Wantland Ink - About People

Isaac Wantland

Principal - Landscape Architect

I started Wantland Ink Landscape Architecture in 2009, with a commitment to professional service excellence. Wantland Ink was a natural step for me, a culmination of my personal history, experiences, and formal training.

I was born in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau to Ed, an engineer with a traceable amount of Cherokee blood in his veins, and Nancy, a stylist raised on generational Tennessee farm. You might say I was born for the artistic, intuitive, yet technical work I endeavor to undertake. With parents who encouraged me to “go outside and not come home until dark,” exploring the forests and glades that surrounded my childhood home was a daily activity.

As soon as I could hold a pencil, I took it with me. I observed and I drew. I drew landscapes. I drew the fauna and flora around me. I drew the structures, habited or abandoned, and often the ones I imagined should be there. I built things, too: models and forts. Being an avid reader and linguaphile, I also created or interpreted stories for all of the above. Fast forward to today, and essentially, I utilize every tool from those toolboxes.

Throughout secondary school, I immersed myself in the dichotomy of art and science, reveling in the creativity provided via art instruction and the technical rigor of geometry. Initially aimed for a career in architecture, I reset my compass to landscape architecture after reading an article comparing the two. It posited that the primary goal of sustainable architecture is to design the least impacting structure possible, whereas for landscape architecture, the opposite is true: add, re-plant, expand, and supplement what is extant in pursuit of green ideals. Though perhaps a bit simplistic, this influenced me to declare my major as a freshman. I never looked back.

I gained valuable insight in college, building on an innate ability to discern and interpret natural systems. I earned a degree in landscape architecture, graduated magna cum laude, and won several awards along the way. With a thirst for knowledge, I augmented my environmental design studies, enrolled every summer quarter, and obtained a minor in horticulture. The subsequent 20 years of professional experience has taken me through site designs, details, and planting plans for resorts, museums, educational, commercial, and institutional campuses, parks and greenways, private residences, working farms, and large estates. In addition, travels to both public spaces and private gardens across the world has allowed me to observe what works and what doesn’t, what is excellent and what could have been.

My passion lies with assisting clients - be they individual landholders or corporate entities - with the stewardship of land. Whether integrating new structures or site elements, programming for complex uses, or long range master planning, I am always striving for a harmonious balance of an organizing geometry, literal or derived, taking cues from existing and/or proposed architecture, and using the patterns and precepts of ecological systems to guide and inform every design decision.