About Us

We are an architecture and interior design firm that believes in making a difference in each community we work in. Our multi-disciplined team is client and community oriented. We are driven by the relationships we build with each client. We strive to provide top tier customer service while striving for the highest quality final product. We accomplish this through the latest technology and working collaboratively, both internally and externally. We strive to create spaces to live, work, and play throughout the various communities we serve. It is our goal to ensure we are stewards to the environment, work with a diverse range of clients, push the bounds of design, and to ensure the communities and our clients are satisfied with our end product.

Headquarters - Battle Creek, MI

Driven Design HQ

Cody Newman is not your typical architect. He is a designer, developer, craftsman, listener, and someone who is dedicated to community. Cody Newman and his wife, Caitlynn Newman own multiple historic buildings in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan and the development company, Restore (269). They have been through the ups and downs of development and construction projects and are here to help you through the process. Whether you are a seasoned developer or you are looking to start your first business, Cody will work closely with you to create the project of your dreams on your budget, and provide clear communication throughout the process.

Architect & Owner - Battle Creek, MI

Cody Newman

Bret Ford has worked in design, project management, and project architecture roles for the past twenty years. This experience has enabled Bret to experience a wide array of project types, in several different states, including but not limited to commercial, multi-family, mixed use, resort and gaming, federal and local governments, aviation, restaurants, and commercial renovations. Time and experience has enabled Bret to design economically friendly solutions that will suit the customer's needs and their budgets in a timely manner.  Outside of work Bret enjoys the great outdoors and time with his family.

Project Manager - Howell, MI

Bret Ford

Nerson Oraha has worked in architecture and design roles in Chicago and Ann Arbor throughout his career. His portfolio includes new construction, interior renovation, and tenant fit-out project types. He has comprehensive experience preparing architectural drawings for the completion of commercial, office space, healthcare, retail, and multi-family residential buildings across the country. Driven by his passion for sustainable design, he incorporates environmentally friendly solutions into his projects. Nerson received both his Bachelor of Science of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Michigan. Outside of work, his love of photography was developed during his travels to Europe, Cuba, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

Architectural Designer - Ferndale, MI

Nerson Oraha

Andres Vitela has been eager to fix problems since he was young. He is always working toward making any process more efficient with the latest technology available. He is highly skilled in visualization and graphic design to help bring visions to life. He has experience working in new construction, small commercial, and preservation work. He has grown his love for architecture and preservation through his travels to Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, South Africa, Eswatini. Andres has received both his Bachelor of Science of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Andrews. Outside of work he enjoys woodworking on his freetime and is venturing into laser cutting and 3D printing.

Architectural Designer - Battle Creek, MI

Andres Vitela

Jeremiah Rose has been interested in architecture since middle school. His dream became a reality when he started interning senior year of high school at Driven Design Studio and at Architecture + design. Currently, he holds his bachelor's in architecture from Lawrence Technological Unversity. He is currently working on his master's degree in architecture at Lawrence Technological University. When he’s not working, Jeremiah loves to read, fence and swing dance.

Architectural Designer - Battle Creek, MI

Jeremiah Rose

Rich Benson started working in commercial construction in 1995, after graduating with a BFA from Aldred University. From his start as a steel fabricator through roles as project manager, quality control manager, estimator, building inspector and 3D technician he amassed the understanding of many facets of construction. He worked on residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and federal projects of all sizes in NY, CO and MI. Rich looks forward to each project's challenges and the relationships that are forged along the way. When not at work, Rich enjoys spending time with his family, doing home improvements and working on the (model) railroad. 

Architectural Designer - Battle Creek, MI

Rich Benson

Brendan Alberty has always held a passionate interest for architecture, spending the last few years going to KCC and leading him to intern for Driven Design Studio. Graduating with both an Associate’s in Computer Aided Drafting and Design as well as a General Studies degree, with plans to get a Bachelor’s in Architecture and/or Interior Design. Having spent his entire working career in the food industry he has developed many of the skills and work mentality that drives him to this day. When not working on projects or going to school Brendan finds himself spending time with his girlfriend Hailey, playing plenty of video games with friends, watching horror movies, and collecting model cars.

