In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Radicalizing the Local: 60 Linear Miles of Transborder Conflict
  • Teddy Cruz (bio)

2008

estudio teddy cruz

medium: collage and vinyl wallpaper

The international border between the US and Mexico at the San Diego-Tijuana checkpoint is one of the most trafficked in the world. A 60-linear-mile cross-section—tangential to the border wall—between these two border cities compresses the most dramatic issues currently challenging our normative notions of architecture and urbanism.

This transborder “cut” begins 30 miles north of the border, on the periphery of San Diego, and ends 30 miles south of the border. We can find along this section’s trajectory a series of collisions, critical junctures, or conflicts between natural and artificial ecologies, top-down development and bottom-up organization. It is in the midst of many of these metropolitan and territorial sites of conflict where contemporary architectural practice needs to reposition itself.

  1. 1. Conflict between master-planned gated communities and the natural topography +30 miles / San Diego

    Top-down private development has been installing a selfish, oil-hungry sprawl of detached McMansions everywhere, forming massive subdivisions that collide with the natural topography.

  2. 2. Conflict between large infrastructure and the watershed +28 miles / San Diego

    Large freeway and mall infrastructure runs the length of coastal San Diego, colliding with a natural network of canyons, rivers, and creeks that descend toward the Pacific Ocean.

  3. 3. Conflict between privatization and everyday life +25 miles / San Diego

    The archipelago of beige tract homes also exacerbates a land use of exclusion, leading to an apartheid of everyday life, as gated communities retreat from the complexities of mixed uses.

  4. 4. Conflict between military bases and environmental zones +20 miles / San Diego

    Ironically, the only interruptions along an otherwise continuous sprawl, 30 miles inland from the border, occur as the military bases that dot San Diego’s suburbanization overlap with environmentally protected lands.

  5. 5. Conflict between the formal and informal +15 miles / San Diego

    The informal densities and economies produced by immigrants yield three-dimensional land use that collides with the one-dimensional zoning that defines suburban tract subdivisions. [End Page 107]

  6. 6. Conflict between two border cities 0 miles / San Diego-Tijuana

    This territorial conflict is currently dramatized by the hardening of the border wall that divides these cities, incrementally transforming San Diego into the world’s largest gated community.

  7. 7. Conflict between the natural and political +0.5 miles / Tijuana

    As the large infrastructure of the Tijuana River clashes with the border wall, a faint yellow line is inscribed on the dry river’s concrete channel to indicate the trajectory of the border. The border checkpoint is exactly at this intersection.

  8. 8. Conflict between the informal and natural ecologies-10 miles / Tijuana

    Adjacent to the checkpoint we can find many slums crashing against the border. The wall acts as a powerful dam, containing the density of Tijuana and preventing it from contaminating San Diego’s picturesque sprawl.

  9. 9. Conflict between factories and emergency housing-15 miles / Tijuana

    These American-style, mini-master-planned communities are intertwined with a series of informal communities or slums, and both provide maquiladora factory enclaves with cheap labor.

  10. 10. Conflict between density and sprawl-20 miles / Tijuana

    Thousands of miniaturized replicas of typical suburban Southern California McMansions are now scattered around the periphery of Tijuana. In recent years, dwellers have radically transformed them into socioeconomic microengines.

  11. 11. Conflict between two horizons-30 miles / Tijuana

    As we reach the sea on the Mexican side, we witness the most dramatic of all territorial collisions across this 60-mile-section of local conflict. Here, the border metal fence finally sinks into the Pacific Ocean. [End Page 108]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page c1]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 2]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 12]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 22]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 32]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 42]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 52]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page 62]


Click for larger view
View full resolution

[End Page...

pdf

Share