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Torri Smith

Intermittent Lecturer

Torri Smith is a Detroit based designer, artist and educator; her investigations span from environmental justice and design biology to storytelling and urban placemaking. Smith will serve as a Lecturer I faculty member for the 2022-2023 year. In addition, she currently serves as the Principal + Founder of ARC BAE; a Detroit-based art and design based practice that focuses on the promotion of kinship between the natural and built environment for all its inhabitants. This past year, Smith served as the 2021-2022 Michigan Mellon Design Fellow in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis. Smith holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan. Smith currently conducts research related to her interests at the intersection of environmental justice, urban activism and design while simultaneously exploring the ways in which ecological regeneration can address systemic racial inequity, tangentially sharing this passion by teaching high schoolers from Detroit Public Schools through ArcPrep.

In 2021, Smith was awarded the Burton L. Kampner Memorial Award for the most outstanding thesis by Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, as well as a Program Distinction Award. Smith was co-creator of Design Justice Actions, co-lead of the Taubman College Community Engagement Working Group, an executive board member of NOMAS, and a contributor to Design Futures Forum. In Spring of 2022, Smith was awarded the Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE scholarship; a full scholarship towards emerging architects pursuing licensure. Additionally, Smith has worked as an architectural designer at ROSSETTI Architects in Detroit, Economic Development & Design Manager for East Jefferson Development Corporation, has volunteered teaching art and architecture at Denby High School, and has worked as a designer and muralist within the city of Detroit for the past several years. Smith’s work has been featured in the Metrotimes, Michigan Chronicle and Detroit Free Press.

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