SYLVIA J. SMITH

FXCollaborative

SAY IT LOUD - A'19 Exhibitor

New York Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I am inspired by the role that thoughtful and sustainable design plays in creating and strengthening a more inclusive sense of community, and by the collaborations that make that happen.

SYLVIA J. SMITH

Bio:

Senior Partner at FXCollaborative, Sylvia formed and leads the firm’s award-winning Cultural/Educational Studio, approaching design as a practical and poetic articulation of cohesive ideas. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Dickinson College and Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia. She is on the board of Dickinson College and Storefront for Art & Architecture, Design Trust for Public Space, and advisory board of Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

Growing up in Chicago, I inherited my father’s love of the city, its buildings, and public spaces. After studying and making art in college, I discovered that my design mindset and interest in the public good was fully engaged in architecture.

What do you do?

I am a designer, an advocate, a leader, and a guide. My projects are in the arts, cultural, and educational arenas, so I have long melded my activist and aesthetic interests with my professional practice.

What excites you in the work you do?

I love exploring, understanding, and interpreting the essence of an institution’s mission, goals, and program. Collaborating with my clients and project teams, I love realizing a vision that resonates with that spirit and strengthens community.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I am inspired by the role that thoughtful and sustainable design plays in creating and strengthening a more inclusive sense of community, and by the collaborations that make that happen.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

I am proud of all my projects but Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is a distinctive achievement: winning the international competition, working closely with a distant client group, and realizing a beautiful campus that has been embraced by its community.

Featured Project Name: 

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah: The Radiant Campus

 

Featured Project Location: 

Nairobi, Kenya

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2017

Role in Featured Project: 

Partner-in-Charge

 

Featured Project Description:

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is a modern 1,000-student academy for Quaranic study and IB curriculum. Conceived as a “campus in the garden” and “garden in the campus,” the building orientation, scale, and geometry are inspired by Fatemi architecture and philosophic principles and the Kenyan context. Light and knowledge are at its core. A “radiant axis” extends from a central courtyard to connect all parts of the campus and define quadrants of smaller-scale live-learn communities for male and female students.

Photography Credit:

Courtesy of FXCollaborative

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