keernsmith is an architecture practice. We like the idea of practice, as a firm implies something that is static and we believe that the best projects are specific to a place, a client, a culture and therefore cannot accept some formula. Our office is located in San Francisco, California because we live for eternal motion (the ocean) and do not mind the occasional trembling of the ground. Amidst all of this activity, our architecture seeks to connect people to their environment and to each other.
We believe that architecture has the power and responsibility to be inclusive to everyone and to actively address the relationship that the built environment has with earth’s ecosystems. As signatories to Architects Declare, we commit to working with clients to design spaces in a participatory dialogue with an ongoing interest in the relationships between personal and public realms, knowing that even small projects may have big impacts. Ultimately, we like to imagine alternative futures for the spaces we inhabit and the objects that surround us.
Ryan Keerns co-founded keernsmith to explore the human environment and how intellect shapes every project. Surrounded by books and maps, he seeks to understand the project’s mission and goals, place and atmosphere, and precedent projects that contribute to and advance the cultural legacy of the architectural discipline.
Ryan is an Adjunct Professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He teaches Integrated Building Design studios and Architectural Representation seminars.
Prior to keernsmith, Ryan contributed to a vast array of projects across the globe. Notably, he served as Project Manager/Project Architect on the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis.
Kristen Smith co-founded keernsmith with the desire to create spaces that inspire. Her work focuses on the intersection between ephemerality of interior space and the permanent characteristics of a lasting architectural legacy.
Kristen has worked professionally for nearly a decade in both San Francisco and Philadelphia on projects ranging from objects and furniture to complex buildings and master plans. She is passionate about creating vibrant, sometimes surprising experiences that elevate everyday materials and activities.
In addition to her professional work, Kristen is active in academia. She has led design studios and seminars in representation and fabrication at California College of the Arts, UC Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Interior Design at California College of the Arts where she teaches design studios that partner with community organizations to re-imagine public space.