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Home » Staff Directory » Jim Dawkins

Jim Dawkins

Published August 25, 2014

Jim Dawkins poses in front of live oak trees on a sunny Florida day. He is wearing a grey suit jacket.

Chair and Associate Professor

Department of Interior Architecture and Design
Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Areas of Responsibility

Areas of responsibility include chairing the department, teaching select classes of upper level undergraduate and graduate students in interior architecture and interior design project solutions, graphic techniques for quick sketching, design ideation, and project brainstorming. Dawkins chairs and is a member of MFA thesis committees.


Over thirty years of diversified experience as a corporate officer, architect, designer, and university professor define my career in the world of architecture and interior design. After receiving both my Bachelor of Arts in Design and Master of Architecture degrees at Clemson University, I went on to practice both architecture and interior design as a licensed architect and corporate officer with design firms in Atlanta, GA and Vail, CO.  My twenty years in professional practice featured highly successful, award-winning commercial, hospitality, single-family and multi-family residential projects of various scopes and scales. That time was marked by a proven desire and ability to contribute to successful company operations, positive corporate profitability, critical client relations, project design, staff development, standards implementation and project construction administration. My subsequent years in higher education have allowed me to explore opportunities for research, creative activity, and service that add to and reinforce my ability to preach what I practice while leading and mentoring up-and-coming young designers.


Master of Architecture, Clemson University, 1988
Bachelor of Arts in Design, Clemson University, 1986

Teaching Areas

Graduate and undergraduate interior design studios, graphic techniques studios (hand sketching and hybrid hand/digital drawing), experimental graphics, and internships.

Research Areas

Dawkins’ primary research interest focuses on the notion of thinking through drawing – graphic facilitation, communication, and mediation of ideas through hand-drawing techniques and their realization in traditional hand and digital hybrid forms of computer aided design. Secondary research currently involves the analysis of and instruction in hand sketching skills through the cognitive framework of expertise theory.

Current research pursuits are centered on a timely examination of the role AI (machine learning) can/does play in conceptual design, its growing ability to generate rich and robust imagery in that process, and the impact it has on the beginning design student’s growth and development. This ‘calculator moment’ of the 2020’s provides a rich opportunity for analysis, discussion, and reflection on the role of both humans and machine learning devices in interior design both educationally and professionally. Notions of morals and ethics will be debated and challenged. Authenticity and originality will be called into question. Indeed, even the role of the designer in the design process will come under scrutiny.


Jim currently serves in the role of Department Chair, is a member of the College Leadership Team, and represents the Department in the University’s Academic Leadership Group. Additionally, he co-leads the Department’s annual Career Shaping Event each spring, and is a liaison to the University’s Internship Council.


Select Scholarly/Creative Works & Awards

  • University Teaching Award (2022), Florida State University, Office of the Provost
  • Dawkins, J. (2021, October). 2020 DCA Juried Design Communication Exhibition[Drawing: Perception to Execution]. KSU Architecture Gallery (virtual), Kennesaw State University, Marietta, Georgia: Design Communication Association.
  • Dawkins, J. D. (presented 2020, January). Narrative Drawing as an Agent of Memory Re-Collection and Retention. Presentation at Experiential Design – Rethinking relations between people, objects and environments, Architecture, Media, Politics, Society, Florida State University. (International) Retrieved from
  • Dawkins, J. D. (presented 2019, March). Agents of Retrieval, Re-Collection and Retention: Sketching and Its Role in Memory-Making. Presentation at 2020 Interior Design Educators Council Conference, Interior Design Educators Council, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. (National)
  • Dawkins, J., & Pable, J. (2018). Sketching Interiors at the Speed of Thought, Second Edition. New York, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Dawkins, J. 2018 DCA Juried Design Communication Exhibition. Three drawings exhibited; 39% acceptance rate. Martha Van Rensselaer Gallery, Cornell University, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY: Design Communication Association.
  • Dawkins, J. (presented 2018, February). Is it Me (f)or a Moment? Reconciling Past and Present with Time Windows. Paper presented at Design Communication Association Conference 2018, Design Communication Association, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. (International)
  • Dawkins, J. (2017, September–November). 27th Annual All Florida Juried Arts Show. Two drawings exhibited; 10% acceptance rate. Court House Cultural Center Gallery, Stuart, Florida: The Arts Council of Martin County.
  • Dawkins, J., & Webber, S. (presented 2016, September). Emotional Intelligence in Sketching: Framing the Process with Expertise Theory and Emotional Intelligence. Paper presented at 2016 Design Communication Association Biannual Conference, Design Communication Association, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA. (International)
  • Dawkins, J. (presented 2014, October). Student Sketching Viewed Through the Framework of Expertise Theory: The Advanced Beginner. Paper presented at 2014 Design Communication Association Biannual Conference, Design Communication Association, Southern Polytechnic State University, Atlanta, GA. (International)
  • McLane, Y., & Dawkins, J. (2014). Building of Requirement: Liberating Academic Interior Architecture. Journal of Learning Spaces, 3(1), 9 pages total. Retrieved from
  • Dawkins, J., & Pable, J. (presented 2013, October). Sketching at the Speed of Thought: Weaving Expertise Theory with Drawing Automaticity. Paper presented at Interweavings: The 3rd International Conference on Drawing, Cognition and Education, Thinking through Drawing and the Drawing Research Network, Teacher’s College at Columbia University, New York, NY. (International) Retrieved from