Dan stumbled on his passion for architecture applying for college as an undergrad. “After an exhausting day-long entrance exam, which included full-scale figure sketching, writing, and model making, it all clicked. It was a very rare moment of sublime clarity.” That clarity, coupled with a desire to improve the world through his work, has fueled Dan’s drive to create urban places and programs that directly impact and benefit people’s lives. As co-leader of SmithGroupJJR’s Urban Design Practice, Dan welcomes big, seemingly intractable challenges that require broader socio-cultural, economic, and ecological thinking. His 20-year career has encompassed transformative projects for Michigan State University and the City of Detroit, as well as urban district design in Europe and China. “I like big complexity, and working with an interdisciplinary team to develop powerful, clear responses,” says Dan. “It’s difficult to maintain the breadth of this design perspective at times, but it’s critical as we move into the future. It’s about relevance.”
Architectural Design, Practice Leader, Urban Design, Urban Planning & Design
Next City Vanguard – Urban Leader Award; AIA Michigan – Design Award for MSU Wells Hall Language Arts Building; ASLA Michigan Chapter – Design Award for Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan; APA Michigan – Daniel Burnham Award for Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan
American Institute of Architects (AIA), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Registered Architect (RA)
Dan is a Graduate Level Architecture Studio Instructor for the Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, University of Michigan. His research and thought leadership work includes serving as an Advisory Board Member for the U.S. State Department’s submission to the 2016 Venice Biennale, and as an Urbanization Graphic Consultant to the World Bank.