Effective, excellent, inclusive, impactful, systematic, and participatory - these were the six criteria jurors considered when selecting the winners of this year's Public Interest Design Mexico Awards. On September 11th and 12th in Mexico City, the six winning projects will be presented to the public. To learn more about these exemplary projects that serve the public realm, keep reading after the break.
Impulso Urbano (Monterrey, NL)
Departamento de Arquitectura, ITESM Campus Monterrey Edmundo Palacios, Alejandro Arcos, Alberto Torres, and Ernesto Ramos
Impulso Urbano, an on-going social service program, uses a participatory approach to help families and communities improve their living conditions, cultivating a strong sense of belonging between these communities and the implemented changes. The program pursues holistic design solutions in housing and public spaces by identifying and understanding issues of accessibility, affordability, safety, and sustainability.
Atzompa pottery tradtion: challenges and opportunity (Oaxaca, Oaxaca)
Diego Mier y Teran, Kythzia Barrera, Luis Adrian Fernandez Ortega, Studio Xaquixe, Ruiz Family, Eric Mindling, and Agua Sobre la Cima
"Innovando la Tradición worked with one of the oldest pottery villages in Mexico, Santa Maria Atzompa, to recapture ancient designs as a method for restoring the commercial viability of the artisans." The project deals with cultural heritage, learning, and economic development all at once.
Participatory design and community construction of a microregional center for technological innovation (San Miguel Peras, Oaxaca)
Archintorno in collaboration with Taller Max Cetto UNAM and Centro di Ricerca e Documentazione sui Paesi in Via di Sviluppo Politecnico di Torino
Design students in Mexico City and Turin, Italy paired up with an NGO in Oaxaca to help a local cooperative build a center for technological innovation. The experimental center is a space to explore low-tech and low-cost innovative technologies, which will lead to a stronger local economy in the future. The built project was designed to incorporate local construction culture and improve thermal properties with local materials, resulting in the use of traditional tejamanil wood shingles and rammed earth walls.
A jam manufactory for NAXII (San Jeronimo Tecoatl, Oaxaca)
Studio CoCoon, TU Berlin, Organizacion de Mujeres Unidas Naxii, Centro de Apoyo al Movimiento Popular Oaxaqueno (CAMPO), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) Students, Ana Laura Felix
A local women's organization in San Jeronimo Tecoatl, the NAXXII Cooperative, was in need of a new place to gather and manufacture jam. This need was realized through an empowering design-build project, made primarily from clay bricks prepared by locals using excavated materials. The compound, which is split into two separate buildings, is sited on a steep slope. The upper building is used for the production and storage of jam, while the lower building is used for gathering and educating workers.
Artisanal processes as catalyzers for sustainable urbanism (Oaxaca, Oaxaca)
Studio Xaquixe, Centro de Investigacion y Desarrollo Tecnologico en Electroquimic (CIDETEQ), Universidad Vasconcelos de Oaxaca, Universidad Anahuac de Oaxaca
Studio Xaquixe's project focused on finding alternative means to generate heat for traditional economical endeavors such as pottery firing and mezcal distilling. Their more sustainable solution involves burning a variety of recycled and alternative fuels, such as used vegetable oil or methane. As this knowledge is shared amongst local artisans, less waste is produced, harmful emissions are decreased, and new jobs are created.
Shared community construction of just, democratic, and sustainable housing (San Antonio, Municipio de Cosoleacaque; Coacotla, Municipio de Cosoleacaque; and Zaragoza, Municipio de Minatitlán)
Cristina Almazán, Guillermo Rodríguez, Emilio Rodríguez, and Casa de Salud Popular in Minatitlán, Veracruz
In three different towns, a series of workshops was held by The Union of Settlers, Renters, and Housing Seekers of Veracruz - a group led by local indigenous women - to develop strategies as a collective for the design of just, democratic, and sustainable housing. The workshops paid special attention to gender perspectives, focusing primarily on how to finance proposed strategies and share building responsibilities as a community.