November 19, 2018 - Yale School of Architecture - Two Sides of the Border
e-flux Architecture
November 19, 2018
November 19, 2018

Yale School of Architecture

A view across the border from El Paso towards Ciudad Juarez. Image: Iwan Baan, 2018.

Two Sides of the Border
November 29, 2018–February 9, 2019

Lecture by Iwan Baan: January 24, 6:30pm

Yale School of Architecture
180 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511

What if we stopped dividing the United States and Mexico into two separate nations, and instead studied their shared histories, cultures, and economies and acknowledged them as pieces of a single region? During the spring 2018 semester, Tatiana Bilbao organized an academic initiative called Two Sides of the Border: Redefining the Region. The Yale School of Architecture Gallery will exhibit the works of 13 architecture studios across the US and Mexico that participated in the initiative, examining regional issues across the two countries. The current political climate exaggerates differences across the border, and at a moment when migration is at the forefront of political discourse and NAFTA is being renegotiated as the USMCA, the exhibition investigates the urgency of shifting the narrative. To redefine and reimagine the border region as an integrated whole is a critical project for architectural, political, and cultural institutions today.

Two Sides of the Border is an exhibition in the form of an atlas, a book that selectively draws space and defines borders in order to produce a preferred image. The new atlas presents three perspectives: projective, objective, and subjective. The projective atlas displays work from the 13 studios' examinations which took on interdisciplinary approaches to study and propose projects dealing with cross border issues: migration, farming labor in Ohio and Kansas, and remittance houses in Mexico to name a few. The objective atlas shows new maps by Thomas Paturet, capitalizing on the assumption that maps have the capacity to dissolve North American borders by emphasizing other geospatial relationships. These are displayed alongside historic maps presenting 400 years of shifting borders in the region, destabilizing the collective imagination of the border. The subjective atlas is a photo essay by the photographer Iwan Baan who traveled to each of the studio sites to capture their changing landscapes and architecture’s role in these regional relationships.

Two Sides of the Border aims to redefine the region and simultaneously is a collaborative project that redefines North American pedagogy. The academic initiative fluidly spans language, borders, institutions and nationalities—all based on the shared interest in developing a comprehensive and unified imagination of the region.

The exhibition is organized by the Mexico City-based architect and educator Tatiana Bilbao and is designed and curated by NILE, the design office of Nile Greenberg.


Two Sides of the Border is generously supported by Sasha C. Bass and sponsored by Maharam. The Yale School of Architecture’s exhibition program is supported in part by the James Wilder Green Dean's Resource Fund, the Kibel Foundation Fund, the Nitkin Family Dean's Discretionary Fund in Architecture, the Pickard Chilton Dean's Resource Fund, the Paul Rudolph Publication Fund, the Robert A.M. Stern Fund, the Rutherford Trowbridge Memorial Fund, the Fred Koetter Exhibitions Fund, and the School of Architecture Exhibitions Fund.

Contact: [​at​]

Yale School of Architecture
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