James Munden is a Partner at MFLA with 15 years of experience in landscape architecture, urban design, and community development. He received his BA (Honors) degree and postgraduate diploma in landscape architecture from the University of Central England in Birmingham, U.K.
Since 2010, James has been a part of MFLA working on high profile and challenging projects in the Bay Area, including Brickyard Cove East Shore State Park, Emeryville Center of Community Life, 181 Fremont Poetry Garden (POPOS), Multi-family residential homes in Hayes Valley, Santa Clara Family Justice Center in San Jose, and Silver Oak Winery in Alexander Valley.
James’s career began in the U.K. working three years on high profile research & development projects that sparked his passion for innovative and sustainable design; before moving to London where he received his license as a landscape architect. He continued working as a project manger for five years at a multidisciplinary firm managing the design and construction phase of multiple public space projects in London including Greenwich Peninsula’s Parkside District and New Street Square in London’s financial district.
Being a lead in award winning projects, James expresses an importance in identifying the diverse relationships people have with their environment. Acknowledging previous land use, physically and culturally, James incorporates innovation into high quality designs that are artistic, relevant, and sustainable.
James displays an enthusiasm for community participation by creatively collaborating on project ideas with community users. He is co-founder of WalkStop, a San Francisco based group focused on way-finding and encouraging the use of walking while strengthening the livelihood of neighborhoods through successful design and storytelling.
Outside the studio, James is getting his hands dirty growing prize winning ‘courgettes’ in his back garden, creating land art whenever the opportunity arises and building tree forts for his daughter Olive.
Marta Fry is the founding partner of MFLA, with over 35 years of experience in the field of landscape architecture and urban design. Marta received her BA in Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State University followed by her Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Marta’s design philosophy is founded on intellectual curiosity and the exploration of new expressions for landscape design. In 1990, Marta established MFLA in San Francisco, CA where she leads her team in a number of projects both private and public.
Marta's projects have been executed internationally, domestically and regionally, and include urban design, infill and redevelopment sites, parks, historic restoration, streetscapes, resort and and hospitality development, multi-family housing, master planning, corporate and institutional campuses, and agricultural and estate garden design.
Outside the Studio Marta is occupied with the on-going upkeep of her 100 year old “Lone Mountain Tearoom” originally an artist’s painting studio and later a Prohibition-era speakeasy, as well as the gardens that surround her urban oasis; her laboratory for horticultural experimentation. Travel, Morocco and France being the most recent, experimenting with different cuisines, as well upholding her reputation as an indefatigable host provides fertile ground for both clients, colleagues, and friends to share in a salon environment of lively debate, food and wine. Her constant companion Max, the tri-colored beagle, and the newest family addition Beau, the Lab-Catahoula mix, keep her on the city streets and beaches in an attempt to exhaust these little rascals.
Ambrose Luk is a design associate at MFLA. He received his Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design with distinction and was awarded an ASLA Certificate of Merit. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Design in Architectural Studies from Arizona State University, where he graduated summa cum laude and received the school’s Design Excellence Award.
Formally trained in graphic design, Ambrose is interested in advocating the practice and values of landscape architecture through visual media. He was a recipient of the Arizona ASLA Professional Awards Honor in Communication and Research for his work in the Scottsdale Sustainable Systems Inventory. During his time at Harvard, he collaborated on From Fallow, a forthcoming publication featuring 100 design ideas for abandoned urban landscapes.
A native of Hong Kong and Arizona, Ambrose draws inspirations from disparate forms of environments; from high-density urban archipelagos to expansive desert landscape. His design philosophy aims to synthesize natural and urban experiences to create unexpected delights that enchant people’s lives. Outside the studio, Ambrose enjoys discovering hidden artifacts in cities and exploring parklands across the country. He was the proud owner of a vegetable garden where he grew snow peas under the blistering desert sun.
Alison Malouf is a design associate at MFLA. She received a SB in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. During her academic career, Alison led or assisted on a number of research projects related to technology and the built environment. She has received several fellowships, grants, and scholarships to support these projects, including the Boston Community Service Fellowship, which enabled her to contribute to the development of MapSwipe for Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross, and the Penny White Fellowship, which resulted in a guide to the anti-surveillance properties of landscape architectural features.
Alison maintains an art practice that uses constraints and conventions of the design disciplines to work through questions about the manufacture of space and our relationship with digital tools. These investigations have resulted in a design philosophy that considers social and economic forces to be components of the ecosystem in the same way as wind or water. Though she has visited many odd and interesting corners of the world, she finds California an especially fascinating place to study the production of landscape. The breathtaking scenery of the Bay Area is shaped by such turbulent social and environmental issues that nuanced, multivalent resilience is a base requirement rather than an extra service.
Outside of the studio, Alison is outside. She is an avid backpacker who struggles to walk through a forest without botanizing. Her own garden consists of strange specimen plants, Frankensteinian horticultural experiments, and all the fruits and vegetables she could never grow in her hometown of Cleveland, which has winter.