2009-2010. Teddy Cruz. TRÁFICO (theoretical data)

Teddy Cruz with
Brian Jaramillo
Stella Robitaille
Claire Shafer
Megan Willis
and Felipe Zuniga: invited artist


Our research work and urban practice in the border between TJ and SD has focused on researching notions of economic and social sustainability at an urban neighborhood scale, suggesting the creation of new architectural spaces for educational, cultural and social operations, which, at the same time shall amplify the informal economies and policies produced by immigrants from South America in a city of North America.

This process has motivated the design and production of new triangulations between physical alternative cultural programs, institutions and communities. Our work in social housing in San Diego, for example, has focused on creating critical relationships between small infrastructures, communitarian NGO’s, social activists, and, public and private institutions and artists, able to mobilize the flux of cultural, social and economic production that emerges from marginalized neighborhoods in the contemporary city.


For MADRID ABIERTO we would like to extend this research and transfer it to Madrid’s context. Proposing a double project, 2 scaffoldings:

1- Physical scaffolding
Formal/physical component: small infrastructure for use, scaffolding convertible into new “habitable façade” for Casa de America.

2- Socio-Cultural scaffolding
Social component: a system of programs and social interactions able to mobilize, from this infrastructure, the flux of ideas and cultural production between the economic and cultural centre of Madrid (the manifestation of which would be emblematic urban space of Cibeles) and the immigrant neighborhoods in the outskirts of the city.



Invited artista
Young Artists
New Programs
New Collaborations
Cultural production



We propose a new façade for the Casa de America. This new temporal ‘face’ for the centre is conceived as a habitable façade which can be ‘activated’ through the interaction of diverse social and cultural programs. The façade is made of generic industrial scaffolding, which is covered (lined) by approximately 2,500 traffic cones (generic/orange). The scaffolding and the plastic cones fulfill two basic functions: 1. visually activate the Cibeles square and 2. produce useful spaces ‘hidden’ behind the skin of cones, between the scaffolding and the neoclassical façade of the building.

Felipe Zuñiga (artist).

We propose to activate this façade mainly with the presence of a Mexican artist invited by us, becoming a ‘cultural attaché’ of our project. In some way we can describe this project as a ‘artist in residence’ inside Madrid Abierto’s program (a program inside a program), transforming our intervention in Casa de America in a platform designed for cultural traffic which eases and promotes a young artist from Tijuana to produce an artistic project through a series of social interactions with a specific outlying district of Madrid. We would design the conceptual criterion behind this series of socio-cultural interactions, which would be given to the Mexican artist as parameters for his work. The economic foundation needed to support this ‘program inside the program’ would be part of our intervention, for we would have to research and produce auxiliary economic budgets thanks to cultural institutions of Spain and Mexico.

Felipe Zuñiga is a young artist from Mexico City, who now works and lives in the border city of Tijuana. Felipe would move to Madrid during the exhibition to live and work in the scaffolding. Therefore it is necessary for the scaffolding to contain a small cubicle to accommodate Felipe, as well as spaces to support a variety of activities and long term programs.


The idea is that Felipe should receive from us a ‘work program’ to create triangulations through the community agencies and already existent programs, new cultural activities and different characters, social agents of the community he finally chooses. Some of these activities include the creation of educational programs and urban information, tours between Cibeles and the Neighborhood, a project regarding typical Mexican food, etc. The characters involved in the story can include children, community activists, social workers, etc. The basic tool to start this interface is a document created by the city of Madrid: “Observatory of Migrations and Intercultural Coexistence of the City of Madrid: Resources for the Treatment of Madrid’s Foreign Population”.

An essential desire of this project is to create a trace of institutional collaboration once Madrid Abierto 2010 has ended.