Architectural Draftsman - Battle Creek, MI

Brendan Alberty 

Suzanne Nemeth is a Senior Level Interior Designer and Interior Design Manager with over 30 years experience in the commercial architecture and interior design industry. She is an NCIDQ certified and State listed designer with a BS degree in interior design from Western Michigan University. She has worked on numerous project types and sizes, but holds a special place in her heart and varied skill set for all things historical. She has been a memeber of the City of Portage Historic District Commission since 2012 and enjoys discovering what hidden secrets any old building or home has to tell. Suzanne loves to do the "deep dive" for all her projects, researching how best and efficiently achieve her clients visions with design concepts that meet any time constraints and project budgets. Outside of work, Suzanne enjoys time spent with her family, doing jig-saw puzzles, drawing and exploring the beautiful outdoors on long walks with her dog, Maggie Mae!

Interior Design Manager - Portage, MI

Suzanne Nemeth

Michael Naesset is an aspiring Interior Designer. He is extremely motivated to constantly develop new skills and grow professionally. He enjoys space planning and figuring out layouts with clients and the team. He enjoys working on Hospitality projects along with corporate design. His original passion for photography is where his inspiration for interior design drove from. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture. He is working towards getting licensed as an Interior Designer through the NCDIQ. In Michael's free time, he enjoys doing photography and going for drives taking in all of the beauty that Michigan has to offer. 

Interior Design - Battle Creek, MI

Michael Naesset

Lauren Hannah is an aspiring Interior Designer. She is currently working as an intern while attending Western Michigan University. Some of her favorite aspects of interior design is space planning and finding a way to bring the space to life. She aims to bring the clients visions of the space to fruition. In her free time she is exploring with her dog and friends or enjoying a book in the sun.

Interior Design - Battle Creek, MI

Lauren Hannah

Kenz Morey is currently interning here at Driven Design and is working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture at Columbia College Chicago. What inspired her to study Interior Architecture is her passion for sustainability and preservation. Makenzie has a love for historical homes as well as creating a space that functions for you. When Makenzie is not studying buildings, she’s admiring them. In her free time she likes to go to open houses and antique sales. She also heavily enjoys chasing the sun, spending time with her dog, and romanticizing life.  

Interior Design - Battle Creek, MI

Kenz Morey

Taryn Freeman is a Battle Creek native, born and raised. She graduated from KVCC with a Certification in American Sign Language. Spending more than 16 years in customer service including food and beverage. Taryn is often seen wearing many hats as a proud mother of two. She enjoys photography, painting, American Muscle & getting her family to the Great Lakes any chance she gets. Taryn is happy and eager to ensure the team at Driven Design is fueld up for the next big project. 

Studio Administrator  - Battle Creek, MI

Taryn Freeman

Caitlynn Newman brings a range of versatile experiences to the firm as Building Developer, Preservationist, Business Owner, and Social Worker. She and her husband, Cody, founded and own Restore (269), a building restoration and development company which preserves historic buildings in their hometown of Battle Creek. Additionally, Caitlynn has founded and operated her own successful business in the event industry before selling it in 2021. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan with a focus on Interpersonal Practice and Community Organization bringing a unique and valuable skill set to the architecture and design industry. As a Social Worker in architecture, Caitlynn understands how the built environment has a great impact on our state of health, wellbeing, lifestyle, and human behavior. She has a passion for community development, placemaking, urban planning, and old buildings. She believes buildings are made to bring people together, and historic buildings have an intrinsic value and impact on communities socioeconomic growth, community culture, and an individual’s experience with a building and a community. Caitlynn enjoys connecting with clients and the team hearing their passion for their projects and supporting them through the process. Outside of the office, Caitlynn enjoys spending time with her dog, kayaking, decorating, organizing, and dreaming up the next big idea with Cody.

Studio Administration and Marketing - Battle Creek, MI

Caitlynn Newman

Jemma loves walks, rides, interns, and each person who walks in the door of the office. She keeps everyone in check throughout the day and works hard to steal pets and naps on the couch.

Head of Puplic Relations - Battle Creek, MI

Jemma

Approach


Our process is centered around you. We design around your needs, wants, budgetary restrictions, and concepts. We are a team built around the entire construction process and want to put you at ease through it.

Sustainability


We are committed to incorporating sustainable design strategies into all of our projects. It is woven into our design practices. We are happy to assist in making your project as friendly for the environment as possible.

National Presence


While we are rooted in Michigan, we have worked on project across the country from sea to sea. We love meeting new people and working in new places.