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Alex Michael Smith

Alex Michael Smith

Philadelphia, PA, US

 

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About 

DESIGN STATEMENT

As communities continue to evolve, who is responsible for finding practical solutions for their advancing landscapes? Conservation versus population growth? Historic preservation versus innovation? As an emerging landscape architect and urban designer, Alex Smith's objectives are to identify and strategically aid these dynamic, communal progressions. With a multifaceted approach, through both design and education, he strives to engage within such communities, envisioning ways optimize the social and ecological synergy of a landscape.

BIO

A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture (2011). Professional mission is to expand and explore a deeper understanding of civic landscapes and urban communities, finding ways to engage and help mediate both large and small scale planning, growth, and design development dilemmas. My emphasis and framework evolve around an urban identity -- specifically waterfront development, urban planning, stormwater management design, brownfield restoration, and community revitalization planning processes. Outside of the office, I am a world traveler having been to over ten countries, and enjoy photography, hiking, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Elsewhere:

Employment 

Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Philadelphia, PA, US, City Planner (Urban Design Division)

• The Urban Design Division is responsible for guiding the design and visualization of public policies developed by the PCPC. Prepare urban design plans for Philadelphia's districts, neighborhoods, streetscapes, and other public spaces.
• Assist the PCPC's three planning divisions with physical design issues and the visualization of planning and policy recommendations.
• Create design concepts for public initiatives in the areas of economic development, neighborhood renewal, commercial revitalization, and the enhancement of the urban environment.
• CDR: Review urban design/architectural elements of new development projects, and coordinate the City's design approval process with the Historical Commission, Art Commission, and Redevelopment Authority.
• Review proposals for building facade improvements along the City's major commercial and cultural corridors.

Jan 2014 - current
 

Floura Teeter Landscape Architects, Baltimore, MD, US, Landscape Designer

http://www.ftla.com/

• Streetscape renovation, contemporary park and plaza design, recreation and education facility planning, transportation development projects.
• Individually perform on site observations and detailed observation reports.
• Produce concept/sketch work, render finalized plans, perspectives, sections and elevations within various mediums of hand drafting, 3-D modeling, and other computer software programs (Adobe Series, AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3ds Max).
• Develop and manage CD sheet sets and RFI reporting. Research LEED guideline requirements for specific projects.
• Extend the firms presence within the greater Maryland community by participating in lecture series, charity events, and national Park(ing) Day.

Jul 2012 - Jan 2014
 

LandConcepts Group, Blue Bell, PA, US, Landscape Designer

http://landconceptsgroup.com/

• Schematic design, campus/educational/recreational facility planning, park/trail design, stormwater management, wetland delineation, construction documentation, cost estimates, planting plans.
• Project Manager: Mount Saint Joseph’s Academy Master Plan Development, Miles Park Armed Forces Monument.
• Render plans, perspectives, sections and elevations within various mediums of hand drafting, 3-D modeling, and other computer software programs (Adobe Series, AutoCAD, SketchUp).

Jun 2010 - Jul 2012
 

Waterfront Toronto, Toronto, ON, CA, Landscape Design Representative

http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/

• One of sixteen LA students selected to participate in a collaborative design workshop (16 weeks) in association with Waterfront Toronto, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and other community representatives.
• Created a conceptual master plan of a seven block site, to be part of the new Lower Don Lands redevelopment initiative in Toronto, Ontario.
• After each LArch and Arch team finalized the overall neighborhood design, individuals then focused on a specific, self-interest design area to further investigate and develop.
• “Waterfront Index Park" proposed sustainable redevelopment of a seven block neighborhood adjacent to the historic Ship Channel in Toronto, Ontario. The waterfront community park also created a new recreational tract for locals, and initiated innovative stormwater management strategies, while highlighting the redesigned ecological spillway and its surrounding ecosystems.

Aug 2011 - Dec 2011
 

Conewago Creek Initiative, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon Counties, PA, US, Community Outreach Representative

http://www.conewagoinitiative.net/

• One of three LA students to participate in an independent study / community volunteer program (12 weeks) in association with Penn State’s University Park Landscape Architecture Program, Penn State's Capital Campus Hydro-Engineering Program and the Conewago Creek Initiative.
• Introduced an informative management booklet (print / online versions), which addressed stormwater dilemmas and emphasized sustainable design solutions. Developed and presented a lecture series focused on cost efficient stormwater management strategies for local community.

Aug 2011 - Nov 2011
 

Groundwork Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, US, Landscape Design Representative

http://www.groundworkbuffalo.org/

• One of fourteen LA students selected to represent Penn State University in an integrative design studio (16 weeks) in association with Groundwork Buffalo (non-profit community outreach organization) and other local community leaders.
• Developed cost effective design concepts of vacant properties in Buffalo, NY. Assisted with design strategies and solutions, looking to retrofit both small scale residential properties and overall neighborhoods.
• “Artist's Corridor" proposed new, low-cost redevelopment designs of several vacant residences located in Buffalo's Eastside Neighborhood, providing varying opportunities to express the "inner artist." Designs introduced "safe sites" including mural/graffiti parks, community dye and paint gardens, and sculptural showcase parks allowing for a new overall community identity.

