Women is...: Christy Ten Eyck Bridge to the Outdoors

Christy Ten Eyck Bridge to the Outdoors

What She Does: Landscape architecture

Born: 1959

Landscape Architecture Her Biz: In 1997, Ten Eyck opened her own firm and, with her staff of three, is working on some 30 projects, including the design of the public park that will go on the 77-acre site of the former Phoenix Indian School.

The Profession: "A landscape architect creates the transition between the building and the natural world."

Secret to Her Success: "It's important to be able to put yourself in the clients' shoes, speak their language and look at the project from their perspective."

Local Landscaping Trends: Because of the water situation, Phoenix is a forerunner in using indigenous plants.

Breaking the Mold: "In the past, this field has been male-dominated, but it's changing. One of the toughest things to get used to is being on construction sites, which are pretty macho. It's a matter of learning how men communicate in that environment. The discrimination I see more often is the perception that landscape architects are totally subservient to architects."

Advice to Aspiring Landscape Architects: "The only prerequisite is a love for the outdoors. Explore all the different facets of the field -- from large-scale master planning to residential garden design to working with a golf course architect."

Pet Peeve: "Circular driveways. They force you to give up your front garden to the automobile."

Her Own landscape: "My yard is totally wild. I've got coyotes and javelina sitting on my patio. The previous owners had planted a lot of things that didn't belong here so I'm trying to bring the desert back."