By uniting art with architecture, James Garrett Jr., AIA, creates dynamic spaces for the 21st century that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in the profession. A visual artist and writer who was formally trained as an architect, he gives voice to underserved communities and is deeply invested in the human experience.
Born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to American parents who returned stateside when he was young, Garrett spent his formative years in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his interest in cities was sparked. Growing up in the post-industrial era that gave rise to hip-hop culture and graffiti writing, he has made it his mission to reconnect art and architecture. His work as the founding partner of St. Paul’s 4RM+ULA combines resiliency and dynamic expression in the form of vibrant color and diverse media. Founded in 2002, the firm has evolved into a full-service practice focused on transit design and transit-oriented development.
James is a registered architect in Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey. He holds an A.B. Degree in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at University of California (Berkeley, CA) and an M’Arch degree from Parsons School of Design (New York City, NY). He currently serves on the Metropolitan Council Livable Communities and Transit Oriented Development Advisory Committees. In 2002, he founded 4RM+ULA (FORM + Urban Landscape Articulation), a full-service architecture firm focused on Transit Design, Transit-Oriented-Development, and urban infill redevelopment projects.
He was a 2015 AIA MN Young Architect Award recipient, is a 2019 AIA National Young Architect Award recipient and was also named as one of ‘25 Young Architects to Watch’ by the Architizer Journal.
James lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Paola Sanchez-Garrett and sons; Nikola and James.