Laura Kirk DHM Design President | Managing Principal | PLA (CO) | ASLA

A fourth generation Colorado native, Laura Kirk is deeply invested in the western landscape and the people that live here. She has carved her own path of leadership by building a spirit of community and shared strength that celebrates the unique contributions of every person she meets.

"In a different age, my mother would have been a landscape architect. She loved the land. The family garden was designed by the first licensed female landscape architect in Colorado, Jane Silverstein Ries."

Laura graduated with a Master's of Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado in Denver. She gravitated toward the field, nurtured by civic and community-minded parents, who were integral to the creation of the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Laura joined DHM in 1991 and after a few years, the call toward a small-town life beckoned. With the difficult decision made to leave Denver for the Western Slope, she sat down with DHM partners Dick Marshall and Bob Smith to reluctantly break the news. Instead of saying goodbye, they asked if she would like to continue working for the firm from her new home. Laura and her husband, Dave Carpenter, opened DHM’s first branch office in Carbondale in 1998 - they celebrate 20 years in the valley this summer.
“Because of their openness, vision and lack of hesitation, the firm is where we are today. That pioneering spirit survives - it is gratifying to see how many people truly love working at DHM.”
As a Certified Healing Garden Designer, Laura loves to create opportunities for people to interact with the land in ways that restore and renew. “We carry with us memories of times spent in the landscape during our childhood: wandering through a grandmother’s garden, building a fort from leftover woodpiles, or scratching our names in the dirt on the playground. In a world of stress, anxiety and isolation, the landscape offers healing, connection and self-expression.”
"I love the diversity of landscape architecture. There is always something new to learn and design. One day, I’m working on a healing garden and the next a park or residential landscape. It is a constant cycle of discovery, challenge and gratification."

True Nature Healing Arts in Carbondale, Colorado.

At the True Nature Healing Garden, she worked with the design team and visionary owners to create a therapeutic environment shaped to support the healing work undertaken at the yoga studio and spa. The design celebrates the connection between land and spirit, and features a labyrinth, reflexology path, and a new kiva building opening this month.

Reflexology path, True Nature Healing Arts

Laura believes collaboration is a key component to the success of any project. Throughout the creative design process, she remains mindful of the historic, cultural, and ecological attributes of the site. She brings people together. Through artful information gathering and consensus building, her true gift is arriving at design solutions that satisfy diverse interests.

Laura and her son, Sam, exploring the Atacama Desert in Chile

Laura's dog, Stella, enjoying the peaceful backyard garden where Laura and her husband Dave live. Together they have two sons, Sam and Ben, both pursuing careers in the design profession.
“I am honored and gratified to work at DHM where our work influences these amazing places where we live and practice. I want people to feel empowered to share their voice in making great things happen.”

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