After growing up on both coasts and studying and working in the art world, Rafael arrived at landscape from the ground up: through horticulture at some of New York City’s most inspiring public spaces, including the High Line, Battery Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. As a designer he wants to engage people through form and materials that draw on the genius loci; he values minimalism, patina, and innovative planting design. Outside of the office he likes to draw, climb things, grow obscure fruit, and explore geothermal hot springs in California and abroad.


U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, MLA | 2017
NYU, New York, NY, MA in Art History and Theory | 2008
U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, BA in Art History and Sociology | 2003

Professional Experience

Lutsko Associates, San Francisco, CA | 2017 – present
EinwillerKuehl, Oakland, CA | 2016
Evan C. Lai Landscape Design, New York, NY | 2015

Teaching Experience

Graduate Student Instructor: Landscape Plants ID and Use | Spring 2017
Graduate Student Instructor: Planting Design | Fall 2016

Awards and Publications

“Monumental Hydraulics: Diego Rivera’s Lerma Waterworks and the Water Temples of San Francisco”, Boom: A Journal of California, Vol. 6 No. 3, Fall 2016 | 2016
Mellon Funded Global Urban Humanities Studio in Mexico City | 2016
UC Berkeley Circus Competition, Presenter | 2016
UC Berkeley Circus Competition, Presenter | 2015
EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge (2nd Place) | 2015
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY, Certificate in Horticulture | 2012