Renata Southard, Assoc. AIA is co-chair of the AIA Baltimore Urban Design Committee and a design planner for the Baltimore City Department of Planning, where she provides visioning and urban design for communities in Baltimore. Prior to her position with the city, Ren headed the Baltimore office of Autotroph Design, a full-service architecture firm focused on adaptive reuse, multi-family housing, and mixed-use.
Ren’s career began in 2001 as an apprentice carpenter with a design-build firm in Minneapolis. She transitioned to interior design and worked as a designer and project manager in Nashville and Detroit before moving to Maryland in 2012 to complete her education. She is the recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi Medal from the University of Maryland School of Architecture, where she obtained her Master of Architecture and Certificate in Urban Design in 2017. While at the School of Architecture, she worked as a Teaching Assistant and received the Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award. She was also part of the University of Maryland’s 2017 team for the DOE Solar Decathlon—the team’s entry placed 2nd in the world, and 1st in the U.S.
Ren has worked on award-winning conceptual projects and provided master planning services for communities in Baltimore. She is also involved with her neighborhood organization as a voting member of the Zoning and Land Use Committee (ZLUC), and volunteers regularly with Neighborhood Design Center.