Sustainable Suburban Design Competition || Keene, NH

Two Competitions: Sustainable Home Renovation & Suburban Backyard Homestead

Entries & Designers


Sustainable Home Renovation Design Competition
Runners Up
………………..Matthew & Adina Brewster, BIMiDEAS, Project A-11

First Place
………………..Karolina Kawiaka, Project A-12

Suburban Backyard Homestead Design Competition
Honorable Mention for Creative Community Linkages
………………..Philip Duchastel, Project B-14

Runners Up
………………..Karen Fitzgerald & Kyle Barker, Project B-11
………………..Ethan Thompson & Kirk Jones, The Urban Homesteader, Project B-15
………………..Design Collective, Project B-18

First Place
………………..Renee LaGue, Project B-12

The entries:

Explore all the entries here.

The designers:

Robert Barella (Project B-20)     I am from Newport, Rhode Island and am currently a student studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Rhode Island. I strive to take a sustainable approach to my designs, and believe that there is a great need for increased public awareness about the benefits of living sustainably. I enjoy studying native plant materials and researching alternative methods of energy generation.

Kyle Barker (Projects A-10 & B-11) is a licensed architect and LEED accredited professional who owns and operates the architectural firm Barker Architects, Inc. His focus in practice is on sustainable and socially responsible design and he feels the most successful projects are those that serve the community, improve our quality of life, and have a low environmental impact. He has produced many projects for municipalities, non-profits, and school districts, with over $100 million in built projects since he started his own practice in 2000. Mr. Barker has volunteered many hours of community planning through his involvement in PlanNH and the NH chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He often speaks about neighborhood design, social responsibility and the role of architects in society.

Matthew & Adina Brewster (Project A-11)     BIMiDEAS is a family owned residential design firm based in Seattle, WA. Matthew Brewster is a Certified Professional Building Designer and has been studying sustainable building and design at San Francisco Institute of Architecture and the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. Having been born and raised in Romania, Adina Brewster is an Intern Architect and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University in Timisoara. Together, Matt and Adina make a great team with a focus on sustainability, design, and construction. Visit for more information.

Design collective (Project B-18)     This team is a women-founded design collective from western Massachusetts. The design team consisted of permaculture designers, permaculture educators, architectural and landscape designers, green infrastructure specialists, community researchers and historians. The interdisciplinary nature of the team ensured a thorough site analysis, which revealed the opportunities and constraints of the site. Although the team ran out of time for the final design stage, they greatly enjoyed developing concepts for this homestead.

Philip Duchastel (Project B-14) is a retired educator now doing philosophy. He daily takes care of dogs, chickens and rabbits. He is in Putney, Vermont for the summer, but moving on to Boston for the fall.

Karen Fitzgerald (Projects A-10 & B-11) is a licensed landscape architect and planner and has worked professionally in New England and California. She established her design firm, FitzDesign Inc., in New Hampshire in 2003, and has been involved in community design and planning projects throughout the state. Karen holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design. She lives in Francestown, New Hampshire with her husband and three children where she is a passionate part-time organic gardener.

Eamonn Hutton (Project B-13) 

Karolina Kawiaka, AIA (Project A-12/B-16) is the principal of Karolina Kawiaka Studio Architecture which she established in 1994 in White River Junction, Vermont. Her firm’s work includes building, landscape and planning focusing on sustainable design, infrastructure, and connecting building to the landscape. She has completed a number of sustainable zero net energy houses and retrofits. She has a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University and is a senior lecturer at Dartmouth College where she teaches Architectural and Sustainable Design and works on many community sustainable architecture and planning projects with her students. Her current work includes projects in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Michigan, Washington State, and Washington, DC. Contact her at

Renee LaGue (Project B-12) received a Master’s degree from the Conway School of Landscape Design in June 2013. During the previous three years, she worked on sustainable farms, as a landscaper, and led youth throughout New England. She is currently looking for design, installation, and planning work. If her design piques your interest, feel free to contact her:

The Urban Homesteader (Project B-15) was launched in 2012 in Burlington, VT. We use a design-build-grow service model, providing whole site designs, installing key infrastructure elements, and managing cultivation activities to transition backyards into productive homesteads. For the Keene Backyard Homestead project Ethan Thompson was project coordinator and lead designer and Kirk Jones was water systems consultant and 3-D rendering guru. Feel free to contact Ethan:  (802) 598-3180 or

Gabriel Wallis (Project B-21)     My name is Gabriel Wallis, I’m from Newburyport Massachusetts and I am 21 years old. I am pretty new as a Permaculture Designer. I graduated from Pingree School in 2010 and took a gap year building furniture and exploring and surfing around Central America. I then spent my freshman year of College at University of Vermont as an Environmental Studies major. Craving surf and also wanting to get college credits done I went out to Santa Barbara City College this past year, it was there that I was introduced to Permaculture and took a Permaculture Design Course. That was the most transformative experience of my life. I now have focus. The day I got my certificate I drove with my new friend Cam, a Shaolin Tai Chi Master from Laos who had left after seeing his family get killed by the oppressive government and was now homeless in Santa Barbara. He also grew up in the jungle as a steward of a village Permaculture system and I figured he knew about a hundred times more about Permaculture than me, and I was right. We went to East End Eden Permaculture Farm in Ojai California where we set up a work trade with Connor Jones, a student of Geoff Lawton. Here, I was part of another PDC and got to live the Permaculture life for about a month and a half. I have come home because I have begun to feel a deep responsibility of helping to spread Permaculture around New England. Contact:  (978) 380-0453 or


One thought on “Entries & Designers

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Suburban Design Competition || Keene, NH

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s