Vivian N. Rowe is a designer whose skills, passions and training encompass architecture, landscape design, floral design, multiple forms of the visual arts, and dance. She received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Hampton University in 1996. For ten years she worked in architecture firms in Philadelphia including Group G Architects, DWKCB Architects, Ballinger, Lighthouse Architecture, Kise Straw and Kolodner, and Saxon/Capers Architects.
In 2005, she opened her own floral design business, Zahra’s Floral Studio, a boutique business specializing in floral design for events. In 2006 she worked in landscape design with Romancing the Garden Landscape Co. and eventually added landscape design to her business offerings. In 2008, Vivian began to branch out into teaching. She worked for the Mural Arts Program for two years as an art teacher and directed art projects, exhibits and mural installations. For two summers, she taught art in the Buildabridge Artology Program, a camp integrating art and science with an emphasis on nature, the outdoors and local trips. There, she developed curricula as well as designed and coordinated projects such as rain and sculpture garden installations, and exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Vivian also served as the Assistant Director at Rowe Academy, Inc. In addition to assisting with overall planning and development, her specialized responsibilities include media and design of materials, set and wardrobe design, teaching dance, event planning and landscaping.
For many years Vivian has been involved in community service projects. In 2014, she served as the chairperson of the community service project for the National Organization of Minority Architects’ Annual Conference, held in Philadelphia. She conceived and facilitated a design-build project and worked with a community organization in an effort to make improvements to its field and garden spaces. The project brought together architecture and landscape professionals, community organizers, college students, and children of all ages. It involved the collaboration of Temple University students and faculty with NOMA architects and included construction, landscaping and planting efforts as well as an art installation of children’s art projects.
Vivian partnered with Awbury Arboretum in the development of workshops, including its Arbor Day festival. She chaired Vernon Park’s Germantown Garden Festival and served for two years on the planning committee for the Northwest NiceUp, a fundraiser for The Food Trust. Vivian volunteers at events for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Flower Show, the Chestnut Hill Holiday House Tour, TreePhilly Yard Tree Program, and Greenfest Philly.
Vivian participated in construction projects in New Orleans with Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, and in Newport News, VA with Habitat for Humanity. She attends career events for students and has done architecture projects with teenagers and younger children in schools, camps and through the Foundation for Architecture’s Architecture in Education Program.
She currently holds two board positions. She serves on the West Mt. Airy Neighbors, where she is active on the Streetscapes Committee and others. She is also a board member for Danse4Nia, where she serves as Chair of the Social Media & Marketing Committee.
In recognition for her achievements, Ms. Rowe received an Artistic Achievement Award in 2002 from the Pro Arts Society of Philadelphia. She won second place in the Enterprising Woman Business Plan Competition in 2008 from the Business Center, a division of the Small Business Administration.