SmithGroup, one of the nation’s leading integrated design firms, has named principal and mixed-use specialist Michelle Ray, AIA, to serve as Workplace studio leader at its Phoenix office. In her new position, Ms. Ray will continue to work with Phoenix leadership to expand the firm’s workplace and mixed-use expertise and create environments that support the evolving needs of business leaders in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
“The workplace of today is one of continuous transformation. Michelle’s focus on holistic design and her ability to find elegant solutions to multifaceted challenges make her a great partner for workplace clients,” says Lise Newman, director of SmithGroup’s Workplace practice.
With more than 25 years of experience, Ray has been involved in several large retail, office, multifamily residential and hospitality projects. She builds empowered and focused design teams to solve the complex challenges presented by mixed-use projects. Ray is currently leading the design of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Class A office building. Recent project experience includes the Tempe Innovation, Discovery, Education and Art (IDEA) biomedical and technology campus in Tempe, Arizona; and tenant improvements for Becton Dickinson, the first occupant in the Tempe IDEA campus.
“Michelle has successfully led the design and development of complex mixed-use projects in the Southwest, nationally and internationally. Elevating her to set the vision for further growing our workplace studio is a natural progression of her leadership and expertise in this market,” states Brad Woodman, director of SmithGroup’s Phoenix and Denver offices.
She is co-founder and co-chair of Arizona Kids Build, an award-winning student mentoring program aimed at teaching elementary school students how the built environment affects both their well-being and the world around us. Using a hands-on learning experience, the Arizona Kids Build program has reached over 850 students in Phoenix.
Ray received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a licensed architect, a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and is recognized as a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council.
SmithGroup is one of the world’s preeminent integrated design firms. Working across a network of 15 offices in the U.S. and China, a team of 1,300 experts is committed to excellence in strategy, design, and delivery. The scale of the firm’s thinking and organization produces partnerships with forward-looking clients that maximize opportunities, minimize risk and solve their most complex problems. SmithGroup creates exceptional design solutions for healthcare, science and technology organizations, higher education and cultural institutions, urban environments, diverse workplaces, mixed-use and waterfront developments, and parks and open spaces.