Miguel Lopez Melendez is a Doctor of Design student at Harvard Graduate School of Design where he studies the disciplinary contribution of design toward an understanding, not of urbanization itself, but the complexity of urbanization. Based on the autonomy of architecture as a form of knowledge, his research aspires to formulate the autonomy of urbanism as a collective conception and experience of space. Within a contemporary urban debate that focuses on techno-scientific discourses concerned with sustainability, technological innovations or descriptive logics our contribution as designers is often relegated to individual efforts: how relevant is the autonomy of architecture, and how feasible is the autonomy of urbanism in our societies that, as Manuel Castells suggests, are “increasingly structured around a bipolar opposition between the net and the self”? The autonomy of urbanism is not proposed as a fragmented interdisciplinary research where the study of urbanism becomes an end in itself but rather as transdisciplinary contributions, from a design approach, where it is understood as a process that expands and contracts disciplinary boundaries according to the instability of the urban processes.
Miguel holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico) and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He worked in FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise, TEN Arquitectos of Enrique Norten and Tecnologico de Monterrey, where he collaborated as Design Studio Instructor. At Harvard, he has worked in several research projects such as the Housing Surplus Project (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Topaz Project (Monterrey, Mexico) and A Sustainable Future for EXUMA (Bahamas). Besides working on his doctoral research, he works as Research Assistant for the Dean Mohsen Mostafavi.