5 Under 40 Awards 2016: John Haven

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We are only eight days away from our 5 Under 40 celebration. Today we present John Haven nominated in the field of landscape design.

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Not everyone decides on a career path in middle school, but his was clear to John Haven even at a tender age. Diverse but connected interests—spending time in his grandmother’s garden, playing with Legos, drawing, summer jobs at a local plant nursery—eventually led him to pursue landscape architecture at Purdue University. Now a senior associate at LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects in Boston, Haven has spent the past twelve years designing beautiful, seamlessly integrated landscapes in New England, New York, and California.

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Growing up in Indiana gave Haven a strong Midwestern sensibility that he still brings to his work. A clear sense of restraint and clarity is apparent at first glance, but hallmarks of his work are more deeply rooted in the depth and diversity of the plant materials he selects for each project. Haven’s strength is in layering plant material to add richness to the overall design without it feeling overly “gardenesque.” “I think planting is one of the most difficult and exciting things to do because it’s always evolving and changing,” he says. “Planting is the most dynamic part of any design.”

Haven’s dynamic work has already garnered numerous awards, most recently an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Projects range from a traditional courtyard garden in Chestnut Hill to a modernist landscape on the Pacific coast of California. “Even though I’m using different plant materials and paving materials, what excites me is when I look at a California project versus one in New England, they still look like they came from the same person,” says Haven. “It’s exciting to me that I’ve been able to work all over the map and apply these principles to all of these projects.”

John Haven’s Rug Inspiration

“Growing up in Indiana, I have always been enamored by the endless views of flat farmland and distant trees and hedgerows that characterize the much of the state. Inspired by this, my design is an interpretation of the layers that make up this agrarian landscape: a meandering waterway, the patchwork grid of fields laid out over the land, and the trees that grow organically outward from the water.”

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The “5 Under 40” celebration is open to the public. Join us by purchasing your tickets here.

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