Brandt Hewitt

Brandt Hewitt
Founder/Owner, Medium Small Design Studio, San Francisco

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, UNC Charlotte (2010)
Bachelor of Architecture, UNC Charlotte (2011)

Hometown: Ojai, California

Brandt Hewitt and his partner, architecture alumna Megan McGuinn (they met at UNC Charlotte), practiced architecture for seven years before deciding to start their own design studio - a unique furniture and lighting design studio based in San Francisco called Medium Small. 

“An architectural education has been critical to the work we do now,” he says. “Those seven years were full of project management, client relations, design drawing, and other tools that give our studio an advantage.”

wooden chairAt Medium Small, Brandt and Megan design and fabricate their own collections of furniture and lighting products that they sell to interior designers, architects, furniture vendors, and individuals. They also take on specialty fabrication projects for new construction and renovation projects in San Francisco and beyond. (Pictured right, the Moto Chair; bottom, Fort Point Valencia beerhall in San Francisco.)

A new project with a developer in Charlotte exemplifies their work. Brandt met the developer while at a get-together with friends in San Francisco.

 “After meeting one another and hitting it off, we invited them to our studio to discuss a collaboration. The company is called SpaceCraft, and they are focused on building walkable urbanism in Charlotte, with 500 apartment units being completed this year and plans for 2,000 units over the next five years. We are designing and fabricating what we are calling ‘architectural touchpoints,’ which is a bespoke collection of items in and around the entries of each unit. Light fixtures, address numbers, wall hooks, and bike racks are part of the first suite, and we will expand on these items as more projects are built. The goal of the client is to highlight the architecture through the addition of quality items that tenants will interact with daily. It’s a perfect project for us - right there in the sweet spot between custom work and products.”

Brandt spent much of his time at UNC Charlotte exploring the broad curriculum that exposed him to many different aspects of architecture. 

“I always cite this as the university’s best asset. Exposure to excellent fabrication facilities shaped the work we do today. A full woodshop, metal shop, and digital fabrication lab means that some students could opt to take a hands-on approach to the built environment if they found they were passionate about it. There are so many architecture adjacent careers, and this broad education has helped me prepare for something I didn’t expect to find myself doing.”

Brandt Hewitt working on a project at a wood working table

While finishing his degrees, he was also a summer-camp counselor for the UNC Charlotte high school Summer Design Academy. He spent a week every June with three other student counselors introducing what architecture is to teenagers curious about an architectural education.

 “When I applied for architecture school, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into. It was rewarding to take a step back and realize that this was an education and degree in design and design thinking.”

His advice for current students: “The quality of education is there to be had, and you can take it as far as you want. Be open to new ideas and experiences, and understand that life can take you in many ways.”

interior of a beer hall