We are comprehensive land designers for urban, suburban, and rural places. From the macro visioning to the micro details of a constructed reality; we have experience in a vast array of project types that help people connect to their communities and the environment. As a collaborative design firm, we thrive by building select and talented teams for each of our client’s projects. While each project is different and with varying needs the core elements of sustainability, resilience, health, wellness, education, and aesthetics influence the development of our designs. By listening to our clients and working closely with them during the design process we can transform spaces that are creative, fun, engaging and highly successful. Our designs renew the environment's integrity and capitalize on the best elements a place has to offer. With the right solution we believe, it will embrace the environment, excite the people who use it and provide enduring beauty.
J. Frank Dawson, Jr. - Principal
Frank Dawson is a native to the Pittsburgh region. Growing up in “the country”, a few miles east of the city Frank spent his time helping at his father’s construction business and cultivating gardens with his grandparents. Being of a creative mind; it seemed a natural path to become a Landscape Architect. He began his career at a small firm in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1994 providing design services for multi-family complexes, clubs, commercial properties, and high-end residential homes.
After several years in Florida, he returned to his hometown in 2003. In Pittsburgh he joined the Architecture and Engineering firm, Astorino that had many varied commissions. While there, he became the Vice President of the Landscape Architecture Studio overseeing all land use projects. He led his team on campus master planning, healthcare, mixed use development, education, plazas, parks, and various public art projects, which were located primarily throughout the eastern United States but also, in the Bahamas, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2016 Frank opened J.FRANKSTUDIOS in Pittsburgh. The firm is currently working on design projects that draw from his prior experiences. In addition, Frank continues to expand his knowledge of the profession by taking on new project challenges.
His technical background includes zoning, due diligence, planning, and construction management as related to land use projects. He is often engaged for the primary design of land-use projects, coordination of project teams and serving as the point of contact for clients. He can assist in all phases of a site project from concept through final design.
He is heavily engaged in the Pittsburgh design community and serves as an advisor for Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s P2P initiative, is a member of Riverlife Task Force’s Design Review Committee and is a board member for Scenic Pittsburgh. Frank is an active member of PA/DEL ASLA and in the past has served as Secretary and Vice President. Frank is currently registered to practice Landscape Architecture in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, New Jersey, and New York
Eric began his career working for Astorino Architecture and Engineering (now Cannon Design) as a graphic designer in 2000. While there, he was exposed to a breadth of talented professionals that influenced his growth and interest in the design profession. Inspired, Eric began his design studies. In 2010, he received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Penn State University. Upon graduation, Eric traveled to Rome, Italy to work for Luca Peralta. While abroad, he was engaged with teams on urban design and architectural restoration projects. While in Italy, Eric also participated in two international design competitions. One of the design submissions received a honorary award. Upon return to Pittsburgh, Eric began working for Klavon Design. Then, later returned to Astorino to begin work in the Site + Landscape Architecture Studio. Eric was heavily engaged in many site-related projects such as: campus master planning, healthcare, mixed-use development, plazas, parks, and various public art projects. In 2017, he started his own design consulting business to pursue greater creative freedom. Since starting his consulting business Eric has been providing design support services to J.FRANKSTUDIOS on a variety of public and private landscape architecture projects.
Sidney Ramsey Walker, Jr. - PLA
Sidney Ramsey Walker, Jr. PLA moved to the East Coast from University to join the startup of Kelly Blake Moran Golf Course Architects, Inc. engaging in the design of golf courses and golf course communities, construction administration, and supporting superintendents through grow-in as an apprentice, architect, and right-hand man. Having worked with large consultant teams throughout the Americas and directly with many of the owners on these lifecycle projects, he formed Sidney Ramsey Walker Design Associates in 2003. A cross-functional team player and collaborator he continues to work with good people who love what they do in as many phases of land development as possible with a focus in land planning, landscape architecture, and golf course architecture. He is especially interested in talking to developers, home builders, and investors about his passions in technology, sustainability, and conservation. A published illustrator and artist, he studied architecture, land planning, landscape architecture, and painting in Tuscany, did his 5-year degree thesis project with Robert von Hagge Design Associates in Houston, and interned with Clark Condon. Based in Greater Metro New York, Sidney is a long-time associate of Kennedy & Associates Planners & Land Use Consultants in Philadelphia and Rummler Associates. Sidney has been providing technical support services to J.FRANKSTUDIOS since 2019.
Sidney graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. He attended Sam Houston State University for Business Administration and Graphic Arts. Additionally, Sidney is an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and is currently registered as a Landscape Architect in Pennsylvania.