La Dimensión mínima de pieza habitable será de 2.70 centímetros y su altura será cuando menos de dos metros treinta centímetros.

Publicada en el Periódico Oficial No. 16, de Fecha 10 de Junio de 1976, Tomo LXXXIII
Sección Ira.

2.70 x 2.70

In architecture, there exists an ontological difference in the interpretation of graphics. We can “read” them in dialectical terms as drawings or as diagrams of conceptual relationships and meanings, which constitutes them. 2.70 x 2.70* proposes to reverse this set of conditions from a spatial geometry to a space of memory. Gaston Bachelard explains that the house is experienced in its reality as well as in its virtuality, by means of memory and dreams. For each individual the house is a voyage of experiential history and desires. We amass our experiences in spaces and take them with us as we move along from place to place. The house is not only lived physically, but also in our imagination. Since childhood, our house is where we learn to daydream. Our house is our universe.

Space is social and political; it has always been embedded with an idyllic desire. Drawing has been the mechanism that drives the text and geometry constructs the allegory. Any spatial practice, geographic or ethnographic, constructs our meaning of social life .When geometry becomes the diagram of our lived experiences, we live our drawings. It is this dualism in the production of space, our house/home, drawing/diagram, that constitutes our reality as architects.

2.70 x 2.70 is more than a description or dimension of space, it asks the viewer to suspend observation and read into the quadrangle his/her individual memories of home, of the corners, cracks, odors and other objects that now inhabit his/her memory and intimacy. If what we see is in this work is a house, an exercise in spatial efficiency and economy, does it have the adequate space for imagination and memory, our simply to just daydream. If each room of our house is a space of experience, as horizontal vessel of memory or a vertical assurance of shelter a” roof over our heads”, perhaps these four walls represses and neglect our intimacy and instead of producing memory they threaten our ability to dwell into our personal universe.

R. Peralta

* 2.7x2.7 is a multimedia installation by Monica Arreola based on the minimum dimensions (by Tijuana building code) for rooms in residences built by developers. Sometimes only one room meets the size regulation performimg different functions such as kitchen, living room, dining room, etc. The installation will be presented in Monterrey in November 2005.


If in San Diego Temporary Paradise exits, in Tijuana we have Paradise Express!
como me decidí escribir sobre otro tema para una revista gringa que me pidió un texto sobre Tijuana - y en Tijuana todo se recicla -este queda para el blog.

Drag and Drop Urbanism

In the last twenty years the east side of Tijuana has grown beyond its critical mass, housing conditions have moved from being self built favelas to a phenomena of overnight density – drag and drop suburbs are becoming the normative housing strategy for the working class. If a certain hybridism represented the informal self-built shacks, these mono-logical constructions include seriality, production-line planning and non-place iconography, as part of their pedigree.
Stockholm, Lisbon, Madrid, London in addition to literary masters such as Velarde, Cervantes, Dante, Sartre, Victor Hugo, title most streets of gated sectors, names that are supposed to stimulate a sense of cultural awakening. The community must then imagine that their planners, these avatars of sprawl, perceive culture as a bourgeois European vacation or a mere psychological fairy-tale voyage, becoming a non-attainable construction element that is valued engineered and with a short spreadsheet life.

A vast accumulation of housing units left behind to develop into a city by their own willpower. What is fascinating is the determination of the population to appropriate urbanism and model it through their own idiosyncrasies.
As in other previous histories of the city, illicit acts of urbanism are still the fundamental modus operandi to transgress enforced homogeneity of design guidelines, which pretend to establish a general image of a simulated townscape. It is here where the majority of Tijuana’s maestros are employed to assist the transformational process. Waiting in public spaces for drive-by employers that solicit their services according to their skills and expertise, posted in the maestro’s cars, which not only function as transportation, but also as storage, workshop, and advertising billboard. In Tijuana, the box has endured all rhetorical debates and owing to the ability of operational performance the Tijuananense achieves with this ecology, it has empowered residents of Villa Fontana to reconfigure it and multiply it, with imagination and craft.
A constant condition of the unit housing box is its transformative capacity, inside and out, from a strict residential code to an assortment of “illegal” programs. The base is not only a physical datum, but also a hardware that acts as a platform allowing programmatic architectures to operate. They are plugged in with necessary installations to re configure their use; water store, mini market, internet café, tarot reader, and countless other uses that cater to basic needs as well as to sustainability, hopes and desires. The new spaces and functions of the generic box allows primarily, to maintain a family structure allowing members to share their home (initially most of the houses built have two small bedrooms) and secondly to incorporate an alternative source of income by the way of a commercial venture.
It is here where technology performs as second infrastructure, a personal urbanism, allowing a network of activities such as communication, entertainment and job search and various functions. Cell phones, computers, satellite antennas, all gadgets, purchased in mercados sobreruedas, markets on wheels, that in themselves are ubiquitous plug and play devices within the city, who’s function is to transform some undifferentiated set of circumstances to a condition nearer human desires (Banham).
Like in any other developer project, gates and metal bars are part of a collective sense of security. Bars work as a macro economy that enables distinct areas of homes to organize into enclaves, and at a micro scale in the house themselves securing windows doors and some times trees from thieves and vandals. The permeability of the bars permits light and ventilation, and allows a view or dyslexic gaze through the ornamental bars. Landscape of the community is made of serifs and other motifs that configure a baroque pattern on the design of the bars, in some cases becoming the only “organic” topology in the field of view.

Tijuana - From the free formed to the automated, the urban to the post urban.