Sanz Serif, a makeshift nickname earned as a result of my typographic likes, is the umbrella under which I present the diverse facets of my work: academic research on architecture and urbanism, design speculations, graphic design, curatorial and editorial work, and writings developed individually or collaborately, in institutional settings or independently.

Current focus: Workscapes.


On Site [Publication]

I have been published two short articles in the new issue of the Canadian archizine On Site , edited by Stephanie White and focused on this ocassion on "Rural Urbanism".

"Resex: the entropic landscape of the Amazon basin" is the result of a research done in GSD during the seminar "Resource Extraction Urbanism". The text unveils the potential of an innovative kind of conservation of natural resources, based on conserving not just the land, but the way it has been traditionally exploited by its inhabitants in a sustainable way. Furthermore, the text reveals the complex system of land use and management on these reserves.

"Batawa, the model town" is an impressionistic narrative of my visit to the Bata company town in Canada, my first trip for the Druker Traveling Fellowship and the Networked Utopia project.


Extreme Urbanism. Book presentation in Mumbai [Book]

picture by Chris Buccino

Rahul Mehrotra presented last week the book Extreme Urbanism: Reimagining Mumbai's Back Bay as the closing of the conference "Planning in Mumbai" held in the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai on February 15, 2012. In a full auditorium and with the presence of some of Mumbai's most influential people such as Mr Ratan Tata, Rahul Mehrotra presented the objectives and structure of the book. 

 Picture by Óscar Malaspina

Extreme Urbanism: Reimagining Mumbai's Back Bay is published with the support of the Loeb Fellowship Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as a result of the work carried out in the Studio Option course entitled in the same way. This studio took place in Spring 2011 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with professor Rahul Mehrotra as the instructor. 

The book was edited by Rahul Mehrotra and me, being myself also its designer.




Hack Day 196925m @TelmexHub, Mexico City

The Hubbers Hack Day 195,925 in TelmexHub, Mexico City, has as an objective the development of a web and/o mobile application for IOS and Android where the pictures from the project 196,925 meters can be visualized. 70 hackers will work for 24 hours in the development of that application.
Laura Janka and María Luz Bravo have made an incredible work in organizing this, with the big support of TelmexHub.
El  Hubbers Hack Day 196,925 en TelmexHub tiene como finalidad realizar una aplicación web y/o móvil para IOS y Android donde se puedan visualizar las fotografías del proyecto 196,925 metros. 70 hackers trabajaran durante 24 horas en el desarrollo de la aplicación.

Laura Janka y María Luz Bravo han hecho un trabajo enorme para organizar todo esto, con el necesario e inestimable apoyo de TelmexHub.

Pre-Texts: Art as interpretation


On september 28 and October 5 I was invited by Doris Sommer (Ira Jewell Williams, Jr., Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University) to participate as guest artist and facilitiator in a Pre-text workshop in her course "Pre-text: art as interpretation" at the Harvard College.

Pre-texts "develops avid and creative readers by using classic literature as an excuse for making art. It is a flexible approach to teaching that integrates three areas of development: literacy, arts, and civic values. The program trains teachers and artists to collaborate as facilitators for student creations based on challenging texts."

"The approach of Pre-Texts is quite simple but has profound results: It turns the conventional order of learning upside-down. Instead of beginning with vocabulary and grammar, which can bore students and risk their dropping out, we begin with a creative challenge: Transform this text into your own work of art (painting, choreography, photo shoot, play, music, etc.) Students stay engaged and master the elements of reading in order to produce an original interpretation, which requires higher order thinking."

In my case, I was asked to prepare two sessions on using cartography and spatial thinking as the means to engage and take ownership of a difficult text. The text that Prof. Sommer chose was "La Muerte y la Brújula" (The Death and the Compass) by Jorge Luis Borges. By the work on some exercises that involved reading and drawing maps to understand the spatiality and geometry embedded in the short story, students were able to  deconstruct and appropiate the text in a very advanced way, and wrote their own fictional pieces which emulate the structure and complex language used by Borges. 

Later in the semester, and as final assigment, all the students collaborated in making a movie based on this short story. The film is a piece of evidence of the impact of the photography, music, and choreography workshops that took place in the course, but I felt specially moved to see that the cartography and space workshop I conducted was the one which inspired the movie so much.

[Update May 2012: My collaboration with Pre-text continues, and I am now part of a team working on the design of a Pre-text space in the Somerville Public Library ]




The Argentine architecture magazine PLOT has published a short article by Paola Aguirre, Francisco Izquierdo, Ángel Rodríguez, Laura Janka and myself, signed under the collective umbrella of GSD Latino. The article is featured in a section devoted to editorial practices in Architecture, and it narrates the framework and conclusions of the event 100% Analog, organized by GSD Latino and that took place last spring in the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Through 100% Analog, we created two spaces to explore and question ideas regarding the communication in architecture and design. Especially, we focused in the book as central object of physical documentation and dissemination of content. Firstly, through a conversational space among experts with an extensive and close relationship with publications, Lars Müller (Switzerland), William Saunders (United States), Uriel Fogué (Spain) and Ana María Durán (Ecuador). Secondly, through an exhibit space at the Graduate School of Design to share independent publications from different groups of designers in Latin America.

Thanks to Florencia Rodríguez for this!

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