• Typologies: Current State of Traditional Housing in Mexico
    Onnis Luque & Mariana Ordóñez

Onnis Luque and Mariana Ordóñez, "Typologies: Current state of traditional housing in Mexico," Morelos, Mexico, 2019. Courtesy the artists

Traditional housing in Mexico is rapidly being transformed by a number of factors, including the urbanization of rural areas, the interruption of the generational transmission of knowledge, government programs that promote and encourage the use of industrialized materials, and public housing policies that reject and deny the importance of traditional building systems and the diversity in the ways the indigenous communities of our country inhabit. This panorama leads to the loss of tangible and intangible architectural heritage, as well as the loss of architectural values that indigenous peoples have developed over time. That is, not only the architectural objects are at risk, but also the knowledge behind the vernacular dwelling. This project aims to document and analyze the current state of traditional housing in Mexico and its transformation, as well as the territorial adaptations that have arisen in rural areas of Mexico.

Onnis Luque is an architectural photographer and architect trained by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 2009 he founded Onnis Luque fotografía, a project that integrates new processes and visions about architecture and its visual participation in the history of cities. He is a member of the National System of Art Creators (SNCA-FONCA) and creator of the 2014 photographic essay, USF / DF Tactics of Appropriation, on the present state of the housing project Unidad Santa Fe, by the architect Mario Pani (1957). In 2016 Luque was included in the Internationale Architectuur Biennale Rotterdam, The Next Economy, in addition to the Venice Architecture Biennale, where he participated in the Arsenale intervention, Walk the line, with Tatiana Bilbao, Derek Dellekamp, Rozana Montiel and Alejandro Hernández. He returned to Venice in 2018 with his exhibition Echoes of a Land mounted in the Mexican Pavilion for the Architecture Biennale. Currently he is a fellow of FONCA-CONACULTA at the program “Promotion of Projects and Cultural Co Investments”.

Mariana Ordóñez is an architect trained by the Autonomous University of Yucatan and she also holds a master's degree in Sustainable Architecture from the University of the Environment. Her professional practice is characterized by the development of community projects in rural and indigenous areas. In 2015 she founded Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura, which has won several awards, including silver medals in the National Biennial of Mexican Architecture, the First National Rural Housing Competition in Mexico, and the Biennial of Young Architects. In 2016–17 she was a fellow of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts and served as a full professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana between 2017–18. Her work was shown in the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 and 2018. The Architectural League of New York recognized Grajales by honoring her with an Emerging Voices award in 2018. Currently she is a fellow of FONCA-CONACULTA at the program “Promotion of Projects and Cultural Co Investments”.

Jesica Amescua Carrera trained at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) and is an architect. She has a master’s degree in Analysis, Theory and History of Architecture from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and is working on her dissertation, “The paradigms of complexity in the morphological transformation of public space in informal settlements,” at UNAM. She has worked with Gaeta Springall Architects, including her work as cocurator in the Mexican Pavilion of the 14th Venice Biennale. From 2010–12, she was a FONCA-CONACULTA scholarship holder. Since 2015, she is senior lecturer at the Iberoamerican University (UIA), and in 2017 she joined Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura as partner. Carrera is collaboratoring on the project with Luque and Ordóñez.