He doesn’t have a website because he doesn’t want clients. Ka-pow. Ted Smith is from the San Diego school of design-build along with Lloyd Russell, Jonathan Segal and Sebastian Mariscal. In fact, Smith is commonly referred to as the father of the architect-as-developer movement. On each of his projects, he is in control of the financing, securing the real-estate, design, construction, marketing and sales of the finished product.

His early experience included architectural work for spec homes, which from what we’ve gathered, left him disappointed in society and concerned about the direction of residential design. This epiphany has made him somewhat of a social activist in the design world and since then he’s been experimenting with common area living spaces, town-homes, pared-down living quarters, and flexible living concepts.

Having done quite a bit of homework on Smith, we find him to support small localized design that depends on the personality of the existing urban fabric. His regional design aesthetic strikes us as affordable, flexible, and socially responsible. In short, get your eyes on this guy. His design philosophy and method is all the more relevant with the near halt of the design and construction industries.

Currently Smith is teaching a graduate program at Woodbury University in San Diego on the art and practice of real estate development for architects.

Essex Lofts with Lloyd Russell, San Diego
[Photo by Jimmy Fluker]

Merimac with Lloyd Russell, San Diego
[Photo by Todd Hido]

LIND with Kathleen McCormick, San Diego
[Photo by Joseph Valerio]

9th and Beech with Kathleen McCormick, San Diego
[Photo by Joseph Valerio]

We like Smith’s down-and-dirty exploration of new ways to live, getting it built, and getting design conscious people inside. There’s very little marketing behind his ventures and no apparent self-promotion. Will someone please tie a cape around this guy’s neck.