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Kageno landscape

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Modern Brooklyn Garden


julie farris

landscape designer

xs space
370 clinton street
brooklyn, new york 11231





Julie Farris lives and works in New York City. A native New Yorker, Julie received her BA from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York and her MLA from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Julie’s work focuses on the potential for small forgotten spaces throughout the city to become verdant, sustainable, inexpensive and aesthetic landscapes for urban residents. She has worked at several large firms in New York City, including M. Paul Friedberg and Partners as well as HLW International and Balmori Associates. In 2005, she founded a studio, XS Space LLC, and completed a temporary landscape/multi-media installation entitled Temporary Landscape: A Pasture for Urban Space in the Columbia Waterfront District in Brooklyn. In 2007 she worked in collaboration with Balmori Associates and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to complete an 8,000 square foot public space, Urban Meadow, which is now a permanent park located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In 2009 she collaborated with an artist and The Public Art Fund to build a temporary landscape installation in Tribeca in Manhattan.  Her work has focused on international projects in Rwanda and Nepal as well as residential landscapes in Long Island and townhouses in New York City.

Her work has appeared in numerous publications and books, including Architectural Digest, Landscape Architecture Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, Ladies’ Home Journal , The New York Post and The New York Times.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and is a co-founder of The Big Future Group, a not- for- profit organization that designs and implements sustainable projects in developing countries. She has also recently started a highly curated online sourcebook for outdoor design called Landstylist, and you can link to the site at  Julie resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.


Kageno landscape

Kageno’s mission is to transform impoverished communities into places of opportunity and hope – through the development of self-sustaining community directed programs in Education, Health, Ventures (Income Generation) and Environment They believe it is essential to sustainable development to work with the community rather than giving simple aid or handouts.

Kageno helps communities suffering from impoverishment, AIDS, genocide and limited access to healthcare, clean water, and education. Working with local leaders to identify needs, they help villages build schools, health centers, pharmacies, and sanitation and clean water systems and develop programs to help them protect their fragile environments. They then build community centers with learning tools and internet access, identify training programs that support our efforts to build local economies.

Together with Sarah Wayland-Smith, we proposed a phased landscape design that worked in conjunction with the architectural plans proposed by SPG architects that is a systematic approach to landscape sustainability for the Kageno Community in Rwanda. Central to the design is the ‘agricultural axis’ or band of crops, which also provides a connection between the radial configuration of buildings and the ecotourism area. Working on a variety of scales, this proposal attempts to maximize the potential for landscape to address the needs of this community. The design of the areas adjacent to the Community Center offer smaller medicinal, herbal, and kitchen gardens. The courtyards are lush oasis’s that include multi-stemmed trees for shade, native flowers and shrubs, and locally made brick pavers. All of the vegetation proposed is native and multi-purposed, such as groves of Moringa trees, known for their high nutritional value, and Bamboo. The plan also proposes an area for livestock, beekeeping, and composting for a sustainable and integrated overall landscape.