Hand drawn sketch of school plaza designed by SMMA

Our History

Like every business startup, our firm began with an idea: approaching design through a dialogue of diverse perspectives and professional expertise.

Founded in 1955, SMMA was initially a division of a local construction company. After ending this formal association in 1958, a small team launched what is today one of the industry’s most well-regarded design firms, at the time called Symmes Maini and McKee.

Parker Symmes, Bill Maini and Jon McKeeA collaboration between three college graduates — Parker Symmes and Bill Maini from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Jon McKee from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture — established SMMA as a pioneer of the multi-disciplinary design approach through combining architecture, engineering, and planning under a single roof.

Over 64 years later, SMMA enjoys a national reach devoted to the success of our clients and grounded in the values of responsible design. We have forged extraordinary long-term relationships with private sector clients, established an enviable record in educational design, and planned and designed state-of-the-art technical and specialized environments.

​We stay true to our founders' vision under our fourth generation of leadership with Ara Krafian, CEO. Our expertise has evolved to include interior design, workplace strategies, educational planning, landscape design, commissioning, graphic design, and energy-permitting services. The heart of our firm resides in our talented and dedicated people who keep our culture innovative, research-based, and collaborative.

We are SMMA. We design places.