Professor Thomas Mical

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Phone: +64 921 9999 # 7100


Postal Address:
School of Art and Design
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand


BDesign(Hons), University of Florida, 1987.
MArch, Harvard University GSD, 1990.
MSc in Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1992.
PhD in Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1998.

Memberships and Affiliations:

US Fulbright German Studies Program, 2001.
Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University, 2004-2008.
Associate Professor of Architecture, RPI, 2008-2011.
Associate Professor of Architecture, UniSA, 2012-2015.
Visiting Senior Fellow, LSE, 2015.
Professor of Architectural Theory, AUT, October 2015 - present.


In a handwriting exercise when Thomas Mical was seven years old he wrote “I want to build big buildings and tell people what to do.” That’s because Mical grew up in Chicago and when visiting his father at work they would walk past the construction of the John Hancock Centre. His father would tell him that it would one day be the biggest building in the world, and this became an inspiration.

Thomas completed his Masters at Harvard. After interning in Tokyo, he returned to the United States and completed his PhD in Architectural Theory at Georgia Tech. He then returned to his hometown of Chicago and worked in the architectural profession, and lived his boyhood dream- working on designing skyscrapers and airports.

Professor Mical made the switch to academia in 2000, to follow his curiosity and to travel globally. That travel brought him to New Zealand a number of times, and in 2013 he came to talk at a conference organized by AUT’s St Paul St Art Gallery. He was struck by how progressive the Art + Design School was, how academically diverse and creative the people were. Just 18 months later, an opportunity presented itself and Professor Mical joined AUT in October 2015 as the Head of the School of Art and Design. His interests are to grow the research and international reach of School of Art and Design. He also plans to continue to write scholarly books while in the leadership position.

Research Areas:

Professor Mical’s research focuses on the historical, qualitative, and transformative attributes of architectural and urban spaces, with interest in the logical and sensory models and processes used in the production of spaces, and how these spaces then produce meanings and identities. His background in architectural theory, philosophy, and cultural studies inflects these investigations, which range across the spectrum of visible and invisible values forming and informing our spatial experiences. His work has also examined cinema and film theory, media-philosophy, other landscapes, and a teaching interest in hybrid and non-standard qualitative design-research methods.


Books, Articles, Essays
T. Mical, “Multiplicity of Landscape Arrays,” Kerb [Australia], vol. 23, 2015, pp. 22-25.

T. Mical, “Everyday Magical Urbanism,” Pidgin: Magic [Princeton University School of Architecture, US], vol. 19, Spring 2015, pp. 104-115.

T. Mical, “How Architecture Tensions Spatial Discipline and Alien Emergence,” Lunch 10: Alien [University of Virginia School of Architecture, US], 2015, pp. 225-235.

T. Mical, “Imagining Jelly-space Neo-Metabolism,” IAAC Bits [Spain], 2.1.1, 2005.

T. Mical, “Glam Architecture Surfacing Desiring-Machines,” Dialectics [University of Utah, US], vol. 2, 2014, pp. 77-88.

T. Mical, “Badiou’s Brasilia” – in A.M. McCulloch and R.A. Goodrich, The Event, the Subject, and the Work of Art, Cambridge Scholars Press: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2014, pp. 46-60.

T. Mical, “Medieval Surrealist Manifesto” – in Burn After Reading, Brooklyn, NY: Babel Working Group / Punctum Press [US], 2014, pp. 89-96.

T. Mical, “Oblique Strategies for Architects,” Inflections [Melbourne School of Design, Australia], vol. 1, 2014, pp. 88-91.

T. Mical, “The Situation of Nocturnal Architecture” – Architecture & Situation [University of Edinburgh, UK], vol. 4, 2104, p.6.

T. Mical, “Volcanic Auckland: Towards a Geo-Philosophy of Architecture” – Onsite: Geology [Canada], vol. 29, 2013, pp. 12-15.

T. Mical, “Dystopian London, c. 1983” in CLOG: Sci-Fi [USA], 2013, pp. 42-43.

T. Mical, “Soft Infrastructures for a Neo-Metabolism,” International Journal of BioUrbanism [Italy: vol. 2, 2012, pp. 61-71.

T. Mical, “The Blurred Inframince of Exteriority,” Umbau [Technical University of Vienna, Austria], vol. 23, 2007, pp.148-159.    

T. Mical, “Genus, Genius, Genealogy: Hejduk’s Potential Angels,” Interstices [Auckland, NZ], vol. 7, 2006, pp. 1-13.

T. Mical (ed.), Surrealism and Architecture, London: Routledge Press, 2005.

T. Mical, “The Origins of Architecture, after de Chirico,” Art History, [UK], vol. 26, No. 1, 2003, pp. 78-99.