Phillip Fernberg a 2018 Olmsted Scholar Nominee

MLA candidate Phillip Fernberg, 2018 Olmsted Scholar Nominee, chose to pursue landscape architecture because the practice allows him “to literally make a positive (and hopefully beautiful) impact on the world!”

Phillip was nominated by the landscape architecture faculty to be an Olmsted Scholar because of his impressive resume and character, according to Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Director Mark Boyer. The Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program recognizes and supports students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.

Phillip describes himself as an aspiring designer, philomath, urbanist, and travel junkie. Though he has interests in many areas, his overall focus has always been to make a lasting impact through his work. “As of late I have become fascinated with urban design, ecological restoration, and plants in particular,” he said.

He grew up in Murrieta, California. He has a BA in Latin American Studies with minors in Scandinavian Studies and Urban Planning from Brigham Young University. He worked in the entertainment and hospitality industries before coming to LSU to study landscape architecture.

“I chose LSU because of the people!” He said. “It’s not often that you find a program where everyone you meet is approachable and genuinely cares about your success. The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture embodies such a community.”

At LSU Phillip has worked on projects including “Reacquaintance: LSU Quad Redesign,” a proposal to “reacquaint” the three-acre space on campus with student needs, after site inventory and analysis that included student interviews to inform the recommendations. He also worked on the “Catfish Square: The Re-Emergence of the Street Market in Baton Rouge” proposal that reimagines a vacant lot as a neighborhood street market. View Phillip’s online portfolio.

Phillip has diverse interests and experiences outside of his scholarly pursuits. He loves surfing – a nod to his southern California roots. He worked for a number of years as an entertainer, playing music for restaurants, character performing at Disney World, and hosting events aboard passenger ships for Princess Cruises, to name a few. “That’s my party trick I guess?” He laughed.

In the future he hopes to make a career as a “design generalist” – he doesn’t intend to limit himself to just one field. “Whether it’s residential design at a private firm, regional planning for the National Park Service, or managing international development projects abroad, I want to work in every sector on every possible type of project at every possible scale.”