Mr Karl Kjelstrup-Johnson

AA Dipl, AA BArch(Hons), BTEC, RIBA II, FLS

Programme Lead - Apprenticeships

School of Architecture

Karl Kjelstrup-Johnson


Academic Research: (Intelligent Systems Research Centre). Symbiotic Cognitive Architecture; enabling for enhanced Sensemaking, Situational Awareness and Decision-Making performance. 

Senior Lecturer at the Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment. Programme Lead for Apprenticeships Programme (Collaborative R&D).

Strategic and creative R&D. Experience within cutting edge industries, ranging from the disciplines of Education/Training, Architecture, Simulated Environments, Engineering and Digital Manufacture.

In 2012 he founded Tectonic IP (TIP) a strategy and R&D consultancy focused towards Complex Systems Modelling (VDC/ BIM /Parametric Design). Framing, generating and evaluating disruptive and evolutionary strategies to develop novel technologies that will enhance the way we engage with information. 

In 2010 he co-founded Skin Graph; developers of novel parametric bio-technologies translating mapped realities into 4D personalized information models used to engineer bespoke body worn products to accelerate medical rehabilitation and enhance performance.

In 2001 he was awarded a scholarship to the Architectural Association (AA). He successfully graduated in 2005 with AA BArch hons (1st technical pass) and with AA Diploma hons nomination (1st technical pass) in 2009. 

He has worked at internationally acclaimed architectural practices such as Grimshaw setting up the Computational Design Unit London (CDU), Halcrow as Urban Designer and NOX. He is a member of Smart Geometry; a collective of industry and academic leaders in architecture/ engineering focused toward advanced computation.



Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Project [INTERLINKED] Game Component (01/02/2024 - 30/09/2024), funded by: Counter Terrorism Policing, funding amount received by Brookes: £43,344

Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies


 Consultancy, Expertise in Strategy/ Computational design/ Technology

  • Digital Tracking/ Scanning: To track, record and map real time realities into virtual environments. Enabling user engagement within CAD-CAM processes. Technologies include: Wearables/ Motion Tracking/ Thermal/ Laser Scanning/ EEG
  • Advanced Computational Design: Systems translating vast multiple data sets into 4D information. Analysis and synthesis of these data sets through computation, for the production of design frameworks/ representation. Technologies include: BIM /Parametric Design / Generative / CGI / CFD/ FEA
  • Automated/ Rapid Fabrication: To engineer smart materials through data-driven fabrication processes informed through interactive data models. Technologies include: 3D Printing / Laser Cutting/ CNC Milling/ Digital Knitting-Weaving
  • Expertise in design strategy for major infrastructure and commercial projects including Airport, Rail, Healthcare, Office, Residential design
  • Catalyst for IP innovation offering the industry insights for IP landscaping and buisness positioning.

Other experience


Managing Director and Founder

The practice of design requires design teams to communicate with multidisciplinary stakeholders throughout the process from concept through to construction. Seamlessly integrating with client philosophy we tailor our methodologies and team structure to suit each scheme at various stages in the design process.

Hybrid approach:

Analysis of the client’s business environment, strategy, and technology capabilities, working creatively and collaboratively on projects, leading clients and design teams. Unfolding potentials in an inspirational way for short/mid term vision for strategic business planning.

Synthesis of emerging technologies and potential markets to offer clear definition for design processes and appropriate frameworks. Trouble shooting and solving client problems through an iterative agile process toward a final solution, to assess and reassess the goal so to deliver appropriate, actionable, and tangible strategies.

Implement operative strategies for client IP development. Supporting live projects and future bids to enhance the exploration of innovative design and communication with cost-effectiveness and efficient project delivery.

Clients Include: Brookfields/ Deloitte/ Woods Baggot / BDP/ FKA Architecture + Interiors/ Innovia Technology/ UCL Petrie Museum/ Bildify/ Betternest / VF Corporation / The North Face.

Projects remain classified due to IP agreements.



Through Tectonic response and development of novel bio-technologies, Skin Graph translates mapped realities into fabricated products specific to the individuals performance requirement.

Traditional design methodologies treat the individual as an object from which specific measurements are taken in engineered neutrality devoid from any concept of sensation, feelings or thoughts of the intuitive mind of the individual. This qualitative data seems to be the "invisible" in any computational design system that is reduced to calculus, yet is fundamental to the design process.

Focused toward the fusion of Body Architecture Orthotic design and Fashion with the articulation of the body in space as the core for all design driven processes. Skin Graph aims are to "build the invisible" through the use of fit technologies and mapping techniques; to propose operative strategies that can engineer the dynamic properties and the personality of the individual directly into body worn product.

