Miguel Lopez Melendez
118 Atkinson Hall
BArch Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
MAUD Harvard University Graduate School of Design
DDes Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Miguel is a registered architect in Mexico. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico) and Universidad San Pablo CEU (Spain) as well as a Master of Architecture in Urban Design and a Doctor of Design degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He developed his doctoral research, titled “Urbanism and Autonomy,” under the supervision of Charles Waldheim, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture. His dissertation explores the role of the urban project in architectural culture. It studies the role of “autonomy” in postmodern thinking about the city, with a particular focus on the writing and projects of Aldo Rossi and Peter Eisenman. It contradicted the unjustified disciplinary detachment of architectural autonomy from society—i.e. its overemphasis on form—by studying the culturally sensitive interpretation of the term “autonomy” in philosophy, political theory, and art. Its paradoxical conclusion highlighted the critical distance from the object of critique—i.e. the urban condition—provided by autonomy as a precondition for design to engage with cultural processes inherent to urbanization.
Miguel has taught architecture and urban studios at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico, 2010-2012), and courses on landscape architecture and urbanism as well as history and theory of architecture at Harvard University (2016-2021). His experience as a research assistant (2013-2021) at Harvard University comprises projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, while his work as a Research Associate (2022) in the project Future of the American City at Harvard University focused on Miami’s future urban development. His work has been published, presented, and exhibited in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the United States and his research has been funded by Harvard University, the Federal Government of Mexico through Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). Miguel worked at TEN Arquitectos and FREE-Fernando Romero Enterprise as a Junior Architect (2008-2009) and Intern (2007-2008), respectively. He received a Sustainable Community Design Diploma from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico, 2012). His teaching activities at LSU complement his ongoing search for alternative business models in design practice to maximize the collective dimension of our sustainable (social, environmental, and economic) efforts based on a research-driven approach.