Nelson Scott Smith is an architect, urban designer, and teacher, and artist.

​​​Travel, and living in the heart of great cities, shaped my beliefs about architecture and urban design. As a Rotch Traveling Scholar, my focus was the influence of climate, culture, and context on architecture and public spaces. Sustainability was an early interest; the cities and dwellings of northern Africa and Mediterranean Europe gave insights into building and urban form shaped by regional forces and resources. These studies and interests are the foundation of my professional career. 

For twenty-five years, I was a partner with Sasaki Associates in Boston and San Francisco. Before joining Sasaki, I worked with other nationally-known architects and with an international firm in Rome.

I founded Artichoke Design Company as a platform for nimble design thinking, collaborations, active project and client involvement, and research and writing promoting climate action and social and environmental justice. 

Clients include public and private organizations, colleges and universities, and individuals. My work is throughout the United States. Internationally, it has taken me to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Mexico, Egypt, and the Middle East.
American Institute of Architects 
American Planning Association (Inactive)
Society of College and University Planning (Inactive)
LEED Accredited Professional

Rotch Scholar, Rotch Traveling Scholarship 1974 -1975
Loeb Fellow, Loeb Fellowship for Environmental Design, 
Harvard Graduate School of Design 1981-82
Fellow, The Salzburg Seminars, Salzburg, Austria 1980

Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, Boston Architectural Center, University of Arkansas, University of Idaho, University of Nebraska, University of Texas, Austin, North Dakota State University

Juror, Rotch Traveling Scholarship Committee 1980

Jury Chairman, American Institute of Architects, Nebraska Chapter Awards Program 1990

Design Review Board, University of Arkansas 1999-2003

Member, American Institute of Architects, National Regional and Urban Design Committee 1985-1990

Commissioner, Boston Back Bay Architectural Commission 1986- 1990

Urban Design Committee, Boston Society of Architects 1982-1990

Design Advisory Panel, New England Life Office and Retail Center, Boston Society of Architects 1988-19​89

"Climate Change, Coastal Ecosystems, and the The Sea Ranch," UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, 2023

"Architecture, Design and Community Resiliency," Panelist, Intersect21, 2021

​​​"Climate Action Master Planning, Predictive Modeling, Carbon Neutrality," New Buildings Institute, "Getting to Zero" National Forum, 2018

​​​​"Define, model, forecast, and implement measurable outcomes for GHG reductions," Society for College and University Planning Pacific Regional Conference and SCUP 52 International Conference, 2017

"A Model for Policy Making and ZNE for Campuses," New Buildings Institute "Getting to Zero" National Forum, 2016

​​​"UCSB Student Affairs 6th Wave Initiative of Zero Net Energy," Society for College and University Planning North Atlantic ​Regional Conference, 2014​

​​"UCSB Student Affairs 6th Wave Initiative for Zero Net Energy," California HIgher Education Sustainability Conference 2013

​​"Owning the Future: Implementing the Sustainable Campus," Society of College and University Planning Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 2012

​"The Westminster Extended Campus - Shared Benefits for College and Community," Society of College and University Planning Pacific Regional Conference 2011

"The Shape of Learning - Three Forces for Change," Universitas 21: 2008

"Sustainability Trends in Higher Education," Hong Kong University Sustainability Conference 2008

"Break Borders-Make Connections," North Dakota State University Lecture Series 2008

"The University of California, Santa Barbara Student Resource Building: Making Transformative Programs and Places," Society of College and University Planning Pacific Regional Conference; Vancouver, BC, Canada 2008

"LEED in Context: The Design Professions, Best Practices, Accountability," American Institute of Architects California Council Desert Practice Conference 2006 

"Planning for Sustainable Campus Development," Association for the Advancement of Sustainability and Higher Education, October 2006 

"Planning for Sustainable Campus Development," Chico State University, Towards Sustainability Western Regional Conference and Expo 2006 

“Analysis Techniques for Sustainable Design Solutions," American Institute of Architects National Convention and Design Exposition; Chicago, Illinois 2004 

Society of College and University Planning Mid-Continent Regional Conferences; 1999, 1998, 1996

Society of College and University Planning -31 National Conference; Washington, D.C. 1996 

Society of College and University Planning Tri-Regional Conference; Scottsdale, Arizona 1995 

American College and University Housing Officers Housing Marketing Strategies Conference; Albuquerque, New Mexico 1998 

American College and University Housing Officers National Conference; Los Cruces, New Mexico 1995  

American Institute of Architects, Maine Chapter, Guest Lecture Series 1987