Ian Burkhardt

Ian Burkhardt photo What is your professional background/expertise?

I am a student at the University of Maryland in the Landscape Architecture program. I am entering my senior year and hope to work in urban design.

How did you come to know/work with Kelley Oklesson/Groundsmith Collective?

Kelley was my teacher in LARC 221: Digital Design tools. She taught us everything about autoCAD. If it wasn’t for Kelley’s amazing teaching skills, I would not have secured a summer internship with a civil engineering firm. All I did that summer was autoCAD drafting. It was a breeze thanks to Kelley.

What was something that you learned while working with Kelley?

Kelley taught me patience. I used to have a short fuse with software and autoCAD would make me frustrated most of the time because of its complexity. Kelley helped me understand that learning is a process and that it takes time. She didn’t just teach me about autoCAD in LARC 221, she taught me important life skills that I continue to use today.

Were there any challenges or changes in plans and how did Kelley handle it?

What did you enjoy about working with Kelley and how did she compare to working with other design professionals?

Kelley took the time to work with every student on an individual basis. She knew that people learn at different rates and in different ways. Kelley would help me with every issue I came across and would help me learn from my mistakes. She made me feel more than just a student, she gave me confidence.

What piece of advice would you give those considering hiring a design professional?

Design professionals can help you accomplish your vision with their experience and talent. They also can help guide you through your next project. It’s risky to take on a design project without a design professional.

Share an inspiring quote.

We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us – Ken Levine