He works at the intersection of architecture with digital media technologies exploring new conceptual frameworks and cutting-edge tools. His practice-led research uses fieldwork, radical cartography and critical epistemologies to produce spatial knowledge and investigate the urgent political and urban conditions of our time.
From 2000 to 2011 he was a co-founder of hackitectura.net, a group of architects, computer specialists and activists -inspired by science fiction, Zapatism and Situationism-, who pioneered a wide range of experimental architecture projects on emancipatory uses of hardware, software and the internet on public space and territory.
DeSoto has an adventurous personality, strong curiosity and an outstanding global perspective on contemporary culture and technologies due to his intensive experiences in some of the most critical nodes of today’s networked world: from Palestine to the Brazilian favelas, from the Strait of Gibraltar to Fukushima.
He holds a Master Degree in Architecture from the Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm and a PhD in Communication & Culture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is the editor of three books and coauthor of the Critical Cartography of the Straits of Gibraltar exhibited worldwide.
DeSoto has a creative approach to pedagogy always in the search for inventive strategies, experimental methods and imaginative processes.In 2010 he launched Mapping the Commons, a parametrical experimental method and multiyear research participatory project on urban commons with six case studies in Europe and South America awarded with the Elinor Ostrom prize by University of Buenos Aires. In 2015 he created the Drone Hackademy, a temporary school, citizen science laboratory and critical theory platform for the use and discussion of unmanned aerial vehicles as a social technology.
Some of his latest lectures include keynotes at Unmapping Infrastructures Architektur Forum Linz and the 2018 Creative Time Summit in Miami. His latest exhibition is The Zone, a project about the Anthropocene/Capitalocene landscapes of our damaged planet taking Fukushima nuclear disaster as case’s study. It explores the possibilities of interactive cartographic displays in visualizing the complexity of contemporary environmental disasters.
Photo credits: Daniel López @okaphotographer