Carlos Estrada-Grajales

QUT Urban Informatics > Team > Carlos Estrada-Grajales

PhD Candidate

Cert. Cultural Studies, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia

Bachelor in Anthropology, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia



Carlos Estrada-Grajales is a digital ethnographer, critical urbanism researcher and PhD candidate with the Urban Informatics Research Lab. Through his work, he is also affiliated with the QUT Design Lab and the Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC). His background is in Urban Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Political Science and History. He received his Bachelor and Certificate from the University of Los Andes, and the Pontifical Xaverian University in Bogotá, Colombia.


Research areas

  • Urban cultures
  • Digital ethnography
  • City-making and civic engagement
  • Activism and social movements
  • Critical urban theories
  • Participatory methodologies


PhD Research: Imagining Brisbane: citizen urbanism and participatory city-making

This doctoral study critically examines how urban residents engage and participate in different forms and levels of imaginative city-making. The research departs from two initial reflections in the realm of urban governance. First, although technological improvements have facilitated access to information and opportunities for communication, urban residents are still experiencing a general discontent caused by their agency in the process of shaping cities. Second, urban residents are already co-producing, either consciously or not, their urban space when they experience, represent and imagine it. The research explores how current forms of consultation and decision-making, often regulated by government institutions and highly influenced by private corporations, are challenged and reshaped by urban residents engaged in conversations about cities alternative futures. Specifically, it seeks to critically analyse how urban residents co-create urban imaginaries as a strategy to convey ideas and principles for designing their desired city. The dissertation is composed of three interrelated case studies, each of which provides the opportunity of examining how urban residents produce different imaginaries in both digitally-mediated and vis-a-vis scenarios. In order to collect and analyse data, a combination of traditional and experimental ethnographic methods have been deployed, including participant observations, geo-tracking exercises, and social media and artistic exhibitions content analysis.


Contact Details




Twitter: @carlestrada78