This interdisciplinary research studio will focus on Mexico City as a composite city: a complex space of palimpsest histories and possible futures that emerges through the materiality of urban experience. The course will explore the relationship between material histories, cultures and the performance of power through site-specific interventions and research projects based in three zones of engagement: the historic center, the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, and the Western periphery. Each site-specific project will unfold through investigation of material conditions and the network of social relations that produce them. The material conditions [earth, water, concrete, pigment, blood, rubble and waste] are intended to anchor our research in urban experience, while suggesting cross-disciplinary creative possibilities. Student projects will culminate in contributions to an edited collection on Mexico City, to be published in English and Spanish.

This site follows the work of our class, which is conducted as a project-based seminar. A parallel sequence of workshops includes film screenings, guest lectures, project pin-ups, and desk critiques. We hope to generate a spirit of collaboration and creative intensity, as we work together on our collective project. The course will offer an interdisciplinary toolkit of urban research methods and critical practices, and we will actively encourage students to share their respective expertise and interests with others as the semester progresses in understanding the conditions, processes and forms of urban life in Mexico City; become familiar with some of the central issues and theoretical debates of contemporary global urbanism; and learn about the processes involved in writing and producing an edited collection as a collective creative endeavor.

Works Cited

Kohout, Jakub. whatever. Nwe York: HEMI, 2016. Print.