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About me

I have been teaching at the University of Westminster since 2012, where I am currently the MA Urban Design course leader and Senior Lecturer in International Planning and Urban Design. Since 2016 I have been undertaking my own doctoral research funded by the School of Architecture + Cities which focuses on the influence of planning policy around flooding historically on the spatial development of Jakarta, Indonesia. 

I have taught as a visiting lecturer and design critic at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in New York City, USA; the Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology) in Bandung, Indonesia; the Universitas Tarumanagara (UNTAR; Taraumanagara University) in Jakarta, Indonesia; ITU (Istanbul Technical University), Istanbul, Turkey and ISCTE-IUL (Lisbon University Institute), Lisbon, Portugal. 

My academic work and research build on more than two decades of urban design, planning and architecture professional practice undertaken in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, China, Africa, Brazil, Russia and the USA. Most recently I have been undertaking consultancy projects in international development funded by the UK Department for International Development, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as the World Bank, in partnership with organisations such as the Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative (IndII), the Effective Cities team of the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF), as well as the Max Lock Centre. 

Prior to joining the university I worked as a senior urban designer at a number of international practices in London, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, AECOM and PLP Architecture on a range of strategic planning, urban and estate regeneration, development framework planning, urban extensions, master planning and conservation planning projects in the UK and abroad. In the USA I worked for several years as a project architect on residential and historic conservation projects in the Northeast, Southwest and California. 


PhD in Urban Studies, University of Westminster, London, UK (expected 2024)

MA International Planning + Sustainable Development, University of Westminster, London, UK (2011)

MA in Housing + Urbanism, Architectural Association, London, UK (2005)

BSc in Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA (2001).


I have been teaching on the MA Urban Design and the MA International Planning & Sustainable Development courses since 2012, as well as the MA Urban & Regional Planning and the BA Designing Cities courses more recently. As an urban designer and international planner, I also lead a number of core design and studio modules in strategic and city regional planning, urban design, architecture, slum upgrading and urban regeneration. I also run the histories and theories of urbanism module in the urban design course. In addition, I lead or co-coordinate a number of field trips for the MA Urban Design (Montpellier, France), the MA International Planning (Recife, Brazil; Jakarta, Indonesia; Istanbul, Turkey) and MA Urban and Regional Planning (Lisbon and Porto, Portugal) courses and I have designed and lead several joint workshops abroad, most recently in Jakarta, Indonesia and Istanbul, Turkey. 


My current research focuses on planning policies in response to flooding in Jakarta and the manner in which these decisions have influenced the spatial development of the city historically. I utilise a historical institutionalist and urban morphological methodology to understand institutional characteristics and planning culture on the urban fabric and overall built environment of Jakarta. This includes typological studies and mapping. I have also written extensively on the development and proliferation of tall buildings in London and internationally, post-industrial waterfronts and urban regeneration, as well as the re-linking of cities previously separated by walls during times of war or national crises.

Recent publications

  • Mathewson, D.W. (2020). Conserving Yangon's Colonial Heritage. Urban Design, 153 (Winter 2018), 21-23.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2020). Jakarta: A Case Study for Flood Challenges. Urban Design, 153 (Winter 2020), 24-26.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). Introduction: Southeast Asia. Urban Design, 153 (Winter 2018), 16-17.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2019). Una finestra su - Giacarta: Giacarta e le sfide delle megalopoli nel sud del mondo [A window on Jakarta: Jakarta and the challenges of a megalopolis in the southern hemisphere. Urbanistica Informazioni [Urban Information]. 282 (November-December), 74-82.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). Historic institutionalism and urban morphology in Jakarta: Moving towards building flood resiliency into the formal planning and development system. Journal of Regional and City Planning. 29 (3), 188-209. DOI: 10.5614/jrcp.2018.3.2
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). New York City's Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. Urban Design, 145 (Winter 2018), 17-19.
  • Mathewson, D.W. and Karaga, K. (2018). Vancouver as a Benchmark. Urban Design, 145 (winter 2018), 25-27.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). Introduction: North America. Urban Design, 145 (Winter 2018), 12-13.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2016). Whither London's Skyline? Urban Design, 139 (Summer 2016), 20-22.


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.