Víctor Muñoz Sanz

I am an architect and urban designer.  My recent work broadly speaking focuses on examining the relationship between the organization of corporations and industrial processes, and the organization of societies and spaces. My research shows that a core variable in the production of architecture and urbanism has been the initiatives and ideas of industrial entrepreneurs. This shifts how we view the meaning of urban planning and design concepts in relation to societal and economic developments, and the way global actors continuously shape the built environment in multiple local contexts. I am is a postdoctoral researcher in the “Cities of Making” international project, which deals with creating spatial and institutional conditions for the emergence of new urban manufacturing economies. In parallel, I am developing research on the impact of automation technologies and industrial platforms in the design of the built environment, at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, and on the geographies of offshore work, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. What these projects have in common is the aim of exploring the potential of design interventions to empower citizens in their transition to new economies.

I hold the degree of Architect from the School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM), a Master of Architecture in Urban Design, with distinction, from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. Cum Laude in architecture from ETSAM. Besides my work at the TU Delft, I am the coordinator of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and Emerging Curator 2015-16 at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.  My Ph.D. dissertation, Networked Utopia (2016), studied the transnational urbanism of the Bata Shoe Company. Looking at the design of Bata’s industrial cities, I examined how economic decisions translate into built form. I argue that in the process, local contexts in turn alter corporate practices. I also consider corporate design through institutional theory, in order to understand why specific architectural myths are adopted by multinationals. I conclude that a symbiotic collaboration between designers and corporations would allow to exploit the gaps of capitalism, revealing pockets of agency to convey alternative visions.

I have experience in practice as architect and urban designer, including being part of the design team of the Madrid Rio project, awarded with the 12th Victoria Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design. Besides urban research and design, my interests include graphic design, editorial work, data visualization, and the design of maps and timelines: I was commissioned graphic works for the permanent collection at the National Archeological Museum in Madrid, for exhibitions at the city of Toledo (Spain), Harvard GSD, and the Shanghai Expo of 2010, and to illustrate articles in some journals.

 

Main methods

Research by design (theory driven and evidence based), spatial analysis, mapping, and representation, fieldwork and archival research; mixing standard approaches with attention to history, theory, economy, and politics.

 

Possible thesis topics related to my research

Corporate urbanisms

The build environment of automation

Spaces of production: offshoring and reshoring

Legacy planning