Emerging Voices Winner Profile

Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura won a 2018 award.

Founded in 2015, Mexico City-based Comunal provides design services to underserved communities.

Representative projects include:

  • Social Housing Production, a multistage participatory design initiative exploring the potential to reduce overcrowding and use natural building materials in a rural area
  • Childbirth Houses, a design for midwife workspaces informed by extensive dialog with an indigenous Chiapas community
  • Territory and Inhabitant, a research and design project leading to the development of a house that could be built in semi-rural Yucatan for less than $10,000.

Comunal partner Mariana Ordóñez Grajales, one of the firm’s founders (along with civil engineer Abraham Aragón Vásquez), earned a bachelor’s degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán and a master’s at the Universidad del Medio Ambiente. She teaches at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), where she is also earning a second master’s.

Jesica Amescua Carrera became a partner in 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UIA, then completed a master’s at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, where she’s currently working on a PhD. She formerly worked at Gaeta Springall Architects, where she helped curate the Mexican pavilion of the 14th Venice Biennale.  She also teaches at UIA.

Learn more on the firm’s website.