About Us


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.

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J. Frank Dawson, Jr. - Founding Principal

 

Frank is a Registered Landscape Architect. He began his career 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 of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 2003. Here he joined the multi-disciplinary firm of Astorino Architecture and Engineering (now Cannon Design). While there, he became the Vice President of the Site + Landscape Architecture Studio overseeing all land use projects. He led the teams on campus master planning, healthcare, mixed use development, education, plazas, parks, and various public art projects, which were located throughout the eastern United States, the Bahamas, India, and the United Arab Emirates.

 

Frank opened J.FRANKSTUDIOS of Pittsburgh in 2016. The firm is currently working on land planning and landscape architecture design projects that draw from his prior experiences, such as parks, regional design, healthcare, education, commercial, clubs, and public art. 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, including: site layout, grading, drainage, site details, planting plans, specifications and cost estimating.

 

He is heavily engaged in the Pittsburgh design community and serves as an advisor for Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s P2P initiative, Riverlife Task Force’s Design Review Committee and is a founding Board Member for Josh Gibson Heritage Park Foundation, acts as an advisor for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy on The Pittsburgh Redbud Project and serves as Vice President on the State Executive Committee for the PA-Del ASLA.

 

Frank is currently registered to practice Landscape Architecture in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, New Jersey and New York

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Eric Casciani

 

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.

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