Briana Outlaw is a Landscape Design in the Urban Studio at Sasaki Associates in Boston, MA. Her work explores the interrelationship of people and the environment through the framework of resilient sociocultural equity concepts. She is interested in enriching the physical and perceptual realms of access to public spaces. In her work, she emphasizes the process of community engagement, connectivity of natural and cultural systems, and preservation of community integrity.
She has worked as a Food Systems Designer…to explore interconnectivity of landscape and food systems. Her ability and experience of exploring ideas and solutions outside the realm of established patterns enable her to understand broad components of performance and connections within the food system. Her projects include various scales of strategic food planning projects that address food access disparities including Moving Beyond Hunger: Comprehensive Food Security Plan and Action Manual for Wake County.
Her immersive travels to Europe and West Africa has lead her to socially driven work. She believes that landscapes have the power to transform people and place. Through design excellence and sustainable equitable practices, urban environments that reflect, value, and amplify diverse narratives can enhance the quality of life for all people.
As an advocate for inclusive spaces, Briana hopes that Blackscapes will expand the narrative and acknowledge the significant influence black people have endowed upon and continue to have on landscapes and the profession of landscape architecture.
Briana is a 2016 Landscape Architecture Foundation University Olmsted Scholar and a American Society of Landscape Architects award winner. She holds bachelor degrees in environmental design and architecture, and Master of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University.
As a recent graduate of North Carolina State University’s Master of Landscape Architecture program, Corey has held an interest in the interdependent relationship between humans and their environment since childhood; particularly this relationship’s role in the molding and development of cultures around the world. He is a believer that the most influential stakeholder in our evolution as people, beyond one’s immediate family and housing environment, is one’s exposure (or lack thereof) to their surrounding natural and built environments and their ecologic quality and ethnic makeup, respectively.
As a forthcoming landscape architect, Corey views the landscape and its mindful manipulation as key to creating secure futures for cities in need of rejuvenation. The design of contextually aware landscapes increases levels of historic and cultural literacy, encourages creative placemaking and contributes to community mental and physical health. This affords cities the capability to accommodate for equitable growth strategies, thus reconnecting residents to the cultural, ecologic and economic potential of their communities.
Additional interests within the practice of landscape architecture that Corey gained while serving as the Green Infrastructure intern for the Horticultural Society of New York and while studying abroad in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Costa Rica include bridging the gap between generational resource disparities and communities of color, building resilience to displacement induced by natural disasters and what he likes to call “regional landscape architecture” or landscape architectural practices that are particular to a certain geographic area, especially in protection of the tropical flora and fauna of Costa Rica.
Amongst a regressive cultural and political crossroads within this country following the Obama era and in a profession where black Americans and persons of color are underrepresented and whose opinions are often pushed aside until it comes time to “diversify” a landscape; it is Corey’s hope that Blackscapes will challenge the institutional bias of landscape architecture education to annul Eurocentric misconceptions of Africa, its descendants and their impact upon creating the American landscape. While narratives of success within the black community portrayed in popular culture often remain limited to the realms of sports and entertainment Blackscapes will continue to show little back boys and girls, current students and intellectuals and the general public that their possibilities are boundless and that they too can assume the role of the potter who shapes the clay –in this case shaping the landscape. Thus, creating and sustaining richly complex communities now and for the future as they always have.