Letters to the Mayor
As a civic figure, the architect has
the privilege and responsibility to articulate and translate the collective
aspirations of society, and specifically of those not able to sit at the
Throughout history, architects have engaged with this responsibility and the
structures of economic, political and cultural power in different ways and with
varying degrees of success. With the rise of globalization and the
homogenization of the contemporary city, the role of the architect in the
political arena has often been relegated to answering questions that others
have asked. While designing the next economically driven
cultural-iconic-touristic object, an increasing amount of both architects and
with them, politicians, have forgotten the ethics that should be associated
with architectural practice and the potential of design in the construction of
An itinerant exhibition in the form of letters written by architects to their mayors, Letters to the Mayor brings innovative ideas and visions of the city closer to the decision-makers, and vice versa.
Letters to the Mayor started in New York City in 2014 initiated by Storefront for Art and Architecture with a collection of letters from a series of international architects writing to their respective Mayors. Subsequent iterations, organized in partnership with local institutions and groups, bring relevant local and international voices onto the desks of elected officials and into the public consciousness focusing around particular cities as a way to explore specific territories. Previous and upcoming editions include: Panama City (Panama,) Mariupol (Ukraine,) Bogotá (Colombia,) Taipei (Taiwan,) Buenos Aires (Argentina,) Athens (Greece,) Lisbon (Portugal).
Storefront for Art and Architecture
Design to power
Letters to the Mayor comes to Monoambiente after a very politicized year in Argentina. The 2015 elections have drawn a new political map for the country, and for the province and city of Buenos Aires.
Acting as a catalyst, Monoambiente has discovered in this collaboration with Storefront for Art and Architecture the possibility of fracturing the classic relationship between architecture and politics by reversing the logic of the relationship between the one who proposes and the one who executes.
Through this exchange, we attempt to empower the discipline of architecture by enabling architects to take part in the first moment of the discussion rather than act as constructors of what has been decided previously.
We believe in architecture and design as tools of transformation and we attempt to bring them to the cultural –and, in this case, political—scene of our city and of our region.
Letter to the Mayor is our first political commitment along these lines.
Experimental Architecture & Design Space
Exhibition #14 is the first exhibition of Monoambiente’s programming 2016, entitled: Collaboratory. Collaboratory is a year-round program that focuses on the joint work between Monoambiente and three international institutions:Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York, USA), LIGA Espacio para Arquitectura DF, (Mexico DF, Mexico), and The Canadian Centre for Architecture, (Montreal, Canada) with the objective of generating new networks, views and theories about contemporary and experimental architecture from North to South America.
Monoambiente has been granted the support of Mecenazgo Buenos Aires & Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for the execution of Collaboratory. The annual project has been declared of cultural interest by the City of Buenos Aires.
Photographies by Manuel Ciarlotti Bidinost
Exhibition #14 Letters to the Mayor
Curated with Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York, USA)
Director and chief curator: Arq. Martín Huberman
Producer 2015: Lucía Seijo
Producer 2016: Arq. Inés Molinari
Main Sponsor: SODIMAC HOMECENTER
Sponsors and collaborators: El Espartano, Normal™, Monte 153CE-flyers and booklets: Twentyfive™