Professor David Chasco, Director of the University of Illinois School of Architecture, has announced that UIUC Professor Emeritus James Warfield has been named to the faculty of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Shanghai's Tongji University, and, simultaneously, to the Board of Editors of China's new professional journal Heritage Architecture. By this appointment, Warfield joins a list of honorary and advisory professors at Tongji that includes: Chinese American architect I. M. Pei; British architect Richard Rogers; Indian architect Charles Correa; former UIUC Plym Distinguished Professor Ken Yeang; longtime Dean of MIT Stanford Anderson; chief conservation architect of the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris Benjamin Mouton; and Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Since 1988, Professor Warfield has led the University of Illinois/Tongji University Program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. The College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University is widely considered the top program in urban planning in China, and ranks first or second among the leading architecture schools. Throughout his 25 year association with Tongji University, Professor Warfield has fostered the careers of numerous Chinese students and faculty. His former teaching assistants in the Illinois program include professionals of considerable stature: the Vice President of Tongji University; the Head of International Programs at Tongji University; the CEO of the major Shanghai architectural firm UN+ Architects; the Head of the Interior Design Program in CAUP; and the former Vice Mayor of the City of Shanghai in charge of construction.
CAUP Director of the Department of Architecture, Professor Chang Qing, FAIA, stated that Warfield's faculty appointment was made on the basis of his leadership in this program, the oldest international program in the college, and based upon his 2009 book and major exhibit Roads Less Traveled at Kengo Kuma’s Z58 in Shanghai. These works are based upon Warfield's 40 years of research, travel journals and photos of vernacular architecture in 32 culture areas around the world.
Warfield is also author of Dancing Lessons from God and The Architect’s Sketch, published respectively in English and Chinese in the USA and China. Warfield has taught for 40 years at the University of Illinois and continues to head a graduate studio in design and a Campus Honors seminar "Experiencing Architecture." He also leads a springtime sketch trip to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini for architecture students in the School of Architecture's Versailles study abroad program. In China, he writes quarterly essays on vernacular architecture in the "Warfield Column" in Heritage Architecture. His most recent project involves the transformation of his collection of photographs, papers, publications, and exhibition panels, and lifelong research in vernacular architecture into an international website and archive to be housed and curated at the Tongji University Architecture Museum. The dedication catalog for the collection includes essays by Juhani Pallasmaa, Zheng Shiling, A. Richard Williams, Wu Jiang and others. The formal dedication ceremony for the "Warfield Archive" will be held in Shanghai next spring.
In 2002, Warfield was named an ACSA Distinguished Professor in Architecture by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.