Jonathan Sun is an interdisciplinary researcher, designer, engineer, artist, comedian, author, and playwright. He is a PhD candidate at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies + Planning, and a 2016-2017 Berkman Klein Fellow at Harvard. He was previously a researcher at the MIT Senseable City Lab. His current research involves understanding how and why people gather as communities on social media, how these communities ascribe meaning to where they gather, and what a sense of Place means in ephemeral, online environments.
Jonathan is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture (M.Arch. 2015), where he was the recipient of the 2015 William Edward Parsons Memorial Medal (for achievement in city planning), an H.I. Feldman Prize nominee, a James Gamble Rogers Fellow, and a Teaching Fellow. He is an honors graduate of the Infrastructure program in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto (B.A.Sc. 2012), where he was the recipient of the 2012 L.E. Jones Award (for outstanding contribution to engineering and the arts), the 2012 Engineers for the World award, a University of Toronto Arts Council Award, and a Gordon Cressy Leadership Award.
In addition to his academic work, Jonathan's work on Twitter is creative, where he authors the @jonnysun account. As a Twitter comedian, he has over 400,000 followers to date, and has been published in NPR, McSweeney's, Playboy, Forbes, Buzzfeed, and the Yale Herald. His upcoming book, “everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too” (HarperPerennial, June 2017), is a culmination of his work on Twitter to date.
As a playwright, Jonathan's work has been performed at the Yale School of Drama, and in Toronto at the Hart House Theater and the Factory Theater. As an artist, his work has been exhibited at MIT, New Haven ArtSpace, Yale, and the University of Toronto. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of the Yale School of Architecture journal, Retrospecta 36 (Yale Press, 2013).
Jonathan is an advocate for interdisciplinary education and continues to work and teach across the fields of design research, architecture, engineering, art, and theater.
contact: jfsun (at) mit.edu