Miguel Lopez Melendez is a fifth-year Doctor of Design candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Design. His dissertation studies how the philosophical term “autonomy” redefined the formal, and thus disciplinary, parameters of architecture and contributed to the polarization of architectural theory during the second half of the 20th century. It claims that the assumption that autonomy implied detachment (isolation) rather than engagement (commitment) was symptomatic of a debate that focused on the history of architecture and relegated the history of autonomy. His dissertation titled “Autonomy and Urbanism” studies the culture inherent in “autonomy” as well as the alliance between autonomy and urbanism in the context of the urban consciousness of the 21st century.
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 former Dean Mohsen Mostafavi.