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Self-Determination through Design on Display at MUCA Roma

The exhibit reorients the design process and puts the act of place-making in the hands of communities, rather than designers or architects

Collaborative Design on display at MUCA Roma, photo: Courtesy of MUCA Roma
1 year ago

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.

Open Forum

Open Forum in Public Design Support at MUCA Roma. Photo: The News/Andrea Penman-Lomeli

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.

"Consultoría de Diseño" showcased at MUCA Roma

“Consultoría de Diseño” showcased at MUCA Roma. Photo: Courtesy of MUCA Roma

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.

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