Dr. Tomás S. Criado

Senior Researcher at the Professorship of Participatory Technology Design (MCTS in Joint Appointment with the Faculty of Architecture)

Short description



Since 2007 I have been working ethnographically on the transformation of our ecologies of support, through an analysis of the prototyping, installation, maintenance/repair, and re-design of different corporate, institutional & activist more-than-human care arrangements in Europe, with a focus on Spain (telecare for older people, open/DIY technical aids for independent-living, urban accessibility arrangements and interventions).

Degrees and positions held

BA in Psychology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid 2005
PhD in Social Anthropology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, 2012
Assistant lecturer in Social Sciences at the Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of Catalonia, 2011-2012
Postdoctoral researcher and assistant lecturer, STS-b research group of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona 2012-2014
Lecturer in Social Sciences at the Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of Catalonia, 2014-2015

Research areas

  • Anthropology & STS (materio-semiotic & post-ANT perspectives)
  • 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 ecologies of support)
  • Documentation interfaces (technoscientific activisms, and the experience-based challenges 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)
  • Ethnographic experimentation (experimental collaborations, joint problem-making, digital platforms, meeting formats)

Current research

Since 2015. Accessibility Values: The role of Disability Rights Movements, policy regulations and smart devices in designing urban democracy in Europe, analysing the participatory devices and the documentary interfaces invented by several Disability Rights Movements struggling for accessibility to have an impact on urban design and policies in Europe. 

Since 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 (EASA network)


  • Visiting Researcher / short stays at the following institutions: Instituto de Historia (IH), History of Science Dept., Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – Spanish National Scientific Council (CSIC), Madrid (3.2017, 9.2017); UC, Davis – Departments of Cultural Studies and Anthropology (4.2017); Instituto de Psicología Social, Universidad de la República, Montevideo (12.2016); Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS), Research Group ‘Environment, Territory, and Society’, Universidade de Lisboa (10.2016)
  • Alliance 4 Universities Postdoctoral research fellow, 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)


Publications (Selection)

  • Estalella, A. & Sánchez Criado, T. (Eds.) (under contract). Experimental collaborations: Ethnography through fieldwork devices (EASA book series) London: Berghahn.
  • Duclos, V., Sánchez Criado, T. & Nguyen, V-K. (2017).  Speed: An Introduction. Cultural Anthropology, 32(1), 1-11.
  • Sánchez Criado, T. & Rodríguez Giralt, I. (2016). Caring through design? En torno a la silla and the ‘joint problem-making’ of technical aids. In R. Imrie et al. (Eds.) ‘Care and Design: Bodies, Buildings, Cities'. Oxford: Wiley.
  • Sánchez Criado, T. & Cereceda, M. (2016). Urban accessibility issues: Technoscientific democratizations at the documentation interface. CITY, 20(4), pp. 619-636
  • Sánchez Criado, T., Rodríguez Giralt, I. & Mencaroni, A. (2016). Care in the (critical) making: Open prototyping, or the radicalization of independent-living politics. Alter – European Journal of Disability research 10 (2016), pp. 24-39
  • Sánchez Criado, T. & Domènech, M. (2015). Older People in Connected Autonomy? Promises and Challenges in the Technologization of Care. Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 152: 105-120.
  • López, D. & Sánchez Criado, T. (2015). Analysing hands-on-tech carework in telecare installations: Frictional Encounters with Gerontechnological Designs. In David Prendergast & C. Garattini (Eds.) Aging and the Digital Life Course (Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations Series) (pp. 179-199). London: Berghahn.
  • Sánchez Criado, T., López, D., Roberts, C. & Domènech, M. (2014). Installing Telecare, Installing Users: Felicity Conditions for the Instauration of Usership. Science, Technology & Human Values, 39(5): 694-719.

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