lu —— la (ludic — landscapes) is a landscape architecture and design studio specializing in playful spaces that foster connections to community and the natural world. 

Our design approach takes inspiration from the unique conditions of every site, thoughtfully responding to their invitations and challenges with well-considered materials and planting. Our process is sensitive to context and driven by narrative. We deliver designs that are anchored by a sense of place, and that inspire imagination and exploration. 

We believe that there is more to play than the climbing structure. Play can and should be layered into the landscape itself. We design our sites to create a rich field of opportunities that are as diverse as the people who play in them. We want our landscapes to be buzzing with life, a shared space for bees and birds, children, youth and adults.


Sara Brunelle, PLA, CPSI

Studio Director

Sara is a landscape architect, certified playground safety inspector, and co-director of lu —— la studio. She designs award-winning playscapes and multigenerational public spaces that inspire free play and well-being.

Sara brings years of research on the environmental and spatial conditions that support play to her design practice. She has an extensive record of publications on evidence-based design and children’s play environments and policies to promote outdoor play. Sara loves putting this research into practice.

Prior to lu —— la, Sara worked in international cooperation in urban agriculture and food security, helping communities build productive food gardens. She brings her experience in community engagement and enthusiasm for participatory design to every project.   

Sara holds a master's degree in landscape architecture from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia and a bachelor's degree in fine arts and liberal arts from Concordia University.


Katie Smith

Creative Director

Katie is a landscape designer and co-director of lu —— la studio. She excels at collaborating with multidisciplinary creatives to deliver unique design solutions. 

Katie's expertise lies in site-sensitive planting design. Informed by a lifelong love of wild and natural environments, her designs use the texture, color, and structure of plants to create immersive spaces that beg to be explored. She is also keenly aware of the beneficial impact that gardens have on our environment and chooses plants that contribute to creating healthy habitats.

A landscape designer and project manager, Katie brings a decade of experience in the field of landscape architecture. Her background includes working on residential, public, and commercial projects from North America to Europe. Katie holds a master's degree in landscape architecture from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana.