Kirby Barrett, PLA, ASLA
Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning
My teaching, research and creative interests all lie at the intersection of creative design inquiry and technical design expression. I see them both as equally necessary to the successful implementation of design ideas. Prior to transitioning to academia, I worked in professional practice at private firms in Texas, with clients including municipal governments, universities, local non-profits and numerous private developers. Previous to my private practice experience, I worked with K-State Facilities-Campus Planning & Project Management on campus planning and design projects. While in practice, I developed experience stitching together creative design concepts into solutions that could be implemented on the ground. I am especially passionate about the intersection of education and practice and infuse practice components into my coursework and research.
Current research studies include the relationship of design and documentation quality to construction implementation and project budgets, the use of CAD/ BIM software tools to enhance design communication and to improve design and documentation workflows, and discovering methods to inspire technical expertise among creative thinkers. I intertwine design and technical thinking in the classes I teach. Inherent in these questions is an exploration of the connections between the hands-on solving of design problems via making/building and the ability to translate those lessons learned into solving unrelated, multi-scalar site design problems.
Currently I teach Site Design Implementation and Site Planning and Design courses, where I thread elements of practice into the coursework to unlock the latent technical creativity in my students through focused examinations of the relationships between early design and visual thinking stages to the actual implementation and physical manifestation of those early ideas. Craft and skill are cornerstones of this coursework, with the development of proficiency and skill in the use of the tools appropriate to the deliverable (whether computer software, drawing tools or hand/power tools) being a key learning objective.
I am a registered landscape architect in Texas.