As part of the Mexibility project, in celebration of the Mexico-Germany Dual Year 2016-2017, the University Museum of Science and Art (MUCA) put on the “Consultoría de Diseño” (Public Design Support) exhibit, curated by Yameli Mera. The exhibit explores design as a communal and participatory process and features ‘Despliegues y Ensambles’ (Displays and Assemblages), a presentation by Pablo Landa, curator of the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
The exhibit gives preference to communities, instead of designers, as the primary actors in place-making. It works with the idea that the built environment, while determinant in many ways of a community’s condition, should follow a collaborative design processes in which a community has a distinct voice. Place-making must in the end be synergetic, inclusive and representative.
The exhibit features projects and spaces from the German Sudio Experimental Design, Jesko Fezer and Mexican students. “Consultoría de Diseño” is defined as a “a working hypothesis for design,” implying that design should be a continual process of questioning. They believe that “design is best done in cooperation with those directly affected,” to create alternative design processes.
The exhibit features projects like X Plataforma 06600, led by the community organization Plataforma 06600 which seeks to resist gentrification. Like many of the projects, it demonstrates the way in which the built environment can be a means to arrive at a social solutions.
The exhibit is divided into multiple spaces. Individuals can come together to co-create in an open studio, where proposals by Studio Experimental Design and a group of Mexican students are developed. In addition to the exhibit spaces that span two floors, it features a forum space that promotes debate and the exchange of ideas.
The exhibit understands design as first and foremost a political tool “to construct a common individual and collective space.” Ultimately, the exhibit goes beyond notions of “social responsibilty” in design to reorient the design process and put the act of place-making in the hands of communities, rather than designers or architects.
The exhibit is on display at Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte (MUCA) Roma located on Tonála 51 in the Colonia Roma.
The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.
Admission is free.