Vincent James

NADAAA Visiting Professor

Vincent James FAIA is principal of VJAA.  Based in Minneapolis, the firm is known for its innovative approach to architectural practice, environmental design, and highly crafted buildings. VJAA’s practice is grounded in the idea that architectural design is invariably interwoven with the social, environmental, and material context of each project. VJAA’s work is research-based, experimental, and intentionally diverse, including a wide range of scales from urban design and infrastructure, to architecture, adaptive reuse, installations, and furniture.

VJAA has received significant recognition, including twenty-two national design awards. The firm has been awarded six National American Institute of Architects Honor Awards, six Progressive Architecture Awards, and two American Institute of Architects/Committee on the Environment--Top Ten Green Building Awards. VJAA is the recipient of the 2012 National American Institute of Architects Firm Award.

Vincent James was appointed Adjunct Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he taught from 2000-2006. More recently he was the John G. Williams Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas, Visiting Professor at MIT, the Morgenstern Chair and Visiting Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Cass Gilbert Professor in Practice at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin and has been a guest lecturer at numerous schools of architecture.

He is co-author, with partner Jennifer Yoos, of a monograph on their practice published by Princeton Architectural Press as well as their recent book Parallel Cities: The Multilevel Metropolis (2016).

View Vincent James' full CV here.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.