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About Us

Asakura Robinson is a planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm which strengthens environments and positively impacts communities through innovation, engagement, stewardship, and an integrated design process and our employees are leaders in social and environmental design. As a firm, we strive to assist visionary clients to spur positive change. We focus on engaging communities in ever more diverse project contexts while maintaining a high level of creativity and collaboration in every endeavor.

Three key values inform all of our work: interaction, diversity and innovation. We value the ability of the public to participate in our projects, creating places that encourage social interaction, and our staff’s deep engagement in our communities. We value our diverse workplace and communities and seek to optimize existing community-based and ecological resources. Finally, we value creativity in our processes, materials, technology, collaborations, approach, and design palette.

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Opportunities

Asakura Robinson sponsors an annual summer internship program. For 2017, we are accepting applications for the following positions:

Landscape Intern – Austin or Houston, Texas

Planning Intern – New Orleans, Louisiana

Urban Ecology Intern – Austin, Texas

Please follow us on Facebook for future opportunities.

Our Team

  • Keiji Asakura, Principal

    Keiji Asakura, FASLA, CLARB, Principal

    Keiji Asakura, Principal Designer – Houston Office Keiji holds over 36 years of experience in Urban Design, Landscape Architecture and Community Planning throughout the US and internationally. He places high regard for public service as evidenced by his receipt of the 2011 American Society Landscape Architects Distinguished Member Award, the 2009 President’s Call for Service Award, and the City of Houston Mayor White’s 2005 Proud Partner Award...
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  • Margaret Robinson, PLA, LEED AP, Principal

    Margaret Robinson, Principal – Austin Office Margaret holds over 26 years of Planning, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture experience in Texas, California and abroad. Her particular expertise is in large-scale Project Management, Land Planning and Development Processing. Prior to founding Asakura Robinson Company, Margaret served as Planning Director for Richfield Investment Corp.’s 10,000 Acre area holdings. She also held a...
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  • Zakcq Lockrem, Principal, Planning Director

    Zakcq Lockrem, AICP, Principal | Director of Planning

    Zakcq Lockrem, AICP, Principal – Austin and Houston Office Growing up in South Minneapolis, Zakcq Lockrem became fascinated with the unique overlap of infrastructure and culture that makes up a city. In his work, he focuses on the experience of urban space and the role of public space in shaping civic engagement.  He brings broad project experience from the gulf coast, Asia, New England,...
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  • Alexandra Miller, Principal

    Alexandra Miller, Principal – Economic Development Sector Lead – New Orleans Office Alexandra Miller is an urban planner and community development professional who specializes in planning for inclusive, equitable economic development and community revitalization. Her work focuses on economic and social empowerment of communities that helps residents shape their own urban environments. Her areas of expertise include economic development planning,...
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  • Hayley Pallister, Principal | Business Director

    Hayley Pallister, Principal, Business Manager – Houston Office Hayley is a native of southeast England. She immigrated to Houston in 1994 and soon developed an administrative position for a local landscape architecture firm into a passionate career marketing within the building industry. Inspired by outdoor educational opportunities for her son, and the growing awareness of the green building industry in Houston, her passion is constantly charged by...
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  • Patrick Chang, Principal

    Patrick Chang, LEED GA, Principal

    Patrick Chang, Principal – Houston Office Patrick has over 23 years of experience in Urban Design, Commercial and Residential Development, Corporate Office Design, as well as Park & Recreation Design. Prior to joining Asakura Robinson Company, he worked with Keiji Asakura at SLA Studio Land in Houston for eight years, where he was project manager responsible for landscape design development through construction documentation for projects such as...
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  • Isabelle Asakura

    Isabelle Asakura, Senior Marketing Associate | Marketing Manager

    Isabelle Asakura, Senior Marketing Associate | Marketing Manager – Houston Office Isabelle is Asakura Robinson’s Marketing Manager. Her interests lend perfectly to our values as they lie in the dynamic interactions among communities, agencies, and governments within different social, political, and economic environments. More specifically, how these entities can influence and be influenced by these environments at the local/regional/national/international levels. Isabelle’s...
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  • Luis Guajardo, AICP, Senior Planner