Projects/ Publications Include:

  • The 3D Print Show, 2013
  • The Princes Trust; The Future of 3D printing 2013
  • Project Silkworm 2013
  • Wall Street Journal - Skin Graph was featured in article predicted as the next wave of technology in the fashion world 2012
  • VF Corporation Future Wear Fair (Largest global apparel company- owners of The North Face/ Lee/ Wrangler/ Timberland etc..) North Carolina, 2012.
  • Textile Futures by Bradley Quinn (Merrel Publishers) 2012
  • Fashion Futures by Bradley Quinn (Merrel Publishers) 2012
  • Muscular-Skeletal Laboratory Anglia Ruskin University. PMI project in collaboration with artist Heather Barnett, 2012.
  • Kinetica Art Fair Exhibition, 2011.
  • Vauxhall Fashion Scout Exhibition, 2011.
  • Tent London Exhibition, 2010.
  • AD_Head Banging: Engineering Neutrality + the Parametric Ceiling 2009


Head of Computational Design Unit London (CDU)

Primarily worked on creating the practice’s competition and bid submissions by providing advanced digital design strategies. Utilising unique combination of 3D modelling, technical, and design skills he managed to push the boundaries of the architectural design towards a fully multidisciplinary design process. The internal focus of the CDU is to assist and enable all project teams to make informed and sensible design decisions based on the latest modelling, analysis and visualization tools available. Externally, the CDU also performs important R&D work and manages collaborations with tertiary institutions as well as more general industry engagement to ensure Grimshaw stays at the forefront of the digital technology discipline.

Projects Include:

  • Germany: Frankfurt Airport front concourse competition win. (due to be completed 2016)
  • Russia: Pulkovo airport competition win : St Petersburg ( completed 2014)
  • UK: BAA Heathrow Terminal 2 Concourse B Phase 2: (completed 2014)
  • London Bridge Station Redevelopment (due for completion 2018)
  • UK: BAA Gatwick South Terminal Redevelopment: UK. (completed 2013)
  • UK: Stoke bus station competition win: UK. (completed 2013)
  • UK: BAA Gatwick Pier One: UK.(completed 2013)
  • UK: Extension of Harlow North Masterplan feasibility, 2013
  • UK: Kings College the Strand competition, 2013
  • Italy: Naples Vesuvius Station competition 2012
  • Croatia: Zagreb airport competition 2008
  • Luxembourg Station 2009
  • Sweden: Max lab competition 2009


Urban Designer and 3D Design Lead

Urban designer and leading 3D design and visualisation running small teams to develop advanced design and parametric solutions for urban scale development for international urban design projects closely working with developers and clients to satisfy both design vision and developable requirements. Based in London but worked in Dubai, Libya and Oman.

Projects Include:

  • Dubai: Buisness Bay 1 and 2 Detailed masterplan development 2007
  • China: Luijiazu Finanical Zone, Pudong Shanghai, 2007
  • UAE: Al Jais Mountain Resort Master Plan, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 2007
  • China: The Bund Shanghai Planning strategy, 2007
  • Libya: Gulf of Sirt Development, Ras lanuf and Albrega, Libya City redevelopment 2007
  • Oman; City development Extention of City for tourism, Muscat, Oman 2007
  • China: CityScape 2007.
  • UAE: Stars Island (Nujoom Islands) Master Plan, Sharjah, 2006
  • IRAN: Bandar Abbas Waterfront Development, 2006
  • Ras Al Khaimah: Al Ghayl/ Hulayla Industrial Park, 2006
  • Ras Al Khaimah: Desert Gateway.2006 
  • AE: Khor Fakkan Development, Jebel 5 West Urbanisation, 2006
  • Tunisia: Grand Korbous Coastal development 2006


Designer and Digital / Parametric Developer

Responsible for development of advanced parametric designs to facilitate complex geometry and fabrication processes. Early stage design briefing and conceptual design work that was then realised through manipulation of advanced digital design techniques.

Projects Include:

  • Silk Road Park Xi’an, China, competition win, 2005
  • Kop-van-Zuid, Netherlands, competition win, 2005
  • Series of bridges along German Holland Border, competition win, 2005.

Further details

Karl Kjelstrup-Johnson (KKJ) is a creative and strategic thinker with over 9 years experience within cutting edge design industries, ranging from disciplines of Architecture, Engineering, Automated Manufacture, Medical and Interactive Design. In 2001 he was awarded a full scholarship to the Architectural Association (AA). He successfully graduated in 2005 with AA BArch hons (high technical pass) and with AA Diploma hons (high technical pass) in 2009.

He has worked at internationally acclaimed architectural practices such as Grimshaw as head of Computational Design Unit London (CDU), Halcrow as Urban Designer and NOX Art and Architecture. Gaining experience in choreographing design teams by analysis, synthesis and defining operative process strategies to create quality/time/cost efficient paths to impact. In 2012 he founded Tectonic IP (TIP) a design strategy consultant firm focused towards IP development for blue chip AECO industries. Framing, generating and evaluating disruptive and evolutionary strategies to ensure a competitive edge.

KKJ's main area of academic research is focused toward the development of Deep Structured Learning (DSL) through Psycho-Spatial-Temporal strategies. Embedding networked models of the mind/body into computer-generated 4D information systems, enabling for a symbiosis of mind, body and machine to enhance levels of perception and consciousness. As founder of Skin Graph he has been responsible for developing novel parametric bio-technologies translating mapped realities into 4D personalised information models used to engineer bespoke body worn products to enhance medical rehabilitation and performance. As a result of this research he founded and intitated an open source 3D printing software called Project Silkworm in 2013 with a rapidly growing user basis.

KKJ has taught within academic bodies such as the Architectural Association and Bartlett and currently runs a Masters Design Studio at the Oxford School of Architecture since 2014. He is a key member of Smart Geometry; a collective of industry and academic leaders in architecture and engineering focused toward advanced computation design. For his advances in digital design KKJ was awarded sponsorship through 2008-2012 consecutively. His passions also include Muay Thai Boxing a martial art known as the science of the 8 limbs. At black belt level he continues to teach and compete at professional level.

Further information