DARREN LAMARR JAMES
African American AIA Fellow
SAY IT LOUD - Washington DC Exhibitor
Texas Based Designer
James mentors as well as provides business and professional development advice for team members and external colleagues nationally. He provides opportunity for young people interested in entering the design and construction professions by giving advice on preparatory academic and extracurricular activities.
DARREN LAMARR JAMES
Darren L. James is President of KAI Enterprises, a national design and construction services firm. James is accountable for corporate market advancement and Dallas/Fort Worth leadership by creating growth strategies for each of the KAI Enterprises’ companies. James seeks the most complex, culturally conscious, politically sensitive projects that will make lasting differences in the lives we touch. He is most energized by the results that truly changed the narrative and outcomes of the surrounding residents and patrons of communities. He was named one of D CEO Magazine’s 2021 and 2022 500 Most Influential Business Leaders in North Texas, 2022 Elite News Dr. R.E. Price Meritorious Service Award, received the 2021 TxA Award for Equitable Practice in Architecture in Honor of John S. Chase, Jr. and the TAAACC William Sidney Pittman Award in 2018, as well as many more awards. James serves as the inaugural President & Chair of Fair Park First and on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Citizens Council, The Real Estate Council, and many more. He recently completed his sixth and final term as the longest serving Chair in the history of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. James mentors as well as provides business and professional development advice for team members and external colleagues nationally. He provides opportunity for young people interested in entering the design and construction professions by giving advice on preparatory academic and extracurricular activities.
Object Five - Alternative career, volunteer work with organizations not directly connected with the built environment, or service to society
Year of Elevation:
Featured Project Name:
South Oak Cliff High School - Dallas Independent School District (DISD)
Featured Project Location:
Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX
Featured Project Completion Date:
Role in Featured Project:
Principal-in-Charge and Community Engagement Advocate / Leader
Featured Project Description:
South Oak Cliff High School was center stage of a highly publicized student walkout in 2016. The condition of the school had declined over the years and the protest was in direct response to issues with the building. In response to the outcries from the community, KAI created an access portal through new spaces to provide indoor/ outdoor learning environments. The ability to adapt the classroom and surrounding environment facilitates 360-degree learning, meeting the styles of all students.