Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
 Juan Usubillaga

Juan Usubillaga

Research Assistant

Ysgol y Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol

+44 (0)29 2251 0943
12 Ffordd yr Amgueddfa, Cathays, Caerdydd, CF10 3BD


I am a Colombian Urban Designer and Researcher currently doing a PhD. on Political Activism and Urban Design. I hold a B.A. (Hons) Architecture from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá) and a M.Sc. Building and Urban Design in Development from UCL (London).

My project and research experience spans across different countries including Colombia, UK, Germany, US and Myanmar, and various issues related to activism, informality, housing, humanitarian action and refugee integration.

At the moment, I am working at the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) in a project understanding the implementation of children's social care policy in Wales, as well as at the Welsh School of Architecture in the AHRC-funded project entitled 'Co-Designing Publics Research Network'. I teach design studio for the MA Urban Design and supervise masters dissertations.

I speak English, Spanish, German and I'm currently learning Welsh and Catalan.


Work Experience

  • 2021-Present: Network Administrator - Co-designing Publics, Welsh School of Architecture (Cardiff)
  • 2020-Present: Research Assistant, CASCADE (Cardiff)
  • 2017-2020: Research Assistant, Welsh School of Architecture (Cardiff)
  • 2017: Urban Response Intern, ALNAP (London)
  • 2015-2016: Research and Project Assistant, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá)
  • 2011-2014: Teaching Assistant, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá)


  • 2019-Present: Ph.D. in Architecture (Cardiff University)
  • 2016-2017 M.Sc. Building and Urban Design in Development, University College London (London)
  • 2010-2015 B.A. (Hons) Architecture, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá)

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

  • Dissertation Fellowship, Save The Children UK & University College London (2017)
  • Colfuturo-UCL Masters Scholarship, Foundation for the Future of Colombia - Colfuturo (2016)
  • Santander Masters Scholarship, University College London (2016)
  • Magna Cum Laude Distinction, Universidad de los Andes (2015)
  • Academic Distinction, Colombian Society of Architects (2015)
  • Ramón de Zubiría Distinction, Universidad de los Andes (2013)
  • Third Place, Architectural Design Contest, Cure MMDG Architects & Universidad de los Andes (2012)

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Member of the Colombian Society of Architects







I am currently a tutor at the MA Urban Design in the following modules:

  • MAUD Autumn Studio
  • MAUD Spring Studio
  • MAUD Research-based Design Project [I supervise 5 MA theses]

Research interests

Broadly speaking, my research interests lie at the intersections between urban space and politics. Within this realm, I am particularly interested in the following:

  • Radical politics and urbanism
  • Political activism in cities
  • Bottom-up social housing strategies/projects
  • Urban informality
  • Humanitarian response in cities