Headshot of Alberto Villaneuva

Alberto Villanueva


Alberto is an architect and leads the School of Architecture. He has an extensive experience in education, management and engagement with creative economies and the built environment. 

His academic and professional projects cover various scales and project approaches in architecture, design, public engagement and engineering, including places like Spain, South Korea, China, Slovenia, Italy, France, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and even the planet Mars. This latest is where he developed his first published academic research, Mars UTOPIA, which investigated the possibilities of 3D printing and new materials in the colonisations of the planet Mars as a solution to generate architectures in extreme environments due to climate change. Outstanding project by the Royal Academy of Arts and published by Dezeen, Designboom or Archdaily, among other recognised publications.

After exploring different academic and industry opportunities across Europe, Alberto started his professional practice in Madrid over a decade ago, where he established IDEA architecture office. An interdisciplinary studio collaborating with architecture offices and the public sector, offering consultancy services, covering technical and innovative concepts around digital crafting, sustainability and social impact. As a result of this, in September 2017, he was appointed as Spanish Ambassador for Science to the United Kingdom, a program that combines diplomacy, science and technology.

Since then, Alberto has been immersed in new academic challenges around teaching, learning and governance in Higher Education. He is currently an external examiner in architecture and interior design for De Montfort University and the University of Liverpool International College.  He is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences and events as a keynote and panellist on the subject of interdisciplinarity, organisations, and social impact by design.

Alberto is a registered architect (ARB) and also a fellow in institutions such as HEA (Higher Education Academy) or RSA (Royal Society of Arts), honours that have allowed him to collaborate with some of the most recognised professionals in design, creativity and technology industries.

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Programme director
Department of Architecture
Elected Academic Governor
Board of Governors


His academic work and research has included sites like Spain, South Korea, China, Slovenia, Italy, France, EAU, United States and even the planet Mars!

The latest, Mars UTOPIA, researched the possibilities of 3D printers and new materials in the colonisation of planet Mars, as a solution to generate architectures in extreme environments. The project has been noted by The Royal Academy of Arts and featured by Dezeen, Designboom or Archdaily, among other renowned publications and has been recently exhibited in Madrid by the Telefónica Foundation.

In addition, he has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning for Creative Courses in 2018 at Ravensbourne University London.