Following in Father’s Footsteps

Story/Video posted December 4, 2017 in News by Alyssa Inman


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Following in her father’s footsteps, Natalie Brown is a third year landscape architecture student and hopes one day to become a resort designer.

A career focused on resort life may seem inviting, but getting to be a landscape architecture major isnt a glamorous process. 

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TInside the Stuckman Family Building, home to a majority Penn State's the design majors and hundreds of studio spaces, tensions are high and students are stressed, especially during finals week. Some students spend 48 or more hours in the same building – they eat, sleep, work, and repeat.

Not only is her dad her cheerleader, but he’s her biggest supporter as well.

“With my dad being a landscape architect, his biggest advice to me is ‘keep going,’” Brown said, laughing. “With landscape architecture, and pretty much any architecture major, you are having long hours. It’s brutal, and his biggest thing is keep going, keep setting your mind on finishing all your work.” 

“He’s also my biggest support system to kind of go out and do whatever I want, choose a sector within my profession, to do anything, and explore whatever I want to do,” Brown said.

Although being in this major can be brutal, there is a lot of good that comes out of the long hours, the difficult classes, and the hard work. With only 30 students in each year of the five-year program, the students become very close, which creates a special bond. 

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“Your professors and the friends that you make within those studios are pretty much your family,” Brown said. “They’re there with you at 9 a.m. during class time to 2 a.m. during deadlines, so it’s a pretty amazing atmosphere.”

Not only is the family-like environment something that Brown loves about her major, but she also hopes to make the spaces she designs environmentally conscious.

“I’m interested in sustainability work within urbanized areas,” Brown said. “How to make different urban settings more ecologically friendly and bring the green back into the concrete jungle.”

She has the opportunity to study abroad next fall, where she said she hopes to learn more about landscape architecture and design in Europe.

Side projects: designing and 3D printing


With her minor in sculpture, Brown makes furniture in her free time. Last semester, she made a chair. Brown is also in a 3D printing class, where she scanned her head and shoulders and 3D printed them, which took a total of nine and a half hours to print.