Photo: Vero Rose Smith

Hi, I’m Dave Hampton!

I run re:ground llc a resiliency strategies consultancy and have over 20 years of design, planning, and community engagement experience in domestic and foreign contexts.  I hold a Master of Design Studies in Risk and Resilience from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech.

I view things through a few lenses:

  1. Resiliency, esp. social – or community – resilience.
  2. Adaptability, especially concerning climate and coastal or river environments.
  3. Communicability – putting stock in the power of storytelling and narratives as effective strategies for communicating – and navigating – often complex and difficult subjects.

I use these as frameworks to help clients find synergies in what they do already, while developing new ways of doing things better. These frameworks identify opportunities to address inequities – especially those most vulnerable and marginalized – rather than dwell on our common challenges as problems to be ‘fixed’.


Too often, project descriptions tell what was intended to happen, rather than how things actually turned out. I try not to gloss over the full story, as I think there is much to learn. I’m even willing to share these insights with potential collaborators, clients, and yes, even ‘competitors’ in the hopes that presenting my work as an ongoing process is more realistic and helpful than pretending to be an infallible expert.

Throughout this website, when you see my little profile pic – an attempt at gravitas – it will indicate my current reflections: shortcomings, lessons-learned, things I would’ve done differently or better. This is the older – and hopefully wiser – Dave speaking to you directly.



1972-2000: Southeastern U.S.

After completing my Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 1995, and following a short stint in Barcelona, I worked for David E. Gall Architect for 4 years, honing my skills as a young architect. We balanced historic preservation and commercial projects for-profit clients with work for the nonprofit sector, engaging underserved communities with clients including migrant farm workers, the multiethnic Martin Luther King Corridor, and the Methodist Children’s Home.

2001-2010: Chicago

I worked with Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) on institutional and commercial projects and at STL Architects managed the design and construction of a $5M senior centers portfolio for the City of Chicago. In 2002, I established the architecture and planning office Echo Studio. In 2006, I joined Richard Avery to form Hampton Avery Architects where projects included the interdisciplinary Studio 309 which explored planning interventions at three different urban scales: block, street, and neighborhood. As a co-creator and President of the Board of Urban Habitat Chicago – a nonprofit which recasts citizens as leaders in promoting sustainable concepts and practices – I worked with community development groups, with the 49th Ward on urban agriculture projects, and partnered with Delta Institute’s Rebuilding Center and local contractors to develop policy for construction materials recycling, resource conservation and building deconstruction initiatives.

2010-2013: Haiti

In post-earthquake Haiti, I led J/P Haitian Relief Organization’s Redevelopment Program team of architects, engineers and planners to deliver a disaster recovery program for safe and permanent homes, schools, community centers, and health clinics. I helped manage relationships with multilateral funders, NGOs, private companies, and other partners, proposing projects to the governments of Haiti, Argentina, Venezuela, and Germany; the latter resulting in the Delmas 40B neighborhood ravine mitigation project. I returned to Haiti in 2013 to assist in producing an earthquake-resistant home training communications material for the Haitian Ministry of Public Works.


After returning to the U.S. from Haiti, I assembled a team and prepared an entry for the post-Sandy Rebuild by Design competition, which was the impetus for establishing re:ground llc. In 2014,  I joined Waggonner Ball Architects, Yale University, and ARCADIS for Rebuild by Design’s Resilient Bridgeport public outreach and participatory planning.

Having seen the shortcomings of the architecture profession, and seeing the need to learn more about environmental management, planning, governance, and policy, I went back to school, completing a Master of Design Studies in Risk and Resilience at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2016. Courses included international development best practices, environmental planning and ecology, sustainable public policy, urban design and planning, and public and private real estate development and finance. While at Harvard, I contributed to a finalist-winning entry for the Boston Living with Water competition, which developed innovative scalable and replicable policy and financing strategies for urban coastal climate adaptation.
In addition to running re:ground llc, I’ve been a visiting critic and guest at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston Architectural College, Northeastern University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Archeworks, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I’ve also recently been selected by the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs for Certified Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Provider Training and by the City of Boston as a Climate Ready Boston Leader.

My credentials include Licensed Architect, State of North Carolina; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Emergency Response Official / Contractor; State of California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) certified Safety Assessment Program volunteer resource for the North Carolina American Institute of Architects; and LEED AP.


Download my current résumé