James Coleman: Director

James Coleman founded the design group ParaPractice in 2009, and is involved in projects as a digital design specialist and technical consultant. He couples his architectural and mechanical engineering education with an expertise in digital fabrication. As a former construction manager/entrepreneur James holds a cross disciplinary interest in the making and manufacturing process.

Utilizing a diverse set of fabrication equipment, industrial robots, and custom made machinery he makes things, breaks things, and invents things with varying levels of success and sophistication.

James has lectured widely on parametric design and digital fabrication including the ‘Technology Lecture Series’ at the New York City AIA Center for Architecture and most recently as a fellow at the ‘O’Reilly Solid: Software/ Hardware/ Everywhere’ technology conference in San Francisco.



He has worked internationally as designer of architectural projects on a variety of scales and also acted as a Product Development Engineer at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. James maintains that teaching is a critical element of a design practice and has been an instructor for both graduate and undergraduate design studios at MIT and SUTD. He is also a long time contributor to the infamous MIT course “How to Make Almost Anything” taught by Neil Gershenfeld.

James utilizes and develops project specific digital tools as a means of promoting a higher caliber of design, performance, and collaboration. James holds masters degrees in architecture and mechanical engineering from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research revolves around variability and flexibility in prefabricated timber framed housing and the relationship between designers and bespoke fabrication tooling.

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