Thirteen undergraduate and graduate SCI-Arc students from a vertical studio directed by SCI-Arc Vice-Director and Chief Academic Officer, John Enright, closed the month of January with a trip to Mexico City. The Los Angeles contingent met 13 students from Ibero-American University, and SCI-Arc Mexico Coordinator Francisco Pardo at the SCI-Arc space in the centrally-located Juarez neighborhood of Mexico’s capital city. The rapidly changing neighborhood now hosts a growing number of artists, galleries, and restaurants, and the students have been challenged to find a social housing solution within guidelines set by INFONAVIT, the National Workers Housing Fund Institute of Mexico.
INFONAVIT provides housing subsidies across Mexico, and has overseen millions of housing projects in various regions. Enright’s vertical studio explores ways to bring INFONAVIT’s housing solutions into the city by designing his or her own city block, leveraging existing INFONAVIT housing units; equating to 26 newly designed city blocks. To maintain the urban fabric, the “Levitating Urban House” projects must add to existing buildings, both above and between. And while this phase of project work is conducted independently, the immediate proximity of each project will introduce unique group dynamics among students. Enright, Pardo, and Juan Rincon, SCI-Arc Colombia coordinator, juried discovery sessions with students.