James Addison

James Addison is from Charleston, Illinois, a small town in the central part of the state. After graduating with University Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Architectural Studies in 2014, James began pursuing a Masters of Architecture at MIT.

With a focus on research methods that engage community participation in design, James works at the intersection of architecture and urban planning in a variety of developing contexts. While at MIT, he has worked on urban-rural revitalization projects in the Jiangsu province of China and in West Bengal, India, has researched cost-effective roofing strategies in disaster-prone regions of India, and was the lead design instructor for a technology-based entrepreneurship course in Mongolia. Currently, James is pursuing a collaborative thesis based in Roxbury, Boston that looks at spaces of justice as alternatives to the current system of mass incarceration.

Areas of Interest
SM, Other..., International Development, Landscape Photography, Department of Mathematics, Urban Design


2010 - 2014
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2012 - 2012
Fulbright Summer Institute, Nottingham Trent University
2014 - Present
Master of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academic Experience

2016 - 2016
Teaching Assistant, MIT 4.031 Design Studio: Objects and Interaction
2017 - 2017
Research Assistant, MIT Brandon Clifford: Incan Stonework
2015 - 2016
Fabrication Technician, MIT
2013 - 2013
Teaching Assistant, University of Illinois

Professional Experience

2017 - 2017
Research and Evaluation Intern, MIT CoLab
2015 - 2015
Architectural Designer, RMA Architects Mumbai
2016 - 2016
Lead Design Instructor, Mongolia Global Startup Lab
2014 - 2014
Sushi Chef, Kamakura Restaurant
2015 - 2017
Photographer, MIT Architecture Department and CAST


2014 - 2018
Departmental Merit Fellowship , MIT
2012 - 2012
Fulbright Summer Institute Award, Nottingham Trent University
2013 - 2013
Edward C Earl Design Prize, University of Illinois
2013 - 2013
Robert Allerton American Travelling Scholarship, University of Illinois