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Set up as a collaborative architectural research practice with a focus on  urban peripheries, Material Politics develops, designs and builds material platforms for spatial change and urban prefiguration. Framing construction and architecture as a language for local politics and activism, the group engages with Social Movements, NGOs, communal organizations, and Local and National Agencies to transform everyday urban practices through material adaptations and interventions.

Developed for the informal settlement of Monte Sinaí in Guayaquil, Ecuador, this project can be used and adapted directly by the local community, empowering them to take charge of their own physical environment. 

With the double purpose of testing the constructive practices proposed in the Manual for Nuevo Alberdi Social Housing and fulfilling the BBQing needs of a Material Politics member, we made  a 1:1 mode of the  Infrastructure Tower 

As part of the collaboration between universities a joint book was produced featuring projects by political science students  from Urban Provocations at the Universidad de la República in Rosario and MArch students  from Contested Peripheries at the Manchester School of Architecture

Competition entry by the Material Politics team into the World Bamboo Competition 2014.

A manual showing how to use Material Politics' interactive SUyA model to help co-produce the incremental housing scheme for Monte Sinaí, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Material Politics produced a user friendly interactive SUyA model to help in the co-production of the incremental housing scheme for Monte Sinaí, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The Atucucho Cultural Factory prefigures modes of material production, procurement and distribution for a settlement in northern Quito, Ecuador.  

The project sought to co-produce and build — together with social movement GIROS — alternative pedagogical spaces in the peripheries of Rosario, Argentina

International workshop with Latin American architectural collectives. Funded by ILAS and the University of Manchester, the event looked at the political potential of popular infrastructures and a new wave of political architecture in South America.

The 2016 round of the masters course Prefigurative Architectures has drawn to a close. The students produced some fantastic provocations to help think the decommodification of housing in north Manchester.

Infrastructures for co-producing the city

Developed as a co-production tool for Nuevo Alberdi, Rosario, this MArch project proposes a construction system and accessible manual for incremental shipping container social housing.

Funded by the British Council in Argentina, Material Politics and Provocaciones Urbanas hosted a workshop with professionals, activists and grass-root organisations to use infrastructures as a method for co-producing the city


A plethora of social movements, community organiations and architectural collectives are prefiguring oalternative urban worlds in Latin America. With collaborations by Subirats, Marti and others, the special issue for the journal of Desacatos examines the emergence of prefigurative urbanizations across conflictive metropolitan landscapes. 

Prefiguración y ciudad

© Material Politics.