Name: D’Smith Alexander
What area of the BX are you from?: North East Bronx
current location: North East Bronx
IG: business: @dsmithalexander
Dwayne (aka D'Smith) and I met as students at LaGuardia High School and reconnected after running into each other at almost every Everyday People party! LOL. He is the true definition of a renaissance man and he definitely knows how to get the party started with his dancehall moves. Make sure to check out his brilliant work!
Tell us about yourself:
My name is D’Smith Alexander. My first name (Dwayne) and my last name (Smith) is abbreviated to make “D’Smith”. (A little fun fact about me lol) I am an architectural designer and an aspiring recording artist (I sing). I’d like to think I am a creative in every possible way imaginable. Musically, architecturally, even when it comes to pragmatic functionality, in life or when solving a problem. I have a deep love & respect for The Bronx, but I also feel like I want to “save it” and change it for the better, if possible. I love and respect individuals who see their life as a use for a higher purpose and calling. Above all, I am an extreme proponent of self-help and self-development. I believe that if put into place, the right course of wellness and self development actions mentally and physically can change an individual’s entire life.
What are your fondest memories of growing up in the Bronx?
The village like community. Unlike almost every other town in New York The North East Bronx is less of a cosmopolitan and more of a village. White Plains Road was our times square, before we were old enough to go to the city. The tight knit community definitely renders heavily on some life long relationships I have today.
Do you feel as though being from the Bronx has heavily influenced who you are today?
In some sense. But not entirely. I think venturing out of the Bronx has allowed me to know & understand what I ultimately saw myself taking from the Bronx and applying to life, and also what I would leave behind, but more importantly how I plan to change certain areas of the Bronx for the better.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Hmmm that’s a good question. God, Steve Jobs, Bjarke Ingels, David Adjaye, Rem Koolhaas, Virgil Abloh, Kanye West, and my parents.
What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
Well the fact that I get to design occupiable spaces and oversee the construction to me is extraordinary. I see architecture as a God-like work. People live within these spaces and we as designers craft a person’s, or an entire family’s life experiences. The responsibility of that in itself is major and I think this mindset allows me to take my job extremely serious everyday. I love it. As of right now I’m working on designing and managing construction on a new afterschool community center for minority youth in Harlem. It’s by far my dream project architecturally and I can’t wait to share more details about that.
If you could, in what ways would you give back to your community?
Remember that village I spoke of growing up in my neighborhood? Well that village like most small communities has been overtaken by big companies who don’t care to give back to the neighborhood. Those who reside here, rent spaces and ownership of small businesses, mom and pop shops are few in numbers. I want to create an environment, particularly on the Gunhill Road corridor connecting the amenities of the west (White Plains Road) to the amenities of the east (Bay Plaza), and update the village, particularly along this road to become a pedestrian user friendly connecting road. This obviously goes into greater detail, but one thing that the North East Bronx can use more of is amenities for young adults and outdoor friendly spaces for families.
If someone were visiting the Bronx, where would you tell them to go?
Van Cortlandt Park, Port Morris, Little Italy in The Bronx, The Botanical Garden, & The Bronx Zoo. The South Bronx is on the “come up” right now as well. Port Morris, The Bronx Brewery are some places I’ve been to that have a nice vibe.