Do you ever wonder why your fellow students join the program? What their professional goals are in landscape architecture, and what they are up to once they leave the program? Well the Landscape Architecture Program does and we want to share these stories of current and past students. This new segment is called Program Showcase, look for it every month!

Our first Program Showcase spotlight is Shawn Maestretti. Here is what he has to say:

Shawn pic 2

What brought you to the Landscape Architecture Program at UCLA Extension?  I felt it was crucial to my development as a designer to take my career to the “top level”.

What drew you to the profession?  My affinity for nature and all living things sparked my passion to become a steward of the planet.  This is where creativity and preservation intersect!

What was your favorite course in the program and why?  So hard to pick just one subject. Planting design is my passion, History inspired me and the Advanced Design courses took away my training wheels.

Did you have a favorite instructor in the program?  Again, so hard to pick just one. Here’s a short list….Rhett Beavers, Patrick Reynolds, Jim Smith, Shelley Bonus, and Francisco Behr for merely pushing me to dig deeper.

What are you doing professionally these days?  I have my own small design/build firm and I work part-time at Mia Lehrer and Associates, gaining valuable knowledge and experience.


If the phone rang right now and someone offered you your dream job, what would it be? I am currently living that dream working under Mia Lehrer.

Who is your favorite Landscape architect or designer? James Corner – The Highline, NYC.

What advice would you give to incoming students? Don’t quit…keep moving…make lots of mistakes.  Mistakes are your best friend!!!



Introduction to the Landscape Design Professions


Shawn Maestretti BURBANK FINAL SHOW smallLandscape Design 5: Planting Design