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Jon Goodbun’s research develops an understanding of architecture in relation to a wider field of systems-theoretic discourses, working in particular with concepts of ecological aesthetics and environmental semiotics that he develops out of the anthropological cybernetics of Gregory Bateson.

Jon trained as an architect, and currently is a researcher, practitioner and educator at the RCA, the University of Westminster (MSc Advanced Environmental Design), and the Bartlett (MArch).

In relation to Climate Justice research and the Environmental Architecture programme at the RCA, his recent work and publications have focused on the need for an dialogical re-conception of design, planning and strategy in relation to the emerging demands for global and local Green New Deals, while his co-authored 2014 book The Design of Scarcity has recently been translated into German (2018) and Greek (2020).

Work based in material from the Bateson archive, together with various dialogic and pedagogic experiments, is moving towards a book entitled The Ecological Calculus, while a series of environmental architecture field projects are underway in Greece, in particular around evaporative cooling and pollution in Athens.

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Jon's wide-ranging research areas include ecological literacy, climate change, climate justice, environmental semiotics, embodied/extended/ecological cognition, evaporative cooling, pollution, cybernetics and the Green New Deal

Jon's practice includes architecture, ecological urbanism, and world systems planning. He can be found at www.rheomode.org.uk

RIBA research grant, The Political Ecologies of Concrete

Shortlist, RIBA PhD research awards final shortlist, 2012

EU HERA Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment, 2011

Selected Books

Goodbun, J., Klein M., Runpfhuber, A., Till, J. (2014) The Design of Scarcity, Moscow: Strelka

Goodbun, J., Till, J. and Iossifova D. (eds) (2012) Scarcity – Architecture in an age of depleting resources, London: Wiley

Selected Book Chapters

(2013) ‘Fuck Scarcity’, in: D. Iossifova (ed.) SCIBE, London: The Bank of Ideas/Amazon

‘Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment’, in: I. Berman & E. Mitchell (eds), 101st ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings, New Constellations, New Ecologies San Francisco: ACSA

(2013) ‘Ecological Subjects’, in: I. Berman & Edward Mitchell (eds.), 101st ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings, New Constellations, New Ecologies, San Francisco: ACSA

(2012) ‘Introduction’, ‘Flexibility and Ecological Planning: Gregory Bateson on Urbanism’ and ‘Architecture and Relational Resources: Towards a New Materialist Practice’ in: J. Goodbun, J. Till & D. Iossifova (eds) Scarcity – Architecture in an age of depleting resources, London: Wiley

Selected Journal Articles and Papers

(2015) ‘Koolhaas close up: Review of Ingrid Böck‘s ‘Six Canonical Projects by Rem Koolhaas’’, Architecture Today, 259, June

(2013) ‘Transitional Programme – review of Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile’, Radical Philosophy, 177, January/February

(2012)‘Think Big, review of Koolhaas/Obrist Project Japan’, Architecture Today, 1 June

(2012) ‘The Politics of the New Aesthetic: Electric Anthropology and Ecological Vision’, Creative Applications Network, April

(2011) ‘Do architects need to be represented by a union?’, Building Design, 21 April

(2011) ‘Wirelessness’, Radical Philosophy, 170, November/December

(2011) ‘Neocybernetics – Properly Modern: Review of Andrew Pickering, and Bruce Clarke and Mark Hansen’, Radical Philosophy, 165, January/February

(2011) ‘Gregory Bateson, Critical Cybernetics and Ecological Aesthetics of Dwelling’, Field Journal

(2011) ‘What is at stake in animate design?’, Creative Applications Network, Jan

Selected Conference Papers and Lectures


Session chair and respondent , AHRA ‘What is this thing called theory’, Leeds, November

Introduction to ‘What is at stake in Environmental Design?’, University of Westminster, November


‘Some notes on the anthropocene (or, welcome to the pre-anthropocene!)’ at ‘Cities, Politics, Law as Geological Agents Syposium, University of Westminster, November

‘The Design of Scarcity’ (with Jeremy Till, Andreas Rumpfhuber and Michael Klein), Central St Martins, October


‘Dialectical Ecologies – Architecture and Politics in the Age of Capitalist Crisis’, Beijing April

‘Re-imagining the Project of Planning’, Umea, Sweden and Vienna, March


‘Mediating the Ecological and the Neurological: An Architecture of the Extended Mind, Spatial Thinking 2’, Innsbruck, October

‘Dialectical Ecologies – Architecture and Politics in the Age of Capitalist Crisis’, Architectural Association, October

‘Relational Architectural Ecologies, Society of Architectural Historians, Detroit and Texas A&M, April

‘Scarcity, Critical Urban Ecology and re-imagining the Project of Planning’, Critical Urban Ecology 2

Symposium, Brighton University, March

‘Landscapes, Complexity and re-imagining the Project of Planning’, Landscapes and Critical Agency

Conference, UCL February


‘Rheomode and Aesthetics: An Ecology of Mind’, Towards a New Science of Consciousness conference, Stockholm, May

‘Re-imagining the Possibility of Planning, or, How to Become an Urban Ecologist’, The Gopher Hole, London

‘Design Ecologies’, Architectural Association London, February

‘Critical Urban Ecology’, University of Brighton, February

Gregory Bateson archive, UC Santa Cruz

Derailed Lab

External Examiner University of the Creative Arts, Canterbury