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Hello! I'm Kristen Smith. I am a Detroit-based designer and educator with over fifteen years of professional design experience. 


My design practice is interested in crafting comfortable and considered interior spaces, developing welcoming exteriors which blur the line between inside and out, elevating materials and finishes through unique application and thoughtful detailing, and building responsive relationships with clients and collaborators to inspire, inform, and execute successful projects. 


Prior to starting Kristen Smith Design, I was co-founder and principal at Et al. Collaborative of Detroit. I was a lead designer from 2013 to 2019 on many commercial and residential design projects including Selden Standard, The Alley Project Commons, and Standby. Some of my work has been featured in several local publications such as the Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, and Curbed.

From 2008 to 2013, I gained architecture experience with M1/DTW working on projects such as Mills Pharmacy and Detroit Yoga Lab, as well as graphic design for several branding projects and book designs. Prior to joining M1, I worked with PEG Office of Landscape Architecture in 2007 on several landscape design competitions and projects. 

In addition to client-based design work, I am also a Professor of Practice at Lawrence Tech University College of Architecture and Design. 

Project List

Selected project experience 2007 to present

Porter Cafe  |  Detroit MI   |   coming spring 2024

Canine to Five Eastside  |  Detroit MI   |   coming summer 2023

Hyde Road Porch  |  Hartland MI   |   coming summer 2023

Stone House  |  Beverly Hills MI   |   2022

Canine to Five Commerce  |  Commerce MI   |   2021

Canfield Kitchen  |  Detroit MI  |  2021

Vinewood Exterior  |  Detroit MI  |  2020

New Order Coffee Beaumont  |  Royal Oak MI   |   2020

Chateaufort Kitchen  |   2020

Lexington Bar |  Woodbridge Detroit  |  2020


Church Street Kitchen |  Corktown Detroit |  2019

with Et al. Collaborative [2013–2019]

Grace in Action  |  Southwest Detroit  |  coming 2020

New Order Coffee Roasters | Midtown Detroit | 2017

The Alley Project Commons | Southwest, Detroit | 2016


Porter St Mixed Use Development Schemes | Hubbard Farms Detroit | unbuilt


The Skip Bar | Downtown, Detroit | 2016


David Campbell Memorial Terrace | Dequindre Cut, Detroit | 2016


Standby Restaurant | Downtown, Detroit | 2015

La Rondinella | Eastern Market, Detroit | 2015


St Vincent | Corktown, Detroit | 2015

Newman Residence Kitchen | Corktown, Detroit | 2015


Coffee and (Records) | Jefferson Chalmers, Detroit | 2015


Selden Standard | Midtown, Detroit | 2014


Restaurant/Market/Retail Complex | Eastern Market, Detroit | unbuilt


Red Bull House of Art ARTpartment | Eastern Market, Detroit | 2014


Trinosophes | Eastern Market, Detroit | 2014

Fiyck Residence Renovation Concepts  |  MI  |  unbuilt


Rubbed | Corktown, Detroit | 2014


Artifactory | Corktown, Detroit | 2013


Innerstate Gallery | Eastern Market, Detroit | 2013


Facade Design Studies | Eastern Market, Detroit | unbuilt

with M1/DTW [2008–2013]




Mills Pharmacy


MNGV Salon & Spa




Pekoe & Joe


The Nail Lounge




Shim Sutcliffe — The Passage of Time


Eliel & Eero Saarinen — Kleinhans Music Hall


Minoru Yamasaki — M&T Bank


O'Donnell & Tuomey — Ways of Working 


Thom Mayne — The Continuity of Contradiction 


MOS — Beginnings


Graphic Design:


Outside Partnership

Taubman College


Alex Emilio Salon




Taubman College

Charfoos Design

6 Salon

with PEG/OLA [2007]


CVHC – Landscape design for multi-family housing


Weather Vane - Venice 2G Competition Entry 2007


Chaumont Garden Competition Entry 2007


Jardin de Metis Competition Entry 2007

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