James Carpenter studied architecture and sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design where he collaborated with Dale Chihuly, graduating in 1972. Carpenter has actively exhibited light-based installation art works in the United States and Europe. Between 1972 and 1982 Carpenter also worked as a consultant at Corning Glass Works developing new glass materials aimed at potential architectural applications. Since establishing James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA) in 1978, Carpenter has been integrating a synthesis of light into building structures. His studio is a collaborative environment encouraging an exchange of ideas between artists, architects, materials and structural engineers, environmental engineers and fabricators.
Carpenter is the recipient of numerous awards including the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, the American Institute of Architects Honor Award and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Following JCDA’s move toward designing the built environment itself, at the end of 2010 JCDA completed the planning, design, renovation and expansion of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Since then JCDA has continued to both produce unique artworks and lead and collaborate on the design of museum, university and infrastructure projects.