James J. Potter


James J. Potter

Emeritus Professor of Architecture

Brief Vitae

Dr. James J. Potter is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Architecture. He has degrees from California State Polytechnic University (B.Sc.), the State University of New York at Buffalo (M.Arch), and Pennsylvania State University (PhD). He retired from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in August 2010 and immediately assumed a position at the School of Architecture, Building & Design at Taylor's University in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. He went to Taylor's University to teach, assist in the development of a graduate program, and spearhead the implementation of a research agenda where he worked until September 2012.

Previous to Taylor's University, he was a faculty member in the College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1981 to 2010, Chair of the Department of Architecture 1986-1990, and Chair of the Graduate Committee, 1997-2001. He held the Douglass Professorship from Fall 1994 to Summer 1998 and Fall 2000 to Spring 2004. He has taught studios that focus on human behavior, community and environmental needs, as well as seminars on environment-behavior studies, housing and quality of life. He has been a visiting scholar in schools of architecture in the USA and abroad (e.g., Brazil, China, Ireland, Germany, Nigeria, Russia and Taiwan).

Dr. Potter has been involved in environmental design research for over forty years, pursuing his desire to bridge the gap between the teaching of architecture, the development of community-based projects and the execution of relevant environmental design research. He has managed teams of researchers and developed a significant body of research on housing satisfaction and quality of life in communities. He is able to provide expertise on a variety of research methods and is interested in working with professionals to develop programmatic and evaluation documentation. Numerous project reports attest to his assisting community groups – e.g., Residents' Perceptions of Housing and the Quality of Life in Schuyler, Nebraska – to define and seek viable solutions to their environmental needs. He has presented numerous scholarly papers at professional conferences – e.g., Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), and International Association of People-Environment Studies (IAPS), published articles in a variety of journals – e.g., Environment and Behavior, Journal of Architecture Planning & Design, and contributed book chapters – e.g. Strengths and Challenges of New Immigrant Families: Implications for Research, Policy, Education, and Service, establishing his continued interest in how people perceive, use, and are affected by their environment. His basic research goal has been to expand our knowledge about the impact of physical and social change (especially rapid development) on people's well-being. A secondary goal has been to better understand the role community factors play in quality of life. The ultimate purpose of the research is the development of predictive capabilities as well as strategies to ameliorate the negative effects of rapid change upon people's well-being. He continues to work with collegues on the quality of life research and another project to develop a multidisciplinary, multimedia, relational database (Architecture in the Humanities - http://unllib.unl.edu/aith/index.html) that will help students and researchers of the humanities and architecture to better appreciate the important relationship between architecture, film, literature, art & theater.