Remembering DBIA’s Dorwin Thomas

Dorwin Arthur Jackson Thomas, FAIA, MRAIC, DBIA

Dorwin AJ Thomas, passed away peacefully April 23, 2021. He lived his life in full for architecture and design. He will be missed by very many in our profession. To quote one of his favorite cohorts … “He had quite a ride!”

In addition to his long service with DBIA, Dorwin was an active member of the AIA since 1972 and served as an officer in three AIA Components.  He also served the Institute on an AIA National level as Chairman of the AIA Design-Build knowledge Community 2003, 2004, and 2005, represented 13,000 AIA Members.  He was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2006 representing AIA Miami, based on his leadership of the Institute and the Design-Build Institute of America through the education of architects on Architect Leadership in Design-Build both nationally and internationally.

Over the past decade, he developed and presented over 60 continuing educational programs at local, regional, and international conferences including DBIA, AIA, RAIC, CDBI, AGC, and ACEC.  He received many awards including the AIA National Recognition Award in 2005, DBIA’s National Distinguished Leadership awards in 2001 and 2003, and he served as the Chairman of DBIA’s National Certification Board.  “Dorwin was a long-time, committed DBIA volunteer.  He impacted our organization in so many ways, especially in helping us create a professional certification program that continues to thrive because of his early leadership. I still hear him telling me, Lexie, we have to set the bar high!” says DBIA Vice President of Certification and Industry Events, Valexia Hall. Dorwin also served as the Founder and inaugural President of the DBIA New England Chapter representing all six New England States, and received the DBIA New England Distinguished Leadership Award.  Additionally, he served as the 43rd President of the Massachusetts Building Congress, representing both the Design and Construction Industry.

Addressing DBIA’s 2009 Certification Class

Dorwin was deeply involved in Design and Construction in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean for over 40 years, with extensive experience in Design, Design Management, Program, Construction Management, and Design-Build for both private and public sector projects.  He served as the Project Architect for the $10 million Place Bonaventure project.  He also served as Project Director for the $70 million Tip O’Neill Jr. Federal Building and as Construction Executive for the $75 million total renovation of the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, MA.  Additionally, he served as the Project Director for the Cousteau Ocean Centers, working closely with Capt. Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michelle Cousteau, and Hugh A. Stubbins, FAIA, Chairman of The Stubbins Associates, in Cambridge, MA. He also served as Project Director for the $500 million Prudential Center Redevelopment in Boston, MA. The firm of Dorwin Thomas Architects has received several design awards, including the 5-star Award-winning “Topnotch at Stowe” an Architect-Led Design- Build Project in Stowe, Vermont.

He earned his degrees in architecture from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and Harvard Graduate School of Design, in Cambridge, MA, has NCARB registration, is a Registered Architect in Florida, and 24 other states, and is a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.