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José Vela Castillo


José Vela Castillo


Architecture and Design

Professor Vela Castillo currently teaches History and Culture in Architecture and Idea and Form at IE School of Architecture and Design. He is a registered architect, holds an PhD in architecture and is currently working on a second PhD in Philosophy. His current research is focused primarily in the relations between philosophy and architecture, architectural history and theory, and the project of architecture in a postpolitical context. His writings has been published in numerous journals on architecture and philosophy, including: Conditions, Architecture and Culture, REIA (Revista de Investigación en Arquitectura), Escritura e Imagen, Eikaisia and Arquitectura. Vela Castillo has presented papers in numerous international conferences on architecture as JIDA’15 in Barcelona, AIARG 2015 in Dublin,  Writingplace in Delft 2014, Knowing by Designing in Brussels 2013, Theory by Design in Antwerpen 2012. He recently chaired the session “Performativity now and then: the performative turn in contemporary architecture” at the 2016 AIARG Conference in Cork. Vela Castillo is author of the books (De)gustaciones gratuitas: De la deconstrucción, la fotografía, Mies van der Rohe y el Pabellón de Barcelona (Abada Editores, 2010, Portuguese translation: Casa da Arquitectura, 2012) and Richard Neutra: Un lugar para el orden: un estudio sobre la arquitectura natural (Universidad de Sevilla, 2003). He is founding member of Intersección (Research Group on Philosophy and Architecture), external evaluator for the journals RITAZARCH and Iterations and member of the Editorial Board on the Three Crosses: Art, Architecture, Criticism Series published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

He has been positively evaluated by ANECA in the Teaching Staff Evaluation Program and has been awarded two “sexenios” (six-year periods) of research by the CNEAI.

His professional practice is based in Madrid. He appreciates ghosts.


• Professor at Escuela Superior de Arquitectura San Pablo CEU

• Professor at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, UPM

• Architect at Aranguren&Gallegos Architects

• Architect at Matos-Castillo Architects

• Architect at Calatrava Valls EURL Architects


• Architect and M. Arch, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, UPM

• PhD Architect, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, UPM

• DEA Philosophy, Facultad de Filosofía, UCM

Selected Publications

• Vela, J. (2020). “Un jardín rocoso. Cinco estampas de Ryōan-ji”. VLC arquitectura. Research Journal, Vol. 7 (1): 33-63

• Vela, J. (2019). “Neutra in The Bauhaus: Dessau, October 193”. In Martínezde Guereñu, L.,García-Estévez, C. de Guereñu & García-Estévez, C. de Guereñu and Carolina B. García-Estévez (Eds.). Bauhaus In and Out. Perpectivas desde España. AhAU

• Vela, J., de la O del Santo Mora,M. (2017). “Social and Political Agency of Architecture: Shared Languages in the Contemporary Global City”. In Couceiro, M., Roseta, F., Pestana, J., Couceiro, S. (Eds.). Architectural Research Addressing Societal Challenges. Taylor and Francis

• Vela, J. (2013). “Live Adventures – And Misadventures – of Style: The Discipline of Architecture”. Architecture and Culture, Vol. 1 (1): 199-212

• Vela, J. (2010). “(De)Gustaciones Gratuitas. De la Deconstrucción, la Fotografía, Mies Van Der Rohe y el Pabellón de Barcelona”. Abada Editores