Architect Mia Lehrer

Everything in Moderation—A Motto to Live By

Architect Mia Lehrer is the founder of the Los Angeles-based landscape architecture and urban design firm Mia Lehrer + Associates. Before participating in a panel on whether the digital age is killing public space, she talked about why oak trees can be tough to deal with, and why she thinks she’d make a good parrot, in the Zócalo green room.

Q:
What do you wake up to?

A:
I wake up to a doggy that sleeps on my head.

Q:
What is the last habit you tried to kick?

A:
I tried to kick wine, but, you know, I realized that “everything in moderation”—that’s a good motto to live by. When you’ve only ever had four glasses at once before you have to stop, I was convinced by a group of very serious professionals, that’s not alcoholism.

Q:
What’s the most difficult plant to work with?

A:
Ooh … Oaks are hard to work with. You know, they’re important California friends, and they need the right place and the right amount of space, the right conditions.

Q:
What does it take to get you out on a dance floor?

A:
Music. I would say, Latin music.

Q:
Who was your childhood hero?

A:
My father.

Q:
What do you love to hate?

A:
Road rage.

Q:
What animal would you want to be?

A:
A parrot. They’re really smart, and they live a long time, and they learn how to talk like humans. I think I’d make a good friend parrot.

Q:
What’s your favorite park in the world?

A:
You’ve just really given me a hard one. I’m traveling the world as we speak. [Pauses to think.] I’ll have to keep it more urban. The Noguchi sculpture garden adjacent to the museum of art in Jerusalem.

Q:
When did you last break a sweat?

A:
Yesterday—exercising in the morning with a lovely trainer whose name is Andrew Ogelvie.

Q:
How do you like your steak?

A:
Medium rare.

*Photo by Jake Fabricius.
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