JAMES D. COWAN JR.

Then Design Architecture

SAY IT LOUD - Ohio Exhibitor

Ohio Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

The historical context of blacks in the architectural field is interesting due to our tenacity. I aspire to be greater because of this. Above all, my family inspires me most and propels me to make the next built generation better for them.

JAMES D. COWAN JR.

Bio:

James D. Cowan, Jr. is an architectural designer currently spearheading efforts developing 21st century learning centers with Then Design Architecture located in Willoughby, Ohio. Among being on the path to licensure, community engagement has become an increased focused. Initiating programs that increase the awareness of design opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities that promote equity for future generations is one of many ways he plans to impact the design industry.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I first learned about architecture through my late grandmother. As a kid, she would receive architectural magazines in the mail and give them to me. I would take note of the buildings and begin to sketch perspectives of the various structures.

What do you do?

I am a project leader at my firm, specializing in educational design. I’ve been engaged on my current project for almost three years including leading visioning sessions, all phases of design, and overseeing the construction administration efforts.

What excites you in the work you do?

The faces of the students excite me most as they enjoy their newly designed space. I have learned to value the g smiles and the impact of design after rigorous thought and problems solving efforts by design team, owner, and community.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

The historical context of blacks in the architectural field is interesting due to our tenacity. I aspire to be greater because of this. Above all, my family inspires me most and propels me to make the next built generation better for them.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Being recognized as part of the 40 under Forty in Northeast Ohio, receiving the AIA Cleveland Activism Award, and representing the architectural field as one of “Who’s Who in Black Cleveland” have all been invigorating highlights in my career.

Featured Project Name: 

Richmond Heights Upper School

 

Featured Project Location: 

Richmond Heights, Ohio

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2021

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Lead Designer/ Project Manager/ Construction Administrator

 

Featured Project Description:

Located adjacent to the Cuyahoga County Airport, this 88,000 sf, 21st century learning center will house not only dedicated educational spaces for its 420 student population (grades 7-12), but also various community amenities including a county public library branch, board of education offices, aviation flight lab, and a community assembly spaces. Total cost of construction is $27,000,000. This project is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed August 2021.

Photography Credit:

Boris Dluzhevskiy

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