JAMES WHITLEY

Whitley/Whitley Architects LLC

SAY IT LOUD - Ohio Exhibitor

Ohio Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

A local architect of color, Don Hisaka, inspired me early in my career. He was a wonderful architect that designed simple, yet beautiful, rectangular solutions. I also admired how he designed his outdoor spaces to relate to the interior spaces.

JAMES WHITLEY

Bio:

Mr. Whitley graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He also studied design at Leicester University in England. He is the founder of Whitley/Whitley Architects and was its president for over 32 years. He has served as Principal in Charge and Chief Designer for numerous architectural projects that have been cited for national, state and local design awards.

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

After seeing the movie, “The Fountainhead” as a boy, I knew what I wanted to become. Seeing Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal on top of the Empire State Building overlooking the city, I am amazed at how close we came fulfilling all our dreams.

What do you do?

As Senior Design Director, I oversee and maintain the design standards of the office. In many cases, I take it from conceptualization to the finished design.

What excites you in the work you do?

I enjoy the creative process. It is always exciting to see a sketch of a design on paper become a reality in the built environment. It’s like the birth of a child.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

A local architect of color, Don Hisaka, inspired me early in my career. He was a wonderful architect that designed simple, yet beautiful, rectangular solutions. I also admired how he designed his outdoor spaces to relate to the interior spaces.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Winning the national/international Progressive Architecture Award for the JFK Recreation Center. It was like winning an Oscar. We were told we were lucky to win it once and then we won it a second time. Also proud of winning First Honors Awards.

Featured Project Name: 

Kent State University Fashion Museum

 

Featured Project Location: 

Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

1985

Role in Featured Project: 

Senior Technical Director

 

Featured Project Description:

The Kent State University Fashion Museum provides students with first-hand experience with historic and contemporary fashions, as well as costumes representing many of the world’s cultures. An extensive collection of American glass, fine furniture, textiles, paintings and other decorative arts combine to give context to the study of design. The Museum serves both the University and the community through exhibitions, public programs, and research appointments in the collections

Photography Credit:

Philip Stephens and websites

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