Dan Kinkead

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Dan discovered his passion for architecture applying for college as an undergraduate. "After an exhausting day-long entrance exam, which included full-scale figure sketching, writing, and model making, it all clicked. It was a very rare moment of sublime clarity." That clarity, coupled with a desire to improve the world through his work, has fueled Dan’s drive to create urban places, complex mixed-use projects, and adaptive reuse efforts that realize new futures for underutilized buildings and districts. In each case, Dan is driven toward concepts, strategies, and programs that directly impact and benefit people’s lives. As co-leader of SmithGroup’s Urban Design Practice, Dan welcomes big, seemingly intractable challenges that require broader socio-cultural, economic, and ecological thinking. His 20-year career has encompassed transformative projects for Columbia University and the City of Detroit, as well as urban district design in Europe and China. "I like complexity, and working with an interdisciplinary team to develop powerful, clear responses," says Dan. "It’s difficult to maintain the breadth of this work at times, but it’s critical as we move into a dynamic future of converging uses. It’s about impact."