Former design faculty member left academic, professional legacy

James Patterson

James Patterson, a former architecture student and faculty member who helped launch Texas A&M’s graduate architecture program in the 1960s died May 29, 2015 in Norman, Okla. after a sudden illness. He was 77.

A celebration of Patterson’s life is scheduled July 25, 2015, at his family’s farm near Longview, Texas.

Patterson, who earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree at Texas A&M in 1961 and a Master of Architecture degree at Columbia University, taught healthcare facility design at Texas A&M.

“He was a talented professional, an able administrator, excellent mentor, teacher, and friend,” said Don Sweeney, a former student and College of Architecture faculty member. Sweeney became acquainted with Patterson in the mid-1960s as a student in Texas A&M’s Master of Architecture program, which Patterson helped create.

Patterson also helped establish Texas A&M’s Architecture-For-Health studio in 1966. Since the studio’s inception, students have undertaken more than 700 healthcare facility design projects throughout the world.

From 1967 – 1985, he headed International Building Systems, Inc., an architectural, consulting and construction firm. At IBS, he was the principal architect and designer of many iconic projects, including Northpark Shopping Center in Dallas and numerous healthcare facilities.

He returned to academia in 1988, teaching in the Iowa State University architecture program. Although he and his family lived in Dallas, Patterson, an aviation buff, commuted to ISU’s Ames, Iowa campus by piloting his private airplane. He also maintained a Dallas-based private architectural practice.

Patterson later joined the University of Oklahoma’s architecture faculty, heading its Urban Design Studio and eventually becoming associate dean of the university’s College of Architecture.

In 2012, Patterson and his University of Oklahoma students collaborated with counterparts at Texas A&M and Southeast University in Nanjing, China, in an Architecture-For-Health studio to develop a master plan for a cancer center on Hainan Island, China.

“He made many significant contributions to our college and its programs,” said Charles Graham, dean of the OU College of Architecture. “He always made people aware of his Texas roots and he was very proud of his education from Texas A&M.”

James is survived by his wife of 55 years, Charlotte ‘Nan’ Patterson; sons John Patterson and his wife Jennifer of Dallas and James Patterson and his wife Cynthia of Dallas; daughter Cayann Patterson Deffner and husband Michael of Norman; grandchildren Brad Roth, Sam Josey, Ryan Roth and Ashley Roth of Norman and Justine Patterson, Jesse Patterson and Catherine Patterson of Dallas.

posted June 26, 2015