Matthew Jull



University of Cambridge, Ph.D. in Geophysics; Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Master of Architecture; McGill University, Bachelor of Science


Matthew Jull is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, a founding partner of the design practices KUTONOTUK and TempAgency, Director of the Arctic Design Group (with Leena Cho), and he is a registered architect in the Netherlands. With a PhD in geophysics from Cambridge and M. Arch in architecture from the Harvard GSD, Jull’s research explores the intersection of architecture and urban design with the processes that shape the natural environment. Prior to becoming an architect, his expertise in earth systems and computational techniques in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics led to new discoveries on links between the coupling of climate induced glacial cycles and volcanic activity in Iceland, as well as the fundamental process that form the continental land masses. Currently, his research focuses on exploring the potential of architecture and urban design within the frame of extreme climates and the increasing friction between the built environment and the forces shaping our planet. Supported by grants from the Graham Foundation, the Jefferson Trust, the Rotch Foundation, the Center for Global Inquiry and innovation, and most recently the National Science Foundation, his research is pioneering the development of new approaches to the design of cities and buildings in the rapidly changing Arctic. Jull’s work has led to studies of settlements in Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Norway, and Russia, with collaborators from a wide range of disciplines. He has also written extensively on the work of architect Ralph Erskine and the design and construction of Arctic cities in the former Soviet Union.


At the School of Architecture, Jull teaches architecture design studios at both graduate and undergraduate levels, leads the development of the design research curriculum and thesis preparation course Design Research Methods and Strategies, and teaches seminars on the fundamentals of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and continuum mechanics. His design studios emphasize an architecture that operates at multiple scales – from the detail, to the building, to the city, and to the continent, foregrounding cultural optimization within a frame of rigorous analysis and design research. Recent studios have focused on the development of resilient architectural design strategies in coastal cities of the United States under threat from seal level rise. In addition to teaching core design studios, Jull teaches research studios as part of the ADG, and has led students to the remote Norwegian and Russian Arctic settlements in Svalbard to study architecture and urban design. He has also taught workshops in the design of public space in extreme environments in the eastern Siberian City of Yakutsk.

In conjunction with his research and teaching, Jull’s design office KUTONOTUK is an emerging design practice gaining a global reputation with their work on projects in Northern Europe such as with the Helsinki Guggenheim Museum Competition (Honorable Mention - 2015) and Helsinki Central Library Competition (Honorable Mention - 2013) in Finland. KUTONOTUK’s work has been featured in publications internationally, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as one of five finalists for the PS1 Young Architects Program (Runner-Up - 2013) as well as at the Storefront for Art and Architecture (NY), Bunkkeri Helsinki, Kunsthalle Helsinki, and the Danish Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale.

Jull received his M.Arch. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (2008), his PhD in geophysics from Cambridge University (1997), and B.Sc. in Geophysics from McGill University (1993). He has worked at SOM (New York), Thomas Phifer Architects (New York), Steven Holl Architects (New York/ Beijing), and most recently at OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, NL from 2008-2012, where he was an architect and project leader.

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