John Bass joined the faculty in fall 2002. His teaching and research address contested landscapes, using visual tools and graphic techniques to describe relationships between their physical and historical events, spatial and social practices, and political and economic structures.
John is working in several contested landscapes, including with three of coastal British Columbia’s First Nations communities: the Nuxalk Nation, the Fort Rupert Kwakiutl Band, and the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation. He is also in the planning stages of an interdisciplinary collaboration with Dr Deidre Brown of the University of Auckland to develop a narrative history of Indigenous-British Colonial first contact landscapes in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. John is also working on several projects in India. In Chandigarh, he is doing research on the relationship between the planned and unplanned city, and is in the final planning stages of a SALA studies abroad program to take place in January-April 2014. He is also a collaborator on a narrative drawing research project along the Punjab section of the Grand Trunk Road and on two infrastructure improvement projects for Hindupur and Manko, two Punjab agricultural settlements.
John was a co-investigator with the Coastal Communities Project, a multi-disciplinary research initiative of UBC and partner communities situated along the Pacific coast of British Columbia. Several works have resulted from this research, including Naming and Claiming: The Fort Rupert Reconstruction Project. This project was done in collaboration with the Fort Rupert Kwakiutl Band in Fort Rupert, BC. The work maps physical changes to the settlement of Fort Rupert, done through a close observation of the Band’s historic photograph collection, dating to 1866. It includes essays, narrative drawings, graphic spatial reconstructions, and a material culture catalogue. Based on this work, he has begun collaborations with UBC's Sauder School of Business and EcoTrust Canada.
John is the director of the Delta National Park project, a research and design project and blog dedicated to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta area of California. A part of this work appeared in GAM01 – Tourism and Landscape, published by the Technical University of Graz, Austria. The project is available online, and contains an interactive map and tagged reference material. The blog offers ongoing commentary on technologies, issues, policies, and events related to the Delta.
He was previously a core studio design critic at Harvard Design School and adjunct associate professor and coordinator of the third and fourth year design studios at California College of Arts and Crafts. His 15-year experience in architectural practice includes eight years as an assistant in the offices of Stanley Saitowitz and Antoine Predock.