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James A. Garland to receive Honorary Doctorate at Spring Commencement

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James A. Garland AIA, NCARB, Hon ASLA, founded Fluidity Design Consultants, the water design and engineering firm, in 2002, after twenty years of practice in architecture, urbanism and water design.

Jim holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from UCLA, with a focus in architectural design and urban design. His undergraduate degree, also in architecture, was obtained from the University of Louisiana, in Lafayette. Jim interned at Urban Innovations Group under Charles W. Moore, FAIA, the internationally celebrated architect who was known, among many things, for his enthusiastic and skillful use of water in architecture. Jim worked as an architect in New Orleans in the mid-1980s, and worked as an architect and urban designer with Jon Jerde in Los Angeles in the early 2000s.

Jim began working in water as a consultant to Wet Design in 1986 while maintaining a private practice and teaching architectural design and theory at Woodbury University. In 1994, Jim closed his other activities to work at Wet full time, ultimately becoming Wet’s Director of Design. His major projects of this period include: Canal City Hakata (Japan), Al Faisaliah (Saudi Arabia), Lisbon Expo ‘98 (Portugal), the Rose Garden Arena (Portland), the Burj Al Arab (Dubai), and Water Tower Place (Chicago).  During this period, Jim also designed water features in Miami, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul and Berlin. Jim left Wet in 1999 after thirteen years.

Fluidity was established to create a new generation of water features, conceived, crafted, and engineered for a more sustainable century, with a fresh and invigorating new design aesthetic. Jim’s work in such projects as Hearst Headquarters (New York City), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), Klyde Warren Park (Dallas), Myriad Gardens (Oklahoma City), Grand Park (Los Angeles), Madinaty (Egypt), Index Building (Dubai), Long Mu Bay Resort (China), and Tongva Park (Santa Monica), are all examples of Fluidity’s advanced design initiative. Fluidity is also distinguished by completing the largest fountain restoration and enhancement project in America, the Main Fountain Garden, at Longwood Gardens, a ninety-million dollar project, which was completed in 2017. Jim’s current work includes the Gulf War Memorial, located on the Mall in Washington DC, and a collaboration with Bjerke Ingalls Group over a project in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jim is licensed to practice architecture in sixteen States, including California, New York, Illinois, District of Columbia, and Louisiana. He has lectured at Harvard University, the Architectural Association in London and at the American Academy in Rome. In 1998, two of his sketchbooks were selected for exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Design Museum. Concurrently with his responsibilities at Fluidity, Jim is writing a worldwide survey of fountains, covering a 2,000-year history of wide-ranging examples under the title, ‘Fountain Safari.’

In the Fall of 2020, Garland was awarded the SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award by the UL Lafayette College of the Arts, in honor of his professional accomplishments and his contributions to the School of Architecture and Design.

Garland will receive his SPARK award along with his Honorary Doctorate in the Arts from UL Lafayette at this Spring’s 2021 Commencement Ceremony on March 14th at 8:00 am in the Cajundome Convention Center.

Learn more about Spring 2021 Commencement at