Johnathan Subendran

Johnathan is a (gluon) researcher in the section of Urban Design of the Department of Urbanism at TU Delft, and at the Resilient Delta Initiative of Convergence Alliance.

At the core, he is a trained spatial designer, working across architectural to territorial scales. He is currently a Gluon researcher, a new academic role specializing in knowledge integration through the development of research on the application of integration methods and methodologies in projects, both in academia and practice.

Johnathan’s interests lie at the intersection of inter/transdisciplinary design, spatial justice, designing in conditions of conflict, climate adaptation, and building frameworks for just knowledge integration.

He is a graduate (cum laude) of the Urbanism Masters and Honours Programme at Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and has a professional bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Waterloo (Canada).

His research is also devoted to exploring the role of spatial design and planning in unlocking conditions toward self-determination and liberation of territories of ethnic conflict. His thesis was recently one of the recipients of the Design for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity from TU Delft. He recently co-led a master’s studio with students from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, exploring the agency of design in conflict and developing new typologies for living.

He uses this research as an avenue to challenge Western hegemony on planning perspectives through contextualized pathways, that are more aligned with finding socio-spatial opportunities for self-determination, self-sufficiency, and self-development. He believes in the socio-political agency of design and how it can invoke transformative change in the decision-making arena, at the community level, practice, and academia in tackling the wicked challenges of today.