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Why Latin America, Why Now?



In Stubbins 111 @ 6:30
Why Latin America, Why Now?
Round table discussion on editorial and curatorial processes: Inside / Outside
with William Saunders (Harvard Design Magazine) and Florencia Rodriguez (Plot Magazine, Argentina)


Film Screening: El Pescador



In Piper @ 6:30
Film screening, El Pescador
Followed by a conversation with Sebastián Cordero (Director), Ramiro Almeida (Producer) and Felipe Correa.
Andes Initiative at DRCLAS + Latin GSD

Recap > Spring 2011


100% Analog – The future of paper

Through 100% Analog, we created two spaces to explore and question ideas regarding the communication in architecture and design. Especially, we focused in the book as central object of physical documentation and dissemination of content. Firstly, through a conversational space among experts with an extensive and close relationship with publications, Lars Müller (Switzerland), William Saunders (United States), Uriel Fogué (Spain) and Ana María Durán (Ecuador). Secondly, through an exhibit space at the Graduate School of Design to share independent publications from different groups of designers in Latin America. This second space was the result of the editorial project “the block”. During the development of the aforementioned editorial project we became curious about other independent initiatives.

The conversation among Müller, Sanders, Fogué and Durán was inedit. This combination of experiences and positions was extremely interesting; on the one hand, about the editorial responsibility, and on the other, about the value of the book in such a media-oriented and global context as a communication tool. Among the most relevant reflections were the function of the book in emerging markets, especially in the Latin American context; the constant (misunderstood) competition between printed and digital media, and the value of each ones of these for different purposes and experience in their use; finally, regarding the accessibility of books as a tool of communication in a context of limited resources and informality.

Müller insisted about “the digital is created to be forgotten; the analog to be remembered and referenced”. The premise for this statement is that “the book always implies a minimum level of quality, as well as a continuous and structured reflection of its content”. The work developed at Lars Müller Publishers constantly questions the quality of its own projects. Rigor and detail both in concept and content are aspects that Müller works very closely with his team.

From another standpoint, Saunders argued about the difference between digital and analog media; Firstly, in terms of the quality of the information provided and the assimilation process by the receptor; secondly, on how this information is organized, archived and eventually conveyed by the editor. Saunders works parallel medias directing the Harvard Design Magazine, and as the founder of the magazine is constantly questioning how this two means can complement and benefit from each other according to its different features.

Among the interest of Fogué, there is this idea of “constructing an object of desire”. His work at UHF, an independent publication in Spain, has been an excuse to address this perspective and evidence the act of reading as a mode of consumption. From a more social focus, Durán questioned the abundance of self-publication as tools for advertisement for designers, y and very little to contribute to an agenda to design as a practice or discipline. “The infrastructure of information that Latin America has the potential to create could be a very powerful tool to contribute to the intellectual development of the designers that are ‘making’ the city”, Durán emphasized. She also argued about the necessity to establish shared networks to exchange of information, and not solely to act as receptors.

For the exhibit, we call for submissions to compile editorial independent publications. Eight publications (including books and journals) responded to our call sending us a hardcopy of their work: PLOT, UR, Fragmentos de Arquitectura (Argentina), Mapeo (Uruguay), Archipiélago de Arquitectura, Equipaje de Mano (Colombia), UHF, Diagonal (España). Thanks to everyone!

One of the most remarkable conclusions of 100% Analog has been to understand that the function of the book has not been replaced or is endangered. Nevertheless, we will have to continue working in projects evidencing that books should not be reduced to market tools.


Archroulette: you can talk here

The last of the chapters of Borderless was an experiment to create a virtual space where architects and designers could talk about their work and thoughts about the discipline. Additionally, they could know about other’s work in distant geographies in order to foster new social networks in a radically open and democratic environment. Archroulette was launched at the GSD having Andrés Jaque (Spain) as in-site moderator, and Ariadna Cantis (Spain) and Edgar González (México/España) as remote guest facilitators.

Archroulette was an event where architects from every corner of Iberoamerica and the world willing to participate in the ‘game’ could be chosen by a random mechanism. They would have 5 minutes to participate in this conversation linked to the proposed topics through a interactive we platform, and where GSD Latino Collective members would act as respondents. The interventions could be followed live at the GSD, through the web at the GSD Latino blog and, facebook and twitter. Architects and others interested were invited to participate and create a simultaneous forum of discussion through voice or text.

