Architect Jane Smith to Speak at Hudson Eye Festival Saturday, Sep. 5

Jane Smith – Photo by Tanya Braganti

Many of you know the architect and entrepreneur Jane Smith, FAIA, but you may not know about her growing design office in scenic Hudson, New York, not far from Olana and the modern farmhouse house she built for herself and her partner, as well as major projects like the studios her firm Spacesmith designed recently for Mary Stuart Masterson’s production company.

Next week, Smith will be speaking at the second annual riverfront Hudson Eye Festival, a celebration of music, street art, installations and performance art, as well as the “Hot Topics” series of panel discussions.

Jane Smith joins Chanel’s visual director Robert Fuller and interior designer Sheila Bridges for the talk — “Hudson Design: Present, Past + Future” — sharing their anecdotes, thoughts and experiences in the world of design in Hudson as well as the Hudson River Valley and describing life as regional designers and residents of Hudson.

The talk will be held via Zoom on Saturday, Sept. 5th from 1:00-2:00pm ET. 

Details on the talk follow below, and more information on The Hudson Eye 2020, held August 28th to September 7th in Hudson, N.Y.

Talk: Hudson Design: Present, Past + Future
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Via Zoom

Organized by Sherry Jo Williams
Brown Cranna: Founder + Principal Designer, Brown Cranna Interior Design
Jane Smith: Founding Partner, Spacesmith
Robert Fuller: Visual Director, Chanel
Sheila Bridges: Founder, Sheila Bridges Design

Public registration:


About the talk:
Hudson Design: Present, Past + Future

This Hot Topic panel features four regional designers, each with a special connection to Hudson, N.Y. These accomplished designers were selected from among the many talented creatives in the area for their outstanding contributions in the field of architecture, interior design and visual direction. Now firmly established as a cultural destination, Hudson is as well known for its outstanding architecture as its thriving contemporary art-and-design scene. But long before the city’s recent renaissance, Hudson endured decades of neglect before antique dealers and decorators made their way upstate, drawn to the historic town with the scenic river views.

The panel will begin with a discussion concerning this unprecedented moment in history and its impact on Hudson. We will then explore how architecture shaped early Hudson, and then twenty first century design culture- interior design, new and adaptive reuse architecture, home furnishings and art galleries helped to create the city as we know it today. The group will close envisioning a future Hudson, made stronger through the power of community and the promise of design.

Sherry Jo Williams – Design. Community. Journalism.

Sherry Jo Williams brings a skilled eye and open mind to each project, challenging convention and demanding diversity and design excellence from start to finish. Professional contributions include DesignHudson, an annual celebration showcasing both historic and contemporary Hudson through designer show houses and design installations, and creative director of culture+commerce project, an on-line gallery providing design services and representation for regional makers of custom furniture and lighting. Design Diary, her column written for Rural Intelligence and Chronogram, takes the reader on a guided tour of unique Hudson Valley residences and their intriguing inhabitants.

She has served on an unique assortment of nonprofit Boards centered in the Hudson Valley, including The Hudson Business Coalition, The Prison Public Memory Project and WiseBodies, and as a panelist on Coming Out, Being Out, Staying Out presented by The Hudson Eye 2019. An experienced leader in curation, design marketing and community engagement, Sherry continues her commitment to making the world a more inclusive and better designed place for all.

Brown Cranna

Brown is the principal designer of Brown Cranna Interior Design. BCID is a full service residential interior design firm with offices in Long Island City and Hudson, NY. Brown has over twenty years of experience creating personal and finely crafted spaces for his clients.

Cranna approaches each project with a keen eye for detail, a clean modernist style and respect for his client’s needs and desires. His sensitivity to architecture, functionality and the history of the space is always paramount.

Jane Smith, FAIA

Jane is the founding partner of Spacesmith, LLP, architecture, planning, and interior design, with offices in New York City and the Capital Region. Spacesmith considers use, volume and spatial progression as essential to form. The firm designs spaces that support purpose, inspiration and equanimity for stakeholders and their extended communities.

With a diverse portfolio and many repeat clients, Spacesmith has completed work for city, state, and federal agencies, schools, non-profits, and private sector clients in fashion, finance, and media. Projects created by Spacesmith embrace elegant solutions that are timeless and contextual. Projects in progress outside of Hudson in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley include the Upriver Studio, a Film and TV location, in Saugerties; a community market in downtown Albany; a townhouse renovation in Troy; and several new homes along the Hudson River. Right here in Hudson, Spacesmith projects in progress include a new store for Talbot & Arding, a cocktail lounge, the adaptive reuse of Columbia Lodge, and several residential renovations.

For twelve years, Jane served as the Chair of the Interior Design Department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), guiding and mentoring the next generation of designers. At SVA she developed a faculty of design and technical leaders that engaged designers, architects, and students in an ongoing dialogue of collaboration and professional inclusion.

Jane is dedicated to making meaningful contributions to the practice of architecture and serving the community. She is currently serving as the co-chair of the Architecture Leadership Council for the NY Building Congress and as a director on the AIA New State Board. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Olana Partnership, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire the public by preserving and interpreting Frederic Church’s OLANA, a National Historic Landmark within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. She has been an active member in organizations such as CoreNet, Women Executives in Real Estate, and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, for which she served on the Board Executive Committee for five years as Secretary and VP of Professional Development.

In 2017, Jane received the AIA New York State President’s Award for outstanding contributions to the profession in education, industry, or government by an AIANYS member. Her work was recognized by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, for one of 100 outstanding structures and built environments designed by women in New York City. She is a regular participant on juries and panels for various educational and industry organizations.

Jane holds a degree in Architecture, cum laude, from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in finance from the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller is a native of New York City, and honorable graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design program.

For over 20 years, Robert has been enjoying his career in the fast paced and ever evolving industry of retail visual merchandising, working for A-list brands such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret, and currently Chanel, where he directs the merchandising of the luxury brand’s fragrance and beauty division for the U.S.

As if that isn’t enough, he spends his spare time as the proprietor of his own home furnishings and interior design brand, Robert at Home, offering unique vintage finds, one-of-a-kind pieces created exclusively by him, as well as interior design services with a vintage twist.

Sheila Bridges

Named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine, Sheila Bridges founded her own interior design firm in 1994. As Creative Director, Sheila has thoughtfully designed residences and offices for many prominent entertainers, entrepreneurs and business professionals including the 8,300 square foot Harlem offices for former President Bill Clinton and his staff.

Sheila’s passion for interiors inspired her to design furniture and home furnishings under the name Sheila Bridges Home, Inc. Sheila’s home furnishing collections have been sold to design conscious consumers, through trade showrooms and at national retailers Anthropologie and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Sheila is honored to have her Harlem Toile De Jouy wallpaper represented in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent wallpaper collection.Her designs have been showcased in exhibits and museums throughout the country and Europe including The Museum of The City of New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Art and Design in New York City, The Brooklyn Museum, Museé De La Toile De Jouy in Jouy-en-Josas, France and most recently The Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.