My name’s Tomás Sánchez Criado (@tscriado) and I am an anthropologist with specialisation in STS.

From April 2018 I will be acting as Senior Researcher in the Chair of Urban Anthropology at Humboldt-University of Berlin’s Institute of European Ethnology.

In the last years I have been developing a ‘how-to’ anthropology of inclusive urbanism and DIY ecologies of support, undertaking ethnographic and archival research on accessibility struggles and the design and maintenance of sidewalk democracy projects in Europe, with a special focus on Barcelona (Spain). In particular I’m interested in their two-fold ‘how-to’ dimension: as forms of  ‘technoscientific activism’–showing how to challenge  technocracy through the circulation of  traces and records of this experience-based knowledge in particular documentation interfaces–; and as  ‘DIY ecologies of support’–exploring different self-experimentation methods, as well as sites and encounters to elicit bodily diversity and the appropriate socio-material affordances to host it. I’m also interested in the effects this particular ‘how-to’ activist culture around inclusive urbanism and DIY ecologies of support has on both (a) the education and sensibility of designers, requiring particular pedagogic experiments and situations to come to terms with bodily diversity and multi-sensory environments; and (b) ethnographic fieldwork practices and devices, leading social scientists not only to explore different forms of  ‘joint-problem making’ in the field, but also to experiment with meeting formats, types of records and accounts, for such an ethnographic engagement to matter in the search for a diverse common world.

Research areas

Anthropology & STS (materio-semiotic & post-ANT perspectives)

– Documentation interfaces (technoscientific activisms, self-experimentation, and the experience-based challenge and democratisations of expertise; open design how-to/tutorial culture and other activist archives of experience; tinkering with documentation, and the production of encounters to elicit and discuss bodily diversity and the environmental/material affordances to host it)

 Ecologies of support (more–than–human care arrangements and their design, installation, use, maintenance/repair, or re-design; institutional, market, DIY, collaborative, or open-source personal and urban support infrastructures; the politics and ethics of care through different ecologies of support)

– Re-learning design (how the social sciences–STS and anthropology in particular–could ‘intravene’  design education by generating pedagogic situations in which their methods and readings could contribute to  different processes of un-learning and re-learning how to be a design professional)

– Ethnographic experimentation (re-designing anthropology’s methods to undertake different forms of experimental collaborations and joint problem-making with our epistemic partners, with a particular attention to digital platforms and meeting formats)

Current research

-From 2015: Developing a research project on “Accessibility Values: Disability rights movements, political regulations and market devices in the design of urban democracy in Europe“.

– From 2014: Thinking on ethnographic experimentation at #xcol – Experimental Collaborations, an open anthropological infrastructure for ethnographic experimentation beyond participant observation, seeking to intervene in current forms of ethnographic practice and learning; and #Colleex – Collaboratory of Ethnographic Experimentation (An EASA network).


Check the teaching section.

Previous career and research experience

– 2015-2018. Senior Researcher at the Assistant Professorship of Participatory Technology Design, jointly appointed between the Munich Center for Technology in Society & the Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Germany.

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

– 2012-2014: Postdoctoral project Participatory experiences in the design of independent living technologies & services” (funded by the Alliance 4 Universities at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain): An ethnographic research project on different practices of participatory & collaborative design for ‘independent living’ and urban accessibility, taking part as a member of the “En torno a la silla” design collective. Part of the Spanish National  R&D programme 2011-2014 “Political Action of Groups Concerned with the Promotion of Independent Living in Spain (EXPDEM)” (CSO2011-29749-C02-02) research project. Member of STS-b (Barcelona Science & Technology Studies) research group at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

– 2007-2012.  PhD in Social Anthropology (cum laude, highest distinction in Spain) at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Title: “The logics of telecare: The fabrication of ‘connected autonomy’ in telecare for older people“. The result of an ethnographic project on home telecare devices for older people in the region of Madrid (Spain), in which I focused on the practices of implementation and use of such devices & services through which certain articulations of ‘users’ as well as care relations and spaces emerged out. Made thanks to a FPU-UAM 2007-2011 PhD scholarship, and under the auspices of the following research projects: FP7 “Ethical Frameworks for Telecare Technologies for older people at home (EFORTT)“; and Spanish National R&D programme 2008-2011 “Technology and attention to dependence: An analysis of the psychosocial effects of telecare’s implementation” (CSO2008-06308-C02-01/SOCI).


Visiting researcher / short stays at the following institutions: Instituto de Historia (IH), History of Science Dept., Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – Spanish National Scientific Council (CSIC), Madrid (3 weeks, 3.2017; 5 weeks, 9-10.2017); UC, Davis – Departments of Cultural Studies and Anthropology (1 week, 4.2017); Instituto de Psicología Social, Universidad de la República, Montevideo (2 weeks, 12.2016); Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS), Research Group ‘Environment, Territory, and Society’, Universidade de Lisboa (3 weeks, 10.2016)

– Alliance 4 Universities Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (2012-2014)

– Visiting PhD Fellow at the Centre for Science Studies & Department of Sociology, Lancaster University (2009-2010)

– FPU-UAM PhD Fellowship, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (2007-2011)


– European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) – Co-convenor since January 2017 of the ‘Collaboratory for Ethnographic Experimentation – #Colleex‘ network

– European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) – Part of the local organising committee of the 4S-EASST joint conference in Barcelona 2016 ‘Science and technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces, and futures’ & member of the Editorial Board of the EASST Review (2016-2018) | Student representative in the Council (2009-2010).

Antropólogos Iberoamericanos en Red | Network of Iberoamerican Anthropologists (AIBR) – Member of the Council (2005-2011).


Please check here for an updated PDF version of my CV (February 2017)

Profiles | ORCID

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