J. Kidman is an emerging architecture practice based in South Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. We believe design is not a luxury but a necessity – solving human problems with built solutions, while enriching the human experience. We believe that beauty is not a result of form and finishes alone, but of successful problem solving – tailoring and reinventing objects and spaces to suit the client, site, and brief.

Our director – country-bred, city-based James Reid – was a graphic design graduate from RMIT before his focus turned to the built environment. He spent six years in a bespoke construction company, obtaining valuable knowledge of construction processes, costs and viability, and in 2012 obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture from RMIT.

James has since worked for a small local Melbourne practice, a mid-sized Melbourne- and Hobart-based practice, and one of Australia’s most awarded larger design partnerships. His experience ranges from pro-bono childcare upgrades to world-class penguin-viewing facilities, custom joinery to billion-dollar infrastructure, isolated coastal homes to apartments.

J. Kidman is currently working on projects from an inner-city terrace house extension, to the adaptive re-use of some heritage pastoral outbuildings, to a new dwelling in bushfire-prone high country.

Directly involved from design to delivery, James brings his curiosity, practicality, technical capabilities and clear communication to bear in pursuit of client-responsive, site-specific, cost-sensitive and value-adding design.

We’d love to hear about your project.


J. Kidman is a full-service architectural practice, offering an all-inclusive, start-to-finish architectural service. Not only are we your designer, we are your project manager – managing your project from start to finish (councils, permits and contractors are our responsibility). Though full service is preferred by most clients, we believe that design is for everyone. So where cost is a concern, we can discuss the possibility of offering a leaner service.

We welcome projects of all types, scales and complexity, in all environments. While working predominantly in urban and rural south-east Australia, we offer our services Australia-wide, and international enquiries are welcome.

Our process begins with you, your site, your brief. We start with the problem but don’t jump to immediate or default solutions. We research, question and analyse possibilities – identifying all potential solutions whether immediately apparent or not.

We communicate our ideas via sketches, physical models, computer-aided drafting (CAD) and 3D rendering. We like to realise these ideas by harnessing local builders, fabricators and complementary industries in a non-adversarial way, via collaboration and negotiation.

We believe in simplicity, durability and the tactility of good detailing, resulting in spaces which comfort the body and inspire the mind. Our buildings are not just dumb containers, they are active, operable, flexible and responsive tools for living.

For more general information about engaging with an architect, see the ‘You’ page.


79-139 Park St
South Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

(+61) 3 9079 8725