James Biber has practiced architecture in a multi-disciplinary environment for more than 25 years. Trained first as a biologist, then as an architect, James has surrounded himself with a variety of thinkers from different fields to expand the notion of architecture. His work centers on a belief that architecture as an expression of identity is inseparable from its language of form and tectonics. The result is an architecture tied closely to its context; whether physical, cultural or metaphorical.
Biber's projects include the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, private oceanfront homes in the Hamptons, CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, the nation’s Millennium Time Capsule, dinnerware for Umbra as well as New York City and national restaurants. Current work includes the galleries at the Koch Institute, MIT and urban streetscape projects in New York.
Biber’s approach to architecture, and to design in general, is to first solve the problem of Identity. Each building, design and product is embedded with a biography; crafting an appropriate design language is part of the process of the ‘Architecture of Identity’. Whether it’s the selection of black glazed bricks for Harley-Davidson (the leather jacket of building materials) or responding to each of a couple’s unique needs in a single home, James Biber excels at finding the right ‘visual words’ to make his architecture truly belong to it’s user.
Biber’s new creative studio comes after nearly two decades as the architectural partner in Pentagram’s New York office. His career has uniquely positioned him to work in the rapidly changing design world of shifting disciplinary boundaries and collaborative environments. With architecture as his first love, James Biber has practiced design in scales ranging from a single light switch or dinnerware system; to furniture and interiors; through homes to large buildings; and ultimately to the urban design of brownfield sites and entire neighborhoods. Each scale is informed by a careful understanding of context, technology, the building arts and the economics of the marketplace.
His work has been recognized by the AIA, AIGA, SEGD and other professional design organizations, and has been published in The New York Times, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, Architect, Blueprint, Wallpaper, Dwell, Metropolitan Home, New York Magazine and the design press internationally. He is currently at work on two books; one on urban issues and another on architecture, as well as products for the sustainable market. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, graphic designer Carin Goldberg, his classicist son Julian, and more books than he knows what to do with.