Current Work | Centering Community: PILARES

Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 6 - 8pm

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Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura, Cristóbal Pliego, Adriana Rodríguez, Margherita Vegro | PILARES Presidentes de México, Mexico City, Mexico, 2022. Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto

Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura, Cristóbal Pliego, Adriana Rodríguez, Margherita Vegro | PILARES Presidentes de México, Mexico City, Mexico, 2022. Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto

This event will be conducted through Zoom. You may register in advance here.  

Mexico City’s PILARES (Puntos de Innovación, Libertad, Arte, Educación y Saberes, or Points of Innovation, Freedom, Art, Education, and Knowledge) projects are a series of over 250 (built and in-progress) public community centers. Located predominantly in low-income neighborhoods, these centers provide spaces for a wide range of free programs, including arts, sports, education, and professional development.

In 2020, the mayor’s office commissioned 25 notable design firms and partnerships to create architecturally ambitious PILARES centers. This Current Work program will feature presentations covering nine of these projects.

The presentations will be introduced by Carlos Zedillo Velasco. Zedillo Velasco, whose career has been dedicated to promoting collaborative design processes, served as the architectural coordinator of the PILARES initiative, working as a consultant to the Mexico City government. He previously directed the Research Center for Sustainable Development at Mexico’s National Housing Fund for Workers (often referred to by its acronym in Spanish, INFONAVIT). With his brother Rodrigo Zedillo Velasco, he founded Pienza Sostenible, a nonprofit organization that explores contemporary Mexican conditions in relation to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Zedillo Velasco holds an MArch and a bachelor’s degree in art and architecture, both from the Yale School of Architecture. He currently practices architecture and planning in Mexico City.

The presentations will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with Mexico City-born journalist and researcher Suleman Anaya. Anaya’s work—often dealing with historic and contemporary Mexican architecture and design—has appeared in TApertureThe Architectural ReviewPIN-UPVanity Fair, and Apartamento. Anaya currently splits his time between Queens, New York, and Coyoacán, Mexico.

Projects to be discussed include:

  • PILARES Valentín Gómez Farías

  • PILARES Flor de Azucena

  • PILARES Guardería IMSS

  • PILARES Brigada Alfonso

  • PILARES Presidentes de México

  • PILARES Tierra Unida

  • PILARES Lomas de Plateros

  • PILARES Zapote

  • PILARES Lomas de Becerra

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The event is co-sponsored by The Architectural League of New York

This program is free and open to all. Advance registration is required. All registered participants will be sent a link to participate through Zoom.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.