My work deals mainly with absences in theory, and overlooked dimensions of urban problems and social life. I’m interested in understanding elusive relationships as ‘candidates for existence’, proposing ideas for which there is frequently no empirical content, while recognising entities immersed both in causal and contingent relationships.
I’ve been working with a number of researchers, some of them very young. We have been tackling together central issues in the effort to push forward the boundaries of what we know about cities and societies. Right now, we are creating new approaches to the following problems:
The city is a vital form of information that helps people know about ongoing activities, and find potential counterparts available in their social world. This research proposes a framework to understand how information bridges minds, actions and cities, and helps people create large-scale systems of interaction.
Social theory has emphasised the importance of encounters, but tracing these volatile events was virtually impossible. Employing new ways to track human mobilities, we attempt to do just that. We analyse the urban trajectories of people in Rio de Janeiro in order to infer the space-time structure of potential encounters, and assess social diversity on the streets.
Segregation has been one of the most persistent features of urban life, and has been seen as the natural consequence of the social division of space. We propose a shift in the focus from the static segregation of places to how social segregation is reproduced through embodied urban trajectories.
How do urban spatialities emerge and why they acquire recognisable morphogenetic structures that, from many possible paths, follow archetypal directions? This project investigates the elementary forces at play in the emergence of the block as a transcultural feature of urban form.
Could different architectural forms have different effects on what occurs between buildings, in public spaces? This research attempts to grasp traces of the elusive effects of architecture, and distinguish them from other urban forces at play.
If buildings evolved in time in order to attend human needs, would architectural types perform similarly in different aspects of performance? This joint research project aims to bring together different dimensions of performance into an integrated approach.