BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2016 - National Participation of Mexico

Mexico - Biennale Architettura 2016

Unfoldings and Assemblages

Unit 1: The Sum of the Parts
This introductory section meditates on buildings as assemblages of materials and social relations. The demountable arenas of the Yucatán are manifestations of an existing social order. The demountable Cultural Pavilion for Migrants is a strategy to bring together dissimilar people under similar circumstances as a community. In both cases, communities unfold alongside modular construction processes.
Unit 2: Lessons from and for vernacular architecture
The work of many architects in Mexico is founded on the study of vernacular buildings. This section explores first, what we might learn from traditional design, construction, and participation strategies, and second, the contributions architects make in the recovery and transformation of long-established practices, and in their introduction to new contexts. Some vernacular forms of knowledge are registered in manuals; others elude systematization.
Unit 3: Blueprints for cooperation
Starting in the 1960s, Mexican architects and organized communities began exploring alternatives to both state-built housing projects and shantytowns. This section features some of the systems for collaborative building, incremental growth, and community-based financing they devised. Some of these works have been reproduced in other contexts; all remain viable models for present urban and housing developments.
Unit 4: All housing in Mexico is incremental
Architects, NGOs, and private companies have devised inventive ways to synthesize complex knowledge and make it available to the hundreds of thousands who self-build their houses and neighborhoods in Mexico’s urban peripheries. This section brings together manuals, toys, courses, and other strategies that give people tools to shape their environment.
Unit 5: Students build
University students in Mexico are required to do community service. Members of the Department of Architecture at UNAM’s Faculty of Architecture have met this requirement by designing and constructing buildings for communities in need. This section includes some of their recent projects in rural communities, and three manuals that teach students and officials at other universities how they might build real projects.  
Unit 6: Community organizing is also architecture
After the 1985 earthquake that devastated Mexico City, neighborhood associations produced documents that were simultaneously reconstruction and community organization manuals. These documents made evident the fact that architecture and social dynamics are deeply intertwined. This section includes projects and experiences that provide proof of the interdependence of these two domains.
Unit 7: The shape of common spaces
Manuals for the intervention of common spaces seek to build a shared language for the collaborative construction of streets, sidewalks, parks, and plazas. They recognize that common spaces are not built top-down; rather, they are a sum of small interventions over time. The common emerges, as the projects on display suggest, together with urban communities and new types of publics.
Credits: Story

Secretaría de Cultura
Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes

Commissioner: María Margarita Segarra Lagunes

Curator: Pablo Landa

Technical committee: María Cristina García Cepeda; Xavier Guzmán; Dolores Martínez; Ernesto Alva; Francisco Serrano; Javier Sánchez; Juan José Kochen

Pavilion design: Tuux

Museography: David Osnaya, Juan Garibay

Production: Tuux and WeExhibit

Technical support: José de Jesús Alvarado, Teresita Ramírez, Luis Gil, Josué Flores, Karla Téllez, Mario Niveo, Rolando Girodengo, Juan Carlos de la Garza, Daniel Jiménez, Laura Nieto

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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