Timothy Jachna, Ph.D.
Leader (MDes) programme in Urban Environments Design
HongKong Polytechnic University
Field of research: second-order cybernetics, conversation and learning
Timothy Jachna is a Hong Kong-based educator, architect and urbanist. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago (BArch), the Architectural Association in London (AADipl) and RMIT University in Melbourne (PhD). He has worked as a practicing architect and urban designer, primarily in Chicago and Berlin. He is currently Professor and Associate Dean (Research) of the School of Design, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He leads the School’s Urban Environments Lab and the Master of Design (MDes) programme in Urban Environments Design. His research deals with psycho-sociological aspects of the planning, design, construction, inhabitation and critique of urban environments. The future of cities, particularly in the East Asian context, is a particular focus of concern. He has presented and published in disciplines as diverse as urban theory, tourism, digital culture, semiotics, art, architecture, planning, cybernetics, and human-computer interaction. Jachna is Vice-president of the American Society for Cybernetics, and his recent research applies principles of second-order cybernetics – including processes of conversation and learning, metabolic metaphors and the dynamics of control and choice – to understand urban processes and practices, and to envision possible urban futures. A prominent stream of his work investigates the implications of digital technologies for the ways that cities are planned, designed and inhabited.