Oliver Arellano-Padilla

PhD Candidate

Oliver Arellano-Padilla is a designer, artist and an interdisciplinary scholar with broad knowledge of media, technology and visual cultures. With more than ten years of experience in visual communication his scholarly work and his practice engages with the historical and political dimensions of design, by focusing on the forms of subjectivity and transformations of the symbolic orders of society that emerge within the current media and technological landscape.

For his doctoral work, Oliver is writing a dissertation on the concept of the “user”  as a political category that engages with the complex human experience of different structures of power from a media and technology perspective. His analysis bridges the gaps between the scholarly fields such as communication that study audiences, and politics that study citizens. With his intervention, he aims to contribute with better understanding of the position of the human between technique and technologies. 

Oliver brings his expertise in film, branding and political communication to his classrooms, studios, workshops and his research by applying diverse methodological approaches to his enquiries —of visual fields, cultural production and ways of being world —such as, archival work, digital ethnography and close readings. During his coursework he has engaged with the visual cultures of luck and chance as mediated by technology. Also, he has done work on the history design from the angle of secularism.

Oliver received an M.F.A in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design, and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Universidad de Monterrey. For more information on his design and art practice please visit his website here:



Design Studies, Media Studies, Critical Theories, Aesthetics and Philosophy

Courses Taught: 
  • (UMASS) Writing as Communication, Cultural Codes of Communication, TV and Film Production.
  • (New School) Innovation, and Senior Projects Capstone 2.
  • (UDEM) Philosophy and History of Design. 

“Populism, Design & Ideology,” Plot(s): Journal of Design Studies, Spring 2019, co-authored with Ever Osorio.