Matthew Smith | Old World Architecture, Red Bricks, Seattle Underground, and Ayahuasca Healing

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Matthew Smith, Joins me to discuss his experiences in the world of mainstream architecture, volunteering during Hurricane Katrina working with local Anarchists to rebuild decimated sections of New Orleans, and touring the underground of Seattle, Washington which led to his recent realization that there is more to our nations cities than what remains aboveground. He shared the forensic approach to understanding the components of classic old world architecture and shared examples such as Fort Jefferson in The Florida Keys, and Stadium High School in Tacoma Washington. Matt also discussed his experiences with ayahuasca and how that inspired him to be a better father and to dedicate himself to his higher ideals through design and architecture.

A lifetime student of architecture, Matthew Smith has designed over 100 custom houses— most, though not all, in-the-round. As a skilled carpenter, he designed and built his own wooden yurt house in the Pacific NW woods a decade ago, following his heart and intuition away from the formal technocratic profession and towards the traditional path of master builder—establishing a unique architectural design niche from whole cloth in the process.

Matthew received his Bachelor of Architecture (Cum Laude) from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ, in 2003, while simultaneously working on grassroots political and urban renewal campaigns under the tutelage of revolutionary poet Amiri Baraka.  He eventually relocated to Seattle to start a family and architecture career, while continuing his political activism until a series of personal crises forced a reconsideration of his ideological assumptions.

Becoming disillusioned with worn-out materialist dogmas and stagnant personal narratives that didn’t serve his role as father of three boys, Matthew turned to inward transformation with the help of the powerful plant medicine ayahuasca. This introspective exploration opened his eyes to the electrical nature of life, cymatic structures, and the cycles of civilization—from megalithic stonework of the ancients, to lost old-world architecture just now being rediscovered all around us—hidden, as it were, in plain sight.

Matthew’s architectural work can be found at and on IG @yurtdesigns

He just launched a new website to showcase his personal projects and share his views at

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