James Douglas Smith

James Douglas Smith

Indianapolis, IN, US



 Assistant State Architect, State of Indiana Department of Administration, May 2019 to present.  Assistant Section Chief, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Plan Review, November, 2017 - May, 2019.  Principal and senior architect at R & B architects, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana from May, 2014 to November 2017. Formerly President and principal architect of James Douglas Smith, AIA, Architects Inc. Practice concentration in programming and design of special needs housing; commercial office and retail space; Restoration and repurposing of historic buildings; Church facility programming and building design.
Past Lead Design Professional, Principal with VRA Architects, Inc., Project architect for VRA bank buildings in North Carolina, Michigan, Orlando Fl., Riverside CA, Indiana and Illinois. Special skill for developing client programs and integrating with project environment including local zoning, development, planning, building code issues and restoration and adaptive reuse for historic structures.
Licensed Architect in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, New York and Florida.
Licensed Real Estate Broker in Indiana


Special needs housing.
Historic Restoration and adaptive re-use of historic buildings.
Religious buildings – sanctuary, education facilities, multipurpose facilities – new and redesign.
Libraries, new construction and redesign of existing facilities.
Retail/Office space design and retail/office buildings.
State of Indiana Correctional facility remodeling and redesign.
Financial Institutions- new installations and redesign of existing facilities.


State of Indiana Department of Administration, Indianapolis, IN, US, Assistant State Architect

Present position, Assistant State Architect with the State of Indiana Department of Public Works. My duties include design services for construction projects on behalf of State Agencies. Services included planning, design and administering capital improvement projects for various sites and building components for State Government Institutions. Manage all aspects of the construction process from evaluation of the scope of work in relation to the allotted budget through design, bidding, and construction.

May 2019 - current

R and B Architects, LLC, Indianapolis, IN, US, Associate Principal, Senior Architect

Project development; project design; team leader for developing construction documents; develop technical specifications; construction administration.

Apr 2014 - current

James Douglas Smith, AIA, Architects Inc., Crown Point Indiana/Indianapolis, Indiana, Principal

Project and Company Principal. Responsible for client development; project design and execution; construction administration.

Nov 1989 - Apr 2014

Purdue University, Calumet, Hammond, Indiana, Adjunct Professor, Construction Technology

Developed curricula and taught three courses in Construction Technology /Architectural Technology.

ARET 222- Developed construction drawings, specifications and reviewed construction period procedures for a two story commercial building.

ARET 276 - Taught students to be able to analyze the content and organization of specifications and how they relate to working drawings during construction. Study of the various types of contract documents used for construction.

ARET 283 - From an architects perspective, taught an overview of the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems and engineering principals that must be designed to work together in residential and commercial buildings. Our goal for the course was for the student to develop sufficient understanding of these systems to be able to accurately review a set of architectural construction documents and to make judgments on how different materials and systems effect function, construction costs and operating costs.

Jan 1999 - May 2013

VRA Architects inc., Park Ridge Illinois, Principal

Collaboration with VRA for client development, design development, coordination of construction documents, construction administration. My projects were primarily located in the Illinois, Indiana region as well as Riverside California; Statesville North Carolina, Orlando-Maitland-Altamonte Springs-Miami, Florida; Niles Michigan.

Feb 2004 - Aug 2009

H. Seay Cantrell Associates Inc., Gary Indiana, Principal Architect/Vice President

Project and Company Principal. Responsible for client development; project design and execution; construction administration. Liaison with City and County government officials for project development and execution.

Jul 1979 - Nov 1989


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, BArch, Architecture

Architectural design studio curriculum and structural engineering. Work towards MS in design.

Jan 1963 - Jun 1968

Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, FR, Arcihtectural Design Studio

Design studio projects with critique sessions lead by working European architects. Field trips to study significant contemporary and historic architecture in France.

Jun 1967 - Sep 1967


Edward D. Pierre Award, Award

AIA state chapter Pierre award is presented for advocacy for architecture as a civic and community leader as well as service to the profession and to the public.


AIA Indiana Distinguished Service Award, Award

James D. Smith, AIA for his efforts on behalf of the architecture profession in his capacity as 2004 AIA Indiana President.


Best Restoration Project, Crown Point Historical Review Commission, 1st Place

Award for sensitive restoration of the Main Street Café in downtown Crown point Indiana.


Merrillville Indiana chamber of Commerce Architectural and Landscape Design Award, 1st Place

Jury awarded our A. G. Edwards office building the best new Architectural and Landscape project opf the year in Merrillville.


AIA Indiana Annual Design Awards, 1st Place

Adam Benjamin Transportation Center in Gary Indiana. Multi-modal hub for downtown transit connections to trains, city bus, regional bus, taxi and private cars. A collaboration between our firm and Harry Weese Associates, Chicago


Areas of Specialization