Once the participants were online via skype, and they were on hold to be selected live randomly through another website available for online lotteries. The selected participants were contacted and established a conference call that included the audience online and the one at the GSD. As Jaque was conducting this dialog and process, Cantis and González asked questions and contributed to the active discussion during ‘the action’. Over an hour of the ‘game’ there was also a conversations among the organizers about the performance of this Archroulette 1.0 and the improvements and/or changes to make in further versions.

Archroulette was conceived as an open source action; the instructions and rules of the game are public and can be replicated in other geographies.


Less borders or borderless?

It makes us uneasy the fact that there is not a single word in Spanish to describe the absence of boundaries (or the borderless). We believe that design implies more collaboration, and therefore the development of networks and means of exchange will be critical. Likewise, it will fundamental to document all these processes and reflections as a means to contribute to the design culture.

And speaking about collaborations, we would like to extend our greatest gratitude to the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, especially to Marcela Ramos; to our Dean at the GSD Mohsen Mostafavi and Professor Michael Hays; to the Harvard Mexican Association of Students; thank you for your confidence, motivation, support and funding of these ideas. Your collaboration has been fundamental to the development of all these projects.


Archroulette v.01


Archroulette: list of participants (12pm GMT-6)


Alejandro Beautell /España

Alejandro García Gadea / México

Ángel (?), Alicante, España

Armando Oliver Suinaga / 247 cooperative / México

Benito Rodriguez /México

Camilo Restrepo / / Colombia

carmencha3 ?

Cristina del Pozo /Sunlight/ Madrid

Christopher Roach / California

Efe cuatro / Ecuador

Ethel Baraona/España

Federico Campos Rubio / Urbánika arquitectura / México

Francisco Cevallos Barragán/Hierro studio/Ecuador

Frida Escobedo / México

Gerardo Recoder / REC arquitectura / Mexico

Gisela Díaz / R+D archstudip, Panama /

Guille Hevia / ?

Israel Tinajero / Laboratorio Experimental /Mexico

Laura Janka / sehablainglés / México

Margarita Flores / México

Marta /

Martin Huberman / Normal /argentina

Pablo Perez Ramos / España

Paisaje Transversal /España

Pancho Ladrón de Guevara /Chile

Paola Aguirre /México

Pedro Gadanho / Portugal

Pilar Pinchart /España

Rafael Cubillo /  España

Vicky Larrazabal / Argentina

Victor M. Sanz / sanz-serif / sehablainglés /España

ARCHROULETTE! [you can talk here]


Archroulette is an experiment to create a virtual space for architects and designers to communicate their work/thoughts about design and know about other designer’s practices in order to build new social networks in the most radically open and democratic environment. Archroulette#1 will have its launch in an event at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, hosted and organized by the gsdLATINO and co-sponsored by The European Design Circle.

Archroulette is an event where architects from all over Ibero-America, and the world, are randomly given a 5 minutes slot to talk and respond to other architects present at the Harvard Graduate School of Design via a web-based interactive platform. The Q&A will be screened and orchestrated live as a performance by an event-leader.

Once people enter into the platform, some of the potential speakers will be selected through a lottery in a random manner. The participants chosen by the algorithm enter in a live event that will take place in a specific time and date and webcasted globally. A selected counterpart for the video-chat will set the questions (perhaps respond to some answers) of the session during the performance. After one hour of roulette play, a discussion about the event will take place. 

Architects are openly invited to participate and start a discussion through different social networks at the same time the performance is happening. 


Archroulette es un experimento para crear un espacio virtual en el que los arquitectos expongan su trabajo y pensamientos sobre la disciplina y entren en contacto con otras prácticas distantes en geografía, de manera que se puedan generar nuevas redes sociales en un ambiente radicalmente abierto y democrático. Archroulette tendrá su lanzamiento en un evento en la Harvard Graduate School of Design, organizado por el gsdLatino y co-esponsorizado por el European Design Circle.

Archroulette será un evento en el que arquitectos de cualquier rincón de Iberoamérica, y el mundo, podrán ser elegidos aleatoriamente para disponer de 5 minutos en los que entrarán en una conversación, ligada a ciertos temas propuestos, con la contraparte presente en la Harvard Graduate School of Design vía una plataforma web interactiva. La sesión/performance será orquestrada en directo por un lider-moderador.

Una vez que los interesados entren a la plataforma, los potenciales participantes serán elegidos aleatoriamente en directo mediante una lotería realizada a lo largo del evento, uno tras otro. Los seleccionados entrarán virtualmente a la sala de discusión, con el moderador y el público en directo allí presentes, y todo lo que allí ocurra será emitido globalmente vía webcast. Invitados especiales en el video-chat harán preguntas y llevarán la discusión durante la acción. Tras una hora de juego, habrá una discusión acerca de lo que se ha podido ver.

