Color photograph of a man wearing glasses and a dark blazer smiling slightly at the camera

César A. Lopez

Arnold W. Brunner/Frances Barker Tracy/Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize
February 5–July 5, 2024
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico
Project title
Citizenry Actions
Project description

When disentangled from national legal status, citizenry can be most authentically understood as participation in a community where the built environment can play a significant role in determining inclusion or exclusion dynamics in civic life. As borders continue to filter populations worldwide, how can architecture frame life beyond the political determinism of citizenship and legal status? Citizenry Actions is a design research project that will draw parallels between the early expansion of the Roman Empire and the evolution of the Mexico–United States border to explore how each constructed a national identity and body. While in Rome, I will learn from these historical similarities to investigate how borders form collateral subjects beyond political boundaries and how those practices continue today. The intent is to uncover new contemporary devices that redistribute power and redirect the notion of citizenship from legal status to an emerging conscience.