Brian Black


Senior Project Designer


  • Brian draws upon a broad range of experience designing complex projects of varying scales and typologies as he develops innovative solutions for SMMA’s K-12 and Higher Education projects
  • Aligns design team goals with the client’s best interests, building a foundation of trust that lasts throughout the life of the project
  • Enjoys promoting the development of young designers at the Boston Architectural College and at SMMA by serving as a trusted mentor
  • Prioritizes stakeholder-education when working with K-12 communities by translating complex design and construction methodologies into a manageable set of choices and priorities 
  • Is committed to design excellence, whether confronted with details of a complex façade or testing building form in the early stages of a feasibility study
  • Seeks a synthesis of the complexities inherent in all building projects, working under a design mantra of “Make it Simple”

The Language of Design

A trained journalist, Brian draws a parallel between design and journalism where inspirational buildings result from authentic research and a commitment to revealing meaning.

“I like to think of design as a process that is similar to literary composition. Design elements, like words, comes together to create meaning; buildings can draw upon symbolic language and compositional structure to tell stories of communities, cultures, and brands. As designers, we have a responsibility to orchestrate the frameworks for those stories and to ensure their authenticity.”

Encouraging Communities

School projects inspire me because they are products of exemplary community engagement where we work with stakeholders who are uniquely passionate about their mission. They are parents, educators, and town and city leaders – they know these schools can impact their families and communities for decades, so they come together to work diligently for their kids’ success.