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Clayton Adkisson

Assistant Professor of Practice

School of Architecture

For over a decade, Clay Adkisson has been practicing professionally at the intersection of architecture, masterplanning, and real estate development. Today, you can find him working to transform many of Nashville’s changing urban neighborhoods into more inclusive, more affordable, and more accessible places to be enjoyed by all.

Clay began working commercial construction at the age of sixteen and has spent every day since making buildings. Today, Clay’s work has expanded in scale to include masterplanning for transformative urban districts, delivering award-winning housing designs, and overseeing real estate development for large scale mixed-income, mixed-use projects. Prior to co-founding community design+development practice, Openworks in 2015, Clay worked for award-winning Nashville-area architecture firm, Dryden Studio.

Outside of his professional practice, Clay serves as an assistant professor of practice at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he co-leads the Summer Urban Design Studio. Prior to that appointment, he served as an adjunct lecturer at UT, and as a teaching assistant at Harvard University.

Contact Information


University of Tennessee, Bachelor of Architecture

Harvard University, Master of Architecture in Urban Design



Expertise & Interests

Urban Design & Masterplanning

Land Use & Real Estate Development

Mixed-Income & Equitable Housing Design