A DISCUSSION WITH DESIGN PARTNER, CASS CALDER SMITH Cass Calder Smith established the architectural firm that bears his name in 1992. Smith earned his Bachelor and Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. A native of New York City, he has lived in California since 1972. Firmly based in the modernist idiom, Smith draws inspiration from history’s masterful architects and remarkable cities as well as several epic filmmakers. Creative expression and unique innovation are characteristic of his designs balanced with intricate detail and pragmatism. In addition to professional practice, Cass teaches design at UC Berkeley, is a Trustee on the Board for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and chaired the Civic Design Review Committee on The San Francisco Arts Commission for 8 years. He is also involved with curatorial groups at the Whitney Museum, and both the San Francisco and New York Museums of Modern Art. Smith and his work have won numerous design awards and have been published in The New York Times, Architectural Record, Metropolitan Home, Metropolis, Dwell, and Interior Design among others.
Q&A WITH CASS What do you find informs your projects most these days?
It’s a number of aspects, which leads into the design agenda and process. First and foremost, it’s the client’s aspirations and requirements. A close collaboration helps this communication. Second, it’s the site for a new house or the existing house if it’s a renovation, since really understanding what you have to work with is important and also inspiring. The third is the regional context so that the home has some roots to a place. Designing a house in Marin is much different than Los Angeles. And since the beginning I have always been informed by many of my heroes from Le Corbusier on architecture to David Lean on cinema. [ ] EXCEPTIONALLY COOL HOMES / ARCHITECTURE ISSUE 2021