About Us

Duane Christopher of DFC&A

Duane Christopher of DFC&A

I grew up in the Finger Lakes area of New York and graduated from Lansing High and Cornell University. I then moved to Venice, Florida. After working for two years in Florida, for the oldest family Landscape Architecture and Contracting firm called Reasoner’s, I moved to Rock Hill, in March of 1979.I am a licensed, registered Landscape Architect and a Residential Building Designer and have been in private practice since 1981. I am registered in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The great percentage of my professional time is devoted to the fields of residential architecture, landscape architecture with all environmental affiliations that go with landscape architecture. I have served in many different commissions locally and have served the York Soil, Water Conservation District since 1982 and a full commissioner from 1992 to 2014. I participate in the Nutcracker Ballet with York County Ballet and have been involved with other productions with our church at St. John’s. I am a Member of St. John’s Methodist Church in Rock Hill. I have been  married to my wife, Karen for 25 plus years and have one daughter, Michelle.In 1999, I was an extra in the locally shot movie “The Patriot,” which came out in 2000 and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

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We’re your house design and landscape architecture professionals in the Charlotte & Rock Hill area

 

MY DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

The designs that evolve are a culmination of a process. The design process starts with listening to the needs and wants of a client. Investigating what will influence the process. Then start with concepts that provide a basis for a continuing process that the client and I will go through on a path to a point in time where the design will stop. Whether the project is a residence, a landscape, or a sculpture, the design process is the same. What a client must keep in mind is that in going through the process, we will find solutions that are based on decisions previously made in the process. As an “architect” for a project, I keep in mind the twelve personifications that influence our lives: physics, music, law, medicine, astronomy, writing, drafting, geometry, optics, arithmetic, history, and philosophy. Life has a rhythm; this rhythm is translated by designing with nature. Every facet in our life is touched by a natural environment that changes with time; so in turn, the design of project follows a rhythm that has harmony, form, function and will change in time. 
The other philosophy statement I strive for is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through design.” The basic nature of man with our environment is to achieve these three God given rights.

MY FIRM

The firm’s services include; land planning, site development design for our commercial clients, single family house building design, residential design services, and residential landscape architecture. Residential services that we provide with our interior design associates are full service residential design services through construction management and observation. In the environmental planning services area we provide wetlands determinations, wetlands delineations, and assistance in wetlands permitting, expert witness in tree loss cases as well as tree appraisals, and tree protection plans.

Firm Qualifications CLICK HERE (PDF File). The balance of my business time is divided between other volunteer positions as listed below.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science, Cornell University, 1977 
Attend continuing education of a minimum of 10 hours per year through various continuing 
educational venues for ASLA and AIA credits.

SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS IN THE COMMUNITY AND DESIGN PROFESSION

A member in good standing of the American Society of Landscape Architects, ASLA, 1982 to the present

President of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Society of
 Landscape Architects, 2014- 2015

Treasurer of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Society of 
Landscape Architects, 2009-2013

Ex-officio Board Member of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Society of 
Landscape Architects, 2005 to 2009

Chapter Executive Committee member SCASLA, 1988 – 1994 

A participant at the University of Massachusetts first symposium on Computers in 
Landscape Architecture, 1984

A member of the South Carolina State Board of Landscape Architects, 
1989-1993,Chairman, 1992, 1993

A South Carolina delegate to Washington for the legislative fly-in, 
1993, 1994, 2009, and 2014.

