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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!)

BORDERLESS: Design and Digital Platforms



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.

The role of the editor, the index of a more and more multidimensional society, the democratization of media, the use of media to create design and collaborative practices. 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?

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.

Guest Speakers


David Assael is an architect,  and holds a Master degree  in Urban Planning at Catholic University of Chile.  He is Professor at the School of Architecture of that same university.  He has oriented his studies, work and teaching to activities related to the design of urban projects, as well as the study and spreading of urban and territorial projects and problems.

Founding partner and general manager of Plataforma Networks, company whose main objective is to influence the improvement of the quality of life inside the cities, as well as the quality of national and international architecture through the spreading, discussion and generation of urban and architectural projects by integrating 2.0 web tools.

David Basulto is an architect graduated from PUC (Chile) in 2007. He is co-founder of Plataforma Networks, and permanent editor of Plataforma Urbana and Plataforma de Arquitectura. He has participated in many private projects and those related to methodologies for education.

Currently, he works on potentiating the web as a means of discussion and information in both in Plataforma Urbana and Plataforma Arquitectura.

Among the main projects of Plataforma Networks are, and The latter is the most visited architecture website of the world.


Azamat Abdymomunov has over 12 years of experience in public policy, strategy, negotiation, education and political mobilization. Extensive experience in human capital development, strategic organizational design and complex policy issues. Blog: KnowledgeMap

Rafael Marañon-Abreu has 9 years of experience in web design. Rafael, research at MIT includes system thinking and the management of seasonal labor migration flows. Early in his career, he served at the United Nations Headquarters in the Financing for Development Office, and also at the Spanish Consulate in Moscow. In addition to pursuing an S.M. in Engineering-and-Management from MIT’s System Design and Management Program, Rafael was also working as a teaching assistant for the system dynamics group at MIT Sloan School of Management.

For more information visit:


Co-sponsored by



Arts @ The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University

The Block: An itinerant archive project


The block is an ongoing editorial collaborative project. The block is the analog version of this blog for documenting the work of the gsdLATINO collective.

Last fall, with the help of Lars Müller, we developed the concept and prototype for an object that could be:

Interactive: That invites the user to engage with the content of the booklets. This is the discovery part of the block. Consecutive: To establish a flexible and growing structure that allows this archive to increase over time. Voyante: With a size and form that could be practical to travel (and cheap of course!). The idea of collaboration about the content is not limited to the GSD community. The block should be able to travel and to feed from other Latin American experiences.

Individual volumes or booklets compose the block, which are color coded informing the nature of their content: talk, exhibit, social event, feedback (interview), and student work. The booklets are foldable and displayable. These could remain within the box as an archive, but also have the possibility to perform and become an exhibition by itself.

Because the components of the block (box and booklets) should have the possibility to be produced “in house”, the selected materials are generic, accessible and cheap (pine wood and Bristol paper). The booklets have a small size (6”x6”), and currently their content is only paper. Nevertheless, future booklets these could include  other physical devices that feature sounds, videos, textures or any other interactive elements.

Some of these ideas have evolved after the first prototype, but we are planning to share this project with the GSD community in an exhibit very soon. Stay tuned.

Live webcast: Pedro Reyes at GSD


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9, at 8pm on and

(and live somewhere at Harvard GSD)

Trained as an architect, the Mexico City–based artist Pedro Reyes is interested in the relation between architectural structures and their users. The emergence of transcendental individual and collective experience is always present in his work. He perceives buildings as skeletons in which we live and interact, as in the ideas of the Spanish philosophers Santa Teresa de Avila and San Juan de la Cruz, who addressed the notion of the house as the body and its inhabitant as the soul.

Reyes’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Harvard University, Cambridge; Galeria Massimo de Carlo, Milan; and Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Mexico City. His work has been included in the group shows PR’04, Parentesis en la ciudad, Puerto Rico (2004); The Structure of Survival at the 2003 Venice Biennale; and To Be Political It Has to Look Nice, apexart, New York (2004)



MACRONDO: a Mix from the South