Jamie Cooper's research focuses on Michelangelo’s architecture, especially his use of drawing and precedent in his design process. Other research interests include ancient Roman architecture and urbanism, the architecture/urbanism of fin-de-siecle Vienna, and the late North American works of Mies van der Rohe.
Cooper's interests, education, experience, and skills in architectural design, drawing, and history/theory are inextricably linked, and have led him to develop a unique methodology and philosophy for both his research and teaching. He approaches architectural history from the combined perspectives of an experienced designer and architectural historian, and uses analytical drawing, sketching, diagraming, as well as computer modeling as primary investigative tools.
He developed and used this methodology for his Ph.D. dissertation on the architecture of Michelangelo, especially his designs for the Campidoglio in Rome, and for two recently published articles on the Laurentian Library and the Palazzo dei Conservatori.
Analytical sketching and drawing is also central to his investigations of the history and architecture of the ancient Forum at Pompeii.