In the field of urban studies, I focus on poverty and the city. I am particularly interested in three interrelated topics: architecture/design and poverty; informality and city; and the temporal, spatial, and social dimensions of street culture. Employing various methods in my projects, from classical ethnography through survey and social network analysis to GPS tracking and visual methods, I have also contributed to some debates concerning social research methodologies. Even though my primary activity is academic research, I also try to consistently perform science, which is public, responsible, and innovative. In other words, I strive to carry out research where, ideally, the results have a positive impact.
(1) I explore the global operation of social innovations that tackle urban poverty through architecture, art, or design (AAD). Various schools, collectives, and studios use AAD to help poor communities of the global South by innovating their material environment, but this trend is visible in the global North. Social innovations thus have played an increasingly important role alongside more established global and national social policies. Based on the recent scholarship regarding fast policy transfer and mobile urbanism, I want to compare “slums” in Colombia and homelessness in Czechia to establish a novel understanding of how innovations globally emerge and travel, how they are locally implemented, and what impact.
(2) I inquire into how homelessness is produced by urban politics and the city itself while simultaneously searching for the role of homeless people’s affective and practical agency in this. Drawing on assemblage urbanism, I bring together spatio-temporal practices with infrastructure, urban governance, and the urban political economy. Apart from this, inspired by post-colonial urbanism, I search for understanding various implementations and the impacts of the (global) economic arrangement within the post-socialist and the Czech local context.
(3) Between 2010 and 2013, I conducted fieldwork among homeless people in Pilsen, Czechia, as part of my doctoral research. I focused on several traditional topics of sociocultural anthropology, such as socioeconomic organization, time-space, or moral reasoning. Since then, I have been continuously studying the street culture of homelessness. Relying on a practices-oriented approach, I especially shed light on time-space mobility, placemaking in the public space, and home-making within the informal city.