White Cloud Design can add to your home’s livable space by adding integrated and inspired landscape designs. Get outside this summer and enjoy Johnny MacDonald’s imaginative and well-executed designs. By Heather Kaufman and Ryan Waterfield
White Cloud Design, Inc. provides functional, ecologically sound landscape design that connects the natural world to ones everyday living space. Creating habitats that are seamlessly integrated into the landscape with a standard for green living and longevity, White Cloud brings the art of design to fruition. Western Home Journal spoke to WCD principal Johnny McDonald to learn more about his company and WCD’s success and services.
McDonald began working for a landscape contractor at the age of 17 and immediately knew that he wanted to be a landscape architect. He says, “It was digging in the dirt, stacking rock, planting and connecting with my environment on that basic level that drew me to pursue this as my life’s profession. 25 years later, and I am more passionate than ever to create that connection for others though the design of outdoor spaces. By extending interior living spaces into the landscape we have the ability to create outdoor living rooms that draw people outside.”
His company, White Cloud Design, offers a wide range of services ranging from residential landscape design, lakeshore permitting, ranch design, signage/branding, and land use planning. About his company’s aesthetic, McDonald says “We are known for the art and balance of using stone, water, and plants that draw from both structure and nature. My design influences come from a broad range of areas: architecture, urban design, art, and the natural world. It is difficult to pinpoint an ultimate inspiration, but I feel my design solutions have layers of meaning and depth which are revealed as the user experiences the built spaces over time.”
“One of the greatest skills a designer can have is strong communication skills. Without this strength, a great idea may never progress into a graphic form, be understood by others, and come to fruition.
At White Cloud Design we are continually looking for ways to strengthen the presentation of our ideas to clients and project team members. We are moving away from traditional construction documents that clients and project team members often have challenges understanding, and are creating Project Design Packs. Our Design Packs use photographs, text, sections, hand renderings, and 3D models in an engaging and interactive format to clearly communicate our ideas. Precise construction details and visual renderings of spaces within the visioned landscape allow clients to visualize proposed design details and be a part of the design process, and they allow contractors to successfully implement the design.
We recently particpated in a webinar for landscape architects on graphic design and were introduced to the power of font types. It is in this, thinking about every detail of our communication down to the font type we use, that helps to translate the great ideas in our heads to implementation on a project site.”
Currently McDonald is working on a 9/11 Memorial Garden project. “This is very exciting,” says McDonald, “and we are happy to be involved in a public design project which has so much depth and meaning to our community and country.” But no matter the project or client, White Cloud Design is committed to customizing services to meet their clients’ needs. McDonald says, “With any project, we prefer to be involved from the initial planning phases. We like to work with the design team to collaborate and make the most successful project possible.”
McDonald says he loves what he does because he loves working with people and working outside. “Working with clients, designers, and sub contractors is such a big part of the field. I love to collaborate—creating synergy and drawing the best from each skilled professional creates great working relationships. I also love seeing our designs take shape in functional, aesthetically pleasing environments because, after all, these spaces enhance the way we live.”