Title: Research Lead
Organization: Verdant Studio LLC
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
Natasha Brand’s current role involves the strategic development of the research division at Verdant Studio, a Northwest Arkansas based art and architecture studio. As Research Lead, she is developing interdisciplinary, educational research initiatives through collaborations with academic institutions and industry partnerships. She also serves on the Committee of the NWA Women’s Leadership Initiative.
Natasha’s early career began in the UK working in Legal Finance and Management, completing her thesis on English Land Law. Upon moving to the U.S.A., Natasha received her B.Sc. in Human and Family Science with a focus on Contemporary Human Environment, followed by her M.Sc. in Exercise Science from the University of Arkansas.
Her areas of research within health and the built environment have included green exercise, land impact and usage, collaboration on city masterplans, trail plans and pilot studies, and the Arkansas’s bicycle and pedestrian initiative. Community collaborations with schools, city governments, sports organizations, and non-profits encouraged Natasha to pursue further research opportunities exploring how health and the built environment intersect.
Natasha’s move from academic research to the private sector has allowed her to see a cross-disciplinary disconnect and led to a developing interest in resiliency and social equity. Her current research attempts to address this disconnect through the development of research initiatives and provision of educational tools and access to the industry resources needed to advance in these areas; supporting more resilient communities that include walkable, diverse, healthy, and affordable neighborhoods.