Border Architecture

Territories, Commons, and Breathing-Spaces

Authored by: George F. Flaherty

The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138917569
eBook ISBN: 9781315688947
Adobe ISBN:


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How might the analysis of borders and their built environments proceed if we analyze these spaces not only as territories but as commons? This essay focuses on a cluster of test cases of commons urbanism in the spaces between Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego (United States). Since the mid 1990s, architect-scholar Teddy Cruz and colleagues at his San Diego-based firm, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman, have researched informal settlements in the “waste” spaces produced by industrialization, the inefficiencies and unsustainability of sprawl and obsolescence, and the increasing militarization of the international boundary by both countries. Cruz highlights the local but also transnational flows of construction materials, building techniques, and urban policy that are increasingly relevant given global climate change.

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