io landarch

GRASSROOTS DESIGN

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE + URBAN DESIGN
community revitalization

Io Landarch is a Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Studio specializing in community revitalization through historic preservation, creative placemaking, and outdoor recreation. Our work is focused on the continuation of regional narrative, weaving history, ecology, culture and meaning together for projects that evolve from and advance the spirit of the intermountain west.

At Io we've developed a signature approach to our planning and design work that we call Grassroots Design. Grassroots Design is a philosophy, process, and metaphor that combines the disciplines of Planning, Urban Design, and Landscape Architecture with community advocacy, sustainable agriculture, and deep ecology resulting in economically, socially, and ecologically vibrant places.

  • Designed with Nature

    Our design process and designs are fluid and adaptable. They are function driven as much as they are form-driven, because form follows nature.

  • Historical

    Communities that feel connected through shared narratives, culture, and historical places have a greater sense of meaning, pride, and are more resilliant over time.

  • Incremental

    We design projects that can be implemented in phases and evolved over time to changing community needs and market forces.

  • Community Based

    We encourage collaboration and community participation in both the planning and implementation processes.

EXPERTISE

community revitalization from the ground up
Historic Preservation

The preservation and adaptive re-use of historic places results in places that are sustainable, but also inherently incremental, inclusive, and successful communities. Our research and advocacy focus on the culture, traditions, and stories from our shared past to provide connection, context, and meaning. Our work moves beyond isolated buildings to encompass historic districts, historic and cultural landscapes.

Creative Placemaking

Creative placemaking integrates the arts with both traditional and innovative urban design techniques to provide opportunities for creative individuals and organizations to thrive, create a sense of community, celebrate and build on the unique cultural history of an area, provide for the development of physical infrastructure including public art, and provide real economic returns.

Outdoor Recreation

Our designs for outdoor recreation result in powerful physical and emotional experiences that provide an impetus for the protection of our natural resources. The economy of the West is changing from an extractive, industrial (railroad) one to an intensive use-based one (outdoor recreation), that if sustainably managed can allow for continued use and preservation over time.

Residential

Every great community is comprised of neighborhoods and homes with history, context, and character. We specialize in residential design services for historic homes and in-fill development. We work with home-owners who want their yards to be ecologically friendly, waterwise, and offer localized food production.

Our Team

Shalae Larsen
Principal Landscape Architect
Shalae Larsen is Io Design’s Principal Landscape Architect. Her unique design and planning perspective integrates a deep appreciation for indigenous landscapes and the vernacular of the west. Shalae also holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Utah, making her particularly well suited to lead diverse teams to create successful places.
Brent Potter
Lanscape Architect
An Associate Landscape Architect at Io, Brent brings 8 years of professional experience along with valuable project management and construction expertise to the Io team. A native of rural Pennsylvania, Brent gained an early appreciation for riparian and wetland ecologies growing up along the shores of Lake Erie. Brent has a BA in Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University.
Tonya Randall
Intern
Tonya is in her final year of study for her Master’s in Landscape Architecture at Utah State University. Tonya has a particular interest in streetscape design and ecological friendly parks & open spaces. Tonya holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and spent several years learning about impactful healing environments and spaces, ultimately leading her to Landscape Architecture.
Jake McIntire
Artist | Collaborator
Jake McIntire is a designer, entrepreneur, strategist, and creative problem solver working at the intersections of business, art, design, and urban theory. He holds an MFA in Collaborative Design with an emphasis in Social Entrepreneurship and Urban Theory from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Jake has dedicated himself to exploring urban transformation and he believes that art a powerful resource in creating better cities.
Kristen Clifford
Planner | Collaborator
Kristen is a professional planning consultant whose expertise includes working to preserve community character and the environment while facilitating the rapid growth and redevelopment of communities. She is working to create places for people to value and respect their surroundings and their community. Kristen has a Bachelors degree in Urban Planning at the University of Utah, Cum Laude.
Rhonda Lauritzen
Historian | Collaborator
Rhonda is a professional biographer specializing in placemaking, oral history, and personal stories. She is the founder of Evalogue.Life, a presenter and author. In addition, Lauritzen has served as a public relations director and senior VP at the Ogden-Weber Technical College. Before that, she was CEO of her family’s business, which inspired her first book, Every Essential Element, which began her personal journey into storytelling.
Cimarron Chacon
Trail Collaborator
A veteran in the Trails Industry, Cimarron has been influencing policy, design, and opportunity for recreation since 1998. Trained as a Landscape Architect, she began her career with the BLM in Utah. As her passion for mountain biking increased she moved into the private sector and worked on natural surface trail planning and design around the country. She now owns & operates GRO, a trails and race consulting and promotion company.

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