Co-founded in 2005 by Tricia Stuth and Ted Shelton, curb endeavors to create architecture that is smart, resourceful, and intimately tied to its place and its time. Since its founding, the firm has received a steady stream of local, regional, and national design awards. We continue to seek opportunities both to engage with thoughtful clients to make positive contributions to the built environment and to activate our own vision through development projects, installations, and events.
Selected from a brainstorming list made fragile by many foldings and unfoldings, or firm name, curb, speaks to many of our beliefs and interests.
Curbs are both ubiquitous and humble. An overlooked part of the urban environment they nonetheless perform many vital functions – defining an important edge in the public realm, clarifying transportation flows, and performing important storm water tasks. The curb line is one of the most enduring constructs in the urban environment. Buildings come and go, but the curb remains. Though subtle, curbs are social, technical, and spatial. For us this is powerful design – unassuming, straightforward, smart, and effective in multiple ways.
WHY WE PRACTICE
As full time educators, we do not practice out of necessity. We practice both because we thoroughly enjoy the process of design and construction and because we see practice as a critical adjunct to our work in other spheres. Practice benefits our teaching, research, and writing – and vice versa. Our work offers us the opportunity to continually reassess our environment, culture, and time.
We practice simply because we must. We are designers at heart. The acts of drawing and making color the way we interact with the world. We love what we do and can’t imagine putting it aside.
This approach allows us to provide a nearly unique architectural service to our clients – design that is extremely deep in its considerations, connections, and opportunities.
HOW WE PRACTICE
We are extremely selective about the commissions we accept. Typically, we have no more than one project in the works at a time. This selectivity allows us to thoroughly concentrate on the projects we do accept and assures a good fit between a client’s goals and our interests and abilities.
Our decision to accept a project is not guided by budget. In fact, we find poetry in the everyday – the humble use, the simple material, the modest scope. The necessary frugality of vernacular buildings has long been a touchstone for our work, though always filtered through the lens of contemporary construction capabilities, cultural demands, and environmental ethics.
We enjoy the interactions that come with any project – the myriad of discussions with consultants, manufacturers, contractors, craftspeople, and, of course, clients – that hone the work and lead to a result that is successful on multiple levels.
We are particularly interested in urban infill housing and historic preservation in its most expansive sense. We are open to converting our fees to carried interest to assist development projects that align with our ethos.Edit