Newbern Consulting Services
designs for any scale ...


Fully Transitioned and Running – Now well into 2019, I’m busier than ever and have seen opportunities for great cross-pollination across the many new circuits that have opened and expanded from the already wide bandwidth Vanderbilt University afforded.

Current activities include serving as a board member of the Nashville Civic Design Center; collaborations with several campuses including the University of the South at Sewanee and Case Western; dialogue with the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly towards developing a master plan for the historic property; consulting on the plans of Nashville’s Centennial Park on behalf of the Centennial Park Conservancy; the design of landscape plans for several residential properties, and the somewhat unexpected pursuit of creating artwork again after letting my lifelong interest in painting languish over the “career” years.

Joining and becoming a board member of The Chestnut Group, a regionally organized group of “plein air” painters, opened so many new relationships that painting again in oils is a major source of inspiration. Channeling that energy has included workshops by nationally recognized artists and the sale of artwork from my site hosted by Saatchi Galleries. Following a successful show at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and co-chairing The Chestnut Group’s 2018 art exhibit with Warner Parks, I am now co-chairing the 2019 show and sale jointly planned with Centennial Park.

Both my landscape consulting and art are now consolidated on a single site at I’m primarily selling paintings and photographs featured on my site directly to the local market on my gmail account, but also directly thru Saatchi. I will be instructing a week long class in watercolors at the Monteagle SS Assembly in June of this year for the second summer in a row. 

Consulting LLC launched in 2015 –  After 30 years of overseeing the planning/design, construction and operations of the facilities and grounds at Vanderbilt University, under three very different leadership styles, I formed my LLC in the fall of 2015 to explore new directions.

 Why?  Because the opportunity to evolve 340 acres provided insights I firmly believe can be applied to great advantage anywhere that design is underway. Quality design at all scales involves many of the same variables. These include defining and understanding the correct program needs of the customer; then, developing design solutions that achieve functionality, a pleasing composition and bring successful resolution to the full set of parameters set by the media in which you’re working.

What do I bring to the table?  Among these skill sets are:

  • Recognizing those assets that set a place apart from the competition
  • Tagging distractions keeping a setting from realizing its fullest potential
  • Moving between the big picture concepts and the details that people recall
  • Engaging master planning process to help implement and make concepts operational
  • Fully understanding the social and political context in which plans are unfolding
  • Enhancing circulation networks to insure “walkability” linked with vehicular flow
  • Evaluating “first costs” against the operational expenses and sustainability aspects
  • Strategizing with stakeholders to build alliances to grow a donor base