Meet Lindsay Hand


lindsay hand posing on rock formation

Who or what brought you to Civitas? Why did you choose to work here?

I had met Mark Johnson and Scott quite a few times when I was in school at  Colorado State University. They would give talks about the projects they were working on, so I was pretty familiar with Civitas’s work and remembered a lot of it. After I graduated and moved away, I was looking to relocate back to Colorado, I got in touch with a colleague, and she told me Civitas was hiring. One of the main reasons I chose to work here is because Civitas is a pretty small sized firm, but they have big projects that are all over the country. It’s not a corporate environment, but they’re still able to compete on really big projects.

How would you describe your personal approach to design?

Finding a good balance between form and function and as a landscape architect drawing form from the surrounding landscape, the history, the people, or the architecture, and translating that into a functional space that meets the needs of that community or client in a creative way. I have a hands-on approach that involves a lot of digital sketching instead of tracing over a printed drawing. You can just as easily take a PDF from the computer, send it to your iPad and start sketching on top of that in a really similar way. There are so many colors and tools to choose from and I find it a lot faster, more efficient.

lindsay hand posing on rock formation

What experiences (or people, or places) have had the most influence on you and/or your design approach?

Living in really big cities where you’re faced with public spaces constantly and interacting. I used to live in both NYC and Washington DC, and my time in those cities was very impactful on my outlook on public spaces. When you live in a tighter city you’re more apt to use public spaces. For example, when you live in somewhere like NYC or downtown DC, you’re less likely to have a yard for your kids or pets to run around; therefore, you are more likely to venture into public parks and spaces than you would be in say a suburban environment.

What is your proudest accomplishment so far, either at work or in life in general?

Buying a condo in Capitol Hill felt like a huge accomplishment, especially for being a millennial. I bought a property that needed a lot of work and I’ve been learning how to fix parts of the home as I go. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos and researched a lot of information and techniques on my own, and I’ve been restoring the home to its original condition over the past couple of years. It’s in an art deco building and it has all that really cool art deco charm. It’s been a lot of woodworking and I did all the electrical and plumbing myself. It’s really gratifying to inhabit the space and feel like it’s really yours.

lindsay hand posing on rock formation

What accomplishments do you hope or aspire to reach in the future?

I definitely want to travel more. I’d love to go to South America, Southeast Asia and see places that are very culturally different from the US. Also pursuing my other creative aspirations like painting, sculpture, and furniture design are skills I would love to keep building on. Continuing to work on my home, especially with the outdoors space. I’ve had a vegetable garden for one season and there are a lot of mice and squirrels that eat all the vegetable seeds. The vision of having a really flourishing vegetable garden in the future would be really gratifying. In terms of my career, seeing built work from early design stages, all the way through completion of construction. That often takes a long time to see that out from beginning to end and it hasn’t fully happened yet.

What are your favorite types of design projects to work on, or design challenges to solve?

I like to work on projects that are more public facing such as parks, urban spaces, plaza areas – areas that are highly trafficked and utilized as opposed to more private work. I like a good technical challenge, such as working with the engineering and structural design and figuring out how things work. I enjoy drawing the details for when it gets really nitpicky. It can be fun, like I’m  solving a puzzle. Other challenges I enjoy would be dealing with a small space and trying to reconfigure it in the best way possible by fitting a lot of amenities into a small space.

lindsay hand posing on rock formation

What do you do outside of work to have fun, or relax, or learn, or volunteer?

I definitely read a lot – mostly in the morning and before bed, it both wakes me up and helps me sleep. I ride my bike and go for long walks around the neighborhood. Also wining and dining, of course. But I also really love being home, playing with my cat and showering him with a little bit of affection.

What are you reading or listening to these days?

I’m generally interested in all queer related books, movies, and podcasts. I think it’s important to have representation in the media and it helps me relate to it better. A book came out this year called “All This Could Be Different” by Sarah Thankam Mathews that I thoroughly enjoyed. Right now I’m reading a book called “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

What is your favorite food to eat, or recipe to cook?

I really like to get oysters because they’re expensive and a delicacy. It’s kind of silly, seafood in Colorado, but I love the presentation– the pretty shells, bed of ice, and all the little accouterments like horseradish. It gets me every time!

Describe one item that you never leave home without.

PKW! – Phone, keys, wallet. It’s an acronym coined in one of my favorite TV shows, Broad City and it’s definitely helped me remember my most important items before I head out the door!

Random thing on your desk.

My desk itself is pretty special because I upcycled it from  an old bookshelf, but I think the most random piece of decor I have is a sculpture of a man wearing a sombrero kneeling down.