SmithGroup, one of the nation’s largest integrated design firms, has elevated principal and senior landscape architect Lauren Leighty, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C, to lead the Campus studio at its Ann Arbor office. Leighty will be responsible for the continued growth and development of a team of highly-experienced campus planning and design experts and will work alongside leadership to strengthen the company’s position as a premiere firm for learning environments.
Since joining SmithGroup in 2011, Leighty has been closely aligned with the firm’s Higher Education Practice and has led the development of master plans for institutions such as California State University, Chico; Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research; Pima Community College District; Boston University; and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which was recently honored for its award-winning campus master plan update by the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
A nationally-recognized expert in the field of campus planning, Leighty has been called upon to speak at conferences for the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Society for College and University Planning on a range of topics impacting the profession.
“The higher education marketplace is experiencing unprecedented change,” shares Doug Kozma, campus planning practice director at SmithGroup. “Lauren has a comprehensive understanding of the issues that clients are facing and possesses the expertise and passion necessary to deliver strategic, forward-thinking solutions that will guide them towards a sustainable future.”
SmithGroup’s team of higher education and campus planning experts develop balanced, creative and implementable solutions that transform campuses across scales while also strategically considering critical performance, prioritization, and long-term vision. Projects range from campus master planning, district planning, and landscape master planning to the creation of campus design guidelines, green infrastructure strategies, and detailed site design.
Leighty earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Urban Design from the University of Michigan. She is an active member of American Society of Landscape Architects. A native of Peoria, Illinois, Leighty currently resides in Birmingham, Michigan.
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