Meet the Team: Michael Schiebe
Welcome to Meet the Team—a blog series where we’ll be introducing members of our team to give you an insight into our culture and the people behind our projects!
We’re kicking off World Landscape Architecture Month by introducing you to our landscape team members, starting with Michael Schiebe. Michael has been with ELM for 4.5 years and is a native of Plymouth, Minnesota, and attended the University of Minnesota for his Master’s in Landscape Architecture, and Minnesota State Mankato for his bachelor’s in Urban and Regional Studies. An avid traveler and talented designer, Michael most enjoys working on urban design projects with a focus on waterfronts. Read on to get to know him a bit more!
Tell us about your career, and how you became interested in landscape architecture.
I had the pleasure to begin working with ELM a few months out of graduate school. The work we do is varied and ranges from small building projects all the way to thousand-acre master-planned projects. I first became interested in landscape architecture my senior year of undergraduate studies - kind of by accident. I had been studying to be a city planner due to my love of design, history, geography, and the built environment. Once I heard my professor mention that landscape architects are the ones who deal with the physical design of the spaces and the aesthetics of urban design, I was hooked. I spent 3 wonderful years in graduate school learning all about the field and wound up here at ELM with a great first job in my career.
What is your role at ELM, and what are your favorite parts of the job?
I am a Landscape Architect associate. I enjoy the variety we encounter on a daily basis. Conceptual design one day, then detail design work the next. We work on big projects and small ones interchangeably which helps keep my focus and drive going.
What are some of your favorite projects that you've worked on (both at ELM and in previous jobs)?
What are some industry trends/changes/etc. that you are excited about, or that have influenced your work recently?
I'm excited and interested to see how climate change adaptation is further ingrained into our work as landscape architects. The world is changing and it is our role to ensure that our designs can provide a resilient and thoughtful response to climate change for our communities.
Have you seen any local (or non-local) examples of inspiring design or landscape architecture that you'd like to share?
I recently had a chance to visit the Biltmore House and Gardens near Asheville, NC. The Gardens are truly a work of art; the plant selection, path design, and the views/vistas created.
What advice would you give to somebody looking to become a landscape architect?
Brush up on your organizational and communication skills. In order to convey the design we envision, it needs to be communicated thoughtfully and intentionally to get the message across. Landscape architects are often times the glue that hold the whole project together as we are the bridge between building and land. Being flexible in day-to-day tasks is essential to success.
What are your favorite things to do outside the office?
Travel and explore with my husband Mikey, raise our two young pets - Desmond (cat) and Starla (dog), hiking at local and state parks, sketching, finding new local places for food and desserts, trivia, playing video games, and cheering on my hometown sports teams (Vikings, Twins, Wild).
Have you been on any interesting trips lately, or have any favorite places you've traveled?
Where to begin? Mikey and I spent last weekend in Savannah, one of our favorite cities we've ever been to (so much living history mixed with easily walk-able neighborhoods). Before that, we were able to drive north to Asheville (by way of Atlanta) and drive the Blue Ridge Parkway last October. Other favorite places I've been - Croatia (most beautiful place I've ever been is the Plitvice Lakes National Park), Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium. The list goes on and on.
What do you enjoy most about living in Jacksonville?
I love Jacksonville for its vibrant mix of people, food scene, and neighborhoods. It's proximity to the St. Johns River and Beaches makes for a very unique urban fabric that provides so many options for activities and exploration.
What's your favorite local restaurant?
Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your career?
Minnesota is still my home away from home. I was born and raised there and we travel there multiple time per year. The North Shore (along Lake Superior) holds many memories and is always a go-to destination.