A short biography
John is of Scottish highland descent and Norman ancestors, but was born in Lancashire, England.
Educated at Stowe School and then the Architectural Association and Cambridge University. He trained as an architect and then taught and researched in both architecture and art and design schools.
He started lecturing at Cambridge Department of Architecture where he also founded (with Alex Pike) the Technical Research Division (now part of the Martin Centre) where he researched energy in building and autonomous housing, won his first substantial research grants and supervised his first of many doctoral students.
He subsequently went back to the AA again to teach and then to Ulster where he was the Head of the School of Art and Design Research. He founded the Ulster Centre for Computer Aided Design and was awarded a Personal Chair at the University of Ulster in 1984. He also founded the award winning Autographics software development company.
He then returned to the AA again to run a Diploma Unit. Then to Hong Kong again as Swire Chair Professor and Head of the School of Design embracing Environmental Design, Fashion, Graphics and introducing Interactive Design and a Global Virtual Design Studio and the Design Technology Research Centre. Then he worked for Gehry Technologies as International Research co-ordinator of the digital practice ecosystem.
From there he went to be Professor of Design Science and Head of School of Design in Queensland Australia where he founded a Centre for Complex Urban Systems Design.
He also holds Honorary Professorships from the Universities of Dalian, Fudan and Shandong and the Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology, is Visiting Professor at the Universities of Salford and Brighton, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Author of over 200 book chapters and papers. Public recognition includes having been a Board Member for the Design Council of Hong Kong, and Art Advisor to the Art and Heritage Museum Hong Kong. More recently served on the Action Agenda for the built environment and other working parties for the Australian Government. He is Chair of the John and Julia Frazer Foundation for Accelerating Architecture.