As director of planning and design at McAdams, David Malcolm takes pride in helping clients and colleagues find the balance among “the sweet spot of creativity, design functionality, cost-effectiveness and customer experience.” Working with ambitious clients, end users and talented co-workers is the most satisfying aspect of his work, he says.
He draws inspiration from the works of James Corner, the landscape architect behind notable public projects in New York City, including the High Line in Manhattan, Domino Park in Brooklyn and Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island. David also salutes the pioneering work of the Olmstead Brothers, whom, with Corner, he regards as “true visionaries.”
At the local level, Malcolm has found challenges and rewards from being involved in projects, such as Waverly, Riverwalk and Pearl Street Park. His advice for navigating such projects, as well as a career in real estate development, is to take the long view when doing strategic planning. David cites I.M. Pei for advice on dealing with setbacks: “Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start looking for new ones.” That attitude is reflected in David’s ongoing goal at work – to win that next project or design commission.
ULI is important to him because it provides a platform for the exchange of information and ideas with a diverse group of real estate professionals “all trying to bring excellence to our region.”
A recent read is The Creative Curve, by Allen Gannett, a book that describes how ordinary people can develop the ability to come up with strikingly original ideas. David also enjoys listening to the “99% Invisible” podcast to explore issues involving architecture and design.
David earned his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Virginia Tech and is a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. He has provided leadership across a range of professional organizations, such as ULI, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Urban Design Commission (City of Tallahassee), and is a past president of his HOA.
A Raleigh native and graduate of Virginia Tech, David and his wife, Anne, are parents to “one very active 7-year-old boy.” David spends free time mountain biking, skiing, hunting, fishing, coaching youth sports and supporting the outreach work of the Urban Ministry Center. When he does get away for vacation, his ideal location varies by season: Hilton Head Island in the fall; the Colorado Rockies in the winter; the Appalachians in the spring; and New York in the summer.
Shorter version I used in the Waxhaw TAP, in case he would like options:
David brings more than 23 years of experience in urban design to his role as director of planning and design for McAdams in Charlotte. Working with experienced landscape architects, engineers, planners, and administrators, David and his team serve clients in both the private and public sectors. His specialties include the design and creation of vibrant public spaces, as well as planning of new communities within urban, mixed-use, resort and destination locations. Recent projects include Waverly, Riverwalk and Pearl Street Park in Charlotte.
David has led public consensus-building efforts for projects ranging from small town revitalization, to large, brown-field redevelopment sites in metropolitan areas. Considered a leader in the area of Main Street and small downtown redevelopment, David is a frequent speaker at planning conferences. He earned his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Virginia Tech and is a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. David has provided leadership across a range of professional organizations, such as ULI, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Urban Design Commission (City of Tallahassee), and is a past president of his HOA.