Background and activities

Formal position

David is a PhD candidate in urban resilience at the Department of Architecture and Planning.

His research aims to understand how marketplace projects can strengthen (or hinder) petty traders and consumers’ resilience. The project adopts a case study method to analyse four distinct marketplaces in the agglomeration of Port-au-Prince. It seeks to understand how petty traders persist and adapt to shocks and stresses affecting the marketplace built environment. It also examines how marketplaces’ attributes contribute to consumers’ capacity to also face crises that affect their households. Finally, it analyses how marketplace physical or organizational change have impacted or may impact petty traders and consumers’ resilience.

The expected date for submission for the PhD thesis is autumn 2018 and Prof Rolee Aranya (NTNU, Norway) and Prof David Sanderson (UNSW, Australia) act as academic advisors. 



He is an accredited architect in Canada (OAQ) and worked for three years in architecture in Montréal prior to moving to Norway.  He graduated in 2011 at Oxford Brookes University in England on the Master in Development and Emergency Practice, whose thesis has been shortlisted for the RIBA President’s Award for Research in 2012. He also holds a Bachelor and a Master in Architecture from Université Laval in Québec City, Canada.

David has a general interest in the influence of the built environment on human development. He is fluent in French and English, is proficient in Haitian Creole and has a basic working knowledge of Norwegian.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Part of book/report


  • Smith, David. (2011) Learning from the Marche Hyppolite, Port-au-Prince, Haiti: an assessment of the philanthropic reconstruction of an urban place. 2011.
  • Smith, David. (2010) Un retour au civisme: communautés culturelles et environnement bâti. 2010.