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Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Christopher LaGuardia

Since 1992, Christopher LaGuardia has headed his namesake landscape architecture firm with a perennial passion. As LaGuardia Design Group has grown, collecting an accomplished group of architects, and tackling projects from Long Island to China, LaGuardia’s fervor for landscape architecture has not dulled. In addition to heading an award-winning firm focused on environmentally friendly, thoughtfully researched and refined designs, he has lectured on landscape architecture in venues including The Museum of Modern Art and the American Society of Landscape Architect’s National Convention. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Christopher LaGuardia.

LaGuardia lets art imitate life at this Southampton residence, using perspective to seemingly end an inground pool at a brim, as the water beyond the trees ends at the sky.

LaGuardia lets art imitate life at this Southampton residence, using perspective to seemingly end an inground pool at a brim, as the water beyond the trees ends at the sky.

Andrew: What is the last book you read?
Christopher LaGuardia: The last book I read was called “How Iceland Changed the World.” I like reading history books and this one takes a great angle on how a small island country’s environment, politics and culture all have had a profound impact on the world we know today.

Andrew: What was your first job?
Christopher: My first paying job was working on a farm in a greenhouse in the middle of the winter. My brother and I shoveled sterilized soil into growing flats. We got paid 10 cents per flat that we filled with soil. Hardest 20 dollars I ever made, but I liked the incentive-based work. To this day I don’t work by the hour.

Foliage of different heights and textures provides a lush background to this pool space from LaGuardia, hemming in the area like a secret garden.

Foliage of different heights and textures provides a lush background to this pool space from LaGuardia, hemming in the area like a secret garden.

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Christopher: My family of course is what I am most proud of, but from a work standpoint, I think our office culture is something I am also very proud of. Our executive team has worked very hard at trying to make our place of work an enjoyable, equitable and inspiring place.

Andrew Joseph: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Christopher: My favorite cocktail is a Negroni – it’s a classic for many reasons. The drink has a complex bitterness, so I sip it rather than gulp it. I really like the bright red color; it makes me smile and looks good in hand!

LaGuardia, a lecturer on climate change and promoter of environmentally friendly practices at his firm, expresses the desire to let natural processes guide his work as an inspiration rather than an imitation.

LaGuardia, a lecturer on climate change and promoter of environmentally friendly practices at his firm, expresses the desire to let natural processes guide his work as an inspiration rather than an imitation.

Andrew: Must-have clothing item everyone should have in their closet? / What’s something you always travel with?
Christopher: A blue sport coat by Canali. It’s made of bamboo and virtually indestructible and wrinkle free. I knew I’d finally made it when I owned two of them.

Andrew: Where is the first place you want to travel now that everything is opening up?
Christopher: I’d really love to go back to Japan with my family. There’s just so much to see and experience there. Architecture, gardens, art, food, and culture, both old and modern, around everywhere. The Shinkansen “Bullet Train” is something to experience as well!


About The Designer | LaGuardia Design Group was founded in 1992 as a one-man landscape architecture firm in Southampton, New York. From the beginning, the ambition has been to create beautiful and enduring landscapes. Now, a 20-person firm, located in Water Mill, NY, LDG has been practicing for thirty years.

Christopher LaGuardia, the firm’s founder, gradually grew the company, finding skilled designers to create the firm’s sustainable, simple, aesthetic environments. A fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects since 2014, he serves on the boards of the Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington DC and Lake George Land Conservancy in Bolton Landing NY and is co-chair of the Parrish Art Museum’s Landscape Pleasures annual symposium.

The LaGuardia style and design language continues to evolve creating a brand recognized for its environmental stewardship, historic references and meticulously designed outdoor spaces. Rather than attempting to mimic nature, LDG’s goal with every design is to interpret natural processes as an artistic expression in their work. In 2013, LDG received the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) award of excellence in residential design, the highest residential award in the profession and were most recently given the ASLA Honor Award for Residential Design in 2021.

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