BiographyMiguel Paredes Maldonado is the BA/MA(Hons) Architecture Programme Director at the University of Edinburgh, a chartered architect in the UK and a partner in award-winning studio Cuartoymitad Architecture & Landscape. He taught at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid until 2013, and in the recent past he has been visiting faculty at the Università degli studi di Cagliari, the School of Architecture at Taliesin and the Technische Universität Graz. Miguel’s research is articulated through writing, speculative design and architectural practice. His work has been published and exhibited internationally, most notably at the 11th and 16th editions of the Venice Biennale. His monograph 'Ugly, Useless, Unstable Architectures' will be available from Routledge in November 2019.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My current research is situated at the intersection of three themes:
- Data-driven design. I work with practices of Urban Hacking and Critical Making developed through DIY computational environments like Arduino. These practices are means to activate the spatial potentials of data-rich urban environments that are readily available to us as part of our everyday lives. I mobilise these technologies to analyse, activate and transform urban public space. My work articulates a critique of the top-down processes championed by Smart Cities and hegemonic urban labour platforms such as Deliveroo or Uber.
- Platform/Media studies: I am interested in the kind of architectural knowledge (spatial and otherwise) that can be gained through the low-level analysis and development of custom-built computational/robotic machines for drawing, fabricating and sensing landscapes, buildings and cities. Are there any non-computable elements of thought in the development of spatialized digital intelligence?
- New Materialism / Speculative Realism: I have written at length on the architectural implications of these two contemporary schools of thought, with an emphasis on Gilles Deleuze’s post-structuralist take on the generative production of the real and Manuel De Landa’s model-based branch of new materialism. What insights can be gained when we start looking into architectural categories as “continuous material domains” rather than as singular elements of an immutable canon?
In addition to this, my own architectural practice deals primarily with the development of the urban public commons as privileged spaces of collectivity (often within the context of cultural industries). I would thus welcome proposals that tackle architectural programs predicated on collectivity against the backdrop of any of the above research themes.
Published: Apr 11, 2019
This lecture exposes the iterative development of a recent architectural project by Cuartoymitad Architecture & Landscape: A proposal for a flexible, scalable residential neighbourhood in Runavík (Faroe Islands). The talk presents a full historical lineage of sketches, drawing, models and other development materials, arguing that they should not be considered as individual results of the design process, but rather as processes themselves.