Diana Ibáñez López


  • Diana Ibáñez López is a tutor at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martin’s and a visiting professor at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.

    Born in Spain, she studied architecture at Cambridge and the RCA, transnational literature and linguistics at Münster University and Huelva University, and has practiced in Rotterdam, London, Cairo, Cologne, and San Francisco.

    Before joining David Knight and Finn Williams on ADS2, Diana taught an MA studio at The Why Factory in TU Delft and lectures on Urban Design & Planning at UCL. 

  • Biography

  • On graduating from Cambridge, Diana moved to Valencia where she delivered her first architectural project, a public square, with mgaarqtos.  She then relocated to Rotterdam to join MVRDV, where she worked on various projects including the Architecture Faculty at the TU Delft and the Rotterdam Markthal, both of which have won multiple international awards. During this time Diana also wrote for Phaidon Press and lived in a national monument in which she ran regular events including a radical tango salon and film screenings to celebrate the transfer of Holland’s anarchist archives to the building.

    After two and a half years at MVRDV, Diana moved to Cairo where she joined Rooftop, a collective of artist studios, edited the city’s only architecture magazine, and researched the everyday material habits of Cairo’s streets. She returned to Europe to study at the RCA, after which she joined Phaidon’s in-house editorial team.

    Diana then moved to Cologne to study Transnational Literature at the University of Münster, for which she wrote a thesis on the territorialisation of 'blank space' in Gibraltar and Hebron. While writing it, Diana moved to Andalusia, where she took an MA course in architectural restoration in parallel and ran guided tours of the Rio Tinto mines for a collective of postcolonial geologists (yes, they exist). The thesis received a rare 1.0 (100%) grade. While submitting her thesis, Diana was recruited to Silicon Valley to launch 'Timeline', a news app focused on providing the historical and social context to breaking news; in 2015, Timeline was voted in the top apps of the year by the App Store.

    In Mid 2015, she moved back to London and joined the public sector, working on a £300 million Greater London regeneration programme, while regularly commuting to Rotterdam where she took the role of an editor and lecturer at The Why Factory, an architecture think-tank on future cities based at TU Delft. Diana has been a visiting critic at Central Saint Martins, London Metropolitan University, Nottingham University and the German University in Cairo.

    Diana currently works for Create London, an arts charity working with communities across London with a focus on improving access to and diversity in arts and culture through projects that engage in the public realm, from events and art commission to policy recommendations and the new-build A House for Artists.


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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Diana has worked widely in editorial and publishing, and contributed to international print and online publications. For Phaidon Press, she authored pieces for two Architecture Atlases; she is an author and editor for The Why Factory, proofs for Ruby Press, has undertaken academic editing for Springer Complexity Series on how cities function, and edited two doctoral dissertations, on art-activism (Goldsmiths, University of London, 2010) and community engagement (TU Delft, 2013).


    Vriesendorp, M., & Ibáñez López, D. (2018) “I’ve just never learned to say no” in Legacy. Generations of Creatives in Dialogue, Amsterdam: Frame Publishers

    Maas, W., Madrazo, F., Ravon, A., & Ibáñez López, D. (2017). Copy Paste, Rotterdam: nai010 publishers.

    Maas, W., Sverdlov, A. (2016). Absolute Leisure, Rotterdam: nai010 publishers.

    Portugali, J., & Stolk, E., eds. (2016). Complexity, Cognition, Urban Planning and Design, and Portugali J. et al., eds. (2012). Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age: An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design, Springer Proceedings in Complexity, Springer: Berlin.

    Phaidon Editors (2012) 20th-Century World Architecture: The Phaidon Atlas, Phaidon Press: London.  “A behemoth” – Daily Telegraph

    Phaidon Editors (2011) The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture, Phaidon Press: London.

    Articles and other publications

    Ibáñez López, D. (Oct 2015) ‘Assembling Utopia’, in: UNCUBE Magazine. 

    Ibáñez López, D. (2015) And Here in Fact We Are: Blank Space in Current Cartographic and Archival Practice, Münster University MA Thesis in Transnational Literature and Language.

    Ibáñez López, D., & Tan, E. (July 2010). ‘On Collectivity/ On Cairo’, in: UncertaintyL’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui 378: 140-141.

    Tan, E. (2014) Negotiation and Design for the Self-Organizing City: Gaming as a method for Urban Design, PhD, Dept. of Urbanism, TU Delft. (editor 2009–2014, and collaborator on playthecity.com)

    Ibáñez López, D. (July 2010). ‘Parcours Professionnels’, in: Uncertainty, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui 378: 208-9.

    Ibáñez López, D., & Fayed, M. (Feb 2010) ‘Othography: rubber-stamping in cursive', in: Magaz, following exhibition at the El-Sakia product fair, Cairo in Dec 2009.

    Workshops, Papers and Lectures

    (2017) Extensions  Workshops for the Young Creatives programme at the Design Museum. With David Knight and Hefin Jones.

    (2017) London's Towns Design Advisor on the future of Outer London station sites, New London Architecture and TfL.

    (2016) Commissioning the City , lecture and workshop as part of the Spatial Practices M Arch at Central Saint Martins.

    (2014) Ibáñez López, D. ‘Exploring Hebron’s Heritage through Situations and Displacements that Policy Documents don’t Document’, paper presented at the 5th Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference panel on Critical Ethnographies of Cultural Heritage, University of Bergamo. With Fayez Jamil Sharabaty.

    (2014–2015 ) Guide of the Rio Tinto mines a landscape designated UNESCO Mining Historical Heritage, for Fieldwork Riotinto, a postcolonial tourism collective founded by geologists and historians in Andalucia.

    (2011) UCL Migration Week, installation and events on the topic of borders, Slade School of Fine Art.

    (2008) Workshop moderator, Contrapolis Conference, Rotterdam. With Jan van Eyck Academie and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi). 

     Exhibtions and Performances

    (2011) (2009) Vertical Village. Installation at the JUT Foundation for Arts and Architecture, Taipei. MVRDV with The Why Factory.

    (2009) notations under provision. Performer at the 1st Open Dans festival, Rotterdam. With Thomas Körtvélyessy of Reàl Dance, open source choreography by Maria Karagianni.

    (2008) NL28 Olympic Fire. Design for an exhibition at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi), MVRDV with the Berlage Institute and the Academie van Bouwkunst.


    (2015) Timeline.com, founding editor and contributor. “App of the month”, Apple app store on launch in Feb 2015; “Top apps of the year 2015”

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Selected work