Prof James Doerfler



Chair In Architecture


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Archit. & Built Env.


Geelong Waterfront Campus



James Doerfler is the Chair in Architecture in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at Deakin University. He has held positions at universities in the US and Australia as an academic and administrator. During his career, James has updated curricula for architecture programs with an awareness of international contemporary practice.  He has led many research projects with industry partners on a number of topics including façade design and technology, high performance building, prefabricated building systems and sustainable water projects. These programs and projects have built on the strengths of creating collaborative, innovative and sustainable learning and research opportunities.

Professor Doerfler has expertise in building envelope systems with experience leading multi-disciplinary collaborative teams in practice and academia. James has team-taught interdisciplinary classes and this innovative joint teaching and research has been presented at multiple national and international conferences. These classes have received numerous awards and grants including: Autodesk Worldwide BIM Experience Award, Arup Foundation Award, and the NCARB Award 2010. James was previously on the faculty and been interim head of department at the University of Technology, Sydney, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and director of programs at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. James was awarded the Cheryl Smith AIA Chair at Jefferson for his innovative leadership in architecture. He is a board member of the Façade Tectonics Institute and the International Association of Structures and Architecture.

James has more than 25 years of international practice experience along with his academic experience. He has worked with Raphael Vinoly, Richard Gluckman and Fox & Fowle in New York City and PTW in Sydney and his own practice in New York, Sydney and California. His projects have included work in the United States, China, Spain, Switzerland and Australia. James is a licensed architect in New York and New South Wales Australia.

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Research interests

Transdisciplinary Research

Teaching interests

Transdisciplinary Design Projects

Knowledge areas

Facade Design and Technology

High Performance Buildings

Prefabricated Building Systems

Digital Fabrication and Material Strategies

Sustainable Water Management