Architectural Design Workshop — Beyond Reconstruction in Oaxaca, Mexico

Permission of instructor

Partner Instructors

Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism. Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, GSD
Monica Arzoz Canalizo, Lecturer in Architecture, Universidad de Anahuac
Jimena González-Sicilia Ibarrola, Lecturer in Architecture, Universidad de Anahuac

Funded by MISTI Mexico

In Beyond Reconstruction MIT will be partnering with the Graduate School of Design (GSD) Mexican Cities Initiative and the Universidad de Anahuac to undertake a 2-week workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico this August, that will continue as a 12-credit workshop during the Fall semester. We are looking for four master’s level students in Architecture and The Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) who would be interested in forming the MIT members of this multi-university team. The MIT team will be led by Lorena Bello Gomez, Lecturer in Architecture.

Oaxaca experienced a devastating earthquake in 2017. As part of a broader post-earthquake recovery project, MIT and partners have been asked to conduct damage assessment, community engagement, and design research leading to a Strategic Reconstruction Plan (through 2024) for the Oaxacan cities of Ciudad Ixtepec and Asuncion Ixtatepec. MIT and partners will also develop designs for a Reconstruction Pilot Project to be constructed in January 2019.

Students interested in this opportunity should send an expression of interest with a short email to Lorena Bello by Tuesday, May 22. Students should also be prepared to join an information meeting from 12:00-1:00pm on Wednesday May 23 in room 9-425. The application is due by Friday 25th, by submitting a short CV, a portfolio of work, and a short statement of interest (up to 250 words) to lobello@mit.edu. Priority will be given to Spanish speakers, and those students committed to the betterment of post-earthquake territories. See below for more information on the sites in which students will be working.

Description of sites: 

Ciudad Ixtepec and Asunción Ixtaltepec are two urban settlements in Oaxaca that were hit by the 2017 earthquake. In addition to being vulnerable to floods, social conflicts, marginalization, and other natural and social disasters, these strategically located towns play a key role in Mexico’s commerce, communication, and migration networks. Together with other surrounding towns, they integrate the Tehuantepec´s Isthmus corridor, connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. After the earthquake, almost 80% of houses in these sites were affected, and 90% of traditional buildings were at risk of demolition. Recovery of the urban fabric, public space, infrastructure, and heritage buildings are a top priority.

Workshop in Oaxaca: August 15th – August 28th (TBC)
Consecutive Work at MIT: Weekly meetings, W 9-12 in room 3-329. Monthly reviews with partners (September-December)