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By Name and Story: Quinn Adam

With an undergraduate degree in philosophy, Quinn Adam, MArch/MLA ‘27, decided to attend design school to learn how to integrate our built environments into natural systems.

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Quinn's Story

“My name is Quinn Adam and I am a student in the master of architecture and master of landscape architecture programs here at the Sam Fox School.

My undergraduate degree is in philosophy. I went to a small liberal arts college in Ohio. I think it’s a really great background, honestly, for coming into design. One of my driving motivations to go to design school was an interest in integrating our built environments into natural systems, because that’s something that’s really neglected in most of our cities.

Landscape architecture is very systems-focused. It’s really about understanding flows of energy, how different actors — both human and non-human — move through different systems. As one of one of our faculty, Eric Ellingsen, always puts it, “It’s about creating conditions for new possibilities to emerge.”

Being able to pursue a dual degree with architecture and landscape architecture is really important. That sort of interdisciplinary spirit is very present here. I really appreciated how the Sam Fox School really focused on being here in St. Louis and having studio courses and socially engaged practice opportunities here in the city. That was something I was really looking for in school.

I think landscape architecture has a really significant role to play with climate change. I think there’s a lot of burgeoning, growing awareness about how the design of our built environments contributes to problems like flooding and urban heat island effect. Landscape architecture in cities has the potential to help mitigate things like that. I think that’s an important part of a landscape architect’s role, actually, is to advocate for sort of a better, healthier understanding of what it means to exist in our world.”

Video by TJ Ingrassia