Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, LEED BD+C, SEED, NCARB, NOMA




PODz Philosophy

PODz operates as a full-service design firm that specializes in delivering quality architectural projects that incorporate community input, sustainable design principles and economic efficiencies. PODz takes pride in empowering clients to gain the political and financial support required to bring their projects to fruition, which is what distinguishes PODz from other design firms. PODz helps clients carefully balance the triple bottome line: Profit, Planet, and most importantly, People...hence the name, People Oriented Designz.


PODz Qualifications

PODz is led by dynamic designers who collectively have over thirty years of experience in architectural design, urban design, branding, marketing, public administration, leadership and project management. PODz Principals are licensed to practice architecture in DC, IL, MD, MI and NY. Should additional licenses be required for additional states, PODz Principals are eligible for extended licensure throughout the U.S. PODz also has experience working in the international context, including work in Jamaica, Italy and the Dominican Republic. PODz possesses a wide range of skills and capabilities that collectively enables the firm to offer clients practically every service needed to execute a successful project. PODz will expand their team with additional experts as needed on a contract basis to ensure that every project is delivered on time, on budget and at the level of quality required by the client.

Principal Highlight

Detroit Office Managing Director & Prinicipal 

A native of Detroit, Kimberly grew up with an ambition to revitalize cities using real estate development and sustainable design as tools for renewal. Through her experience as an architecture student at Cornell and as a young professional in Washington, D.C. and New York City, she has been working toward her goal of creating transformative development projects in a variety of urban contexts.


Prior to co-founding PODz, Kimberly worked for the City of Detroit's Housing and Revitalization Department, putting her Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard to good use. While at Harvard, Kimberly was a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow within the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a licensed architect and real estate project manager in New York.


Kimberly became a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional in 2007, demonstrating her commitment to sustainability in the built environment. In 2008, Kimberly established the annual community service project for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), which has now hosted projects in seven major cities throughout the U.S. In 2005, Kimberly co-founded SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) to identify, measure and address “Triple Bottom Line” issues during the design process. SEED's mission is to “Advance the right of every person to live in a socially, economically and environmentally healthy community.”


Kimberly’s contributions to public service were honored with her recognition as one of the top 100 national leaders in Public Interest Design, 2012, by (now named Her career was also profiled in the 3rd Edition of Dr. Lee Waldrep’s acclaimed book, Becoming An Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design, 2014. Kimberly’s overarching professional mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in cities.