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Vanessa Paz

Designer

I grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico, in a very dense urban environment. My tiny garden there was enough to connect me with the natural world, filled with a citrus tree, aloe vera, various herbs and the magical insects that inhabitant the garden. My favorite holidays were visits to rural areas and camping on the beach where I was able to fully connect my senses to the vast diversity of ecosystems, making the smell of guava trees, taste of pomegranates, sounds of waves, and infinite visual and tactile textures the joy of my memories.

Deciding what to study for college was a challenge since my interests ranged from Agronomy, Forestry, and Architecture. I decided to study Architecture at the Universidad de Guadalajara hoping to some day merge my love of the outdoors and venture into landscape design. Moving to the United States as I entered into adulthood offered the opportunity to understand the importance of diversity for a resilient ecosystem among human and nonhuman habitats. I was connected to the language of permaculture, agroforestry, and bio architecture while interning with Johan van Lengen, author of the Barefoot Architect, in his Center for Intuitive Technologies (TIBA) at the mata Atlantica in Brazil. There I was able to experience life using this ancient wisdom and see the challenges of living in the current system, where monetary currency is our primary trade and value system.

Living in the forests surrounding Nashville for the last 5 years, I feel passionate about reincorporating ceremony to the simplicity of life , from planting a garden, serving a meal, harvesting and processing food. Observing nature with all my senses and listening to peoples visions and needs are my guiding design principles.