Underpinning the approach of James Davidson Architect is a strong belief that architecture is both product and process. Accordingly we value both the architectural work itself and the relationships with all involved in the building process, from clients to consultants to contractors to the eventual occupiers. Our experience is that building good relationships has many benefits for everyone involved, including minimising costs, reducing stress, and quick resolution of problems.


Our Practice


Founded in 2009, James Davidson Architect (JDA) is a Brisbane based architectural studio which intimately links design practice, research consultancy and community development activities. Our work encompasses a diversity of project scales ranging from boutique residential to larger institutional projects, building in particular on the practice’s collective expertise in all areas of architecture ranging from one-off residential projects through to multi-res, interiors, cultural/public buildings and urban design.

We have a history of community engagement, including previously leading the Queensland office of Emergency Architects Australia and becoming deeply involved in their 2011 flood relief activities which continues to inform our urban design and residential practice work. The practice is a leader in innovative architectural approaches to practice and design with a focus on flooding and climate change adaptation having completed a range of experimental flood resilient houses in Brisbane. We have also recently completed a number of projects internationally.

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Our Collaborators


James Davidson (BArch, Hons 1, PhD)

James holds a Doctorate in Architecture and is also the principal of James Davidson Architect. Over the last 15 years he has acquired a wide range of experience both abroad and in Australia as an architectural practitioner and researcher. Graduating with first class honours from the University of Queensland in 1999, James has since spent time working as a development manager for a Brisbane development company and was also residential studio manager at one of Brisbane’s better known architectural firms. Having completed his PhD in 2009, begun during a lengthy sojourn in Latin America, James was also a senior researcher at the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre at the University of Queensland. He was previously director of Emergency Architects Australia and recently was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship focused on architecture, climate change adaptation and flooding. Due to James’ previous experiences, JDA maintains a residential and Indigenous projects focus. Download his CV

Martin Arroyo (BArch, M.Arch)

After completing initial studies at the prestigious National University of Engineering in Lima, Peru, Martin moved to Australia to complete a Masters of Architecture at the University of Queensland, in 2004. He has since worked at a number of architectural practices in his adopted city of Brisbane, namely Elizabeth Watson-Brown Architects, Donovan Hill and Bligh Voller Nield. Martin aims to return to Peru in the future to assist with a number of community aid projects and is currently in the scoping phase for a development project of his own.

Melissa Blight

Melissa runs Two Fold Studio, an interior design practice based in Highgate Hill. Two Fold collaborates with James Davidson Architect on several residential and commercial projects. Melissa has more than 20 years of industry experience and has been awarded Fellowship at the Design Institute of Australia.

Mara Francis (BArch, Hons 1)

Mara studied at the University of Queensland graduating in 1998 with first class honours. Mara has travelled extensively and practiced in Asia, Europe and Australia and collaborates as an independent researcher. Mara’s interest lies in exploring ways to integrate the built and natural environment, at the reach of the individual, community and city.

Sam Bowstead (BArchDes, MArch)

Sam has studied at The University of Queensland, Technische Universität Berlin and The University of British Columbia completing the first part of his architectural education in 2010 with a Master of Architecture in 2015.  Sam is particularly interested in JDA’s research in climate change adaptation and flooding, having worked as a project employee for Emergency Architects Australia’s QLD Flood Relief project and developing his Master’s thesis focused on the topic.

Clive Bape (BArchDes, MArch)

Clive holds a Bachelor of Architectural Design and Master of Architecture from The University of Queensland. He joined JDA due to his strong interest in progressive sustainable architecture and his passion for designing houses. Clive has also undertaken architectural research in Tohoku, Japan, and has a background in Graphic Design and Illustration.

Britt Hill (BArchDes, MArch)

Brit studied at Politecnico di Milano and Queensland University of Technology earning a Master of Architecture in 2016.  Brit is actively involved in Brisbane’s local art scene, including contributions to House Conspiracy and the recent 2 degrees exhibition at Brisbane Powerhouse.

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