Michael was educated at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Regional Planning. His enthusiasm for landscape architecture was cultivated while serving as curator of plants records at the campus arboretum. This burgeoning interest in landscape design led him to seek a Masters in Landscape Architecture, which he received from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. As a professor at the University of Southern California, Michael's passion for Southern California landscapes and blurring the boundary between architecture and landscape was galvanized.

McGowan joined KAA in 2011, overseeing the design and implementation of a broad range of custom residential, commercial and institutional landscapes. In addition to his design work on numerous estate residential landscapes, some of Michael’s notable projects include: The Eastern Columbia Building, TreePeople Center for Community Forestry, Santa Monica Village and One Santa Fe.

Michael often attends student jury critiques, and is a member of the California State Polytechnic University, Department of Landscape Architecture Professional Advisory Board. He is also an avid screen printer, inspired by the attention to detail of Japanese woodblock printing, and the exploration of new printing techniques extant in today’s street art.


About Us

KAA Design is a leading-edge design studio dedicated to advancing the California lifestyle through contemporary architecture. For over 25 years, we have created one-of-a-kind homes that place a premium on comfort and beauty, elevating the rituals of daily life from the mundane to the sublime.

Learn More

Our Thinking

Lifestyle, Not Style

Each of us deal in lifestyle design as inventors and consumers. As designers, we are responsible for authoring surroundings that reflect and nurture our clients' lifestyle.

Learn More