My name’s Tomás Sánchez Criado and I am an urban anthropologist with specialisation in STS.

Born in Ávila (Spain) in 1981, I grew up and studied in Madrid (PhD in Anthropology, UAM, 2012). After that I have spent most of my professional life in between Barcelona, Munich and Berlin.

Since January 2023 I work in Barcelona as Ramón y Cajal Senior Research Fellow in the Social Sciences at the Open University of Catalonia’s CareNet-IN3 research group.

My ethnographic and public engagement work focuses on different instances of relational, knowledge and material politics in settings where care is invoked as a mode of urban intervention: be it as a particular mode of technoscientific activism (democratising knowledges, design practice and infrastructures); or as a practice of articulating ecologies of support (accessible urbanism; urban heat care plans).

I am currently writing a book on my last decade of research on how bodily diversity comes to matter in city-making, titled An Uncommon City: Bodily Diversity and the Activation of Possible Urbanisms. In parallel, I’m beginning to develop a new project thinking together heat prevention plans, urban landscapes, atmospheric care, and the question of ageing-friendly cities. As part of that new project, I have recently started a collaboration with Barcelona’s City Council Bit Habitat and the Climate Change and Sustainability Office, prototyping shady landscapes, climate shelters and bioclimatic itineraries as part of their development of urban heat mitigation infrastructures.

These interests have also led me to experiment with devices for anthropological inquiry (exploring inventive forms of collaborative inquiry where multimodality could be understood not just or not only as ‘in a plurality of media’ but rather ‘in a plurality of relational and epistemic modes’).

As part of this work I have been invested in convening collective venues of multimodal ethnography and collaborative pedagogy: such as, xcol. An Ethnographic Inventory, a collaborative platform I co-curate to document ethnographic inventions and the inventiveness of the ethnographic; and the Department of Umbrology, a division of multimodal ethnographic study and artistic intervention on urban habitability in times of climate mutation, foregrounding the affordances of shades.


2024. Sexenios / Six-year periods 2009-2016, 2017-2022. Comisión Nacional Evaluadora de la Actividad Investigadora / National Commission for Assessment of Research Activity (CNEAI) in Social Anthropology.

2021. Accreditation of research by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU Catalunya): Associate Professor / Professor Agregat rank in Social Anthropology.


– 2024. Visiting Scholar (January-April) at the Stadtlabor for Multimodal Anthropology, Humboldt-University of Berlin’s Institut für Europäische Ethnologie.

– 2023Visiting Scholar (January-June) at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (LMU) in Munich.

– 2018-2022. Senior Researcher and Director of the Stadtlabor for Multimodal Anthropology at the Humboldt-University of Berlin’s Institut für Europäische Ethnologie.

– 2015-2018. Senior Researcher at the Munich Center for Technology in Society & the Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich.

– 2014-2015. Lecturer in Social Sciences. Psychology and Educational Sciences Department, Open University of Catalonia. STS-b (Barcelona Science & Technology Studies) research group.

– 2012-2014: Assistant lecturer / Alliance 4 Universities postdoctoral fellow at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. STS-b (Barcelona Science & Technology Studies) research group.

– 2011-2012. Assistant lecturer. Psychology and Educational Sciences Department, Open University of Catalonia.

– 2009-2010. Visiting PhD researcher. Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University.

– 2007-2011. FPU-UAM PhD Fellow. Social Anthropology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.