Ryan Smith Named Director of School of Architecture at the University of Arizona

March 30, 2022


Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith, Director, School of Architecture, and Professor of Architecture

Ryan Smith, a 2002 University of Arizona Bachelor of Architecture alumnus who has served as professor and director of the School of Design and Construction at Washington State University since 2018, has been named the director of the School of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. Smith will join the school on July 1, 2022.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Ryan Smith is returning home to CAPLA,” says Dean Nancy Pollock-Ellwand. “In his 20 years as a built environment teacher, researcher, administrator and leader, Ryan has demonstrated a passion for building a changing world, as well as a sustained excellence in bringing that passion to students, colleagues and the broader community.”

“Ryan is clearly a knowledgeable, empathetic and forward-looking administrator,” says Laura Hollengreen, CAPLA associate dean for academic affairs and chair of the School of Architecture director search committee. “The breadth of his research and teaching experience as a faculty member as well as his substantial administrative experience make Ryan well-suited for this important leadership position.”

“Arizona is home—it is where I learned to design and research, build and make and lovingly seek creative and evidence-based solutions to the built environment,” says Smith. “The Sonoran Desert is a fragile and complex landscape, economy and society, unique in Arizona and in the world. I’m excited about returning to work with the CAPLA community—students, faculty, staff, the profession and many others—as we address the rapidly changing world together.”

Before joining Washington State University, Smith served from 2004 to 2018 as assistant and then associate professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Utah, where he was founder and director of the Integrated Technology in Architecture Center (2009-2015), as well as associate dean for research and community engagement in the College of Architecture and Planning (2015-2018). Smith was an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Oregon from 2003 to 2004.

Smith’s research focuses on building technology, prefabrication and housing affordability. He has experience in practice and consulting, including MOD X, a research and consulting firm he founded in 2019. He has also served in leadership positions in several educational and professional organizations, including West Region director and board member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and founding chair of the National Institute of Building Sciences, Offsite Construction Council in Washington, D.C.

The author or co-author of six books, Smith will receive a PhD in Engineering and the Built Environment from Edinburgh Napier University soon. He also holds an M Arch from University of California, Berkeley.

Smith replaces Robert Miller, who is retiring from the University of Arizona in December 2022.


Ryan Smith


Named Director of the School of Architecture


Begins July 1, 2022