Arquitectos y cualquier persona interesada están invitados a participar y crear un foro de discusión simultáneo vía diversas redes sociales.

1. Poder establecer una conversación en inglés
2. Estar preparado para hablar de 5 minutos alrededor de alguno de los siguientes temas: nuevas prácticas / nuevos formatos
3. Disponer de cámara web, micrófono y conexión de banda ancha.
4. Disponer de una cuenta en Skype y la última versión del software instalada (Skype 5.30). [mac:] [windows:]
5. Añadir como contacto skype a ‘archroulette’, incluyendo en el mensaje de “solicitud de autorización”:
a. nombre del arquitecto, estudio, colectivo, práctica, etc.
b. país desde donde practica
c. e-mail de contacto
6. Estar conectado al skype a partir de las 19.30 horas (GMT -6)


1. Being able of establishing a dialogue in English
2. Be ready to talk for 5 minutes about or around any of the following topics: new practices / new formats
3. Have a web-cam, microphone and broadband internet access.
4. Have a Skype account and the latest version of the software installes (Skype 5.30). [mac:] [windows:]
5. Add ‘archroulette’ as a contact in Skype, including in the message of request:
a. name of the architect, office, collective, practice..etc
b. country from where you will be calling
c. contact e-mail
6. Be online and connected to Skype from 7.30pm (GMT -6) on.

Reglas del juego:

1. Para participar, simplemente hay que añadir a ‘archroulette’ como contacto en Skype. Se admitirán solicitudes a partir del lunes 18 de abril y hasta el jueves 21 a las 12.00 pm (GMT -6).
2. Una vez cerrada la convocatoria, se asignará un número a cada uno de los contactos, correlativo al orden alfabético resultante en la lista. La lista final de potenciales participantes será publicada 30 minutos antes de la performance (19.00 GMT-6) en facebook (usuario Arch Roulette), twitter (@archroulette) y el blog del gsdLatino (
3. A las 19.30 horas GMT-6, Archroulette y los participantes se conectarán a Skype. Los participantes no deberán llamar en ningún caso a Archroulette, sino esperar su turno, si es que resultan elegidos…
4. Se procederá inmediatamente a sorteará el primer participante y Archroulette le llamará.
5. Se establecerá una conversación con el facilitador de Archroulette en el GSD.
6. Una vez acabada la conversación, se sorteará un nuevo participante, y así sucesivamente durante una hora.
7. Simultáneamente, los contactos en espera podrán participar y comentar la acción vía twitter (hashtag #archroulette) o en el muro del facebook de Arch Roulette.
*Archroulette no garantiza la participación en el evento en directo. Las llamadas serán asignadas por medio de un sorteo..

Rules of the game: 

1. To participate, simply add ‘archroulette’ as a contact in Skype. Requests for becoming a contact will be accepted from Monday April 18 to Thursday April 21 at 12pm GMT-6).
2. Once the call for participants is closed, a number will be assigned to each contact, correlatively to the alphabetical order of the contact list in Skype. The definitive list of potential speakers will be published 30 minutes before the performance (7pm GMT-6) in facebook (user: Arch Roulette), twitter (@archroulette), and the gsdLatino blog (
3. At 7pm GMT-6, Archroulette and the participants must log on to Skype. Participants must not call Archroulette in any case, but wait until their turn comes, if it comes…
4. The lottery for chosing the first participant will take place inmediately and Archroulette will call the contact.
5. A conversation with the Archroulette event-leader, and the live audience at the GSD will take place.
6. Once the conversation is over, after 5 minutes, the lottery system will chose the next participant, and so on and so forth for an hour.
7. Simultaneously, the contacts that are waiting are encouraged to participate and comment the performance via twitter (hashtag #archroulette) or posting comments on the Arch Roulette’s facebook wall.
*Archroulette does not guarantee the participation in the live event. The speakers will be chosen through a lotttery.

gsdLatino, sponsor and co-organizer
European Design Circle, sponsor and co-organizer
Andrés Jaque, guest event leader
Ariadna Cantis, guest event presenter and respondent
Edgar González, media sponsor and press

Upcoming — 100% Analog



100% Analog
What is unique about communicating design?
Latin America has shown to be also a context where borders between disciplines, nations and language seem to have been over passed by the new architectural and design practices and modes of communication.
Borderless is a 3-series event to address the emerging and more established means of communication that Latin America is using, reusing and introducing to create, curate and talk about design: digital, analog, performance.
Is this second session we will be addressing the role of the editor, the index of a more and more multidimensional society, the democratization of media, and the use of media to create design and collaborative practices from the perspective of publishers.  How relevant is the curatorial space for design in Latin America, especially within a context where access and exposure to a global network has so far been limited?


