Exploring urban inequality through unveiling uneven atmospheres in everyday mobility practices


Academic Profile

Luis is a first year DPhil student in the School of Geography and the Environment, and the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) at the University of Oxford. He is an Architect (RIBA parts 1, 2 and 3 equivalent) and holds an MSc in Residential Environment; both degrees from the Universidad de Chile. His personal experience has been developed inside academia, in unison with the professional practice of architectural design.

In academia, he has been a teacher and researcher at the Universidad de Chile. His work has been carried out mainly within the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU), and also associated with the Research Housing Institute (INVI). He took part in the creation of the Uneven Mobilities International Conference (Chile), and also the HLab, Urban Research Laboratory at FAU. Luis was co-cordinator for the Core Masters Integration Workshop, and Physical-Spatial Module into the MSc in Residential Environment, and co-investigator of a three-year project funded by the Chilean Government.

As an Architect, he co-founded and co-directed an architectural design studio that has been involved in designing social housing, and worked on public spaces projects in poor areas in Chile.


  • 2016 - BecasChile Scholarship. DPhil research fully funded by Chilean Government Advanced Human Capital Program of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT)
  • 2016 - FONDECYT Regular Research Project No1161437 "Inhabiting the intermediate city: spatial practices in Alto Hospicio and Padre Las Casas (PI, W. Imilan)". Co-Investigator
  • 2012 - FONDECYT Regular Research Project No 1090198, "Urban Daily Mobility and Social Exclusion in Chile (PI, P. Jirón)". Master's Thesis Scholarship.

Membership of Professional Associations

  • 2006 - 2016 Chilean Association of Architects
  • 2012 - 2014 IUAES, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences

Current Research

Luis' research put forward an exploration of the sociologies and geographies of the senses as a way to grasp urban inequality, and the relationship between the environment and the meanings and feelings that the inhabitants built around it. The research attempt to merge interests traditionally associated with cultural geography (atmospheres, sensescapes), social geography (social inequality) and urban studies (urban inequality, urban daily mobility practices).

Research Interests

  • Urban Inequality
  • Mobilities
  • Visual and Sensory Methods in Social Sciences
  • Body, memory and the city
  • Emotions and affects in Urban Space
  • Non-Representational Theory

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed Articles

Book Chapters

  • Iturra, L. (In press) What you must, what you want, what you can. Social housing design in Chile. in, Rivera, S. et al. (eds.) Hábitat residencial. Apertura de campos. INVI-FAU, Santiago, Chile. [in Spanish]
  • Iturra, L. (In press) Just a well-built house is not enough. A broader concept of quality in architectural design of Chilean social housing. in, Gaete-Reyes, M. et al. (eds.) Metodología de Diseño Arquitectónico Edwin Haramoto: Adopciones y Adaptaciones. INVI-FAU, Santiago, Chile. [in Spanish]
  • Jirón, P. and L. Iturra. (2014) Travelling the Journey: Understanding Mobility Trajectories by Recreating Research Paths. In, Murray, L. and Upstone, S. (eds.) Researching and Representing Mobilities. Transdisciplinary Encounters. Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
  • Iturra, L. (2013) My habitat, a shorter long tale. Unveiling and communicating the experience of living using visual methods. Teoría del Habitar. Universidad de la República, Facultad de Arquitectura. Montevideo, Uruguay. [in Spanish]

Selected Conference Papers

  • 2016. The different experience of travelling by car in Santiago de Chile. Presented at Automobilities in Mexico city and other places. UAM + Université Paris­Est. Ciudad de México. [in Spanish]
  • 2016. Walking the city as a way to rebuilt the environment. Presented at The city walkscapes. UAM + Université Paris­Est. Ciudad de México. [in Spanish]
  • 2014. Following trajectories, drawing routes. Building diagrams based on the experience of people. 4th Urban Design Meeting. Universidad de La Serena, La Serena, Chile. [in Spanish]
  • 2014. Path and trajectories. Evolutive visual methods for represent and capture urban mobilities. Presented at Uneven Mobilities International Conference. FAU, Universidad de Chile. Santiago, Chile.
  • 2014, Mobile pictures. Exploring everyday life and smartphone usage. Presented at 4S and ESOCITE Joint Meeting. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 2013. The woven city: exploring the experience of timespace in residential habitat from a visual ethnographic approach. Presented at 17th IUAES World, Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds. Manchester, UK.
  • 2012. The woven city: exploring the experience of urban transformations in residential environment using visual ethnography. Presented at Congreso de Hábitat Popular e Inclusión Social, Ciudades de la Gente. Río de Janeiro, Brasil. [in Spanish]

Visual Ethnography

  • 2014 Voy y Vuelvo (Come and goes). Screened in Uneven Mobilities, Chile
  • 2014 Producto Peruano (Peruvian Product). Screened in Uneven Mobilities, Chile
  • 2013 Mirones (Observers). On Bifurcaciones
  • 2013 Encuentros (Bump into). On Bifurcaciones
  • 2012 Mi ventana. Un breve relato largo (My window, a longer short tale). Screened in Latino American Anthropology Congress, Chile; Ciudades de la Gente, Brazil