Dr Luis Fernando Zapata Montalvo

Job: Early Career Academic Fellow

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: Leicester School of Architecture

Research group(s): Architecture Research Group

Address: De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester, UK

T: +44 (0)116 257 7408

E: luis.zapatamontalvo@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/lsa


Personal profile

Dr Luis Fernando Zapata Montalvo is an Early Career Academic Fellow at the Leicester School of Architecture. In the course of his practice experience he has developed advanced skills in architectural design and construction of residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings working in several architectural projects as a freelance architect and in architecture firms.Dr. Zapata was lecturer in architecture and construction technology at the School of Architecture, University of Valley of Mexico and the School of Architecture, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico City Mexico, where he was architecture program director. He also worked as tutor and lecturer in architecture and construction technology and management at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Melbourne and the School of Architecture at Deakin University in Australia. Since his involvement in academia, he has participated at several international conferences and has been guest lecturer at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in France, the Polytechnic of Turin in Italy and the University of Seville in Spain.Dr. Zapata’s teaching philosophy places emphasis on evidence-based design, critical inquiry, and active and experiential learning. His position in teaching is that architecture and technology architecture education is not simply the imparting of knowledge and skills necessary for practice, but it also involves development of values, ideologies, cultural and philosophical positions. It also emphasizes the importance of understanding the environment as having multiple realities by understanding not only sustainable and technological principles of design and construction but also values, preferences, and lifestyles of people.

Research group affiliations

  • Architecture Research Group

Research interests/expertise

  • Typological transformations in traditional architecture
  • Sustainable design and construction processes and their impact in the built environment
  • Vernacular Architecture and heritage conservation.
  • Disaster resilience, emerging building practices and disaster relief shelters.
  • Popular culture in architecture

Areas of teaching

  • Architectural Design
  • Architectural Technology
  • Construction technology
  • Environmental design


  • Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), University of the Valley of Mexico.
  • Master of Science in construction technology (MSc), National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • Master of Architecture (March), Polytechnic of Turin, Italy.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Melbourne, Australia. 

Courses taught

  • Architecture BA (Hons)
  • Architectural Technology BSc (Hons)

Honours and awards

  • Scholarship awarded by the government of Mexico and the University of Melbourne, Australia / (2011) to carry out PhD studies in architecture.
  • Scholarship awarded by the Government of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA / (2005) to carry out training in Energy efficiency and conservation in buildings.
  • Distinction of Academic Excellence / (1999), University of the Valley of Mexico, best Professor Award, granted by the Division of Arts and Humanities. Mexico.
  • Cum Laude in architecture. Master’s Degree / (1996) awarded by the Polytechnic of Turin – Italy.
  • Scholarship awarded by the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy / (1995) to carry out Master Degree studies in Technology, Architecture and Urban Planning.
  • Scholarship awarded by the government of Mexico – CONACYT / (1994) to carry out master degree studies in architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy.
  • Academic excellence award by the University of the Valley of Mexico- Mexico / (1993) in recognition of outstanding performance in undergraduate study.

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Board of Architects of Mexico City (CAM-SAM)
  • Federated College of Engineers and Architects of Costa Rica (CFIA)
  • International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
  • The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

Conference attendance

REHAB - The International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings and Structures 2014, 19 – 21 March, Tomar, Portugal. “Ritualized architecture in East Mexico”, Zapata, L. Paper presentation.

POP/CAANZ - Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand 2013, 24-26 June, Brisbane, Australia. “For Kitsch’s sake!!!” Zapata. L. Paper presentation.

PCACA - Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association 2012, 11-14 April, Boston, USA. Architecture behind the Mask. Zapata, L. Paper presentation.

ACAH / IAFOR - The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2010, 18-20 June, Osaka, Japan. The architecture of colour in the Buildings of Luis Barragan. Zapata, L. Paper presentation.

PLEA - Passive and Low Energy Architecture 1996, 13-15 July, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Eco technologies. Zapata, L. Paper and poster presentation.

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