    Luis Guajardo, AICP, Senior Planner – Houston Office Luis Guajardo is a native of the Texas border and son of Mexican immigrants. As a professional planner, he seeks to balance growth with sustainable development outcomes by discerning the alignment of market interventions in metropolitan areas and identifying areas of opportunity. Luis is dedicated to working with communities to create public...
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  • Akiko Ishii, Designer

    Akiko Ishii, PLA, LI, LEED AP, Sr. Associate Designer

    Akiko Ishii, Sr. Associate Designer – Houston Office Akiko has been in the landscape architecture design industry for fifteen years. After obtaining a Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania she started her career at the SWA Group in Sausalito, CA. In addition to engaging in numerous  kinds of projects, both domestic and international, she served as an essential project manager for major resort...
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  • Jessica Krug, Senior Associate

    Jessica Krug, LEED AP, Sr. Associate Designer

    Jessica Krug, Senior Associate Designer – Houston Office Jessica has been in the building industry for eight years. Her initial experience after graduating was with Gustavo Kreff, a high-end, single family residential architect in Chile. In 2005 Jessica moved permanently to the US, where she began working as a studio designer with SLA Studio Land, Inc. She joined Asakura Robinson...
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  • Eric Leshinsky, Urban Designer

    Eric Leshinsky, LEED AP, Sr. Associate Designer

    Eric Leshinsky, Senior Associate Designer – Environmental Planning Sector Lead – Austin Office Eric Leshinsky is an urban designer and  environmental planner who has worked on a broad range projects at the intersections of architecture, planning, art, and ecology. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University in Political Science-Economics, a Masters in Architecture Degree from Rice University, and is the recipient...
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  • Matthew Rufo, AICP, Senior Planner

    Matthew Rufo, AICP, Senior Planner – New Orleans Office Matthew Rufo, AICP is a Senior Planner with Asakura Robinson. Mr. Rufo specializes in helping government, nonprofit and business clients make impactful decisions resulting in healthier, wealthier and more resilient communities. He accomplishes this by recommending decisions that are data-driven, evidence-based, publicly supported and feasible to implement. His responsibilities include all...
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  • Brendan Wittstruck, LEED AP BD+C, Sr. Urban Designer

    Brendan Wittstruck, LEED AP BD+C, Sr. Urban Designer, Urban Design Sector Lead – Austin Office With a portfolio bridging architecture, urban design and landscape architecture, Brendan brings both day-to-day project management skills and conceptual and systems-thinking design experience to Asakura Robinson’s Austin office.  He co-ordinates the firm’s urban design practice, serves as a project manager for design and landscape architecture projects and...
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  • Peng Xu, PLA, Sr. Associate Designer

    Peng Xu, Senior Associate Designer – Houston Office   You can find Peng on LinkedIn here....
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  • Katie Coyne, Associate Planner | Ecologist

    Katie Coyne, Associate Planner | Ecologist – Austin Office Katie Coyne is an environmental planner and urban ecologist who is passionate about studying the overlap of social and ecological issues in urban areas and hopes to work toward a better connection between people and the ecological systems around them. She believes the integration of human rights and social equity into planning...
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  • Ying Liang, Associate Designer

    Ying Liang, Associate Designer – Houston Office Ying holds a master degree in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. She also has Sustainable Urbanism Certificate and Health Systems & Design Certificate. Her focus has been on evidence-based design process and knowledge about how to enhance and protect green through landscape planning and design with the holistic considerations of eco-sensitivity and...
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  • Taylor McNeill, PLA, Associate Designer

