July 02, 2020

10 Questions for Sarah Hnatishin

10 Years at Nadi Design

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To celebrate Nadi Design’s 10-year anniversary, we’ve asked the current staff 10 questions that reflect on their time here and how they see the firm evolving over the next decade. Here are their thoughts (answers have been edited for clarity):


1) How has Nadi Design evolved since you first started working as part of the team?

Since I started at Nadi Design, we've expanded into the United States through the acquisition of Donald C. Westphal Associates. We have been busy working on numerous projects with the Rochester Hills team. At the same time, Nadi Design has undergone business development changes to further our reach into the United States and Mexico. We have continued to explore and seek innovative solutions as we take on new projects throughout North America.

2) What is the most innovative and exciting Nadi Design project you've worked on?

I had the opportunity to help with a community plan for Stony Mountain, MB, where I created a model with street views of the neighbourhood. To accommodate the existing ponds, forests, and hills, we strategically planned the community to maximize scenic views and provide abundant green space. While the sloped terrain made the model more complex, it did result in the creation of more dynamic street views.


Deer Run Community Plan Sarah Hnatishin 10 years

Deer Run MH Community


3) Nadi Design's mission is to design for a better world. What is the most memorable and impactful way you have seen the firm put that mission into practice?

I have become familiar with many of the firm's previous projects, but the 99 Red Balloons installation has been the most memorable. Not only do these balloons offer a playful place for New York tourists, but they also contain solar panels as a source of renewable energy to power thousands of homes. The red balloons make for a more playful, cleaner, and brighter future for Staten Island.


99 Red Balloons 10 year celebration Sarah Hnatishin

99 Red Balloons


4) What makes Nadi Design stand out from its competitors?

Nadi Design has a wide variety of projects compared to its competitors. We have designed abstract public art installations, fountains that function as an artistic playground, innovative plazas and streetscapes, and community master plans with an emphasis on livability. Each project is also resilient, energy-efficient, and long-lasting to reflect our vision statement: design for a better world.

5) What do you hope to see Nadi Design achieve in the next ten years?

I hope to see Nadi Design continue to assist with the fight against climate change, including projects that allow for energy-efficient strategies and provide support for the natural environment. I also hope to see the firm evolve on a global scale to take on new and exciting projects overseas.

6) What is the most rewarding part of being a member of the Nadi Design team?

I enjoy visual work. The most rewarding part of being a Nadi Design team member is finalizing a rendering, infographic, or drawing and receiving compliments from clients and coworkers. Using an image is an excellent method of communication and a great way to bring a project to life while it's still in the development phase. Receiving an understanding and pleased response is all the more worthwhile.

7) What is your favourite Nadi Design project?

My favourite project is Bokeh because it is a bright and colourful art piece against the white and black landscape of winter. Bokeh is a great way to highlight the duckpond and makes Kildonan Park an even more unique and exciting place to visit.


Bokeh Kildonan Park Duck Pond 10 Year Anniversary Nadi Design

Bokeh, Kildonan Park Duck Pond


8) What kind of design trends or new approaches to landscape architecture do you predict will become increasingly popular over the next ten years?

I predict that naturalized areas will become increasingly popular as climate change threatens the planet. I believe sustainable energy solutions will become an increasing necessity, and with it, public art that depicts our relationship with the Earth will become more abundant. Density within urban centres will also increase, along with innovative solutions to incorporate green space within human-made environments.

9) Are there any kinds of creative, out-of-the-box projects you hope the Nadi Design team will get the chance to work on in the coming years?

I hope Nadi Design will be involved with large-scale eco-friendly projects such as car-free neighbourhoods or solar and wind-powered communities. Solutions to global warming can be presented in a variety of ways and at many scales, and I hope Nadi Design will be part of unique and creative projects for a more sustainable future.

10) What are some ways that you've seen landscape architecture, urban design or urban planning create lasting, positive change within a community?

A landscape or urban design project creates a lasting and positive change by generating a strong sense of place that is both unique and familiar. New York's Central Park comes to mind, with its horse carriages and mall of trees. Central Park works well with its surroundings by offering the community a sheltered forest haven in the middle of a hub of infrastructure. The urban design creates a positive impact by becoming familiar and functional, along with its unique features.