Above: Rendering of Detroit's Packard Plant as a vertical farm surrounded by bioremediation fields. 

2013 MArch Thesis


About Vanessa

Vanessa Smith Torres is an Architect currently based in Miami, Florida. She joined DLFC Architects in 2017 from New Orleans, Louisiana where her work focused on building performance in hot humid climates. She brings an expertise in using building information models for simulation and analysis to the design process. Vanessa’s varied experience includes several historic renovation projects and projects in the hospitality, education, and institutional sectors.   

 Outside the office, Vanessa often volunteers her time to youth programs that introduce careers in architecture and engineering to those who are underrepresented in the profession, such as the National Organization of Minority Architects’ Project Pipeline and Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. Vanessa continues to serve as Site Director for Hollaback! New Orleans, part of the international movement to end street harassment and make public spaces safer andaccessible to victimized populations.  


Architectural Projects

  • Chabad Menachem Center - Davie, FL
    DLFC Architects
  • Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle Orleans - New Orleans, LA
    Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Architects
  • Fogo de Chao (Left) - New Orleans, LA
    Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Architects
  • Ace Hotel - New Orleans, LA
    Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Architects


Hollaback! New Orleans

Vanessa was a co-founder of Hollaback! New Orleans, part of the international movement to end street harassment. As Site Director, Vanessa has lead campaigns to promote awareness such as chalk walks, wheat pastings, and community workshops and rountables. She also provides Bystander Intervention Training, designed to teach someone how to respond when they witness harassment. 



Historically, the architecture and urban design professions have been dominated by white men. What happens when only one demographic shapes our cities? Vanessa's continued research project explores how constant street harassment and the micro aggressions of the built environment affect women's mobility and access to public space and how designers can strive for gender-inclusive cities.