Aug 2010 - Dec 2010
 

Penn State University: The Hamer Center for Community Design, University Park, PA, US, Research Assistant

http://www.hamercenter.psu.edu/welcome

• Produced data sets, maps, and aided as research assistant to Jessica Cook (PSU MLA Program) and Dr. Timothy Murtha (PSU Landscape Architecture Professor).

Numerous studies have linked health (and obesity in particular) to the active living opportunities close to where people live. Moreover, it is likely that the attractiveness of the sidewalks and parks in the community also have an effect on willingness to be physically active. This study looks at the relationship between body mass index (BMI) as a measure of obesity, and thus health; neighborhood walkability; and perceived attractiveness as measured by a design quality indicators analysis (DQI). This study is set in rural Pennsylvania.

Jan 2009 - Apr 2009
 

Lookaway Golf Club, Buckingham, PA, US, Greens Management Assistant

http://www.lookawaygc.com/

• Golf course design and plant/turf management strategies.
• Golf Caddie

May 2000 - May 2008
 

Education 

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), State College, PA, US, Bachelors, Landscape Architecture (BLA)

History of Design on the Land (LArch 60)
Built Environment and Culture (LArch 65)
Design Seminars (LArch 121,221,222,321,322,424)
Design Visualization and Graphics (LArch 151, 251)
Design and Theory: Principles of LArch Design (LArch 211)
Ecological Principles for Landscape Design (LArch 241)
Regional Planning and Landscape Systems (LArch 311)
Design Implementation (LArch 231, 232, 331, 332)
Plants in Landscape Architectural Design (LArch 341)
Advanced LArch Design (Buffalo, NY and Toronto Studios) (LArch 414)
Independent Study: Conewago Watershed Stormwater Management (LArch 496)
Historic Issues in Landscape Architecture (LArch 361W (writing))
Design and Theory: Issues of Place (LArch 212)
Design and Theory: Site and Community Design (LArch 312)
Studio: Community Design of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park (Tanzania) (LArch 499F)
Seminar: People and Protected Areas (Tanzania) (LArch 499E)
Colloquium: The Contribution of Service-Learning to Students and Community (LArch 499G)
Urban Field Trip (Rome) (LArch 499A)
Urban Design Studio (Rome) (LArch 499B)

Aug 2007 - Dec 2011
 

The Pantheon Institute (Sede di Roma), Rome, Italy, Bachelors, Rome Study Abroad Program: Landscape Architecture

https://stuckeman.psu.edu/arch/sede-di-roma

• Department wide study abroad program in association with Penn State University.
• Program focused on historical vs. contemporary urban development and streetscape design.
• In addition to the educational experience, self-growth and professional education trips throughout Europe included: London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Venice, Cinque Terre, and Florence.

Jan 2011 - Jun 2011
 

Penn State University - World Campus - Tanzania, Udzungwa, Tanzania; Africa, Bachelors, Tanzania Study Abroad Program: Landscape Architecture

https://stuckeman.psu.edu/larch/tanzania

• One of eleven students (LA, geography and business majors) chosen to represent Penn State University in a seven week study abroad program.
• Evaluated patterns of resource use, community needs, and alternatives through planning and design to minimize pressure on the park’s resources.
• Created base maps for communities by surveying existing structures and land use areas using GIS, GPS, measurements, and pictures. Identified culturally significant preservation/management priority sites through secondary research and meetings with village residents/officials.
• Studied and used knowledge of Tanzanian National Parks, Tanzanian government agencies and non-profits to support the development of solutions balancing the needs of the community with preservation goals of the national park.

May 2010 - Jul 2010
 

Awards 

Awards, Other

+ 2012 (Spring) ASLA National Student Awards Competition (Nominee)
+ 2011 (Fall) Early Graduation with Honors Distinction
+ 2011 (Fall) Waterfront Toronto Design Award
+ 2011 (Spring) 4th Year Landscape Design Excellence Award
+ 2011 (Spring) Charles Thorp Design Competition (Nominee)
+ 2011 (Spring) Golumbic Scholarship Award: General Design (Finalist)
+ 2010 (Spring) 3rd Year Landscape Design Excellence Award
+ 2009 (Spring) Arts & Architecture Alumni Scholarship
+ 2009 (Spring) Donald Girouard Memorial Award
+ 2009 (Spring) 2nd Year Stormwater Management Excellence Award
+ 2008 (Spring) 1st Year Landscape Design Excellence Award
+ 2007-2011 (Fall+Spring) The Pennsylvania State University Dean’s List

2013
 

Organizations, Other

+ 2012-- American Society of Landscape Architects (Associate)
+ 2012-- Maryland Chapter of the USGBC
+ 2012-- Penn State University Alumni Association
+ 2012 Scuba Diving Club
+ 2009-2012 Communications and Marketing Task Force Committee (College of Arts and Architecture)
+ 2009 Student / Faculty / Alumni Conference Committee (College of Arts and Architecture)
+ 2008-2011 National Society of Collegiate Scholars (PSU Chapter)
+ 2008-2011 Penn State University Alumni Association (Student)
+ 2007-2011 American Society of Landscape Architects (Student)
+ 2007-2011 Landscape Architecture Student Society (PSU Chapter)

2013
 

Areas of Specialization 

Skills 



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