environmental design for the best climates in the world

David Cristiani

Landscape Architect and founder of Quercus

David has over 27 years of experience designing environments in the Southwest. His projects include a variety of resource-conservative commercial, public, and residential designs. He has merged the practice of landscape design with his knowledge of climate and the study of arid-region plant geography and species composition. This insight has proven useful for site-specific design work and for assisting regional growers, even collecting seed and cuttings for large-scale production of promising high desert plant introductions. David also contributes to various trade publications and is sought after to provide programs on high desert landscape topics.

Professional Registration

Registered Landscape Architect: NM #307; TX #2140; NV #668

College Education

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design, 1988, the University of Oklahoma in Norman OK

Continuing Education

Professional study, presentations at trade conferences, travel

Awards / Project Certifications

  • LEED certification in progress: US Bureau of Reclamation - Date Street Buildings #100 / #200, Boulder City NV
  • LEED Platinum certified, 2011: US Bureau of Reclamation - Lower Colorado Regional Office Green Building, Boulder City NV
  • LEED Bronze certified, 2009: Paseo Nuevo Offices, Albuquerque NM
  • LEED Bronze certified, 2004: Baca / Dlo'ay azhi Community School, Prewitt NM
  • LEED NC v2 certified, 2003: First Mesa Elementary School, Polacca AZ

Publications

  • "Regional Picks, Southwest: Plant This With That", Fine Gardening, April 2015.
  • "Soft and Sharp", Southwest Trees and Turf, May-June 2014.
  • "Southwest Subtlety", Southwest Trees and Turf, May-June 2012.
  • "Unique Southwest Design Strategies", Southwest Trees and Turf, June 2004.
  • "Bold and Beautiful", Southwest Trees and Turf, October 2003.
  • "Reborn Retro", NMASLA News, Summer 2003.
  • "Midnight At The Oasis", Southwest Trees and Turf, July/August 2003.
  • "Scenes In Seed Collecting", NMASLA News, Spring 2003.
  • "Another Angle On The Desert", NMASLA News, Winter 2003.
  • "A Plethora of Prickly Pears", Southwest Trees and Turf, June 2001.
  • "Agave Sets a Southwest Style", Southwest Trees and Turf, March 2001.
  • "Trees for the High Desert", Southwest Trees and Turf, July 1999.

Mentions

  • Lowe's Creative Ideas, "High-Desert Drama". Birmingham, AL: SPConnect, March-April 2010.
  • Calhoun, Scott E. "The Hot Garden". Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2009.
  • Su Casa Magazine, "A Design For All Seasons" by Gussie Fauntleroy. Albuquerque, NM: Hacienda Press / Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico, Spring 2009.
  • Wildflower Magazine, "True Colors" by Scott Calhoun. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: The University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2008.
  • Western Interiors & Design, "Color Fields: Desert" by Amanda Dameron. Los Angeles, CA: Western Interiors & Design, LLC, April/May 2008.
  • Calhoun, Scott E. "Designer Plant Combinations". North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2008.
  • Calhoun, Scott E. "Chasing Wildflowers". Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2007.
  • "Natural Stones in Landscape Design", Landscape Architect and Specifier News, October 2005.
  • "The State Of Landscape Architecture: Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque", Sources & Design, May/June 2003.
  • "Fragrant Natives for the Rockies and Southwest" (consulted for James Knopf, ASLA), The American Gardener, March/April 1999.

Online

  • "It's a Dry Heat" (current garden and outdoors blog), El Paso TX. 2013 to present.
  • "The Desert Edge" (former garden and outdoors blog), Albuquerque NM. 2005 to 2013.

Broadcast

  • "Drought Garden Balance interview", Central Texas Gardener, KLRU TV, Austin TX. February 2013.

