John’s teaching and research address contested landscapes. He uses drawing to describe narratives of tension and possible avenues of synthesis and reconciliation. He also practices through project-based collaboration.

Since 2005 John has worked with several British Columbian First Nations partner communities, including the Yunesit’in Government, the Heiltsuk First Nation, the Fort Rupert Kwakiutl Band, the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, the Nuxalk Nation, and the Nisga’a Nation.

These community-led collaborative projects include but are not limited to the design of housing, public buildings, landscape, and urban design. Much of the work also cuts across disciplines. Subjects of this latter work include justice-related historical analysis on pre-emption and property law, historical documentation and reclamation, digital and cultural education, and repatriation.

John is currently working with the Yunesit’in Government on the design of a prototype wildfire house for the Tsilhqot’in plateau. He recently collaborated with the Heiltsuk Nation on a community-led housing initiative, with four one-bedroom houses under construction as of fall 2019.

From 2010 to 2017, John worked on several projects in India. In Chandigarh, he has studied the rehabilitation colonies of its periphery. He has collaborated with Raman Deep Dhiman of Universal Satellite Mapping Consultants of Chandigarh in the public space and engineering design for low-tech public infrastructure improvements for the Punjab village of Bir Pind, and with the Indo-Canadian Friendship Society on the public space design for the Uttarakhand village of Dhakrani.

From 2005 to 2009, John was a co-investigator with the Coastal Communities Project, a SSHRC-funded multi-disciplinary research initiative of UBC and partner communities situated along the Pacific coast of British Columbia. John’s involvement resulted in several works, most notably Naming and Claiming: The Fort Rupert Reconstruction Project. Some of that analysis is used in the Fort Rupert school system, and other portions were published in Architecture and Justice: Judicial Meanings in the Public Realm (Ashgate, 2013).

John was the director of the Delta National Park project, a research and speculative design project focused on the spatial politics of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta area of California.


B.Arch, Rhode Island School of Design
BFA, Rhode Island School of Design