Designing Woman

Aq 905 34pg 0001

Melanie Mackenzie attended her first AQUA Show in 2004, drawn by Genesis 3 Design Group sessions and the design/build pavilion on the show floor. A self-described "convert," Mackenzie, known also by her maiden name, Melanie Jauregui, says she'll be back to gain education and inspiration.

"As a water-shaper, people like Janet Lennox Moyer and Anthony Archer-Wills are my icons. In landscape architecture, that's as good as it gets. James van Sweden is also huge to me because he's in.uenced my work so much, and to see him in person was very energizing. There were some things he said about bringing the water up to the home that I've now used on several occasions. He also talked about making visual linkages with two separate water features so that they appear to be together. That instantly solved a design issue that I had on a project I was working on at the time. As soon as I walked out of the session I knew what I was going to do. It really helped me move forward with the project."

ILLUMINATING IDEAS

"One of the main reasons I came to AQUA was to attend the landscape lighting session with Janet Lennox Moyer. She is fabulously talented and what she is doing is unique. I have always admired her work, and it was extremely helpful to hear her explain various design features that she's done. I've used some of those techniques since then, such as the way she lights branches. I was very excited about seeing her, getting her book and having it signed."

IMPRESSIVE PRODUCTS "I was very impressed with the array and the quality of products in the trade show; just about everything outside seems to be addressed in terms of hardscaping. I do comprehensive landscape design, not just watershapes, so I end up specifying a wide range of products and materials, from birdbaths to lumber and pavers. It was very helpful for me to establish working relationships with some of the suppliers at AQUA. There were some fabulous fountain builders with self-contained, prefabricated fountains that I can just place in a design and they're beautiful and different. The same with lighting. There were probably five different vendors that were brandnew to me, and I'm now using their products. The show was instrumental in helping me make those contacts."

PASSION AND INSPIRATION

"I focus on residential work because that's what I love, and I do very custom designs for each individual rather than cookie-cutter work. That's one of the reasons the Genesis 3 program is so fascinating to me and completely a part of my whole design philosophy. I believe in comprehensive design; how the overall project works together, how it fits into the location and, most importantly, how it fits with what the clients are about, their personalities.

When you team up with Genesis 3, you can't help but just keep going up. They've made a marked impact on our industry and on what people believe they can do.

That's the key โ€” believing that you can produce a better product, serve people better, be more artistic. If you believe in the possibilities, they start to occur."

Service Stats

Melanie Mackenzie became fascinated with landscape design while pursuing a career in the fine arts in Sedona, Ariz. She returned to school to study landscape architecture, and after an eight-year internship with Wiley Group Landscape Architecture in San Diego, she founded Biomirage Landscape & Garden Design in 1992, focusing on high-end, custom residential watershape, landscape and garden design. The recipient of many design awards, her projects have been widely featured in professional and consumer publications. Speaking of her first experience at AQUA last year, Mackenzie says, "I went to see the people who have really excited me in the past with their work. I wanted to find out their secrets, and I did! I had a great time at AQUA, and I'll be back."

Aq 905 34pg 0002
Content Library
Dig through our best stories from the magazine, all sorted by category for easy surfing.
Read More
Content Library
Buyer's Guide
Find manufacturers and suppliers in the most extensive searchable database in the industry.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide