Form and Pedagogy

The Design of the University City in Latin America

Carlos Garciavelez Alfaro



Form+Pedagogy is an atlas that documents the spatial legacy of the principal Latin American university-cities built in the past 60 years. 


9.5 x 12.5" Landscape
Trade Cloth
Publication date: 
Rights world: 

Essays by Silvia Arango Cardinal, Felipe Correa, Cristián Berríos, Farès el - Dahdah, Silvia Her­nandez de Lasala, Franco Marigliano, Beti Martins, Rahul Mehrotra, Louise Noelle, Peter G. Rowe, and Enrique Vivoni–Farage


Of the twentieth-century large-scale design interventions inscribed into the Latin American city, the university campus is the most salient symbol of progress. The academy became an epicenter of twentieth-century architectural and urban experimentation and a unique urban development within major Latin American cities. The project examines the design and legacy of the principal Latin American campuses built in the past 60 years. Furthermore, the project traces the continental and transcontinental design influences that shaped these grounds, and map their spatial evolution. Finally, it explores the relevance of the autonomous university campus as an urban development pole in the city.

The massive urban expansion that occurred in major Latin American cities in the postwar era created a widespread impetus for new learning environments. Several Latin American nations that viewed education as an emblem of progress and civility established university-cities. This trend drew influential architects and planners, creating synergies between schools of architecture and planning, national and international design practitioners, and visual artists. Among the exemplars of this synergy is the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where a master plan by Mario Pani and Enrique del Moral, UNAM School of Architecture professors, was complemented by architectural contributions by midcentury Mexican Modernists, and works from world-renowned Mexican artists. Similar synergies are seen in the Universidad de Puerto Rico, with Henry Klumb heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, and in Carlos Raúl Villanueva's Ciudad Universitaria in Caracas. The Latin American campus became a unique architectural laboratory, generating a design dialogue across national borders and continents. While some of these campuses have been studied as national projects, and others have not been profiled at all, an examination of them as a continental enterprise has yet to be proposed.

The publication, by singling out the architectural value of each campus and pairing it with texts from influential Latin American Architectural historians raises a unique awareness about the state of these grounds in order to equalize the conservation policies for each of these institutions, which today are unbalanced from campus to campus, and in some instances, from building to building within a single university.

About the author: 

Carlos Garciavelez Alfaro is a Mexican designer, architect and urbanist. His research and design work departs from a trans-scalar approach to design that spans from fashion and interior furnishings to urban landscapes and open territories. Before establishing his own design practice, Carlos worked for diverse design studios including Gabellini Shepard Associates in New York City and the Alexander McQueen fashion house in London. He holds a BFA and a B.ARCH from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MAUD with distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Carlos is a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, teaches in the Urban Design Core Studio. Carlos has expanded his thesis research Concrete Matters: Beyond Stillbirth Infrastructure and last Spring Co-taught a studio at Harvard with Felipe Correa titled: Between Geometry and Geography: Mexico City. In 2012, he received the Druker Traveling Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design for his project: “Form and Pedagogy: An Atlas of the Twentieth Century University City in Latin America” that explores the historical evolution of these campuses across Latin America and the diverse design synergies that tie them together.

Silvia Arango Cardinal, Bogota, Colombia. Architect of the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. Diploma in Urban Design from Oxford Polytechnic, England and a PhD in Urban Planning from the Universite de Paris XII, France. Research focus is on the history of Latin American architecture. Professor of the Master of History and Theory of Architecture, Art and the city PhD, Faculty of Arts, National University of Colombia.

Felipe Correa, New York, NY. Felipe Correa is a New York based Architect and Urbanist. He is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Design Degree Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. At Harvard he also directs the South America Project. Correa is also the co-founder of Somatic Collaborative, a research based design practice, which focuses on a trans-scalar approach to architecture and urbanism, and engages a wide host of urban scenarios and design strategies.

Cristián Berríos, Concepcion, Chile. Architect from the Universidad de Bio Bio, Concepcion Chile, Full time Professor in Architecture of the UBB. Principal at Cristian Berrios Architect. PHD from ETSAB-UPC, Spain Research interest in Architecture and Urban space, expert in Emilo Duhart and the University of Concepcion.

