Public Program

  • Behind the Wall: Pedagogical Exercises for Restoring Citizenship

Pablo Londoño, Behind the Wall: Pedagogical Exercises for Restoring Citizenship, 2018, Bogotá, Colombia. Courtesy of Fundacion para el desarrollo local horizontal.

Responding to the penitentiary crisis in Colombia, in 2016 Bogotá’s government established the first program of restorative justice for young people in conflict with the law. Presently, there are 120,668 people incarcerated in Bogotá, 113,141 of whom are in severely overcrowded prisons. As for youth, there are more than 3,000 underage people in detention. This desperate situation brings about an urgent need to think of alternative kinds of justice. Behind the Wall holds pedagogical events to activate the public space by innovating the mode of human engagement in addition to proposing alternative accounts and methods of justice. Spaces for restorative justice establish successful structures by acknowledging the infringement committed; reparations executed to amend the damage caused to the victim, their family, and community; and finally, reintegrating the offender into society.

Carlos Medellín is an architect, designer, and researcher based in Bogotá. His practice is informed by theory and methods from place-making, participatory design, anthropology, urban and architecture studies. He conducts design projects based on concepts coming from collective and/or personal experiences between the built context and the community affected. These projects usually involve other architects, designers, educators, artists and social researchers.He is the director of horizontal, a foundation that seeks for social justice within the frame of architecture and urban projects developed through collaborative practices. Medellín has been director of winning proposals on architectural competitions such as el Nuevo Velódromo in Medellín and Marinilla Parque Educativo. In this office he has also directed and developed exhibitions, architecture, and urban projects such as Argos Barrios ConSentidos in Cartagena, Speaking Architecture for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, The Wall for the Milano Triennale,Trustics for the 2016 Venice Biennale, among others.

María-Victoria Londoño is a teaching fellow and philosophy PhD student at DePaul University (Chicago). She studied political science and holds a master’s degree in the same field from Los Andes University (Bogotá), and a master’s in philosophy from Diego Portales University, Santiago de Chile. Her current research inquiries into the relationship between philosophy and architecture and aims to understand the dual character of architecture in its possibilities of both subjection and emancipation. Currently, she works with horizontal in a project focused on thinking spaces for restorative justice in centers for young people in conflict with the law in Bogotá.

Pablo Londoño is an architect based in Bogotá. He graduated from Universidad de Los Andes, with major in architecture, and minor in art history. He currently works at horizontal, a research-oriented organization linked to the Bogotá-based architecture studio El Equipo Mazzanti. Londoño has participated in the conceptual and formal development of different architectural competitions within El Equipo Mazzanti. At horizontal, he codirected the design proposal for a new waterfront in the historical center of Paramaribo, Suriname, and is currently working on the research process on a proposal for Bogota’s youth restorative justice program.

Nicolás Paris is an artist whose work is closely linked to questions about education and pedagogical strategies.His method of work, based mainly on the act of drawing, dialogue, and architecture, seeks to initiate open and experimental learning processes to produce and exchange knowledge and find new ways of being together.Since the beginning of 2017, he founded the Institute for Radical Learning, a platform or workplace to mobilize collaborative processes and facilitate the activation of new study groups, exchange networks and find new ways of being together.

Giancarlo Mazzanti is an architect of the Javeriana University in Bogotá, with a postgraduate in industrial design from the University of Florence in Italy (1991). He has taught in several Colombian universities and at Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia universities and his work is exhibited in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art and Centre Pompidou. Social values are at the core of Mazzanti's architecture projects. He searches for projects that empower transformations and build communities. Mazzanti has committed his professional life to the improvement of the quality of design of the build environment and the concept of social equality, his works reflect significant social shifts happening in Latin America today. His work has helped show that good design can lead to new identities for cities and their inhabitants, transgressing reputations of crime and poverty.

Founded in 2017 and based in Bogotá, Colombia, horizontal is a nonprofit foundation that explores the conceptualization, implementation, and dissemination of collaborative design tools as a tactic to achieve social justice. Through ludic methodologies that use games and toys as tools to interact and generate dialogue with governments, developers, designers and citizens, horizontal develops spatial intervention strategies that recognize the aspirations of the individual and promote the interconnection of local work networks in both rural and urban contexts.