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Border Choreographies – Interdisciplinary GSD Project about Mexico-U.S. Border Featured at 2021 Venice Biennale


Border Choreographies: Identity, Body, and Personhood Borders are dynamic and complex systems. This research examines the procedure of crossing an international border by a human being. The main objective is to delineate how a body is addressed, controlled, and deconstructed when crossing a political boundary. It also explores the subjectivity of the border beyond its material conception and imagines a political line in its human dimension. By using existing data on crime, landscape, transport, solidarity networks, technology, testimonies, and photographs, these diagrams replace traditional western maps in order to reveal the true journey of immigrants from one state to another […]

Book Presentation: “Ciudad de México. Inercias urbanísticas y proceso constitucional”


Dr. Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism at Harvard and director of the Mexican Cities Initiative, participated in a discussion about the book Ciudad de México. Inercias urbanísticas y proceso constitucional (CIDE Press, 2019). In the book, authors Antonio Azuela, Lidia González Malagón, and Camilo Saavedra Herrera discuss Mexico City’s 2017 constitution and the public debates surrounding it. They pay close attention to the legal, political, and territorial conditions leading to the new constitution and to urban conflicts surrounding its development. During the discussion, hosted by CIDE and moderated by Rodrigo Meneses, Dr. Azuela explained […]

Sorry for Trespassing: A Layman’s Defense of Walking Urban Edges


Feike de Jong is a Mexico City-based journalist, author, artist, and photographer focusing on urban spaces. He has written for the Guardian, Bloomberg Citylab, Monocle, Fortune International, Expansión, Arquine, and the NRC Handelsblad among others. He has done projects walking around the edges of the Greater Mexico City Area, Kigali, Rwanda, and the San Diego-Tijuana Borderplex. He has also collaborated with organizations such as the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the Rufino Tamayo Museum, the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), York University in Toronto, and Ogino Knauss in Berlin. In 2010, Feike won the Walter Reuter prize for journalism for […]

On Hope, Running and World-building: Striving for Social and Environmental Justice through Landscape Architecture and Ethnography


In three brief takes, Roberto Ransom reflects on his 2020 Master in Landscape Architecture thesis, advised by Gareth Doherty at the Harvard GSD.     “If we stop running, the world ceases to exist.”                                            Arnulfo Quimare. A champion long-distance runner, on the cosmology of his people, the Tarahumara or Rarámuri. — I. Foreword The thesis explores the indigenous Tarahumara practice of long-distance running. My intuition was that this practice would be an entry point for navigating issues of conservation, […]

Feike de Jong Undertakes Photojournalistic Walk of the Tijuana/San Diego Border


  BORDE(R) – On Foot Along the Edge of San Diego and Tijuana Feike de Jong is a Mexico City-based journalist, author, artist, and photographer that focuses on urban spaces. He has written for CNN Expansión, Forbes México, the Guardian, and the Atlantic Citylab, among others, and has published photos in the Guardian and Arquine. He has also collaborated with organizations such as the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the Rufino Tamayo Museum, the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), York University in Toronto, and Ogino Knauss in Italy. In 2010, Feike won the Walter Reuter prize for journalism for his […]

Navigating the Journey of Latinas to the United States


Carolina Sepúlveda Master in Design Studies, Art, Design and the Public Domain, Harvard GSD   While migration from Mexico to the United States diminished in recent years, the number of migrants from Central America has increased substantially since 2010[1]. As a result, Mexico has consolidated as the primary transit route for migrants from the Northern Triangle countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The migration journey through Mexico is particularly violent for women[2]. At the different stages, women are subject to extortion, human trafficking, sexual violence, and even murder in the hands of gangs and organized crime groups. The paths […]

Del Temblor al Arte


Del Temblor al Arte Artists’ responses to the earthquake in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are a perfect example of how art can contribute, in an extreme situation like the one triggered in 2017, to expand community awareness by leveraging the potential of local culture. Antonio Moya-Latorre PhD Candidate in City and Regional Planning / Cornell University Architecture & Music / www.amaseme.net Photo credits: Sandra Fernández & Marco Antonio Peralta Velasco. That night, when the earth shook, thousands of stories where buried under the rubble of what had once been the homes and spaces of entire communities. The setting of their lives […]

Lower Dream State screened at the International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo / Harvard’s DRCLAS


Oliver J. Curtis and Gabriel Muñoz Moreno met in 2015 while at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where their common interest in architecture and ecology brought them together. As co-recipients of a research fellowship through Harvard’s Mexican Cities Initiative, they studied adaptation and development patterns throughout the oases of Baja California. An arid and rugged mountainous ridge, the Baja California region is home to more than one hundred inland and coastal oases. This project explored the development patterns, construction methods, and resiliency strategies already in place to understand the impacts of urban- and tourism-related growth. Without preconceived notions, they […]

Paper—Staying a Step Ahead: Institutional Flexibility in the Rehabilitation of Social Housing in Oaxaca


  The Mexican National Workers’ Housing Fund Institute, or Infonavit, is the most important actor in the nation’s housing market. As of 2015, it was the leader in mortgage origination, accounting for roughly 74 percent of all housing loans. The institute was founded in 1972 with the mission of fulfilling the right to housing provided to workers as established in the Mexican Constitution, primarily through the provision of credit for the purchase of formal housing. Today, roughly one out of every four Mexicans lives in a home financed or built by Infonavit. Success for the institution has traditionally been measured regarding […]

Redesigning the Public Sphere


MAUD ’14. Víctor Manuel Rico Espínola, MAUD ’14. Mexico City is often portrayed as a kind of self-organizing chaos. Nonetheless, it follows a logic of its own. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521, insistence to consolidate the new capital in the middle of a marshy island, and a continuous battle against floods, led decision makers of the time to drain an entire lake to the ocean. In that sense, Mexico City confronted its own geography in a way very few cities have. Not only has the city’s form been the result of political intention, it has […]