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

James Davidson Architect (JDA Co) is a small studio-based practice that specialises in remote complex projects in Australia and overseas. Based in Cairns and Brisbane, JDA has a reputation for innovative, collaborative projects with a strong emphasis on design. JDA doesn’t specialise in any specific type of work, but focuses on undertaking projects that present an opportunity to turn problems into enjoyable challenges. The more complex and difficult the project appears, the more we like it. In our approach to architecture, we have a strong belief that the discipline is by its very nature an empirical anthropology, where the making of architecture is directly linked to its social processes, culture and material context.

Our work encompasses a diversity of project scales ranging from boutique residential to large institutional projects, building in particular on the practice’s collective expertise in all areas of design ranging from one-off residential architecture through to multi-residential projects, interiors, cultural/public buildings, heritage, urban design and master planning.

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Our Team

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, climate adaptation and Indigenous projects focus.

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. He is a registered Architect in Queensland.

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 and complex projects. Being of Burmese heritage, Clive is particularly interested in architecture’s role in Asia, having undertaken post-tsunami housing research in Tohoku, Japan. Clive is also the in-house 3D visual artist at JDA.

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.

Our Collaborators

Tony Black | Black and More

Tony is a Founding Director of Black & More (2000) and The Partners Group Australia (2016). He is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Registered Professional Engineer (RPEQ) with more than 20 years’ experience in planning, design and construction of civil engineering infrastructure. He has demonstrated experience in the planning, design, procurement and construction of major infrastructure planning and design projects on behalf of all three levels of government.

Troy Rafton | Visualiii

Troy runs Visualiii Studio, a Brisbane based design company specialising in professional 3D visuals and real time imagery. Their client base is predominantly commercial and residential developers, but also includes the Queensland Government. Troy has been working in the architectural industry for over 20 years and spent much of that time working with one of Brisbane’s leading architectural firms.

Melissa Blight | Two Fold Studio

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.