Presentations

  • "Cactus Can-Do", Cactus CanDo-EPCRC_2015-03-07, El Paso Cactus and Rock Club, El Paso TX, March 2015.
  • "Using the Underused", Sun Country Landscape Conference, El Paso TX, November 2014.
  • "Landscape Design Basics", SunSCAPE workshop, The University of Texas at El Paso Centennial Museum, El Paso TX, October 2014.
  • "A Chihuahuan Desert Place", Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Las Cruces Chapter, Las Cruces NM, April 2014.
  • "Xeriscape - A New Classic", 2014 Lea County Master Gardeners Water Wise Landscape Conference, Hobbs NM, March 2014.
  • "A Sense of Place: space and form to power a garden", Santa Fe Master Gardener Symposium, Santa Fe NM, November 2013.
  • "Getting Real: Landscapes for Temporary Irrigation", West Texas Irrigation Association, El Paso TX, March 2013.
  • "Create a Tough Landscape Through Sustainable Design", ProGreen Expo, Denver CO, January 2013.
  • "Use Regionalism To Inspire Garden Design", ProGreen Expo, Denver CO, January 2013.
  • "Planting Possibilities", Desert Green, Las Vegas NV, October 2012.
  • "SW Design Details", Desert Green, Las Vegas NV, October 2012.
  • "Design", SunSCAPE workshop, The University of Texas at El Paso Centennial Museum, El Paso TX, April 2012.
  • "Approaching a Not-So-Blank Slate", Sun Country Landscape Conference, Las Cruces NM, October 2011.
  • "Connecting Urban Forestry + Landscape Architecture", Texas Trees Conference Tree Academy, Waco TX, October 2011.
  • "Designing Gardens / Deluge to Drought", Travis County Master Gardeners, Austin TX, October 2011.
  • "Xeriscaping with Native / Adapted Plants (water harvesting)", Texas Rainwater Catchment Association 2011 Conference, Kerrville TX, March 2011.
  • "Ecoregions That Inform the Landscape", North Dakota State University, Fargo ND, February 2011.
  • "Desert Eclectic", Doña Ana County Master Gardeners class, Las Cruces NM, October 2010.
  • "Code of the West: Landscapes Regulations That Do Justice to a Dry Country", co-presented with two colleagues at the Eco El Paso Conference, El Paso TX, September 2010.
  • "Landscapes of Enchantment", 2010 Annual Meeting of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Silver City NM, August 2010.
  • "The Use of Cacti and Native Plants in the Landscape: plant combinations for the varied ecoregions of New Mexico", New Mexico State Master Gardener Conference, Albuquerque NM, June 2010.
  • "LEEDing With the Landscape: Site Planning Revisited", co-presented with two colleagues for the US Green Building Council, Chihuahuan Desert Chapter monthly meeting, El Paso TX, May 2010.
  • "Using Native Plants as a Landscape Architect: trials and triumphs in creating a desert sense-of-place", Las Vegas NV, Sierra Vista AZ and Albuquerque NM, winter-spring 2010.
  • "Chihuahuan Natives for the Western Garden", Desert Green Conference, Henderson NV, October 2009.
  • "Southwest Design Solutions: taking cues from successful landscape models in the Great American Southwest", Desert Green Conference, Henderson NV, October 2009.
  • "Arid Retro", Desert Horticulture Conference, Tucson AZ, May 2009.
  • "Ecoregional Design", the Semi-Arid Café monthly meeting, Santa Fe NM, April 2009.
  • "Beautiful Landscapes for the Creatively Challenged", El Paso Home and Garden Show, El Paso TX, March 2009.
  • "Designer Desert", Native Plant Society of New Mexico El Paso Chapter monthly meeting, March 2009.
  • "Introduction to Landscape Design", Valencia County Master Gardeners class, Belen NM, April 2008.
  • "The Big Picture: Landscapes Inspired and Informed by Natural Plant Communities", Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM, May 2007.
  • "Designing for All Seasons", Permian Basin Master Gardeners / recertification class, Midland TX, May 2007.
  • "The State of Xeriscape", Sun Country Landscape Conference, El Paso TX, March 2006.
  • "Ecoregional Gardens", Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM, February 2005.
  • "Plant Selection" class, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) Instructor, Albuquerque NM, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2005 Semesters.
  • "Beyond Cottonwoods and Chamisa: Landscapes That Celebrate the New Mexico Desert", Valencia County Xeriscape Club, Belen NM, November 2004.
  • "Beyond Chamisa: A Landscape Workshop for Albuquerque", Xeric Garden Club, Albuquerque NM, January 2004.
  • "Site Specific Design", Desert Green Conference, Henderson NV, November 2003.
  • "Monthly Plant Profiles", Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Albuquerque Chapter, March - May 2003.
  • "Xeriscape Design: Landscapes With Local Flavor", High Desert Landscape Conference, Sierra Vista AZ, February 2003.
  • "Ay Chihuahua: Designing a Landscape With Local Flavor", Sun Country Landscape Conference, El Paso TX, October 2002.
  • "Beyond Enviro-Chic: Sense + Place in the Albuquerque Landscape", Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque NM, May 2002.
  • "Landscape Design With and For Native Plants: Solutions for the Chihuahuan Desert Region", Native Plant Society of New Mexico, El Paso Chapter, September 2001.
  • "The Use of Native Plants In the Landscape: As Part of Preserving the Ecosystem", New Mexico Master Gardener's Conference, May 2001.
  • "Landscape Design With Native and Xeric Plants: Solutions for the upper Chihuahuan Desert region of Albuquerque and central New Mexico", UNM Society of Landscape Architecture Students, Albuquerque NM, April 2001.
  • "Basics and Beyond: Xeriscape Workshop", March 2001.
  • "What's Your Zone?", Native Plant Society of New Mexico, Albuquerque Chapter, February 2001.
  • "Landscape 101: Plant Grouping, Nuts and Bolts, and Designing a Landscape Together", Los Altos Christian Church Avocational College, June 2000.
  • "Designing For Trees", Sun Country Tree Conference, El Paso TX, November 1999.
  • "Landscaping Troublespots", Plants of the Southwest Lecture Series, Albuquerque NM, April 1999.
  • "Successful Landscape Principles", High Desert Landscape Conference, Sierra Vista AZ, February 1998.
  • "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Landscape Design Do's and Dont's in the High Desert", Albuquerque NM and Sierra Vista AZ, 1996-1998.