Farès el - Dahdah, Huston, Texas. Professor of Architecture and Director of the Humanities Research Center at Rice University. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, ‘86; BArch ‘87) and at Harvard University’s Graduate Design School (MAUD ‘89; DDes ‘92). At Rice, el-Dahdah teaches on the history of architecture and urbanism. Since 2001, el-Dahdah’s research has focused primarily on Brazilian modern architecture and, more recently, on the spatial and social evolution of Rio de Janeiro published in periodicals and many books of his own authorship.

Silvia Her­nandez de Lasala, Caracas, Venezuela. Architect, Doctor in the History of Architecture. Has been principal at Lasala & Lasala architects for fifteen years. Professor of History of Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Has lectured all over the world on Modern Architecture and is part of DOCOMOMO and has been published in numerous periodicals as well as books of her own authorship.

 Franco Marigliano, Tucuman, Argentina. Doctor in Architecture from the School of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain (2004), Specialist Cooperation for Development of Human Settlements in the Third World, School of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain (1998), Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, National University of Tucumán, Argentina (1995-2014). He has taught courses, lectures and seminars as a visiting professor at Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain), Alfonso X El Sabio University in Madrid (Spain), Northeastern University (Argentina), among others.

 Beti Martins, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Director of the Center for Research and Documentation of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. / PhD in Géographie Sociale Et D' étude Urbaines.  Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS , Paris , France 2002. / Specialization in Dea Études Urbains . Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS , Paris , France 1993.  /  Masters in Agricultural Engineering. Federal University of Viçosa , UFV , Lush , Brazil. 1986.

Rahul Mehrotra, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rahul Mehrotra is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is a practicing architect, urban designer, and educator. Principal of RMA Architects, in Mumbai and has designed and executed an incredible array of projects. He studied at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (CEPT), and graduated with a master’s degree with distinction in Urban Design from the GSD. He has taught at the University of Michigan (2003–2007) and at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT (2007–2010). Mehrotra has written and lectured extensively on issues to do with architecture, conservation, and urban planning all over the world.  His current research involves looking at India’s medium size cities and the broader emergent patterns of urbanism in India. Mehrotra’s ongoing research is focused on evolving a theoretical framework for designing in conditions of informal growth – what he refers to as the ‘Kinetic City’. He has run several studios looking at various aspects of planning questions in the city of Mumbai, under the rubric of “Extreme Urbanism” (see video).

Louise Noelle, Mexico City, Mexico. Born in Mexico City, studied History of Art at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City (B.A. 1969), and M.A. at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, 1976-88; is presently working on her doctoral thesis. Editor of Arquitectura/México, 1976-80. Researcher of the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas of the UNAM since 1982, involved in many aspects of architectural criticism, being a co-founder and Director of the Comité International des Critiques d´Architecture (CICA). Honorary Academician of the Sociedad de Arquitectos Mexicanos, 1988, Member of the Academia de Artes, 1991, and of the ICOMOS Mexicano, 1993, and founding Member of DOCOMOMO-México, 2003. Has given courses and lectures at Universities, in Mexico and abroad, and she is contributor to numerous architectural journals.

 Peter G. Rowe, New York, NY. Rowe served as Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard from 1992 to 2004, and was Chairman of the Urban Planning and Design Department from 1988 until 1992, and Director of the Urban Design Programs from 1985 until 1990. Prior to Harvard, Rowe served as the Director of the School of Architecture at Rice University from 1981 to 1985, through the Rice Center, where he was Vice President from 1978 onwards, and at the Southwest Center for Urban Research. He has served as a principal investigator on projects sponsored by a wide range of U.S. government agencies, and has served as an advisor to a number of cities on matters of urban design and planning He was also a board member of several prominent cultural and academic institutions, like the Center for Canadian Architecture and the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics, as well as on the board of several companies involved in low-cost housing provision and the use of environmentally sustainable technologies. 

Enrique Vivoni–Farage. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bachelor in Environmental Design. Universidad de Puerto Rico
, Masters in Architecture. Universidad de Puerto Rico
, Masters in Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Architecture University of Pennsylvania. Professional Practice, Estudio de Arquitectura, Partner, San Juan P.R.
 Director AACUPR, San Juan, P.R.
, Professor, School of Architecture, Universidad de Puerto Rico.