Volunteer for the South Carolina Arts Partnership, Design Week 2008, 
Certificate of Appreciation April 14, 2008 

Member of the U.S. Green Building Council & LEED 2009, 
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 
Associate Conservation Commissioner of York County, SC, 1982-1992

Elected Soil and Water Conservation Commissioner of York County SC, 1992 – 2000, 
Chairman, 1995-1999, 
Appointed Commissioner 2001 – 2014
South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts legislative committee, 1995 – 2002

South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts awards committee, 2004 – 2014

South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts, smart growth committee, 2000

York County Committee to formulate Storm-water Management and Soil Erosion 
ordnances for the county, 1988, 1989

City of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Tree Commissioner, a founding Commissioner, 1988-1993, 
Chairman, 1992, 1993

City of Rock Hill Empowering the Vision committee Member, Garden City sub-committee, 1987-1988,

Designed Master Plan for Greenways. Made major contribution to remove mall 
covering Main Street and return to a motor vehicle street

City of Rock Hill, sub-committee, Commission on future development and facilities 
for PRT, 1995 – present

Catawba Regional Waste Water Treatment environmental sub-committee 
Member, 1995-2000

Member and Chairman of Committee for York County for the purpose to preserve land to 
create a county commission to develop easements and purchase 
of development rights. 1997

Member of York County Forever Commission, a land preservation commission for York County 
formed from the above Committee, 1998-2005, Chairman, 1998-1999,
Member of the Catawba River Study Commission, 
Implementation Task Force 1999 – 2007

City of Rock Hill Trails and Greenways Task Force charter Member, Chairman, 2000-2003, 
Chairman of advisory committee to PRT, 2003 – May 2009

City of Rock Hill Manchester Meadows Task Force charter Member, A City of Rock Hill 
Soccer Sport Complex and Park, 2001

York Conservation District Special Recognition Award, for Diligence and Dedication for 
Waste Water Treatment Project, received October 23, 2001

2009 Recipient of the David Boone Advisory Volunteer Award from the City of Rock Hill 
Parks Recreation and Tourism, received May 13, 2010.

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN LAND PLANNING AREA

Involved with the South Carolina State sunset reevaluations and continued support of registration 
during tenure on the State Board of Registration.

Spent time and resources on behalf of the City of Rock Hill to promote ideas for revitalization of 
the downtown main street area, including public presentations: The Empowering the Vision city 
planning process, which was a two year long range process to develop strategic incentives for the City 
of Rock Hill.

I spent time and resources to promote a greenway master plan and make major changes 
in the physical structure of the old downtown main street development.

Was a member of the committee that started one of the first county ordinances for 
Storm-water Management and Erosion Control in the State of South Carolina.

Formulated a city street tree master plan and a parking lot landscaping ordinance for the City of Rock Hil 
as a City of Rock Hill Tree Commissioner. I also made recommendations for a historical 
tree grove park, which came to fruition with the design of 
Ken Simmons and Associates of Columbia, SC.

Involved with promoting River Park on the Catawba River and other recreational and pedestrian 
oriented development activities to improve the quality of life in the City of Rock Hill as a 
futures development committee member.

Appointed City of Rock Hill Planning Commissioner, February 2009.

Active in the City of Rock Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan UpdateSteering force in looking at alternative methods to a regional approach to waste water treatment  
instead of one large regional plant that would be an insensitive engineering approach to the 
regions waste water treatment needs. Furthermore, as a member of the Regional Waste Water 
environmental sub-committee, I brought in decentralization and constructed wetlands 
for waste water treatment experts.
Water Quality Forum panelist on waste water treatment comprehensive planning for the 
Catawba Wateree watershed promoting Conservation Districts in a planning leadership role.
Promote and advocate open land preservation as an active member of the newly formed 
York County Forever Commission helping with time and resources
Aided county and city planners in many instances to review new ordinances for 
Tree Preservation, Sub-division design, and Development Standards.
Involved in the rewriting of the Lake Wylie Buffer yard ordinance for York County Council 
in the most recent revision, July 2007- August 2009.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

York County Ballet Company Board Member and former President, 2001 – 2012

Rock Hill Rotary Club member, 1986 – 2008

St. John’s United Methodist Church member

Cornell Alumni Club of Charlotte, NC, past President

National Geographic Society Member, 1967 to the present

Member of USGBC 2009 – present

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