Steven Chavez has taken an untraditional path to landscape architecture. He was raised in a barrio in Los Angeles and built pre-1974 custom cars before going to college. At the age of 26, Steven moved to Mercer Island, Washington to work as an artist assistant for Betsy Eby and earned a professional degree in landscape architecture from the University of Washington. This range of living experiences gave Steven a rich multi-cultural perspective that reflects his core values in landscape architecture today:To create more public open space, especially in underserved communities. To create landscapes that are experientially rich and ecologically performative. To create long-lasting landscapes through material selection and construction details.
Steven developed vital landscape architecture experience under the tutelage of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol of Seattle, Washington. In 2009, he founded SCA-LARC (Steven Chavez Associates – Landscape Architecture). As a landscape architect and firm principal, he’s been involved in all aspects of guiding projects from concept to completion. Projects span from residential design, to public art concepts, to large scale competition entries. In 2016, SCA-LARC teamed with Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Alejandro Aravena, and his firm Elemental to pursue the Pershing Square Renew design competition.
Steven is an avid photographer of public and civic landscapes. He is currently working on an MFA in Photography. His written master’s thesis looks at the intersection of photography and landscape architecture, and his photographic master’s project is a book titled Running Water: The L.A. River’s Journey.
Steven is a licensed landscape architect in California, and is a certified professional by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.