Abby Rodewald

Genus Landscape Architects,

Landscape Architect



Our profession is built on the value of relationships and opportunities; how do you prepare for a meeting with a new client?

Preparing to meet with a new client is always different depending on the client and topic of our discussion. As with most people, I prefer to be as prepared and versed in the topic of discussion as can be.  Whether that means researching a potential project site, understanding an existing building and space, or simply just gathering information on the client themselves, doing these things helps me to lead conversations and ask the right questions.


We often design to improve the health of people and the environment; how do you wind down in the evenings to maintain a balanced lifestyle?

During my time, away from the office I enjoying being active. When the weather is nice, I love riding my bike, running and taking my dog, Emma, to the park. I enjoy exercising my creative talents through home renovation projects which most recently included gutting and renovating a 1900's home on the south side of Des Moines. I really appreciate the rewarding process of taking a dilapidated, eye sore and instilling character and life back into the property.


In 2016 technology is at our fingertips - what is your favorite app and/or website?

For those of you who already know me, you can attest that I'm awful at math! While I'm not much of a technology user, I do appreciate (and often find myself using) the calculator on my smartphone.


As professionals, we are versed in community interaction and collaboration; what are you involved in outside the realm of architecture/design?

Outside the realm of design, I am an active member of the Young Professionals community and currently serve as the President of the Young Professionals Connection, an organization that actively attracts and retains young professionals to Des Moines. My role on the board has provided me with countless opportunities to give back to the community and collaborate with other area professionals.


We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you?

I've had the privilege of being surrounded by strong female role models my entire life. From the early stages of my professional career here in Des Moines I was fortunate to work alongside Jill Boetger where I learned quickly the importance of structure, organization and most importantly, writing things down. When it comes to passion and drive, I look no further than my close friend Kelly Sharp. Her instilment of balancing work, life and community involvement has helped shape me. Even further and just as important are all the male role models in my life who support and foster strong female leaders by giving me the opportunities and freedom to grow as an individual both personally and professionally.