Joe James

Architectural Designer

Joe James was born and raised in Hartford and Manchester, CT. After discovering a passion for engineering and then architecture in middle and high school, he went on to earn multiple degrees in accounting, business entrepreneurship, and architecture. Joe earned a Master’s in Architecture at University of Hartford. He joined the CDA team in 2022 and is part of our growing Tampa office.


  • Where were you born? Hartford, CT
  • Where did you grow up? Hartford and Manchester, CT
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters and, if so, where in line do you fall? I’m the 2nd born, with 1 older sister, a younger brother and another younger sister.
  • Which degrees do you hold and from where did you earn them? I have 4 degrees total. I earned an associate degree in Accounting from Manchester Community College, then double majored and earned two bachelor’s degrees — in Business Entrepreneur and Architecture – from University of Hartford. I also earned a Master’s in Architecture from University of Hartford.
  • What are some of the jobs you have held? My 1st job was in a bakery. I’ve also worked as an event specialist, an IT person at Brooks Brothers, and retail positions at Ethan Allen, Best Buy and H & M.
  • What attracted you to architecture? I learned I had a passion for engineering in 7th grade with a program called CPEP (Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program). In high school, I attended a tech school and studied CAD. Toward the end of each year, we worked on small architecture projects. My passion for architecture grew out of designing floor plans for residential homes.
  • What is your favorite design style? My favorite architecture styles are Modern, Contemporary, Rustic and American Craftsman
  • Who is your favorite architect and why? Zaha Hadid and her work always stood out to me as fluid and free, allowing no boundaries around what can be done when designing a structure.
  • How would you describe yourself? I am jovial Joe. I am kindhearted, positive, a hard worker, energetic and creative in my own right.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? My goal is to become a licensed architect and grow my knowledge and experience to its full capacity.
  • If you could solve any one problem in the world, what would it be and why? If I could solve one thing in the world it would be diversity: being able to allow everyone from all backgrounds to be accepted no matter what that person is. We should come together as one and respect people’s decisions in life. It’s all about being free and living your true self with no judgment or reason to care in the world.
  • Where are some places you’ve visited, and where would you like to explore? I’ve been to Peru and Cuba, and would like to tackle and explore all over Europe, Asia and Australia.
  • What are you most thankful for? I’m thankful for God, my family and close friends, and that I’m able to enjoy what I do every day in my career. I could not wish for anything but to always remain humble and to always give back to those less fortunate.
  • How do you spend your free time? In my free time I like to plan and decorate events to help provide an experience for the people I work with. I design balloon arches and garlands, and even design invitations.
  • What is your favorite sports team? My favorite football team is the New England Patriots!! WHOOT WHOOT!
  • What is your favorite season? I love warm weather – hence I’m always cold. So my favorite season is summer.
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