Donald Dunham, M. Arch. R.A.


Professor Emeritus

M.Arch., Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
B.S. Arch., University of Southern California

Donald Dunham began teaching at Jefferson—then Philadelphia University—as an adjunct professor of architecture in 2002. In fall 2009, Donald joined the faculty in the College of Architecture and the Built Environment as a full time member. He taught across the architecture curricula, including first, second, third, and fourth year design and architecture studios, 5th-year thesis studio, as well as MArch design studios, exhibition design, and multiple technology courses. He also spearheaded the annual College publication Spacework, having served as faculty editor for the first five issues. Donald was also the creator and curator of CABE’s SEE Gallery. In 2012, he co-taught an interdisciplinary architecture and interior design studio with Professor Lisa Phillips which focused on the tectonics of architecture as well as the integration of architectural and structural systems. Under their guidance, one of their student teams won first place in the prestigious international ACSA Student Steel Design competition.

In 2014, Donald was appointed Associate Director of a proposed Master of Architecture program. Professor Dunham was tasked with assisting in the development and University approvals of curricula and courses in addition to student recruitment, and coordination of the NAAB accreditation process for the program. In 2016 NAAB granted Initial Candidacy status to the new M.Arch Program. In 2017, he was awarded with the Amanda Weko Family Chair for Architecture.

Having developed a body of scholarly and professional design work, Professor Dunham’s research continues to focus on the broad spectrum of architectural utopianism, and specifically how the utopian impulse informs vernacular architecture: this underlies architectural responses to nature, such as better orientation, ventilation, organization, well-being, and structure related to economy. His published works include: “Modulating a Dialogue Between Architecture and Nature,” in The New American Dream: Living Well in Small Houses; “inclusivity, Objectivity, and the Ideal: The Museum as Utopian Space,” which received the 2011 International Award of Excellence from the Journal of the Inclusive Museum; and “The Good Architect,” in The Good Gardener: Nature, Humanity, and the Garden. During 2018-2019 he oversaw the restoration of the iconic “Red House” located in the New Urbanist town of Seaside, Florida.

During his long professional and academic career, Professor Dunham worked as a design architect for the Louis de Soissons Partnership in London, Halpern and Partners Architects in London and Paris, Peter Munselle Architecture in Los Angeles, Archer and Buchanan Architecture in West Chester, PA, and Michael Ryan Architects in Philadelphia. In addition he has worked in museum exhibitions for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. While in New Zealand, he taught architecture at Victoria University and lectured on the conservation of art objects in transit.

Donald is a registered architect, RA.