Founded in 1981 by Don Brandes, Design Studios West was acquired by Matrix Design Group in 2012 to expand the company’s national professional practice in planning, urban design, and landscape architectural services. Don and his staff of experienced planners and landscape architects bring more than 30 years of award-winning project expertise to Matrix.

As a vice president and the director of landscape architecture and urban design for Matrix, Don actively leads all multidisciplinary projects and is responsible for project programming, conceptual planning and design, and final project design review. Don’s planning and design passion continues to focus on urban design, waterfront design, resort and land development, and complex mixed-use downtown development projects.

Don is the author of several national and professional articles and publications including “Engineering Record,” “American Society of Landscape Architecture,” and “Urban Land Institute.” His book, “Developing Difficult Sites: Solutions for Developers and Builders” is published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Washington, D.C., and continues to be a reference for the national Landscape Architectural Registration Exam (LARE).

Don has chaired the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Developing Master-Planned Communities Conference and has been a featured speaker at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC), Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute (RMLUI), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and several other national conferences. As a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) in several states, Don is the recipient of a number of national and state planning and design awards.

In addition to his 30 years of professional experience, Don is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI); he is an advisory board member of the Colorado Trust for Public Lands (TPL) and has served on the board of directors of the Downtown Denver Partnership and several other academic, institutional, and non-profit boards and foundations. Don is the founder of The Brandes Scholarship at the University of Colorado Graduate School of Planning & Design.