Gerardo Corona is pursuing a Master of Architecture in Urban Design at Harvard GSD. He is an architect trained in Mexico with experience in projects across a variety of scales. Gerardo’s current interests range from the political economy of space to the dichotomy of natural and built environments.
Avocados from México: A Designed Landscape for Extraction
It is possible to read into contemporary societies through their relationships to food – its origins, how it is sourced and who produces it. With the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the “fetishization of commodity” became stronger, particularly in food relations between the countries which make up this free trade zone. Gerardo’s design dossier investigates the relationship between increasing production of “green gold” (commonly known as the avocado fruit) and its impact on the productive landscapes of Southern Mexico.
The economic, social, and environmental vulnerabilities of avocado cultivation in the Meseta Purépecha region of Michoacán embody the inequities and unsustainability of global food production chains which have emerged in the last half-century. This landscape of production, once dominated by the Hass avocado tree, is a visible expression of the issues associated with rapid changes in land use and ownership, which privileges consolidating capital profits over the long-term needs of local communities and regional environments.