    Taylor McNeill, PLA, Associate Designer – Houston Office Taylor respects the power of nature – the severity, the austerity and the inherent wisdom. He believes that Landscape Architecture has a duty to connect people with local natural systems and open space, championing the cathartic, educational experiences that come with time in nature. In his three years of professional experience, Taylor...
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  • Meghan Skornia, Associate Planner

    Meghan Skornia, Associate Planner – Austin Office Meghan Skornia is an urban planner from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work to date has focused on zoning, placemaking and public engagement. She is especially passionate about relaying complex planning and zoning issues to the public and exploring new mediums for truly inclusive engagement. Her experience also includes project branding and working with multidisciplinary...
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  • Colter Sonneville, ISA Certified Arborist, Associate Designer

    Colter Sonneville, ISA Certified Arborist, Associate Designer – Austin Office Colter holds a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois- Champaign. His post-graduate credentials include an ISA arborist certification, and completion of a certificate program in Geospatial Analysis and Visualization from the University of Illinois- Chicago. While living in the Chicago area, Colter performed park design work as an...
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  • Elizabeth van der Els, Associate Planner

    Elizabeth van der Els, Associate Planner – New Orleans Office Elizabeth is an associate planner who is passionate about the intersection of urban planning and landscape architecture. Her work to date has focused on community engagement, placemaking, and urban gardening. She is particularly interested in exploring how urban ecology can improve our experiences in the built environment. Her diverse planning...
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  • Anna delos Angeles, Designer

    Anna delos Angeles, Designer – Houston office Anna is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program and a recent transplant to Houston from the Washington, DC, area, where she has worked over the last two years as a landscape designer. Prior to graduating, she was an intern at a landscape architecture firm in Baltimore and...
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  • Brianna Frey, Planner

    Brianna Frey, Planner – Austin office Brianna Frey is an urban planner who is interested in everything to do with urban planning, from historic preservation to community development. She completed her master’s degree in urban planning at University of Texas at Austin in May 2016. Her academic and professional work to date has focused on transportation, community development, and capital improvement...
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  • Jonathan Ng, Designer

    Jonathan Ng, Designer – Houston Office   Find Jonathan here on LinkedIn....
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  • Abi Phillips, Designer

    Abi Phillips, Designer – Houston office Abi’s interest in landscape architecture stems from her experiences working with limited resource communities in urban environments. Through work with at-risk and street youth in Tacoma, WA she recognized the toll that urban environments take on people if sites are designed without social and cultural sensitivity. Building school gardens in Jackson, MS she realized the extreme,...
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  • Wei Xiao, Urban Designer

    Wei Xiao, Urban Designer – Houston office Wei Xiao is an urban designer and planner who has experience in town planning, transit oriented development, and central business district design. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Hebei University of Engineering and a Master’s degree in urban design from the University of Texas at Austin. Wei is interested in...
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  • Wenjie Zhao, LEED AP BD+C, Designer

    Wenjie Zhao, Designer – Austin office Wenjie is a landscape designer who has worked on a broad range public projects in Houston, The Woodlands and San Antonio area, from community park, urban plaza, roof garden, school campus to waterfront area and natural park design. She is a graduate from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. She received her Master...
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  • Atianna Cordova, Planning Intern

    Atianna Cordova, Planning Intern – New Orleans Office Atianna J. Cordova is a graduate from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She received her B.ARCH degree this past May from the College of Art and Design’s Bachelor of Architecture program. A native of New Orleans, LA, Atianna is passionate about using design as a tool to assist marginalized groups,...
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  • Jumpei Miwa, Design Intern

    Jumpei Miwa, Design Intern – Houston Office Jumpei is a master’s student in the Urban and Landscape Design Laboratory at Kyoto University and has a Bachelor of Engineering from Kyoto University. In Japan, he has completed internships in the urban design departments of civil engineering and architectural firms. He has won prizes with Lab’s team at a city-planning city-design competition and...
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Our Certifications

National:

Nationwide MBE Certificate

This Minority Business Enterprise Certificate enables us to contribute to an MBE goal on any locally funded project.

