Benjamin J. Smith, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Architecture, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Michigan; Master of Architecture, SCI-Arc; Bachelor of Arts, St. Olaf College
Office Hours:

Tuesday 11:00am-1:00pm, Wednesday 10:00am-12:00pm. 

Research and Teaching Interests:

Advanced Architectural Practices, Architecture and Aesthetics, Institutions and Pedagogy


ARCH 2021/6021 - Second Year Design Studio, ARCH 3032/6032 - Comprehensive Design Studio; ARCH  2311/6311 - Digital Media: Introduction CAD/Space; ARCH 4350/6350- Artifacts of Architectural Production

Ben Smith is a scholar, designer, and educator whose work locates advanced practices for architecture. His recent scholarship, which has been featured nationally and internationally, has centered on the disciplinary evolution of architecture through institutional and pedagogical developments in education. Smith’s dissertation on this subject, “With and Without Walls: The Southern California Institute of Architecture and a New School of Los Angeles Architects in the 1970s and 1980s,” examined the history of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the architects who taught there amid a postmodern climate. Fundamental to his teaching approach is his encouragement of students’ confidence to do, to act, to make—to help young designers learn how their work contributes to discourse, whether that is through ideas or forms. Smith’s view on architectural production negotiates design techniques and aesthetic sensibilities with the belief that architecture should engage the discipline with a rigorous theoretical conversation that influences present concerns. Observing that design instigates vision, that analysis provides critique, and that the synthesis of vision and critique establishes domains of value that architecture addresses, he works to reveal architecture’s results through its effects. Prior to joining Tulane University, Smith taught at SCI-Arc and University of Michigan. Prior to establishing his practice, ooffcie DESIGN, he worked for internationally recognized firms such as Morphosis Architects and George Yu Architects in Los Angeles, California. His degrees include a Ph.D. from University of Michigan, an M.Arch from SCI-Arc, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College.

Benjamin J. Smith, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Architecture, Assistant Professor of Architecture

Featured Research Publications

Title Venue Keywords Link
Pop-things: Architecture’s Play with Image Construction ACSA Conference Presentation View Link
Architecture and Pedagogy Places Journal Journal Article View Link
From Drawings to Drawls: Coy Howard’s Artifacts of Architectural Production Tulane University Journal Article View Link
Composing Composers Cross Americas: Probing Disglobal Networks, ACSA International Conference Presentation View Link
Practice Wither Installation: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Presentation View Link
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