I launched the practice in 2007 with the idea of combining design flair with cost-aware, effective delivery. Seeing this happen every day really does make me smile.
I’m a lover of knotty challenges and have a fondness for problem-solving which might explain the frequent requests I get to support existing complex projects as much as instigate new ones. I like solutions that really think about our clients’ needs because in my experience, outcomes designed around their aspirations rather than ours have more traction and are more successful.
Our ancestry is broad. Clients can rest assured that we have all the right skills and expertise, and for my part this is made up of more than 20 years’ experience of residential, mixed use, commercial and high-end residential projects for public and private sector clients including the University of Liverpool, the Cadogan Estate, Grosvenor and the Crown Estate.
I love how adaptable our business is and how we can respond to different sized projects without panicking. It’s great to see clients appreciate us for this and for our technical ability as much as our design. I’m determined to sustain this approach and while I sit in the driving seat, I work hard to keep one foot in the engine room and a close eye on every project. The day we’re too big to do that is the day I pack it in and join the circus.
Clive graduated from Birmingham School of Architecture in 1992 with a BA (Hons) Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture. Professional studies were completed at East London University and he became fully qualified as an Architect in 1996. Clive is an ARB registered architect and a member of the RIBA.
I started work at smok in 2011 when the practice’s workload increased and Clive decided he finally needed some company in the office.
Having previously worked at larger teams in larger practices, smok threw me in at the deep end and I was running my own projects from day one. I enjoy the challenges that come with the projects we work on, and the fact that we see them through from start to finish because we have very few projects that don’t actually end up being built.
Prior to joining the smok team, my architectural experience in London was predominantly high-end residential projects, although I was also involved in the restoration and refurbishment of the facade of a famous London department store. Before moving south, I worked in Manchester and Leicester on a range of projects including smaller residential extensions, commercial restorations and large new-build residential developments.
Although we’re a creative practice, we’re also realistic with our approach to projects, and I feel we achieve a good balance between creativity and managing client expectations and budgets.
We have a great team here at smok and I enjoy my working day in the studio, which makes my long commute at the beginning and end much more tolerable.
Katie graduated from Manchester School of Architecture in 2004 and De Montfort University in 2008. She qualified as an Architect in July 2010 having completed her studies at London South Bank University. Katie is an ARB registered Architect and a member of the RIBA. In her free time she likes to do zumba and tries to head overseas as often as possible.
I joined smok late 2017 to coordinate a small team with the production of construction information for a rather large Grade II private house overlooking the palatial Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, central London. A full-time but wildly exciting challenge to say the least.
Before this prodigious responsibility my construction experience and interest in finessed detail was honed working on projects such as the Royal Chelsea Hospital, John Pawson conceived apartments in Ladbroke Grove, the uber cool Richard Ward award-winning metro spa in Sloane Square and numerous other high-end residential, more contemporary developments. Including at the time a swimming pool extension in Richmond that had the largest glass-sliding roof in the UK. Featured in the Condé Nast Publications, House & Garden.
In addition, studying and working in Bruno, the Czech Republic and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and experimenting in practice management, co-forming a small practice before the ”Great Recession” of 2009 helped vastly broadened my knowledge of the construction industry.
smok offices are welcoming and sociable, both in and out of the working environment. The open plan factory space allows everyone the ability to chip in and add their own thoughts across the numerous projects, which I believe is valuable to utilise the experience within the office.
James graduated from Brighton University, School of Arts, Architecture and Design with both a Bachelor’s degree with Honours and a Diploma in 1997 and 2000 respectively. Formally registering as an Architect with the ARB in 2002. Aside from spending time and having fun with his young daughter, James also likes to play golf.
I started my time at smok in early 2018 as an Architect attached to a team working through the onsite phase of a large central London residential renovation project.
The majority of my experience prior to working for smok, was spent working on residential, private educational and heritage works of varying sizes throughout south and central London.
Since my move here I’ve found the office to be an open friendly environment with a very sociable atmosphere, in a vibrant part of North London, working within a team of highly motivated and innovative designers. Moving forward I’m looking forward to developing my skills and expanding my experience base with Clive and the team over the coming months and years.
Craig completed his Part I at Northumbria University in Newcastle before moving to London and finishing off his Part II and III qualifications at South Bank University. Outside of work Craig likes to visit exhibitions, watch football and is a dab hand at the poker table.
I joined the smok team in early 2017 as a Part II architectural assistant after moving down to London.
Having grown up, studied and worked amidst the ‘affa bonnie’ mountains and lochs of North East Scotland, I have developed a love of traditional, sustainable design that makes the most of its surroundings. I’ve worked on a number of residential and agricultural projects across Scotland including a traditional family home that achieved Passivhaus standards, set in picturesque Royal Deeside.
It’s a great feeling to have found a seat in the smok office. We are a very friendly, open and social team that share interests both inside and outside of the studio. It’s an extremely creative environment to work in and I’m excited to expand my skills and knowledge on the diverse folio of jobs that smok has going on, where there is always something new to challenge me.
Mark graduated with a Masters of Architecture with Merit from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in 2012 and has worked in a number of small practices throughout rural Scotland. He has a love of the outdoors, is an avid gamer and has a passion for cinema. He is currently working towards achieving his RIBA Part III qualification.