What is the architect's role in society? What are the architect's tools? Does architecture education support new ideas? How do methodologies become dogmatic, inhibiting, predetermined? As Howard Zinn wrote – "you can't be neutral on a moving train" – the architect cannot be neutral in a society with social, political, and economic forces that are ever-changing, ever-moving, ever-evolving, ever-dominating.
Teddy Cruz has been working on the boarder between the United States and Mexico as a political project "to radicalize the local." Here, the architect begins by mapping social processes and outlining inequalities to develop new strategies that are not only spatial, geographical, or politically radical – but are architectural. Cruz's practice redefines the role of the architect by locating a crisis: social segregation, political marginalization, and economic disintegration. The architect's methodologies here become political. Cruz has identified the international "political equator" and worked on his local equator and in the spaces of political conflict, between top-down and bottom-up, between legal and illegal, and between social mapping and structural tools.
The following are images found online that present the work of Estudio Teddy Cruz (ETC) -- click on (image) for their sources.
|ETC mapping the political equator. (image)|
|ETC studying informal housing typology in Tijuana. (image)|
|ETC developing architectural strategies to support the informal. (image)|
|ETC mapping the social. (image)|
Here is an excellent lecture by Teddy Cruz at the University of Michigan.