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Confluence of the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, Richland, Washington


At Urban by Design, we understand the transformative value of design-thinking. We champion design excellence to expand opportunity for communities. For us, design is a path to equity, making the "right to the city" accessible for all. Our commitment goes far beyond aesthetics; it's about shaping the spaces and places that empower communities and inspire positive change. We show up unlocking value by thinking urbanistically at multiple scales and time frames. Our innovative process involves illuminating visual products that are instrumental to address the complex realities of the evolving metropolis: The city is its own resourceful multidimensional laboratory that needs to be seen. Whether you're a small business owner, a citizens' group, a neighborhood or district-scaled organization, a large networked firm, or an individual entrepreneur with a compelling what-if idea, your vision contributes to the greater health of the city.


We're here to help clients of all shapes and sizes by meeting them where they're at. Reach out to us. Let's bring climate and community matters together and work to make great places uniquely Urban X Design.

Our Story

At the heart of Urban X Design lies a story that intertwines with the journey of its founder. Phu Duong is a Vietnamese born American architect, urban designer, and educator, working to envision healthy and prosperous futures for cities and communities of all kinds. Before he realized it, his formative years in the Pacific Northwest immersed him in the fabric of American cities. Growing up within an immigrant family who owned a bakery, he gained a unique perspective on the urban landscape while helping out with everyday deliveries. Phu experienced the interplay of highways, railways, and blended cityscapes against the backdrop of converging river systems—a perspective that continues to fuel his compassionate imagination for urbanism. His inclusive spirit and energy has fostered over two and a half decades of expertise collaborating with clients and communities around the world. In response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, Phu embarked on his own future-making journey, giving rise to Urban X Design.

Since 2003, Phu has been shaping the future of urban design and architecture through teaching roles at Columbia University, Syracuse University, and Parsons School of Design. He holds a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Washington State University. Phu's dedication to advancing urbanism is evident in his leadership as Co-chair of the Planning and Design Committee in which he developed the Healthy Cities + Places: Global Exchange Salon Series, at the American Institute of Architects, New York City Chapter. Additionally, he actively contributes to organizations such as the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute: UrbanPlan, New York Infrastructure District Council, Reuse and Redevelopment National Council. Phu's commitment to community is demonstrated by his seven-year tenure on the Housing/Land Use and Transportation Committees of his local Community Board in Brooklyn. He and his daughter reside in a leafy transit-enriched neighborhood dappled with cafes, art studios, playgrounds, and patina turrets.



Founding Principal

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