Ryan E. Smith

Director, School of Architecture
Professor of Architecture


  • Architecture
  • School of Architecture
Ryan E. Smith


Areas of Expertise

  • Affordable housing
  • Housing production
  • Knowledge management
  • Offsite construction


  • PhD, Edinburgh Napier University (ABD), M.Arch, University of California, Berkeley, B.Arch, The University of Arizona


Ryan E. Smith is a professor of architecture and director of the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona. Professor Smith has been teaching, researching and consulting with respect to offsite construction and housing, modular product R&D, business strategy and market assessment for nearly 20 years. He is author of numerous offsite construction reports, papers and books including the seminal text, Prefab Architecture: A Guide to Modular Design and Construction (2011). He is the founding past chair and current board member of the National Institute of Building Sciences, Offsite Construction Council. He serves on the advisory board of Ivory Innovations for Housing Affordability. He is also a fellow of the Modular Building Institute and a senior research fellow in the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures, Institute for Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier University in the UK. Ryan is founding partner of MOD X, an offsite construction knowledge management advisory group located in Arizona, New York, Boston and Switzerland.

Selected Books and Editorships

  • Smith, R.E. (2011, 2019 Korean). Prefab Architecture: a guide to modular design and construction.  Hoboken & Canada: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Smith, R.E. (Ed. 2012-present). PocketArchitecture: Technical Design Series. Routledge Taylor & Francis.
  • R.Smith (Guest Ed 2017). Production. Journal of Architectural Education. Volume 71:1.  Routledge.
  • Carraher, E., & Smith, R.E. w/ De Lisle. (2017).  Forefront: Leadership in Collaborative Architectural Practice.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Smith, R.E. & Quale, J. (Eds 2017).  Offsite Architecture: Constructing the Future . Routledge Taylor & Francis.
  • Moe, K. & Smith, R.E. (Eds. 2012). Building Systems: Technology, Design and Society.  UK: Routledge / Taylor Francis; Boston: Routledge / Taylor Francis.

Recent Journal and Report Publications

  • Smith, R.E., Rupink, I., Schmetterer, T. & Barry, K. (2022). HUD Offsite Construction for Housing Research Roadmap. US Department of Housing and Urban Developmment, PD&R.
  • Smith, R.E., Rupink, I. & Schmetterer, T. (2022). Mass Timber Modular: Building Products to Product Platforms. International Mass Timber Report. Forest Business Network.
  • Rupnik, I., Smith, R.E. & Schmetterer, T. (2022). Modularization Precedes Digitalization in Offsite Housing Delivery. Bringing Digitalization Home: how can technology address housing challenges? Harvard Joint Centers for Housing Studies Whitepaper.
  • Smith, R.E. (2020). Rethinking Wood: Future Dimensions of Timber Assembly. Technology Architecture + Design. Vol 4:2. 244-245.
  • Smith, R.E. (2019). Modular Mass Customization. In Mass Customization and Design Democratization. B.Koleravic & J.Duarte (Eds.) Routledge Taylor & Francis.
  • Smith, R.E. & Rupnik, I. (2019). Productivity Innovation and Disruption: Offsite Construction in the U.S.. In Offsite Production and Manufacturing for Innovative Construction: People, Process and Technology. Goulding and Rahimian (Eds.) Routledge Taylor and Francis.
  • Smith, R.E. & Rupnik, I. (2018). 5 in 5 Growth Initiative: research roadmap recommendations. Modular Building Institute. Final Report.
  • R.Smith, M.Hamedani, G.Griffin. (2018). Developing Timber Volume Calculators through Comparative Case Study Analysis of Wood Utilization in On-site and Off-site Construction Methods. Technology Architecture + Design. Vol. 2:1.
  • Hairstans, R. & Smith, R.E. (2017). Offsite Hub (Scotland): establishing a collaborative regional framework for knowledge exchange in the UK.  Journal of Architecture, Engineering & Design Management.  Vol 14:1-2.
  • Smith, R.E., Griffin, G., Rice, T. & Hagenhoffer-Daniel, B. (2017). Mass timber: evaluating construction.  Journal of Architecture, Engineering & Design Management.  Vol 14:1-2.


  • Herald Higher Education Awards (UK) – Built Environment Exchange (Edinburgh Napier University)
  • Member Award – National Institute of Building Sciences
  • Modular Building Fellowship – Modular Building Institute
  • Research Award – Architectural Research Centers Consortium
  • Creative Achievement Award and Collaborative Practice Award – Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

News, Research and Projects

Ryan Smith

Inspiring the Next Generation of Change Makers: An Interview with UArizona School of Architecture Director Ryan E. Smith

In this interview, UArizona School of Architecture Director Ryan E. Smith shares his initial vision for the school, discusses the importance of interdisciplinarity, shares his passions for research on affordable housing and the importance of research in an architectural education, discusses the value of connecting with firms, provides advice to students and more.