With over fifteen years of experience solving complex institutional and urban design challenges, Firma’s founding principal, Scott Dismukes, has developed a portfolio that includes such high-profile projects as The Metropolitan Museum of Art 5th Avenue Plaza, the new Weill Roof Terrace at Carnegie Hall, and the National Gallery of Art’s Landscape Renewal Master Plan. In addition to extensive experience working with cultural and educational institutions, Scott has also brought his keen eye for design and detail to public parks, mixed-use developments and large-scale master planning initiatives.
Southern-born with a Bachelor of Science from the University of the South and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Auburn University, Scott worked for 12 years at OLIN in Philadelphia, PA, where he managed a variety of projects and honed not only his craft but also his thoughtful approach to landscape architecture. In 2015 Scott relocated to Nashville, TN where he and his wife Mary could raise their young children and where he could establish a studio to meet the demands of the growing regional market while still serving clients throughout the country.
Scott's core principles for the studio are firmly rooted in the name he gave it. Referencing ‘terra firma,’ the Latin phrase meaning ‘solid earth,’ Firma is a design studio that draws upon the unerring solidity of the landscape not only for the context but also for the inspiration it provides. Scott’s design concepts echo the “best practices” seen in nature, where every element is at once beautiful and functional and every detail contributes to an astonishing whole. As evidenced by his extensive portfolio of highly acclaimed projects, Scott knows how to root creativity with pragmatism and therefore devise spaces that ultimately seem as inevitable as nature itself. This emphasis on groundedness is as essential to the process at Firma as it is to the final product. Conducting business in a way that is always deliberate and efficient, Scott has established himself as a dependable and dynamic leader in the industry.
At Firma, we view each project through four major lenses:
AESTHETICS AND BEAUTY // ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE // ECONOMIC VIABILITY // SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
At the drawing board, the first question we ask is: Will it inspire?
Our mission is to create beautiful places that make people pause and investigate—though only within the parameters framed by the following questions:
1. Will it be sustainable with respect to the environment? Specifically, a high-performing landscape that enhances and protects the site’s natural features?
2. Is it economically viable? Will it be sustainable with respect to project costs as well as long-term maintenance cost? Will it fuel the local economy?
3. Does it have the power to consistently engage people? Will it serve current and future users and strengthen the local community?
Answering yes to each of these questions ensures the places we craft are healthy, prosperous and visually appealing now and over the long term.