During this 11-week summer program, students are introduced to the variety and complexity of Mexican architecture and urban design from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. The program consists of extensive field trips to the major architectural centers of Mexico, during which the students produce more than 100 drawings that investigate the structures of Mexican urban space as well as the forms, elements, and light that contribute to the unique character of Mexican architecture.
In collaboration with Mexico City architects and universities, students investigate local, regional, and international tectonic strategies through a five-week design studio that occurs in the Luis Barragán Studio Annex and Garden. The Barragán studio is located directly across the street from the Casa Barragán and situated in a residential neighborhood near the historic center of Mexico City. The restoration of the studio was made possible through a donation from the School of Architecture in 1996, and reflects the school’s commitment to the program, now firmly established as the only long-term presence of any United States school of architecture in Mexico City.
An essential part of the studio experience includes visits to the offices of noted Mexican architects such as Humberto Ricalde, Javier Sanchez and Fernando Vasconcelos. In addition all students live with Mexican families and immerse themselves in the daily rhythms of life in a megacity, further intensifying their cultural experience.