Nina Chase is designing a one-of-a-kind career.
Since graduating from WVU in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, the young professional has been on the fast track.
Raised in Morgantown by a family that appreciated quality architecture, Chase arrived at WVU with her sights set on being an architect – perhaps focusing her efforts on restoration and preservation – but ultimately found her passion for landscape architecture.
“I fell in love with the science, art and urban design components of landscape architecture,” she said.
Chase developed a particular interest in hydrology and water in land use planning while at WVU and continued to explore them as she pursued her master’s degree in landscape architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
For her final studio project, Chase was tasked with repurposing one of the abandoned industrial areas along the south branch of the Chicago River.
“I chose the Pilsen industrial corridor and designed a water research center where people could come and study fresh-water resource management,” she said. “The defunct shipping slips were redesigned to capture storm water, and each slip became an example of a different storm-water filtration system.”
Chase and the project received recognition within the landscape architecture profession including an analysis and planning honor award from the American Society of Landscape Architecture, and an honor award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects.
After graduating from Harvard she was hired as a landscape architect by Sasaki Associates, a design firm that takes a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach.
She currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the Boston Architectural College’s School of Landscape Architecture, a role she finds particularly engaging because “teaching keeps fresh ideas flowing.”
“Being not far removed from classes and studios myself, I can identify with my students well and I recognize their immediate challenges: balancing other classes outside of studio, learning new software, hunting for a job,” she said. “But even being only a few years out of school, there is so much to keep learning; technology, theories, construction techniques. The students are often teaching me!”