To Top

Meet Mikyoung Kim of Mikyoung Kim Design in Boston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mikyoung Kim.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Connecticut, outside of Hartford, in a house that was filled with music, art and culture. My mother was a ceramicist and my father was an architect, so I grew up very aware of how we all have the capacity to shape the environment we live in.

I didn’t start out as a designer. When I was younger I was focused on becoming a musician. I studied classical music and then, for many reasons, slowly migrated towards design and the public realm. When it comes to Landscape Architecture I found that I was interested in both the performative aspects of the civic space and the immersive types of experiences that you also get in music. I think there are a lot of lessons that I brought from music to design. The idea of choreographing space and human experience is one of the most important lessons from my musical training that I continue to apply.

After studying design in graduate school, I explored many different things: I spent a summer driving across the country with a friend; I lived in San Francisco for many years and spent a great deal of time hiking through northern California; and after that I came back home to the East Coast and joined the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design. I taught at RISD full time for nearly 20 years before I retired to focus on my practice and family life. Since then, I have been focused on creating landscapes that draw people in- that tell a story about the communities that we serve.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a long and winding road- and it’s still going. I think it’s the unexpected aspects of life that have taught me and challenged me the most as a designer. When I was in my twenties I developed tendonitis in my left arm and had to stop playing piano for a few months and go into physical therapy. It was a very traumatic time in my life where I had to deal with the loss of that mode of expression. It was during that summer that I went to study design at Harvard and fell in love with the public nature of landscape architecture.

Please tell us about Mikyoung Kim Design.
Mikyoung Kim Design is a landscape architecture, urban planning, and site art project firm. We specialize in urban landscapes and are interested in places that have the capacity to heal the mind and provide escape from the city. Our work highlights the art of landscape and focuses on ways we can bring creativity to the civic experience

Our office has been in business for over twenty years and is made up of a group of very talented landscape architects, architects, and other designers and artists. It’s an idea lab where we work very collaboratively to come up with innovative solutions to some very difficult urban problems. We are always striving to find something new and to use the latest technologies in our profession to make spaces that are shaped by the tools of today. In the end, our work is always a reflection of the community, responsive to the aspirations of the neighborhood, and trying to make places that inspire people and bring whimsy and beauty into their daily lives.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
It’s the memory of playing with water- whether it’s the sprinkler in the backyard, during the summer or in a stream in a neighborhood park. This kind of play is so important. It allows us to learn to imagine.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 119 Braintree Street, suite 103
    Boston, MA 02134
  • Website:
  • Phone: (617) 782-9130
  • Email:

Image Credit:

Chris Baker, Chelsea Cavanaugh, Ted Cavanaugh, Robert Such

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Fun Things to do in Boston in November

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in Boston over the next few weeks. Check them out below and...

    BostonVoyager StaffNovember 13, 2017
  • Boston’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in the Greater Boston area has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is...

    BostonVoyager StaffNovember 13, 2017
  • 15 Amazing Female Founders Changing the World

    Meet 15 incredible women who aren’t letting the world hold them back. They’ve built hugely successful businesses, created thousands of jobs...

    BostonVoyager StaffApril 10, 2017
  • 8 Cheat-Meal Worthy Pizza Joints

    The cheese, the toppings, the crust…sometimes when you know, you know.  The aroma already feels like you are cheating, long before...

    BostonVoyager StaffMarch 2, 2017
  • Life is Uncertain. Have Dessert Every Day.

    The Top Dessert shops in Boston – handpicked by our editors – one for each day of the week 🙂 1....

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 3, 2017
  • Boston’s Most Talked-About Food Trucks

    Food trucks are the heart and soul of Beantown’s emerging street food scene. Below we’ve listed some of Boston’s most hotly...

    BostonVoyager StaffJanuary 7, 2017
  • Seasons of Love

    Kadam Malik, relationship guru and entrepreneur, shares his thoughts about love, romance and dating in the city. I find myself in...

    Kadam MalikDecember 22, 2016
  • 52 Motivational Quotes that Will Change Your Life

    A collection of our quotes of the week from the past year 1. “Work until you no longer have to introduce...

    BostonVoyager StaffDecember 20, 2016
  • The Boston Nightlife Guide Everyone’s Talking About

    How many times have you found yourself wondering what you should do tonight? Boston is an incredibly city, full of world-class...

    BostonVoyager StaffDecember 18, 2016