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.

Written for academics and students in architectural theory, design and contemporary philosophical thought alike, this book should appeal to a wide audience.

chapter 1|29 pages


chapter 2|52 pages

The project of Ugliness

The trans-Beautiful as a productive domain

chapter 3|50 pages

The limits of the Useful

Revising the operational framework of usefulness in architectural production

chapter 4|71 pages

Unstable organisations

Or the spatiotemporal processes of becoming

chapter 5|11 pages


Or the spatial regimes of architectural ontologies