Reimagining the Mexico-US Migration Corridor


Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

To watch the recording, click here

Speakers: Tatiana Bilbao, Founder and Director, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio; Carolina Sepúlveda, Chilean architect & researcher, MDes ADPD '20
Presented by: Diane E. Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, Harvard University; Moderated by: Malkit Shoshan, Design, and the Public Domain Area Head, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

This panel seeks to analyze an increasing global migration ecology caused by food insecurity, extreme violence, and political instability, and to seek new approaches to understand and reflect on rapid urban transformations.

The two research projects discussed in this event depart from architecture and design practices to deliver a detailed picture of Mexico and the United States' migration landscape. While Tatiana Bilbao’s Two Sides of the Border focuses on the border region, Carolina Sepúlveda’s Sacred Women: Navigating the Journey of Latinas towards the United States focuses on Central American women's migration experience through the Mexico-US corridor. By revising a series of repeated infrastructures along migrant’s paths and locating them within larger political, economic, gender, and ecological frameworks, the discussion will go beyond the most apparent border typologies, such as the Mexico-US border wall, to construct a border geography that expands towards Mexico’s interior.

Carolina Sepúlveda is an architect, curator, and researcher from Santiago, Chile. She holds a Master in Design Studies, Art, Design, and the Public Domain from Harvard GSD, and a B. Arch. from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Co-curator of Curating Architecture Across the Americas, an ongoing program promoted by Harvard David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies that fosters architecture exhibits in the Americas. She has worked in research and production of architecture and design exhibitions at Harvard Graduate School of Design (Love in a Mist: The Politics of Fertility, Druker Design Gallery, 2019 by Malkit Shoshan), the Inter-American Development Bank (Housing, What’s Next? Washington D.C., 2018), LIGA DF (The Space Between Things, Mexico City, 2014 by Emilio Marin and Juan Carlos López), and coordinated the XX Chile Architecture Biennial (Unpostponable Dialogues, Valparaíso, 2017).

Tatiana Bilbao is a Mexico City-based architect. Bilbao holds a recurring teaching position at Yale University School of Architecture and has taught at Harvard University GSD, AA Association in London, Columbia University GSAPP, Rice University, the University Andrés Bello in Chile, and Peter Behrens School of Arts at HS Dusseldorf in Germany. She is the founder of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO, a Mexico City-based architecture studio, established in 2004. At the core of the studio’s practice is an analysis of the context surrounding projects, which scale from masterplans to affordable housing typologies, with the goal to contribute and open channels for human interaction while remaining flexible to absorb shifting needs. Prior to founding her firm, Tatiana Bilbao was an Advisor in the Ministry of Development and Housing of the Government of Mexico´s Federal District. Bilbao´s work has been published in The New York Times, A + U, Domus, among others. She has been recognized with the Kunstpreis Berlin in 2012, was named in 2010 as an Emerging Voice by the Architecture League of New York, and received the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture Prize by the LOCUS Foundation in 2014, as well as the Impact Award 2017 Honorees for ArchitzierA + Awards, the Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal of 2020, and the Marcus Prize Award 2019.

Diane E. Davis is the Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). She serves as Director of the Mexican Cities Initiative (MCI) at the GSD, and Chair of the Faculty Committee on Mexico at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS). Before to moving to the GSD in 2011, Davis served as the head of the International Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, where she also was Associate Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. Trained as a sociologist with an interest in cities in Latin America, Davis’s research interests include the relations between urbanization and national development, urban governance, urban social movements, and informality, with a special emphasis on Mexico. Her books include: Transforming Urban Transport (co-edited, 2018), Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Conflicts in the Urban Realm (2011); Discipline and Development: Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America (2004); Irregular Armed Forces and their Role in Politics and State Formation (2003); and Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century (1994; Spanish translation 1999).

Malkit Shoshan is a researcher, designer, and author. She is the founding director of the architectural think-tank Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST). FAST uses research, advocacy, and design to investigate the relationships between architecture, urban planning, and human rights. Its cross-disciplinary and multi-scalar work explores the mechanisms behind, and the impact of, displacement, spatial violence, and systemic segregation and marginalization on people's living environments. Malkit is the author of the award-winning book Atlas of the Conflict, Israel Palestine (2010), as well as Village (2014). Her edited books, catalogues and policy reports include: Zoo, or the letter Z, just after Zionism (2014), Drone (2016), Retreat (2020), Spaces of Conflict (2017), Greening Peacekeeping: The Environmental Impact of UN Peace Operations (2018), and UN Peace Missions in Urban Environments and the Legacy of UNMIL (2019). She teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Design since 2016, and is currently the Area Head of the Art, Design, and the Public Domain (ADPD) MDE.

Presented in collaboration with the Graduate School of Design MDes program in Art, Design, and the Public Domain