Karla Dakin is a landscape architect and an artist. Her practice focuses on plant-driven design of landscapes, food gardens and green roofs for private residences, museums and public spaces, as well as commercial projects. As a leader in the field, Dakin creates green spaces that push our expectations of landscape and engage all five senses, making places that are both ecologically sound and aesthetically resonant.
Since founding K. Dakin Design in 1997, Dakin has completed over 100 residential landscapes, two major museum roof gardens and dozens of commercial and public projects. She co-authored The Professional Design Guide to Green Roofs (published by Timber Press in 2013) and lectures internationally on subjects ranging from the future of green roofs to food gardens and the relationship between art practice and landscape architecture. In addition to being a licensed landscape architect, Dakin has studied permaculture and biodynamic gardening, giving her a level of horticultural knowledge that is rare in the field.
Dakin brings over 20 years of experience in landscape architecture to each project as well as a professional background and aesthetic sensibility polished by her early years working in the international art worlds of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her practice hinges on the understanding that each project has a unique context, both human and ecological. For Dakin, the design process is a collaboration between landscape architect, client and site: both a discipline and an art.
Named one of the Top Mountain Landscape Designers 2017 by Mountain Living Magazine
Dream Garden Award, Sunset Magazine, March 2007
“Neurotic Sublime: Finding Inspiration in Art & Plants,” Northwest Horticulture Society, Seattle, June 14, 2017
“Neurotic Sublime: Finding Inspiration in Art & Plants,” IDEO Foundation, San Francisco, October 19, 2016
“Baring Witness or How All Green Roofs are Equal,” Native Plant & Sustainability Conference, Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, 2015
“Growing Up in Colorado: A Journey of What It Takes to Design with Plants in Mind,” Keynote Speaker, Western Landscape Symposium, Pueblo, CO, March, 2015
Creating Rain Gardens, by Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Spryl Uncapher, Timber Press, 2012, “Case Study: Syncline Residence Rain Gardens, Karla Dakin,” pp. 52-53
“Colorado Scene: Gardens & Landscapes,” Luxe. Interiors + design, vol. 9, issue 2, spring 2011, p.118
“Autumn Programs for Designing Gardeners,” Twin Cities Times, September 28- October 2, 2011
“Home on the Range: A family-oriented couple who loves to entertain renovates a place where everyone feels at home.”, Renovation Style, Summer 2010, pp. 110-119
“Mile-High ART WALK,” 5280 Magazine, June, 2009, p. 65
“Top Ten: The West’s top destinations for design lovers, from Las Vegas to Seattle,” Sunset Magazine, October 2009, p. 34
“UCD Alumna Profile: Karla Dakin, K. Dakin Design, Inc.,” Root / Unexpected Landscapes, 2009, pp. 8-9
“The Final Frontier: Lots of space key for art lovers’ home,” Rocky Mountain News, Sat., August 25, 2007, pp. Home Front 1 and 3
“Inside Art: Contemporary Art in Denver,” New York Times, Friday, May 18, 2007
“The Art of Raising the Big Bucks,” Rocky Mountain News, Thursday, November 1, 2007
“Starting Now,” Westward, December 20-26, 2007
“Thoroughly Modern: Paint is still fresh as MCA Denver opens new space for latest in art,” Rocky Mountain News, Saturday, October 20, 2007
“Inside the Box: New museum building squares up space for art, education, community,” Rocky Mountain News, Thursday, August 23, 2007
“Local’s Travels Offer Insight,” Daily Camera, Sunday, July 9, 2006 (This article has a picture of me at one of my projects)
“Out the Door: A blank slate is transformed into the perfect entertainment area.,” My House in the Mountain States, March/April 2005, p. 45-46.