April 24, 2019

Name: Jeff Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP

Current Title: Director of Architectural Design

Office Location: Nashville

Years at Gresham Smith: 24


Meet our Director of Architectural Design, Jeff Kuhnhenn! Keep reading to learn about the different positions he’s had at Gresham Smith and how he’s fostering creativity and enhancing our design culture in his latest role.


Where did you grow up?

Lexington, Kentucky


Where did you go to college?

Ball State University (chirp chirp!)


What made you choose your profession?

I imagined that architecture was a blend of math, science and art – my favorite subjects.  Also, cities and buildings have always fascinated me since childhood.


What drew you to Gresham Smith?

I was drawn to Nashville, as well as the opportunity to be a part of an emerging market with a small team. I started out designing Aviation projects!


How has Gresham Smith helped you in your career development?

The firm’s scale and diversity has always given me room to roam. Throughout my career, my supervisors always found opportunities for me to stretch my focus.  Whenever I felt it was time for a change, they supported my interest in working in other markets. I always sincerely tell people I feel I’ve been able to have three or more careers here.



What achievement are you most proud of and why?

At this point in my career, I get more satisfaction out of providing a spark that others can use to inform their creativity.  Watching someone present an idea or concept that is just as good as but completely different from what I would’ve developed makes me feel good about our practice.


What advice would you give for people who aspire to be where you are?

Be passionate but objective about your ideas. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a concept as soon as you get new information or perspective. Creative thinking is a completely renewable resource.


What’s on your bucket list?

I’d like to see Aurora Borealis.


What would be the title of your autobiography?

It’s Never Too Early to Say You’re Sorry


If you weren’t in your current profession what would you be doing?

I would be a lector or a pinsetter.