State of Texas:

State HUB Certificate

This State of Texas Historically Underutilized Business Certificate allows us to contribute to a HUB goal on any State funded project.

State of Texas DBE Certificate

This Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certificate enables us to contribute to a DBE goal on any Federally funded project within the State of Texas. This certificate was issued by the City of Houston and is recognized by TxDOT.

City of Houston DBE Certificate

This Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certificate specifically enables us to contribute to a DBE goal on any City of Houston funded project.

City of Houston MBE Certificate

This Minority Business Enterprise Certificate enables us to contribute to an MBE goal on any City of Houston funded project.

City of Austin MBE Certificate

This Minority Business Enterprise Certificate enables us to contribute to an MBE goal on any City of Austin funded project.

South Central Texas Region MBE / SBE Certificate

This Minority / Small Business Enterprise Certificate enables us to contribute to an MBE or SBE goal on any South Central Texas Region (including City of San Antonio) funded project.

North Central Texas Region MBE Certificate

This Minority Business Enterprise Certificate enables us to contribute to an MBE goal on any North Central Texas Region (including City of Dallas and Fort Worth) funded project.

Houston METRO Small Business Certificate

This Small Business Certificate enables us to contribute to an SBE goal on any Houston METRO funded project.

 

State of California:

State of California DBE Certificate

This Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certificate from the California Department of Transportation specifically enables us to contribute to a DBE goal on any project within the State of California.

Los Angeles County Metro SBE Certificate

This Small Business Certificate enables us to contribute to an SBE goal on any LA County Metro funded project.

State of Louisiana:

Louisiana Dept. of Transportation & Development DBE Certificate

This Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certificate from the Louisiana Department of Transportation specifically enables us to contribute to a DBE goal on any project within the State of Louisiana.

 

Our Partners

Asakura Robinson values collaborative work with other professionals and often shares office space with other firms. We also offer a unique opportunitie for small businesses to lease desk space for a reasonable rates. If you are interested in a quiet, collaborative home for your contact us for availability. Currently, we share offices with the following firms:

Houston

Working Partner

Working Partner is a Houston-based strategic planning and evaluation firm that offers the full range of strategic planning services, including: research, strategic project design, facilitation, project evaluation, community outreach, and grant-writing.

 

Austin

Lord Aeck Sargent

Lord Aeck Sargent is a full-service, award-winning architectural and design firm. LAS’s goal is to create buildings that have a restorative, positive impact on the building’s inhabitants and to reduce the negative impact of construction on the environment.

 

Fun Stuff

2015 Strategic Planning

In May of 2014 AR’s principals explored the idea of engaging a strategic planning consultant to help us realize our long-term goals. In April of 2015, we committed and kicked off the process with principals and staff on a very positive note. The (work-in-) process, which has been fast-passed and ongoing from April through June, has resulted in several amazing results:

  • The development of a new mission, vision and values statements for the company
  • A consensus around growth and goals
  • An excited and empowered staff who is very willing to be engaged with implementing the action items to achieve the goals we set
  • Including all staff, not just the firm leadership, was the best decision ever! We bonded and became closer and more supportive as a group

If you are interested in exploring strategic planning for your firm, or you’re just curious about the process and results that can be achieved, please feel free to contact Hayley or one of our FANTASTIC facilitators: Jeremy Grandstaff of S&G Endeavors or Tom Sommers of Explorations & Insights

 

2015 StrengthsFinder Staff Assessment

In 2015 AR staff had fun performing individual Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessments. The results we not surprising; we have a very diverse range of strengths throughout our firm. Within the four categories, in order of most results as a group, were: Thinking; Connecting; Doing; followed by Energizing. We will use these results to better communicate with each other, develop our company by utilizing the strengths we have identified in staff members and hiring to even out the areas that have the least strengths. Here is a graphic breakdown of the top ten strengths (out of the 34 available) that represent our current group.

AR-Top-Ten-Strengths

Follow these links for a description of each strength: