Project Type: Research based, propositional Project
Date: 2020-
Status: Ongoing
Location: El Paso, TX, US and Ciudad Juarez, CH, MX

Cambridge Design Research Studio, University of Cambridge

This project researches the impacts of climate migration and climate adaptation on our urbanising borders, investigating this through the twin cities of El Paso and Juarez at the US-Mexico border. It seeks to reframe the role of migrant communities in the construction of frontier urban spaces, to question the role of the architect in this contested social, political and economic context, and trial hybrid ways of intervening spatially at the border.

It builds upon the belief that climate migrants should be seen as regerative urban agents and architectural innovators, and the skills they bring with them on their jouney along with their attempts at hacking and transforming the border should be paid close attention to by architects, and built upon. It follows 6 months of research on site across Central America and the US-Mexico border.

The project explores ways to dignify illegal residency at the inbetween for migrant communities.  It proposes a bottom-up scheme of retrofitting derelict industrial spaces across both sides of the border using hybrid techniques that merge rural and indigenous ways of building and contemporary ways of using earthen materials as climate mitigators. 

The project was awarded the Morgan Sindall Prize and nominated for RIBA President’s Silver Medal. 

→ To discover more about the research behind the project, see the thesis by clicking here
→ This project is part of a larger enquiry on borderlands. Click here to discover more.
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