about merge studio

We approach land planning solutions artfully and objectively, offering a combined perspective arranging land, water and structure into meaningful outdoor spaces. Collaborating with clients, we consider their vision and needs, as well as what the space naturally lends itself to. We create opportunity and offer beneficial choices that add value by design; connecting the identity to place, and providing attractive functional solutions through our landscape architectural practice.
The combined perspective: a process of arranging land and structure into meaningful outdoor spaces.

we believe in...

//  Achieving balance between built and natural environments
//  Aesthetically integrating form and function
//  Adding value to a site while considering social, economic and ecological benefit for the long term
//  Being conscious with environmental resources
//  Nurturing dynamic, collaborative partnerships with clients

and we are...

Cary Bush - Landscape Architect
Cary Bush, landscape architect
Taxodium distichum

California Licensed Landscape Architect (Lic#5228), 2006
Louisiana State University, B.A. from the School of Landscape Architecture, 1997
Edinburgh University, Herriott-Watt College of Art landscape architecture program, 1995

After studying urban planning, site reclamation, and site ecology and working in architecture, engineering and the professional planning field for 10 years, Louisiana-born and California-licensed landscape architect Cary Bush founded merge studio in 2007. Cary is a natural problem solver who combines art and science to think through challenges. He had a vision to build a high-end firm that would practice conscious design in order to blend arrangements of land and structure with site-specific elements providing ecological purpose, function and aesthetic quality.

Native to swampy conditions, Cary is also able to withstand dry, sunny weather and is hardy in USDA climate zones 5 through 10.  He is often grown as an ornamental.

Amy Bush, horticulturist + arborist
Tilia Cordata

Certified Arborist (ISA#WE8987A), 2009
University of Idaho, B.S. in plant science, landscape horticulture, 1997
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ), 2016

merge studio holds tight to the belief that collaboration is key to the creative process, so it’s only fitting that horticulturist, arborist and wife, Amy Bush, joined the team in 2010. Amy believes that all landscapes should create a legacy, and as such, she promotes long-term health and strategy of plant material, trees and landscapes with her extensive knowledge of best management practices for proper care and maintenance in the American West. A California native, Amy is an integral part of the merge studio experience, and her regional expertise helps her unearth the story of a landscape.

Widely grown as an ornamental, Amy is a deciduous tree native to much of Europe, where in the southern climes her range is restricted to higher elevations.  Easy to train for bonsai, Amy is often found espaliered as she is able to survive heavy pruning.

Josho Somine, site designer + permaculture design + project manager
Corylus cornuta spp. californica

Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington, 2010
Bachelor of Fine Arts with High Distinction in Sculpture, California College of Arts &Crafts, 2002
Permaculture Teaching Certificate, Cascadia Permaculture Institute, 2001
Permaculture Design Certificate, Earthaven Ecovillage / Occidental Arts & EcologyCenter, 2001

Josho is a Bay Area native who has been active in the national permaculture network since 1997, developing long-term working relationships with several notable sites and practitioners. He has worked as builder, artist, and teacher over the last 20 years, and returned to graduate school to hone his sensibilities at the cutting edge of urban ecological design. He has a passion for sculptural structures and details, as well as community-scale sustainable design, and brings a strong aesthetic sense and attention to detail to everything he does.

Josho differentiates the human scale between ground level and the canopy overstory. He has a preference for the food-bearing understory of the Pacific northwest forest, and his ancestral relatives were the most prized products of the traditional English coppice management crafts. His dramatic catkins are an early harbinger of Spring.

Mark Johnson, production manager + graphic designer
Picea sitchensis

Born and raised in Alaska, Mark now considers himself a California native, having spent over half of his life living in Sonoma County. Mark’s experience working with graphic design and print over the past 20+ years informs his insightful and supportive design schemes.  A lover of fine illustration and art, he believes in developing and utilizing a graphic language that clearly communicates design intent.  Able to quickly throw together a quick perspective pencil sketch to illustrate an idea as well as develop a 3D rendered model, Mark loves helping augment a client's understanding of our process in developing their site.

Native to the west coast of North America, Mark is the largest species of spruce and one of the tallest conifers in the world.  Due to his natural strength and structural resonance, as well as his inherent beauty, he is often used in the manufacture of pianos, harps and guitars.