynote Address, ‘Global Design: Methodologies of Praxis’

2007 First Place, Shanghai Bund Waterfront Master Plan

2007 APA Tennessee Outstanding Planning Award, Knoxville South Waterfront Vision Plan and Form Based Code