At the close of our 60th year, EPTDESIGN asked staff what celebrating this milestone means to them, the profession we are passionate about, and what our hopes are for the future. Consisting of responses from those who have been with us from the earliest years to those who have recently joined, their responses show that it is our employees who are the heart, soul, and future of EPTD. We are looking forward to what the next 60 has in store!
The sixty-year anniversary of EPTDESIGN is a personal thing for me. I was two years old when my dad, along with Owen Peters, founded the firm. I grew up visiting my dad at the office, tagging along to job sites, running blueprints for large projects when I got older, following my dad’s footsteps into the profession, working a few summers and most holidays at the office during college, and ultimately joining the firm about six years after graduation. The firm has evolved and grown in many ways over the six decades, and yet the warmth and people-centered heart of the founders is palpable to this day. The heart of our work remains rooted in the marriage of outstanding design, technical depth, and deep pride in the craft of making the places we design. The strong relationships we have with our clients is a testament to our mutual focus and creating great places together…places founded on the foundations of our rich history.
–Nord Eriksson, Principal
It’s a bit hard to grasp…but to me it represents resilience, adaptability, and growth. I think for a business to be around for 60 years, it has to evolve and morph over time to meet or exceed the needs of each new group of people or environment that it is a part of. The pandemic was a hard but good example. We had to adapt quickly and adjust how we worked – all of it was uncomfortable and scary in the moment but we pushed through it together.
–Steve Burkel, Principal
Sixty-years marks a legacy-milestone, especially in an ever-growing environment like Southern California. It is incredible to think about how EPTDESIGN was one of the early pioneering firms that is still practicing today – under the same values and same name.
–Lindsey Talmo, Project Manager
It is awesome to be part of a firm that has stood the test of time, has thrived in a highly competitive market, and has evolved with the industry standards. Sixty-years of dedicated service means that we have built strong relationships with developers and allied professions that will continue to produce meaningful work. Sixty-years of design means that we have designed and built some outstanding work that improves the lives and livelihoods of many while also solidifying our place in the design industry with great leadership and experience.
–Carson Cooper, Project Manager
Sixty-years is an interesting time stamp. It represents my age, and it represents the firm’s long standing and prestigious legacy. EPTDESIGN was my first job after graduating with a degree in landscape architecture and I was fortunate to be mentored by the founding partners. Since then, I have watched the firm evolve in many different and great ways. It has been a privilege to have spent the last 20 years of my career with EPTD.
–Chris Heidrick, Design Director
EPTD has adapted to so many changes in the past 60 years. We have gone from developing most of the drawings and concepts by hand, to developing 3D models with VR technology. The concept of storytelling and being rooted in context was established 60 years ago, and still rings true in every design.
–Paulina Forgette, Project Manager
The work has become more reflective about the site’s history and context. Our designs reveal the story of a project and are less about a particular form or design motif. We’ve also incorporated much more sustainable design ideas into each project.
—Adam Trujillo, Senior Associate
How we bring in work has evolved since I started at EPTD. That task was delegated to a handful of people, but now all employees are encouraged to contribute to new work opportunities. This creates new relationships to add to existing ones, thus growing our name and brand further.
—Joey Rosenberg, Project Captain
The work has become a great balance of listening to what the client wants and delivering more than they expected.
—Averi Wineteer, Project Manager
More and more, site design has become people-centered instead of building-centered. Our challenge is to integrate site, ecological, and cultural influences to create great spaces people can enjoy.
—Matt Lysne, Technical Director
It is vital for a firm to be more mindful about environmental issues when designing. I think that EPTD has all the tools and foundational stability to start implementing outside-of-the-box ideas, especially with the growth and diversity within the staff.
—Sonia Shoji-Jeevanjee, Designer
We have direct connections to many fields and professions that have a HUGE impact on the climate and resources on a global scale. It is important for us to be conscious of the type of projects that are taken on and to be the trailblazers.
–Jorge Colmenero, Project Captain
EPTD has a role of not looking to the idea of more, but the quality of life in all ways. We are changing the idea that a single design is forever by focusing on the moments spent within the space, the design conversations, and the intent of putting people and relationships first. We are striving to let outdoor spaces be redefined through each generation of people.
–Daniella Moncayo, Designer
Our role is to provide an atmosphere of Well-Being, where staff feels safe, cared for, and free to be themselves, both personally and professionally. Well-Being extends to all aspects of our work: Well-Being for the people in the communities our projects are located, Well-Being for the users of our project sites, Well-Being for our consultant partners, and Well-Being for our environment.
—Scott Horsley, Managing Principal
Our role is to be at the forefront of innovative design solutions – how to address drought, being cognizant of what contributes to both good and bad air quality and focusing on using sustainable products.
–Liz Costa, Project Captain
For me, it’s not so much about creating a legacy as it is the journey, or the climb that we share as a company and profession. The hard work, moments of laughter, accomplishments, and mistakes are all a part of what makes our work stronger, more relevant, and more resilient. As long as I can share the journey with others, there will always be things to learn, to teach, and to give and take.
—Adam Kehoss, Project Captain
I hope to create meaningful environments which will be used and enjoyed by future generations.
—Scott Capps, Associate
The driving force for me is creating places that are beautiful and transformative. Places of respite and refuge. Places that are grounding and help those who inhabit them to be affected and take delight.
–Nord Eriksson, Principal
As an Asian American woman, I hope to create a legacy of success in a historically white male-dominated field.
—Amber Au, Designer
I hope to leave a positive impact on my surrounding environment.
—Tiffany Shih, Designer
There are many great things that are next for EPTD, but the great and positive impact of our projects on California cities will continue to increase and enhance the way of living in the state.
–Chris Valenzuela, Project Captain
We’re going to continue to evolve and ask ourselves the tough questions – because that’s the only way we can allow for growth. We’ll continue to push ourselves to work on more great projects with the people we love and have fun doing them. We love what we do, and we’ll continue doing it as part of EPTDESIGN’s next chapter.
–Adam Trujillo, Sr. Associate
What’s next is growth. We will continue to deepen our roots, as well as extend them outside of Southern California.
–Amber Au, Designer
I’m really excited about our new vision and rolling it out to our staff and collaborators – I think it will frame the next decade and beyond to help us focus on sustainability through the lens of Well-Being.