Dr James Thompson

Lecturer in Teaching and Learning


Dr James Thompson is an early career researcher in the area of tertiary built environments education. He joined the MSD's Built Environments Learning and Teaching (BEL+T) group in 2019 and has since contributed to a range of projects within the Faculty to improve the quality of teaching and learning. His teaching experience spans undergraduate and postgraduate levels and multiple built environments disciplines. James holds a PhD in the Built Environment from the University of Washington (USA) and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota (USA), with a decade of professional architectural experience in the United States. Previously, as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth (UK), James led the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industry's Pedagogical Research Group and was granted Fellow status by the UK Higher Education Academy in 2018.

His recent book, Narratives of Architectural Education: From Student to Architect (Routledge, 2019), explores the ways in which aspiring architects formulate their occupational identities from their educational experiences, life histories, and sense of belonging. This perspective reframes our conceptions of professional education and provides evidence for reallocating institutional and pedagogical priorities. His co-authored article “A Pre-disciplinary Approach to Built Environments Education” (2017) earned the International Award for Excellence by the International Journal of the Constructed Environment. Other research outputs focus on co-creation and utopian theory, two topics that transcend education and practice spheres.

James served as guest editor for the 2020 issue of Charrette journal “Flipping the Script: Foregrounding the architecture student” (available open-access here) and currently serves as Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Education in Architecture and Design (IJEAD).

Featured projects



Research directions

Architectural and Urban Past Design and Creative Research

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