Everydayness in Latin American Architecture

Wrriten by: Redacción Sordo Madaleno | January 7, 2020

You can read this article in: Español | English | 中國

In a space for reflection in our architecture studio, we examine what the concept of everyday life represents in each of our projects. Within this reflection and architectural introspection, the question arose between the meanings of “Routine” and “Monotony.” On the one hand, “routine” is seen as something that repeats itself daily, yet has a purpose. On the other, “monotony” suggests a routine that lacks conviction or is aimless. We concluded that everydayness arises in between these two poles…

We should also understand that there are scales and scenarios—whether multiple or individual—within the everydayness that architecture invokes. These are different realities that coexist each day, in both natural and designed spaces, both inside and outside.

Applying these realities to the context of cities in Latin America—which share strong similarities in social, urban, political and ideological terms—we draw attention to the fact that in Mexico there is a lack of spatial justice enabling people to live everyday life to the full. We are aware that today, the majority of the human population lives in cities, and the contemporary trend is to live in compact cities. Against this backdrop, the “right to the city” refers to granting spatial justice, with the condition of always allowing access.

Some years ago, Latin American society lived in security, and social life took place in the streets, city squares and parks. There was a continual, casual interaction among trees, stores, and fountains. All of these are timeless and universal values that today’s society seeks, but that few spaces offer.

For example, shopping centers function as public spaces, as they fulfill the role of city parks: a safe place where people can gather and take part in shared activities.

In our desire to make a positive contribution to increasing public spaces in Mexico City, we use a documentary video and a descriptive atlas to demonstrate our design ideology (recorded at one of our most successful mixed-use projects) that promotes spaces and extensions for the city and the pedestrian, and not for the automobile.

Here, users and their everydayness, over and above the architecture itself, take the leading role in the project, and we believe that through this kind of architectural approach we can contribute to the sustainable urban trend for compact cities.

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