Ann Mai, a 2nd year graduate student studying landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her undergraduate background is in Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in environmental engineering, environmental studies, urban planning, and landscape architecture.
During her undergraduate academic career, Ann learned about landscape architecture through her minor--Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Influenced by environmental philosophy, environmental justice, and a desire to serve others, Ann was inspired to pursue the field because of its great potential to shape the environment and uplift people's experiences in their everyday environments. She knew she had to pursue design as soon as possible. She sought after and took advantage of the opportunity to enroll in graduate level landscape architecture courses for her last two semesters of her undergraduate education.
As she progresses through her studies, Ann has become especially passionate about leveraging landscape architecture as a tool to serve vulnerable communities and the world beyond. During a refugee relief trip to Greece in 2016, she was moved and inspired to focus her thesis on how landscape architecture can serve refugee camps. While architecture's role is obvious in such situations, landscape architecture's role is not as widely articulated or considered. Ann is deeply interested in learning about the implications of designing in response to crisis. She feels strongly about design's potential to address a range of issues for refugees, including: facilitating the healing process, empowering the displaced, and helping people restore their sense of community. Ann believes that through socially and environmentally conscious design, landscape architecture can serve the world in a variety of capacities.
Outside of studying landscape architecture, Ann is passionate about expressing her creativity and zest for life on her food blog (plantcrush.co), where she shares tips and recipes that reflect the vibrancy of a vegan lifestyle. She finds great joy in cooking, food photography, and sharing inspiration. Constantly inspired by her surroundings and driven by an inner need to create, Ann is never without a notebook (or two) to jot down or sketch out ideas.