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Payam Ostovar


With nearly 20 years of experience, Payam has led multiple award-winning public and private landscapes both in the United States and abroad. After working for high-profile firms of Martha Schwartz and MVVA, he joined a firm in Washington D.C., which he helped expand after the economic downturn through a proactive hiring strategy and bringing in and building some of the largest projects in the firm’s and D.C.’s history.

As a mentor, he draws on his experience as a studio critic and design review panelist. He has taught general courses and studios, served as an appointed member of the Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP) for the City of Baltimore, and currently serves on the Architecture Advisory Panel for the City of Monterey, California.

As a licensed Landscape Architect (PLA) holding a Master’s Degree (MLA) from the University of Virginia School of Architecture and a BA in International Studies (Culture and Development) from UNC-Chapel Hill, he continues to apply his family’s history as professional artists and natural scientists into his practice. His design-forward approach is intuitive and empathetic at multiple scales and cultural contexts.

While he is dedicated to a life serving the public good through creative and artistic design strategies, he also enjoys finding quiet moments on multi-night backpacking trips (regularly annoying his fellow hikers with plant and bird call quizzes); discussing global, social, and ecological challenges; tide-pooling; the relative speed of designing and building something on the pottery wheel; keeping a sketchbook; and reminiscing with former varsity fencing teammates about long trips in cramped vehicles.