“It is the cross-pollination of disci­plines, and a holistic approach to design that form the cor­nerstones of James’ career.”


Managing Partner & Michigan Studio Director

James Seaman is an architect and educational researcher. His career of over twenty years has been focused entirely on designing and improving places for learning. He has managed, planned, and designed numerous innovative schools around the world.

James truly straddles between the worlds of architecture and education. His approach to designing schools starts by deeply understanding and imagining a vision for learning. He believes that the physical environment is a technology that can be designed to shape and support teaching and learning activities. Based on these ideas, James has authored articles about architecture and educational innovation and regularly presents at conferences. He is also an experienced teacher and has taught university courses in education and design.

He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University, a graduate-level certificate in Educational Facility Planning through San Diego State University, and a PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University. His academic work gives added-value to his practice. He approaches design with a methodology rooted in academic research.

Committed to serving the profession of educational facility planning, James has served as the President of the Association for Learning Environments Midwest Great Lakes Region, an organization committed to best practice in K-12 and Higher Education. He holds the organization’s top distinction of Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) and received a Regional Service Citation Award in 2010.

He enjoys working alongside his team in the studio, often with his dog Penny, who also spends quality time at the studio motivating the designers. And when he has free time, James loves to get out for re-energizing rides on his Triumph motorcycle.