Helping you express the power of place

JMLA wants to help you with the important work of expressing the essence of place. It is our core mission to create unforgettable visual stories and spaces that reveal, revere, and reconnect us to the beauty, dynamics and diversity of nature + culture..

JMLA strives to create deeply imaginative interpretation as a powerful means of storytelling. Done well, interpretive design can aid in acknowledging our relationships to nature and to each other; bridge the past, present and future; help us move more mindfully through our rapidly changing world and climate; guide our attention and care; and contribute positively to new language and narratives that can help to elevate cultural, historic and environmental literacy and integrity. There is an inherent quality of reverence embodied by this genre of design, which is wrought through curious inquiry, real listening, artful expression of collective meaning, and a desire to inspire connection.

A boutique firm serving a range of clients including architects, landscape architects, planners, developers, homeowners, municipalities, parks and open space entities, conservation organizations, natural history museums, zoos, aquariums, and other institutions, JMLA is proud to offer a suite of specialized services, listed below.  These services are available through monthly subscriptions, or through traditional contracts.

Special projects require a special eye! JMLA would love to bring our keen geographic perception, scientific frame of reference, and our compassionate imagination to exceed your visual, narrative and research needs – whether that be with highly original environmental graphics, signage, and educational material; memorial concept design; landscape design; custom pattern design for site features + furniture; sensual site photography; architectural renderings; illustrative mapping and GIS; ecological research and site analysis; nature prose + script; or concept books. 

JMLA is unique in that we offer site-integrated interpretive design, through which educational and commemorative goals are seamlessly woven into the landscape itself - whether ingrained in site features, furniture, walkways, and facades, or standing alone as timeless public art. We wish to elevate and expand the art of interpretive design through this original approach; the use of new technology such as laser-cutting and 3D printing; and collaboration with local artists and scientists. Interpretation is visual storytelling - a cultural expression that reflects our relationship to nature and to eachother... JMLA wishes to get the stories right not only in what is told, but how it is presented. 

JMLA offers the opportunity to select clients to build an ongoing design relationship.  A limited number of monthly design subscriptions are available, through which we provide a customized suite of services tailored to your ordinary and extraordinary needs as they evolve. We are proud to serve our clients with unparalleled depth, integrity, creative vision, heart, and care. We enjoy working with architects, landscape architects, planners and conservationists who may benefit from services not retained in-house. Based on the Central Coast of California, we work nationwide.  Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Elevating interpretive design... the high art of storytelling in place

interpretive design

environmental graphics | signage |  memorial concept design


landscape design 

residential landscape design | native plant consultation

ecological research + site analysis

comprehensive site analysis | research reports | regulatory summaries



pattern design

custom patterns for site features | laser-cut wood and metal

architectural rendering

illustrative site plans | sections + axons | digital perspectives

site photography

landscape, architectural + aerial photography


illustrative mapping 

illustrative maps | gis | conservation overlays | climate change visualization

concept books + script

concept books | historic landscape reports | documentary script 

monthly design subscription

monthly design service subscription customized for your needs

"Jessica worked with our Conservancy on an interpretive sign for the Carmel River and did a superb design job on this project that will inform residents and visitors about a riparian restoration site. She is professional, collegial, collaborative, and extremely pleasant to work with, and came up with imaginative and practical suggestions on our project. I cannot recommend her more highly."

Lorin Letendre | Executive Director Carmel River Watershed Conservancy