Recent Stories

May. 01, 2017

  In April, more than 20 students in the College of Architecture and Design displayed original designs and research at the University of Tennessee’s Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EUReCA), and of these participants, six came away as…

Jan. 20, 2017

Two professors of architecture in the College of Architecture and Design earned a national design award for their work leading students and collaborating with community members to develop an education center for Knoxville. Jennifer Akerman and Bob French were named…

Aug. 25, 2016

Marleen Kay Davis, FAIA, and Thomas K. (T.K.) Davis, FAIA, professors in the College of Architecture and Design, have been named co-recipients of the American Institute of Architects Tennessee Samuel Morgan Lifetime Service Award for Contribution to Architecture in the…

Sep. 27, 2014

Nashville may be a city on the rise, attracting new residents by the droves. But it’s also a laboratory for students at the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design, where they are designing the communities of the future…

Apr. 21, 2014

Five architecture student projects claimed honors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2014 Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement, commonly known as EUReCA. Three winners were selected in the research division of the College of Architecture and Design, and two were…

Thomas K. Davis

M. Arch., Cornell University, 1983
B. Arch., Cornell University, 1977 | 865.974.3283 | Room 354 | Download CV


Thomas K. Davis holds Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from Cornell University, where he studied under Colin Rowe, O. M. Ungers, and the legendary group of faculty known as “The Texas Rangers.” Between 1977 and 1981, Davis practiced architecture in Hartford and Boston, and he is a Registered Architect. Since 1981, he has had a collaborative design partnership with Marleen K. Davis, which has resulted in international competition awards, and subsequent publications and exhibitions. Davis is the past recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in Architecture in Italy, as well as the National Institute for Architectural Education Traveling Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

Beginning in 1984, Davis taught at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture for a decade until joining the University of Tennessee, where he has taught advanced level architectural and urban design, and theory. In addition to teaching graduate seminars on urban design theory, he has also developed a course entitled “Architecture, the City and Film.”

From 1995-2002, Davis ran the Kingsport Regional Interactive Design Studio, which addressed urban design problems in John Nolen’s planned industrial city of Kingsport, as well as in surrounding counties of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

From Spring 1994 until Fall 2003, at the direction of the dean, Davis was given primary responsibility for inviting, hosting, curating, and publicizing internationally the College’s Lectures and Exhibitions Series. During this period, Davis arranged 155 lecture events, 118 exhibitions, and 97 film events. The result of this effort was an invigoration of the program’s public outreach, vitality, and visibility as a center of energy in architectural education, which significantly enhanced faculty recruitment potential. As a highlight, he was Co-chair with Jon Coddington of the highly regarded 1999 ACSA Southeast Region Meeting in Knoxville entitled “Modern Architecture: An Incomplete Project.”

Davis represented the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, with its land grant community outreach mission, as Design Director at the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) from 2004-2008.

During and since serving in Nashville, he has been an invited speaker, moderator, or panelist at over 150 public events on civic design issues. He also co-hosted 12 cable television programs on urbanism entitled Cityvisions, available to 275,000 households in Metro Nashville.

Today, he serves on the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) Board of Directors, and his students’ studio work focuses on urban design issues and opportunities confronting Nashville, with an emphasis on transit-oriented development and urban housing. Davis holds a Real Estate Development Certificate from the Urban Land Institute, and he was instrumental in co-founding the ULI Nashville District Council in 2006.

In 2008, Thomas K. Davis was awarded Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects. In conferring this distinction, the AIA observed “as a leading advocate for enlightened civic and urban design, he excels in service to society through promotion of public education, public participation, and public advocacy in civic design.”

In 2013, his work with the NCDC received a national ACSA Collaborative Practice Award, as well as a C. Peter McGrath Community Outreach Exemplary Program Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

TK. Davis is committed to the academic paradigm of community outreach engagement, which unifies all of his efforts in teaching, creative activity, research and service. Davis believes a design studio can provide a platform for “applied research” in which the hypothetical design results benefit a community by sparking discussion and debate regarding challenges and possibilities for the future. This work manifests itself in public presentations and exhibitions in the community, as well as studios sponsored by public sector agencies forming a body of research reports as public advocacy.



Penultimate Design Review at the Nashville Civic Design Center

Following their review in Knoxville on October 22nd, TK Davis’ graduate design studio traveled on Friday October 24th for their penultimate design review at the Nashville Civic Design Center.  The studio is sponsored by the Greater Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization,…

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