• Welcome to Beautiful Juarez

    Welcome to Beautiful Juarez
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    sP: Describe your project.

    erin CUEVAS & john FARRACE: The project operates on the assumption of a new government policy, where Juarez has been allocated money to reconstruct the economy and infrastructure within the city. The drug cartels, with their strong presence in Juarez, inevitably contribute to this development, generating spaces for their use. Both the government and cartels support the rebuilding of shanty towns, to provide better living conditions for poor communities. The new developments in Juarez directly affect the city’s neighborhoods themselves, but also indirectly affect America—in terms of shifting perceptions of the city, and of Mexico in general.

    The formal design approach explores different ways of generating large spatial moves that are both easy to make, but also big enough to alter the fabric of the city. The ground is manipulated using inexpensive and readily available means of machinery and explosives—ones that are already in abundance due to border construction and violence in the city.

    Throughout the development of the project, we explored the many cultural and social implications of generating a project in unknown territory. In the end, the produced imagery exploits the irony and danger of attempting an architectural solution to Mexican drug cartels (or any other issues) in general.

    What or who influenced this project?:
    eC & jF: Greg Vaughan Studio, drug cartels,

    What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?:
    eC & jF: Reading/Watching: newspapers, Google search results, Machete, Fast & Furious; Listening: Tycho, Arcade Fire, M83, Project Pat, Yelawolf, Mariachi music.

    Whose work is currently on your radar?:
    eC & jF: Lebbeus Woods, Mark Gage.

    Additional credits and links:
    Thanks to Mario Cipresso.


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    • Ignacio Rosales Says:

      Admitting that drug cartels will contribute to the development of your project is shameful, even if it is just hypothetical. Promoting the idea that architecture is funded by drug cartels is insulting to architecture itself.

    • Janicki Says:

      The situation of the drug cartels in these border climates will continue to thrive until government(s) change their policies towards said substances, and until that time, the control of the cartels will continue to exist. It would be shameful if this project ignored this condition, since it dominates the cultural fabric of the region.

      The reason we have hypothetical architecture is so we can move forward and reinvent the practice, even if it seems deviant or misguided…this is what opens people’s minds to new ideas.