Jeremy Smith

I dream for better cities.

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Resilient Redwood City: An Introduction


My name is Jeremy Smith. I grew up in Redwood City and have an unusually great amount of pride for my hometown. Having gone through high school at the same time as the city’s beloved downtown started its renaissance, I became very interested with what makes a city that all people can enjoy living and working in.

I left Redwood City to go to college at the University of Southern California, partly with a scholarship from the city’s own Sequoia Awards. While in LA, I further developed my interest for cities and began to explore how they interfaced with natural systems. I was drawn to urban coasts, where dense settlement and vital ecosystems collided.

I then took a year after college to work in engineering consulting, where I worked on sea level rise vulnerability assessments for cities in Southern California. I was so interested in the topic that I returned to the Bay to go to...

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Sketch of Downtown Los Angeles

View from roof of my apartment building in North University Park (3.28.2015): Los Angeles Sketch.jpg

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Photoshop Glitches

These are glitches in photoshop that occurred after I deleted a linked file. The program started to pull random images from my desktop and ended up portraying me through a digital collage of an example image of design feedback from Geodan, a map of USC, and my self-portrait.

These are some of my favorite glitches that I screenshotted:

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Social Innovation Design Lab

Spring Semester 2015 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles

I am almost half-way through one of the most interesting courses I have ever taken at USC: BAEP 471 Social Innovation Design Lab. For the course, 21 students are split into 7 groups of 3 and go through the design thinking process to learn about our community, identify problems, find opportunities, and design a product that can be implemented in a for-profit, financially sustainable business model to have a positive social impact.

Our community is Pacoima, CA in the North San Fernando Valley. We are working with a fantastic organization called MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity). Look out for more updates on my team’s progress on our design of our final product. Here are some photos from our visit to the community in late January. IMG_3597.jpgIMG_3603.jpgGOPR1393.JPG

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Made in Adobe Illustrator Project X (color).png

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Watercolor and Pastel

This is a painting inspired by the damage of war in the Middle East. IMG_2723.jpg

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Familiar Landscapes

As I flew into SFO, I was able to get some shots of my hometown, Redwood City, CA. The canals brought me right back to the Netherlands. Except I knew that these were not as easy to navigate via any mode of transport except a car. You can tell from the classic American culdesacs. IMG_2715.jpgIMG_2716.jpgIMG_2718.jpg

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City Identity

Like teenagers, some cities struggle with their identities. When I visited Rotterdam, Utrecht, Brussels, and Almere during my time in the Netherlands, none had quite the clear identity as the one and only: Amsterdam. Quite honestly, I attribute a majority of the credit to Amsterdam’s flag. The flag is two red horizontal stripes with a middle black stripe with three white X’s (or crosses as the Dutch would call them). There is much speculation on the origin of the design, but a popular belief is that the flag became a warning to those entering Amsterdam of its three dangers (the water , fire, and the plague). IMG_2228.jpg Now the X X X flag can stand for another three things that the city is known for around the world. Regardless of their meaning, the flag is excellent branding. The X X X is seen everywhere in the city, from drainage markers to the city’s crest. Wherever you are in Amsterdam you can...

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From Pavement to Polders

In my geodesign class, we were asked to try and see how the geodesign aspects in the Netherlands could apply here in LA… well…. this is one way: Turn the Highways into Canals! LA Polders.jpg Here’s a colored version: Los Angeles Canals Colored.jpg

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
-Barack Obama

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