James Williamson received his Master of Architecture at Cranbrook Academy of Art and studied in the Graduate Program in History and Theory at the Architectural Association in London. Before this, he studied architecture, art, and English literature at Texas Tech University. He has won numerous design and teaching awards and honors, including a First Place in the Shinkenchiku Competition, an ACSA design award, two Graham Foundation grants, the 2006 Martin Dominguez Distinguished Teaching Award from Cornell University, and a Special Commendation for Teaching Excellence from the Universidad de Puerto Rico.
Williamson has taught design and theory at numerous schools of architecture, including Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning; the Harvard Graduate School of Design; and Georgia Tech. He has held invited professorships at RISD, Rice University, The Cooper Union, Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin, the American University of Sharjah, and at the Universidad de Puerto Rico.
He has co-edited The Religious Imagination in Modern and Contemporary Architecture: A Reader with Renata Hejduk. Two of his essays, “Death in Texas” and “Dallas is a Story I Tell” were published in the journal Places, and his essay “Acropolis, Now!” was included in the book Surrealism and Architecture. He has also published in numerous professional journals including Architectural Design, Japan Architect, Daedelus, Architecture & Urbanism, Kongsan(Space), Art Papers, and the JAE.
Williamson’s architectural and conceptual work has been exhibited in institutions throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. He worked with the architect and educator John Hejduk on the construction of The House of The Suicide and The House of The Mother of the Suicide—a monument to the Czech dissident, Jan Palach, designed by Hejduk—in Atlanta, and then in Prague. Williamson was also an invited curator for the Sanctuaries exhibit on Hejduk’s last works at the Whitney Museum, and is presently a consultant to the John Hejduk Estate. He is now working on a book with Renata Hejduk, Steven Hillyer, and Kim Shkapich titled The Ethical Mirror.
Williamson is currently serving as the Dean of the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University which is undergoing a significant change under his leadership. While at Cornell, Williamson served in various leadership capacities, including as Director of the Master of Architecture Program, and later as Director of the Bachelor of Architecture Program.