ORCA is oregon/california

We are a female-founded landscape design and outdoor product studio. We use plants and natural materials in their rawest forms to re/connect people with the earth.

The work embodies the cycles of nature: The pent up energy of a seed, a rock carved by years of water, old growth redwood with a journal of scars, the native grass that persists season after season to claim its land, the decay and death of matter. And beginning this revolution of seasons and change again and again. We are a collaborator with the natural flux of the wild.

Our designs balance permanence and impermanence. As salt oxidizes the metal and the wood silvers, we acknowledge earth settling in. Nature can appear permanent but only for a fragment of time just as light falls into shadow. Our goal is to support each material in its journey and foster its pattern by selecting the right materials for the outdoors and using it in a way that supports vision and function. 

ORCA landscapes are a reflection of the humans that occupy them: The family settling roots into their land, the kid that uses an old oak as a fort, the table that provides evening conversation, the fire where two people create a community of many. We work to bring a deeper connection between nature and the people that inhabit a space. A garden’s biorhythm is a reflection of ourselves. Our work exists to expand and deepen this relationship inward.

To us, the work is never done. The art and function that we build is simply a mark of lineage that will continue beyond us. The flora matures into creatures of its own existence. The stone becomes worn to show the paths we found most common. The soil tells stories of life, death and everything in-between. When a landscape is complete, it is simply beginning.

Our ethos

Materials with a light footprint and a substantial story. 

We source our materials as close to the site as possible. This means we encourage wood that doesn’t get shipped far and is harvested with sustainable methods. The stone we use comes from this half of the hemisphere. The plants we select are as drought tolerant as the design allows.

We prefer materials as raw as possible so they can breathe. This means we don’t specify chemical sealants, stabilizers, varnishes, and often as little concrete as possible. This also means we do not use plastics including synthetic turf and artificial decking.

We are a small business that was founded on a bedrock of hardworking hands and local community. We specify all of our furnishing, masonry, steel, textiles, and carpentry custom because of our access to incredibly skilled humans and the support we give to their art. We see value in paying more for products that are made by people we know.