2022 Ones to Watch: Ian Ramey, Principal, Landscape Architect at Copley Wolff Design Group

June 10, 2022 - Spotlights

What recent project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? There are 2 projects I am most proud of and they are vastly different. The first is a master plan redevelopment we are doing in Somerville. The project sets a comprehensive vision to transform a desolate and degraded site into a vibrant, activated, and functional new neighborhood that will support innovation and foster creative enterprises. The project has it all: Place-making, integrated resiliency, and a progressive approach to mobility, all built around an extensive and diverse public realm network. The second is a small but socially important project that created a pop-up cottage village for unhoused people in Boston. The goal of the project was to assist people struggling with homelessness and drug addiction to get off the streets and provide a dignified transitional habitation space to help them reclaim their footing. Our role was small but impactful.

What does it take to succeed in your specific industry? Resiliency. It is a concept that is central to all landscape design work because it is the essential strategy for dealing with climate change and creating successful places that stand the test of time. Being resilient as a professional allows one to be adaptable and balanced through both the fast-paced day to day demands of today’s design practice as well as focused and steadfast through the long arc of a project’s development process. Being resilient means showing up every day with renewed energy and drive to keep innovating, collaborating, and seeking better solutions to realize the vision.

What led you to your current profession? Growing up in rural western Massachusetts, I spent much of my youth playing in the woods and fields of the Berkshire foothills. I have always loved and drawn inspiration from the natural world and more specifically, been intrigued by the harmonious integration of the built form with the environment. When I entered college I thought I wanted to be an engineer and while I loved the technical aspects and critical thinking approach that came with it, I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the lack of artistry and nature-based influence. When rethinking my major, I was introduced to landscape architecture and immediately was hooked on the blend of ecology, art, engineering, and architecture.

What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?

  1. Visit every continent 
  2. Summit a 20,000 foot mountain
  3. Live in a foreign country for a year.

What are you doing when you aren’t working? Cooking for my family, master planning my yard, and watching my kids’ numerous sporting events.




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