Urtzi Grau is an architect, academic and the director of the Master of Research and the Master of Architecture in the School of Architecture at UTS. His research explores the role of architecture in responding to critical challenges impacting the Indo Pacific region, including climate justice, immigration, land rights and extractive economics.
Urtzi’s work can be divided into speculative (imagining futures), pragmatic (contemporary challenges) and historical (lessons from the past that can inform future solutions) projects. Key research includes Indo Pacific, for which Urtzi received a 2017 Graham Foundation Grant, and Driverless Vision, in partnership with the School of Architecture at Rice University. Indo Pacific explores the design implications of the Australian Government’s creation of the Indo Pacific as a new geopolitical region and the potential role the architecture can play in its design, while Driverless Vision investigates the differences between human and machine perceptions as they relate to driverless cars and their impact on the urban environment.
Urtzi’s research has been exhibited broadly, including at the Venice Biennale (2020); the Design for Different Futures Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Walker Center and the Art Institute of Chicago (Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Chicago 2019-2020); the Lisbon Trienniale (2019); the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture ‘Eyes of the City’ (2019); the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2017), the Istanbul Design Biennial (2016); the UTS Gallery (Sydney, 2016) and the Chicago Architectural Biennial (2015), among others.
He has taught studios at Cooper Union, Princeton University, Columbia University and Cornell University. His work and writings have been published in different international journals such as Architect's Newspaper, AV, Bawelt, Domus, Kerb, Plot, Praxis, Spam, Volume and White Zinfadel; as book chapters, including Imminent Commons: The Expanded City; and in articles and essays, including Portable Indopacific in Ness 2 Mad World Maps (2019) and Driverless Vision: Towards a Sensorial Agreement in PLAT 7.0 Sharing (2018) (co-authored with Guillermo Fernandez Abascal).
Urtzi is the former co-founder of Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, a former Distinguished Visiting Professor at Portland State University’s School of Architecture (2018) and a former Cullinan Visiting Professor at the Rice University School of Architecture (2017). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Princeton University School of Architecture where he is completing a thesis on the 1970s urban renewal of Barcelona.