Claudia Smith

Claudia Smith

““I am passionate about interacting with people and learning about the ways in which different people live. Architecture combines the art of making physical objects with problem solving and purpose to create exciting, bespoke environments and legacies.””

Graduate of Architecture

B. Design (Architecture) (Dist.) – University of Newcastle
M. Architecture (Dist.) - University of Newcastle  
AIA NSW - University of Newcastle Undergraduate Medal Nominee 2018
AIA NSW - University of Newcastle History & Theory Prize 2018
University of Newcastle Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment Research Scholarship Recipient 2018  
University Medal, Architecture 2022 - University of Newcastle
Learning Environments Australasia Young Designer Scholarship Recipient 2023

Claudia is a recent University of Newcastle University Medal Winner. She has been with SHAC for 6 years, initially working intensively in masterplanning, helping us to deliver over 60 masterplans for Public, Independent and Catholic Schools across NSW, as well as being a part of our team collaborating, researching and developing School Design Guidelines for the NSW Department of Education and the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Most recently Claudia has worked closely with our Project Directors to deliver two complex, major independent school projects, following them through from masterplan and concept through to procurement and construction over 4 years. This experience further led to Claudia being awarded the Learning Environments Australasia NSW Young Designer Scholarship. Within the SHAC team, Claudia is also a key member of the SHAC Connecting with Country working group and development of SHAC’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

 Claudia appreciates that excellent architecture requires a deep understanding of the people and place first, to build the identity of a project and ultimately its success and admires how the SHAC team immerse themselves in the clients’ world to curate carefully considered and holistically designed spaces that are specific to them and their unique needs. Appreciating the entire process of bringing a project to life, from unpacking the inherent complexities of a project’s brief, interwoven with the layers of site conditions, negotiation of services and budget constraints to advancing sketch details to 1:1 installations on site.  

 Claudia loves that architecture is beyond the compilation of components, materials or aesthetics, instead about how people live, act and interact - it is more than the sum of its parts and can influence a moment or a lifetime, and has the potential to positively impact a single person or an entire community. 

 In her downtime, Claudia loves a good weekend brunch or walk with the dogs.