Personal profile


Dr. Jiayi (Jennifer) Jin is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies. She joined Northumbria in Jan 2018 as a Lecturer. Her research is transdisciplinary spanning the fields of architectural and planning theories, digital technologies, sustainable development and participation in planning processes.

Before joining Northumbria, Jiayi held teaching and research positions at the Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) and the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham. She has practised in the fields of architecture and urban planning in the UK for over 12 years. These practical reflections have led to different research projects funded by the British Academy (2021 and 2024), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, 2023-24) and various research and innovation funds. She also received multiple research awards when collaborating with museum institutions, this includes Newcastle Culture Investment Fund (2021), Early Career Artist Bursary (2020-21), Digital Culture Award (England Arts Council, 2019), etc.

Her research focuses on the role of new media and technologies in knowledge production and socio-spatial linkage generation, inclusive innovation with architectural or urban environments, and creative participation for sustainable, inclusive city development. Her projects include "Participatory Neighbourhood Planning for the ‘Brown to Green’ Transition in Tyneside" (AHRC), "Gender-inclusive Cities", "Developing a Grassroots Sustainable Futures Platform: Collective Participation in Community-Based Cultural Organisations / CEoN" (British Academy).

Jiayi taught studio at all levels from undergraduate to post-graduate, as well as theory courses and research methods for MArch and PhD. She is the Department Ethics Co-lead for Architecture and Built Environment, she was the Studio Lead of a MArch Studio: Performing Architectures (2018-2022), Acting Programme Lead for Master of Architecture (2021-2022). Her teaching is research-led and informed by her extensive knowledge of architecture practices, planning contexts, urban issues and case studies across the globe.

Jiayi welcomes applications for conventional & practice-as-research PhD proposals within her research fields.

Research interests

1) Creative Participation for Inclusive Planning - This initial thread revolves around examining the impact of digital technologies and new media on knowledge formation, socio-spatial connections, and the cultivation of inclusive innovation within architectural and urban landscapes.  Currently, I just completed the AHRC project 'Participatory Neighbourhood Planning for the 'Brown to Green' Transition in Tyneside' (Grant Ref: AH/Y000250/1) as the Principal Investigator (PI). This project was dedicated to harnessing the values and priorities of citizens in shaping the vision and progress of post-industrial waterfront revitalisation along River Tyne in the UK.

Moreover, from 2021 to 2023, I worked on a British Academy-funded project titled 'Collective Participation in Community-Based Cultural Organisations' (Grant Ref: SSF/210084) as the Co-I. This project utilised co-creation as a method to understand adaptability and transformation to a net-zero town with the local communities. These research endeavours and their extensions centre on promoting creative involvement to bolster sustainable and inclusive urban development.

2) Digital Platforms and Applications with New Urban Initiatives - Digital approaches may provide a great means for users to experience living environments and design strategies in real-time, comprehend complex social issues that arise from the surroundings and propose relevant opinions. I started working in this field during my PhD studies at the University of Nottingham, where I developed expertise in the domain of digital augmentation and its intricate design considerations. This expertise delved into the broader sociological context of augmented interactions, which seamlessly bridge the realms of digital and physical layers in cities.

With researchers from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), we were awarded a research bid in April 2024 called: ‘Navigating Eco-Social Vulnerabilities: Uncovering Knowledge and Practical Gaps Across the UK, the Netherlands and Norway’. This project focuses on a specific call HORIZON-CL5-2024-D4-02-05: Digital solutions to foster participative design, planning and management of neighbourhoods and urban districts (Built4People Partnership). The project aims to evaluate existing participatory design practices and explore how digital interventions can bolster this process, empowering vulnerable communities to confront climate-related challenges with resilience.

3) Gender-neutral Urban Planning - The last thread centred around a project “Gender-Inclusive Cities", which spans from 2022 to 2024. This project delves into the socio-spatial intricacies of everyday urban landscapes through mediums such as reviews, films and gender walks. It is dedicated to examining how urban design is conceptualized and experienced through a gender lens. A comprehensive literature review has been conducted to explore the breadth of this research domain, identifying potential avenues of inquiry across various fields and disciplines. This study encompasses a compilation of the most significant and influential bodies of academic research and practical projects. It includes perspectives on topics such as the feminist city, queer studies and urban environments, masculinity in urban design, gender dynamics in urban politics, city morphology, etc.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Architecture, PhD, When Exhibitions Become Experiences - nARration for Augmented Space inside a science museum, University of Nottingham

Award Date: 13 Jul 2018


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