Ugly, Useless, Unstable Architectures

Phase Spaces and Generative Domains


Available now in the Routledge Research in Architecture series.

You can order it HERE


 "Inspired by New Materialism, this book challenges the ultimately Platonic ideals of beauty, stability, and utility in architecture. In reversing all three, it expands our space of options. In particular, the book’s Bataillean appeal to ugliness will be of interest given the return of beauty in recent aesthetic theory."

- Graham Harman, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), USA


Ugly, Useless, Unstable Architectures traces productive intersections between architecture and the discourses of Post-Structuralism and New Materialism. It investigates how their unique ‘ontological regimes’ can be mobilised to supersede the classical framework that still informs both the production and the evaluation of architecture.

Throughout its three main chapters, this enquiry challenges one of the most prevalent tropes of architectural assessment: Beauty, Utility and Stability. Author Miguel Paredes Maldonado critically unpacks the spatial and operational qualities of these three idealised concepts, before setting out an alternative framework of spatial practice that draws from Gilles Deleuze’s post-structuralist take on the production of the real and Manuel DeLanda’s model-based branch of New Materialism. This book reads and situates a series of spatial works through the lens of this critical methodology to contest the conceptual aspects traditionally underpinning architectural ‘value’. It posits that architecture can operate as a continuous, generative spectrum encompassing a broad range of potential configurations.


A research website by Miguel Paredes Maldonado

Built with