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Francisco Mata


Francisco Mata


Founder of the IE Labs


Architecture and Design

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Francisco Mata has a PhD (2008) in Urban Planning from the London School of Economics (LSE), where he had also obtained his masters degree in the same subject, with a focus on city marketing. For two years, he taught a course at the LSE on various philosophical approaches to geography.

He had previously worked in marketing firms across the world, and in 2004 founded in London a consultancy on urban strategy and image. Nevertheless, in later years his interest developed into more theoretical aspects of the experience of space.

In fact, in his PhD thesis he carried out a phenomenological approach to the image of the city, showing how to complement traditional cost-benefit analyses with the value of the experience of urban space. He made possible the measurement of the experience of space by putting forward a series of rhythms (or typical structures) based on Heidegger’s spatial notions as well as his concept of truth as aletheia.

Ever since, his research has focused on spatial relations as proxies for the expansion of consciousness, which is a subject he is tackling from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Prior to his arrival to IE, in 2009 he worked in the Department of Philosophy at Yale University as a research associate, where he advanced his research on phenomenology.

He was the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at IE University (2010-2012). He is also the founder of the IE Labs –a series of consulting projects, observatories and other joint ventures with different companies and institutions in which IE students were enabled to work hand in hand in real-life working environments while still being supervised by IE professors. He also created the IE Start-Up Lab –the highly successful start-up incubator of IE.

During his time at IE University he has won several awards for teaching excellence, and he has participated in numerous conferences and other academic activities.