Architecture is sensitive to social change, particularly when that change is in the foundational norms and myths upon which our society is constructed. Perhaps most notably, historic and ongoing shifts in ideas of the family and of its importance as a basic social unit can be read through many scales of architecture, from the house to the city. An Extended Family live online lecture series presents historic case studies and moments of key changes in ideas of the family, in relation to emerging types and understandings of families that influence and are expressed in architecture today.
Often coinhabiting the same space as the families they work for, domestic workers provide much of the reproductive labor—cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and care of the elderly, the children, or the sick—with extended and ambiguously demarcated schedules and responsibilities. Caretaking involves a certain degree of bonding and even affection that is impossible to monetize and is often carried out by women who, in turn, need to transfer the care duties of their own children and elderly or sick family members to someone else. This labor shift is usually taken by another woman in the nuclear or extended family in a process called the global care chain. Through a series of case studies on Mexico City from the 1950s until today, this talk analyzes how domestic space is configured around orbits of exclusion that shape the trajectories of domestic workers and how that space is articulated according to specific gendered, classist, and racist configurations of the social.
Frida Escobedo is an architect and designer based in Mexico. Her work focuses for the most part on the reactivation of urban spaces often considered residual or forgotten through projects from housing and community centres to hotels, galleries, and public art installations. She has taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
The event is free and open to the public. To register, click here.
It will also be streamed on the CCA YouTube channel and on Facebook.
This series is part of the CCA’s one-year investigation Catching Up with Life.
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