Müller was born in Oslo in 1955, and although a Norwegian citizen, has been based in Switzerland since 1963. After an apprenticeship as a graphic designer and some years as a peripatetic student in the United States and Holland, Lars Müller returned to Switzerland in 1982 and established his studio in Baden. Since 1996, he has been a partner of “Integral Concept,” an interdisciplinary design group active in Paris, Milan, Zürich, Berlin, and Montreal. Müller started publishing books on typography, design, art, photography, and architecture in 1983 and, as Lars Müller Publishers, has produced some 300 titles to date. Recently, he has branched out into visually oriented books on social issues, such as human rights and ecology.

He is a passionate educator and has taught at various universities in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe. Since 2009 he has been a guest lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Lars Müller is a member of AGI Alliance Graphique Internationale.


Founding editor of Harvard Design Magazine (HDM) at the Harvard GSD. He is author of Modern Architecture: Photographs by Ezra Stoller and editor of several books including Urban Design (with Alex Krieger); Nature, Landscape, and Building for Sustainability; The New Architectural Paradigm; Judging Architectural Value; Urban Planning Today; Sprawl and Suburbia; and Commodificaciton and Spectable in Architecture, as well as articles on Rem Koolhaas writing judgment of architecture, Christopher Alexander’s writing, and poetry of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Saunders is currently preprating the next issue of HDM which will be on Latin America.


Architect from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETSAM. Since 2004 runs a platform of architectonic operations that integrates 4 main fields: (1) Teaching. Architectural Projects Design in several universities in Spain since. (2) Research. Co-founder of the group (Inter)section of Philosophy and Architecture. Uriel completed two MPhil degrees from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, and UNED University. (3) Comunication. Co-founder of the collective UHF – Association for contemporary investigation and co-editor of the publication UHF since 1998. (4) Practice. Co-director of elii architecture office – currently develops several architecture and urban works and researches. His awards include the 2005 FAD prize -opinión-, and in 2006  the Distinction of the Official College of Architects.

Web links:



mexican fiesta for the aztec gods


The Power of Platforms


On March 8th, David Basulto and David Assael, co-founders of Plataforma Networks visited us at the GSD to talk about (of course!) digital platforms, as the first of our 3-series events this spring, BORDERLESS.

With a refreshing and casual style of delivery, both Davids shared with us the story that has brought them to be the most visited website about architecture in the world. Their success has been such that are currently competing with well-known and established journals and magazines, such as Dome (Italy) and Architectural Record (US), just to mention some of them.

The initial challenge to which Plataforma Networks responded was about giving young architects the opportunity to publish their work outside of the “traditional circles of power of architecture”.  Their first project was Plataforma de Arquitectura, a website in Spanish language.  The success and rapid growth in number of visitors was such, that Plataforma Networks moved to the global scenario launching their second website ArchDaily.

Both Davids argue that architecture is not a given profession, and they are offering a way in which architects can build their own way to find jobs, learn from other’s experiences and look for opportunities. “This was our way of inventing ourselves a job. To solve problems that waiting for clients […] To understand that we could build a career in another way, and to share this perspective with other architects” emphasizes David B.

Yet other questions remain to be (better) answered, and this was an aspect pointed by Azamat Abdymomunov, our guest respondent. For instance “now that you have all this power and influence, what is your social or professional commitment? It is still the same? Has changed from the initial ideas that created Plataforma/ArcDaily? How do you redefine it?”  Since Azamat’s agenda is questioning the difficulty of incluencing communities (academic, social, etc) as well as the engagement of different

Plataforma Networks has found in communicating architecture a way to reconcile commercial and conceptual practices. Plataforma argues that today is not about either or. Today, different interests in design and architecture can coexist together, share platforms, learn and benefit from each other. They are offering an alternative way of communicating, and at the end of the day what we are interested in exploring through BORDELESS are alternatives or counter-proposals of doing things.


Latino-LUNCHBOX Lectures is bringing to you:
Iñaqui Echeverría:
Parque Ecológico Lago de Texcoco
Tuesday, 12:30
Piper Steps
with the kind company and amenity of  Tacos Estela Calzada (bring your napkins!)