Martin Flores’ love of urbanity, outdoors and physical form has always influenced how he guided his career in landscape architecture.

“When our family voted where to go on vacation, I was the only one wanting to go to a city rather than a national park or rural setting,” he said. “On my birthday, I begged my mom to take me to the Downtown drugstore rather than a pizza house, where I always ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and sat at the counter watching people pass by the large window that faced the street.”

Always drawing, Martin was introduced to a drafting class in seventh grade — the beginning of realizing that his visual ideas, attention to detail and visual concepts can come together.

A high school career-counseling class identified a career best for him — landscape architecture. The counseling office had no additional information about the profession — just a very short paragraph which he read a few times and decided then and there that his future would be in landscape design.

After graduating high school, he found a landscape architecture class at a junior college and was captured. A seasoned professional taught the class, grunting and groaning at the new ramps and railings required for the Americans With Disabilities Act. The professor, recognizing Martin’s eagerness to learn, encouraged him to develop his talent for conceptualization.

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