Joel Kurokawa, ASLA Principal, Landscape Architect
Joel Kurokawa is principal and owner of Ki Concepts LLC, an established landscape architecture, site planning and urban design firm with offices in Honolulu and Hawaii Island. Joel was born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands. His professional career led him on a journey around the Pacific from San Francisco, to Japan, and eventually back to Hawai`i, spanning over 25 years. Joel spent eight years in Tokyo, Japan with PREC Institute, a leading environmental planning and research firm as head of Studio J, a landscape architecture design studio within the company. While in Japan he led design teams in master planning for resorts, regional parks, business parks, mixed-use development, school campuses, residential communities and nature parks; urban planning and design; transit and transportation corridors; wetland and native waterfowl habitat restoration and for recreational and community parks. In 1995 Joel returned to Hawai`i as principal of Hawai`i Design Associates, eventually purchasing the firm in 2007 and re-branding it as Ki Concepts to drive the firm’s vision and mission.
Committed to our `aina and community, Joel strives to integrate sustainable design strategies and practices that enhance natural systems, fulfill the needs of our community, capture and enhance the unique sense of place found in Hawai`i while providing our clients with the highest quality service. Joel promotes sustainable strategies adapted to Hawai`i’s unique setting including Low Impact Development (LID); native Hawaiian cultural perspectives and protocol; use of renewable energy; energy and water efficient technologies; the use of appropriate native Hawaiian plants; use of local, recycled, and manufactured materials; and meaningful community-based engagement. Beyond Ki Concepts, Joel continues to serve as an integral member of The Outdoor Circle, Kaulunani, and Smart Trees Pacific.
Brad Kurokawa, ASLA, LEED AP Principal, Landscape Architect
Brad Kurokawa is a registered landscape architect with more than 25 years of experience in diverse and complex projects including transit stations for commuter and light rail, urban planning and design, health care facilities, parks, campus planning, zoological exhibits, and neighborhood design. After practicing in Seattle and San Francisco for 23 years working for firms including EDAW Inc., Jones & Jones, Richard Haag Associates and Murase Associates, Brad returned home to Hawai`i in 2005. His local experience includes neighborhood planning and design while working for PBR Hawai`i and three years as Hawai`i County Deputy Planning Director. As a principal at Ki Concepts he continues his commitment to incorporating sustainable design strategies and practices, sensitivity to place, and community engagement.
Outside of work, Brad serves as the chair of the Hamakua Community Development Plan Steering committee and the Built Environment Community Design & Access work group for the State department of Health’s Physical Activity & Nutrition Plan initiative. He is also on the board of the non-profit Wailea Village Historic Preservation Community.
Kyle Sasaki, ASLA, LEED AP Senior Landscape Architect
Kyle Sasaki is a registered landscape architect and LEED accredited professional with more than 13 years of experience in Seattle and Hawai`i. He has a varied background working on parks, schools, housing, corporate campuses, resorts, golf courses, retail, zoological exhibits, light rail stations, wetland restoration, military facilities, transportation corridors, mixed use development, and urban design. In Seattle, Kyle worked for Nakano Associates and AECOM (formerly EDAW) for eleven years before returning home in 2008 to work for Ki Concepts. Kyle brings his forward thinking, sustainable design experience from the Northwest and has a strong desire to incorporate Native Hawaiian plants into each project. Outside of work, Kyle is an active member of ASLA, serving as Hawai`i Chapter President and Vice President.
Vivian Arita, ASLA, LEED AP Senior Project Manager
Vivian Arita is a 15 year veteran of Ki Concepts with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, who started as an architectural graduate yearning to practice landscape architecture. With invaluable mentors, she smoothly transitioned to her new profession as a landscape architect. Throughout her career, she has designed and managed a variety of projects, including residential (single family and multi-family), transportation, government facilities, education, retail, commercial, environmental, and military all with a strong belief in environmental sustainability. Beyond her work at Ki Concepts, she has served as a Treasurer for the University of Hawai`i Association of Architecture Alumni, and as a board member and member-at-large for the Hawai`i Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Vivian is also a LEED accredited professional.
Chase Kurokawa Finance Manager
Having recently graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, Chase holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and a minor in Business. Through his business management courses and understanding of business operations, he is strategizing workflow efficiency while effectively managing cash flow. One of his future aspirations is to return to school to earn his MBA.
Christian Simafranca Intern
Christian Simafranca recently received his Bachelors of Environmental Design from the School of Architecture at the University of Hawai`i. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Architecture degree at the same university and is expecting to finish within the next two years. He has an interest in graphics and is excited to learn as much as he can about landscape architecture, architecture and passive design strategies.