The Bartlett School of Architecture

Mr Manuel Jimenez Garcia

Mr Manuel Jimenez Garcia

Associate Professor

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st May 2014

Research summary

I am Co-Director of Automated Architecture (AUAR) Labs at the BSA. My research develops computational design methods for increasing the sustainability of materials and efficiency in architectural production utilising automation. These methods aim to challenge the lack of productivity in the construction industry which has significantly affected the housing sector, contributing to the global housing crisis. My research also addresses issues of sustainability within the supply and production chain of architecture, developing methods that can reduce the production chain by utilising localised automated (robotic) technologies for local manufacturing, thereby reducing CO2 emissions. I have contributed to the development of a novel approach to architecture called ‘Discrete Architecture’, which understands building blocks as modular elements driven by the principles of automation. My approach increases efficiency in the construction process, while allowing for a much higher degree of space reconfiguration and flexibility. My research has been widely published in academic conferences such as the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe), AAE and Fabricate, and in mainstream press such as Wired Magazine, The New York Times, Frame Magazine, and the Financial Times. I have exhibited worldwide in venues such as The Design Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Canada´s Design Museum and West Bund Museum, and my work has been acquired for the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou and the Museum of Arts. I recently co-authored the book Robotic Building: Architecture in the Age of Automation (Detail Verlag, 2019), which illustrates new modes of architecture production driving the discipline towards full-automation.

I have been Co-I or Co-PI on grants such as Higher Education Innovation Fund and Early Stage Commercialisation Grant, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund funded by UCL Innovation and Enterprise. I have been a Practice Partner on a Demonstrator project funded by Innovate UK and have received funding from Epic Games Megagrants programme. I have regularly given talks internationally at institutions such as Cooper Union, Sci-Arc, IAAC, Norman Foster Foundation, Universidad Politecnica Madrid and Centre Pompidou. I have also been a member of the Board of Directors of Association of Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) from 2017 to 2019, and have acted as peer reviewer for ACADIA, TXA Emerging Design + Technology, Springer Engineering, and for grants such as the Faculty Research Grants at American University of Sharjah (2015, 2017). I adhere to UCL Principles of Open Science wherever possible.

Teaching summary

My teaching draws upon my expertise as a computational designer and a technologist, and focuses on enabling students to develop an understanding of the potential of automation in architecture for the purpose of accelerating architectural production towards more affordable housing. I have taught design in the postgraduate post-professional MArch Architectural Design Research Cluster 4 (RC4) from 2013. I follow a research-based education framework, in which students not only experiment with novel technology-driven design strategies, but also implement them in real-scale prototypes, learning the constraints and capabilities of automated technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotic fabrication. The RC4 agenda also enables students to gain a socio-political understanding of the consequences of automation in architecture, guiding the students through issues of procurement, management and ownership, particularly in the domain of housing.

In my area of expertise I have coordinated the Bartlett BPro Architecture Skills Elective module and The Bartlett Open Classes, and I have supervised 30+ postgraduate design theses since 2013. Previously I taught design in Unit 19 in MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) (2013-2017) at the BSA, which served as an initiator of some of my current research on affordable housing in RC4. I also taught design in Unit 18 in MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) (2012-2013). I have held senior leadership roles at BSA such as MSc/MRes Architectural Computation Programme Director from (2017-present). I have also taught multiple design and fabrication workshops internationally in institutions such as MIT, Norman Foster Foundation, Shih Chien University Taiwan and University of Toronto. I have been a Visiting Academic at Universidad Europea Madrid (2015-2019), and regularly participate as a guest critic in multiple venues such as Harvard GSD, ETH, RMIT, Sci-Arc and IAAC. My students’ work is/has been highly influential for other academic and professionals, having been widely published in the international press and exhibited at Vitra Design Museum, MAK, Zaha Hadid Design Gallery, Digital Construction Week and The Building Centre. My former students are currently holding senior positions in architectural offices such as Foster+Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects, or are pursuing an academic careers at institutions such as UCL, ETH, TUDelf, MIT.


I am an architect, designer and educator working at the intersection of architecture, product design, automation and digital technologies. My research focuses on the development of computational design methods that make use of automation for increasing sustainability and efficiency in architectural production.

I am a lecturer a the Bartlett School of Architecture (BSA) where I am also Programme Director of the MSc/MRes Architectural Computation (B-Pro). I am co-director of Automated Architecture Labs at the BSA, and director of Automated Architecture ltd (AUAR). I am also co-founder and CEO of the Spanish based robotic 3dprinting company Nagami, and run my own architecture and design practice MadMDesign Ltd. 

I studied architecture in Madrid and London, where I graduated from the Architectural Association (AADRL). I recently co-authored the book Robotic Building: Architecture in the Age of Automation, with Detail Verlag. I am currently a fully-funded PhD candidate at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. 

My design work and my research on automation and robotic manufacturing has been internationally recognised through awards, lectures and exhibitions at major cultural institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Victoria & Albert Museum, The Design Museum and Philadelphia Museum of Art.