Video shot by Troy Gueno and edited by Matt Goetz of Lucid Creative Agency.
Lecture by architect Nathan Friedman as part of the MAS Context 2018 Spring Talks in Chicago. The lecture took place on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Society of Architectural Historians.
En-Medio is a research project and publication series produced by Departamento del Distrito in collaboration with illustrator Arina Shabanova. The project highlights the delicate status of Modernist architectural heritage in Mexico City with the evolving stories of six mid-century masterworks. Case studies include the Casa Ortega, Súper Servicio Lomas, Museo Experimental El Eco, Casa Cueva, Restaurante Los Manantiales, and Torre Insignia. These buildings, and architecture of the twentieth-century at large in Mexico, fall outside the jurisdiction of federal preservation law. Modernism arrived to Mexico at a pivotal moment when the country was becoming an industrialized nation, literally building itself in the image of an independent, consolidated country for an international audience. This heritage is now at risk. Architecture of the Modern Movement—conceived of locally as a means to establish a national identity that was separate from a colonial era past—is currently at the mercy of private political and economic interests.
Through conversations with those who have lived and worked in the project case studies, activists who have fought for their preservation, and historians who speak to their contemporary relevance, En-Medio drops into architectural narratives of Mexico City, long underway, to ask what possible futures lie ahead.
Thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians for hosting the event.
Nathan Friedman is a Lecturer in Architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and cofounder with Francisco Quiñones of Departamento del Distrito, a new design-research practice based in Mexico City. His work linking architectural theory and geography has been published in MAS Context and Scapegoat, and was recently featured in a solo exhibition at the LA WUHO gallery with support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Friedman is a former editor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Thresholds, and has previously worked for Eisenman Architects, SMAQ Berlin, and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam. He holds an MS from the Department of History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art at MIT and a B.Arch. from Cornell University.