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Firm Profile: Cheng+Snyder

Cheng+Snyder is an Oakland-based, multi-disciplinary design studio founded by Irene Cheng and Brett Snyder. The firm produces work at a wide range of scales, from books to buildings to everything in between. Known for their innovative iPhone app that allows users to see visionary, but unbuilt architecture (Museum of the Phantom City), the team works on self-initiated research projects as well as client-based architectural and urban design services.

Recent work includes the Sunnyside House, a stealth renovation of a Craftsman in Piedmont, #OurChangingClimate, an award winning participatory project focused on local responses to climate change, and Smart Sidewalks, a winning entry to the NYC Reinvent Payphones competition.

Irene Cheng is an architectural historian, critic, and designer. Her research focuses on the intersections of architecture, cultural history, politics, and the history of science. Her current book project, entitled “The Shape of Utopia: The Architecture of Radical Reform in Nineteenth-Century America,” explores the geometry of architectural projects affiliated with anarchist, socialist, abolitionist, free love, spiritualist, and other radical antebellum movements.

Brett Snyder is an architect and designer and an Associate Professor at The University of California Davis, where he focuses on the increasingly complex relationship between architecture and media. Prior to founding his design firm, Snyder was a project architect at Steven Holl Architects in New York.

Whether working on an architectural project, a design object, or a research venture, Cheng + Snyder believe design is a medium to provoke fresh thinking about the status quo.

Photo Credits (top to bottom): Carlos Chavarría, Brett Snyder, Beth Ferguson