Past Event

The Ideal City: Radical Functionalism in Mexico

December 9, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027 802

Mexico provides a complex and nuanced understanding of the functionalist architecture and planning developed in Mexico during the 1930s. Radical thinkers showed how architecture could stand at the precipice of Mexico's impending modernization and respond to its impending changes. The panel examines their engagement and negotiation with foreign influences, issues of gender and class, and the separation between art and architecture. Functionalist practices are presented as contradictory and experimental, as challenging the role of architecture in the transformation of society, and as intimately linked to art and local culture in the development of new urban forms of architecture for Mexico.



  • Alfonso Valenzuela Aguilera is Professor of Urban Planning at the State University of Morelos, and the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning at the University of Toronto and the Edmundo O'Gorman Fellow at Columbia University. He is the author of Urbanistas y visionarios: La planeación de la Ciudad de México en la primera mitad del siglo XX (2015) The Financialization of Latin American Real Estate Markets: New Frontiers (2022).
  • Luis E. Carranza is Professor of Architecture at Roger Williams University and Adjunct Associate Professor at the GSAPP at Columbia University. His publications include Architecture as Revolution: Episodes in the History of Modern Mexico (2010), Modern Architecture in Latin America: Art, Technology, Utopia (with Fernando Lara, 2015), and Experiments in (Radical) Functionalism (2020).

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