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DAA: Carl C. Kincaid

Carl C. Kincaid

Indianapolis, IN | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2014

During his 14-year career, Carl Kincaid, B.S. ‘99, has been a project manager, lead designer, and principal-in-charge of a variety of projects, including parks, greenways, trails, urban streetscape improvements, and site designs on the Purdue campus, as well as projects throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Kincaid joined the landscape architecture firm of Rundell Ernstberger Associates (REA) in 2000 and became a partner in 2008. His projects include the Indiana Pioneer Village Gateway, 4-H Celebration Park, and the Department of Natural Resources Exhibit at the Indiana State Fair. He was the Deputy Project Manager for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an eight-mile urban greenway integrated into the urban infrastructure of downtown Indianapolis. But you don’t even need to leave the Purdue campus to see examples of REA’s work. REA is responsible for the landscape design surrounding Discovery Park and Pao Hall. He is currently working on the Purdue Integrated Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for the West Lafayette campus. In addition, an estimated 10,000 drivers per hour will experience Kincaid’s innovative, artistic bridge design spanning Interstate 65 at state Route 39 in Lebanon, Ind., which is currently under construction. Through his career, Kincaid has remained dedicated to his alma mater. He is the chair of the Purdue Landscape Architecture Professional Advisory Council. He was an adjunct professor in 2007 and has returned to teach this semester. What do you miss most about your college days at Purdue? The flexibility with your time and the friendships with individuals are what I miss most - as well as the freedom to just be able to go outside to toss around a Frisbee with other students on the agricultural mall in front of the Horticulture Building on a warm spring afternoon, even when knowing that wasting the time would force you to be up all night working on a project due the next day. What was the most difficult course you took at Purdue? What made it so difficult for you? HORT 217 with Prof. Harrison Flint: plant identification. It was a rigorous class that had multiple tests each week with 20 different plant species. We had a plant identification test and a characteristics test in the Horticulture Building and a second identification test on campus where the plant material was growing - everywhere from the Purdue Mall to Horticulture Park. We were required to know and spell the scientific Latin names of each plant even though none of us had ever studied the Latin language. Points were deducted for misspelled scientific names and this proved to be a great challenge. What is the best advice you got while you were at Purdue? Who gave you the advice? When I was a student we had to make the cut into the Landscape Architecture Program after our sophomore year. The program only accepted 2 5 students. If you weren’t good enough, you couldn’t get into the program. I was considering transferring out of Landscape Architecture because I wasn’t sure I could make the cut. I considered landscape horticulture and design. Prof. Gene DeTurk said, “Do not give up on your dreams because of the challenges that lie before you.” I made the cut and earned my degree. Had I switched, my career track would have been dramatically different than it is today. It would have meant working for a landscape contractor and not owning a design firm that has worked on world-class projects like the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. What is the best advice you have ever given? To whom did you give the advice? I have been fortunate to return to campus many times over the years and I always encourage the students to be passionate about design, but I caution that in design there is a fine line between passion and arrogance.