Michael W. Smith


Michael’s interest in the built environment grew out of childhood experiences in his Washington, DC neighborhood.  He initially wanted to be an architect and studied architecture as an undergrad.  After practicing architecture for several years, however, he decided that through landscape architecture and urban design, he could have a greater impact on the city’s character and improve inner city development.  As a result, Michael decided to return to academia to increase his understanding of urban open space and attended graduate school at the Univ. of Pennsylvania,  receiving his MLA in 2014.  He joined LAB shortly after his graduation.  In addition to his design and analytic skills, Michael has become expert in applying innovative computational techniques to the problems of landscape representation, applying them both illustratively and in technical documentation of his work in contemporary urban landscapes.

He now feels equipped to be a steward of the urban realm, continuing through his practice to investigate and seek to improve the natural and artificial constructs that are the infrastructure of city life. His varied background in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, fine art and carpentry, allows Michael to bring a diverse approach to designing public space. He is bringing together the principles of this entire background to work across several scales simultaneously.  He aims to produce a coherence of the macro-scale and the site-scale that will allow them to speak to each other in a common language.