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About Us

Key Personnel:

Jack L. Smyre, PE, AICP – Principal

Who We Are:

The Design Response is a land planning and urban design firm founded in 2001 that specializes in collaborative strategic thinking, thoughtful and pragmatic site design, and effective management of land development projects in complex social, regulatory, and political environments.  With decades of public and private planning practice experience, along with talented designers and design associates, our primary focus is to help our clients make more informed and profitable land development decisions and to provide more certainty in achieving their goals.

We are perhaps best when paired with your customary civil engineering firm (or one of several we might recommend as a best fit to your project) as the dedicated strategic design component of the project team that

  • focuses on realistic site yield analysis during the due diligence period

  • leads the project team through both the conceptual and detailed site design process

  • provides experienced strategic navigation throughout neighborhood contact and the regulatory approval process

As experienced generalists, we also serve as a strategic sounding board for our clients by which the myriad of design choices being made by other project team consultants can be evaluated and coordinated in a thoughtful and collaborative manner.

Others might think your project to be a rope, a tree, or a boulder…but we understand it’s an elephant.

What We Do:

Initially, we assist our clients in better understanding the physical, social, regulatory, and political setting for their project.  We then begin to maximize project value with thoughtful conceptual design exercises that seek to best utilize a site’s assets within a realistic assessment of identified hard and soft design constraints.

As a component of the design process, we also develop a strategic game plan as to how best to navigate the social, regulatory, and political approval process, minimize identified risks, and maximize odds of success.

We accomplish project objectives and minimize risk with a blend of careful research and analysis, a keen understanding of regulations and process, and lots of practical experience.  Comfortable working with neighbors, public staffs, and elected/appointed local officials, we articulate complex design and planning issues in easily understandable verbal, written, and graphical manner.

Why Hire Us:

Our master plans, preliminary subdivision designs, and commercial site plans are consistently reported as easy to engineer and to build, as they are developed within a seasoned and experienced site planning environment that pays close attention to all four physical dimensions, including Time.  During the evolving design, review, and approval process, The Design Response frequently recognizes opportunities for significant cost-savings and/or increased project value, often at a level that exceeds our professional consulting fee.

Whether you are a new or experienced developer, a commercial broker who is seeking to make a consultant recommendation to your client, or a fellow professional consultant in search of a collaborative project team member that brings strong conceptual design, eye-catching graphics, and experienced strategic navigation of complex processes and social settings, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help maximize the odds of success for your land development project.