From the City to the Machine: CIRCUITO

From the City to the Machine suggests going from macro to micro, zooming the object from the city. Therefore we took the Circuito Interior (Bicentenario) as an example. This is a beltway surrounding Mexico City’s downtown area.

The inside of the Circuito is the city’s most dense area; it is a route of intersections, connections, routes and infrastructural flows. We checked its dynamics and physical as well as social conditions in order to approach it as an urban ecotone: a space rich in possibilities exploiting its lack of definition between two or more different sectors that overlap in it. One might think the urban ecotone offers possibilities of a better use since it is a transitional area with a border limit effect in which productive intersections are recognized. These intersections create a third space with great potential to create new scenarios.

We carried out three actions that worked as urban acupuncture, promoting a weave of social and physical constructions by owning the public space.


The first action, SE OCUPA, focused on the photographic record of underused and unused spaces as an example of the amount of spaces around the Circuito that could be occupied with new uses and programs. The result was the record of multiple spaces, each one referring to the possibility of being occupied or inhabited.

SE OCUPA detonated the action ME LATE TU LOTE as a temporary intervention of space with the ability to self-manage its appearances and disappearances. With this action we sought to show the possibility of an underused space becoming TEMPORARY PUBLIC PROPERTY.

The focus of this action helped us understand the interaction between individual and collective memory, written after mapable urban narratives. We discovered one of the main forces of rehabilitating urban spaces was intimately linked to the memory and to the collective imagination of the place.

The parameters to design the activities were the game, the immateriality and the fictitious. The object of this intervention was to let the community experience solutions and to express itself considering the ephemeral materializes into something permanent.

As a result and considering recycling gives new meanings to waste and abandoned objects, we implemented the construction of a BICIMACHINE that compacts and recycles trash to be reused as construction material, enriching the concept recycle-reuse-reduce with: reinterpret-rebuild-relocate.

Thus the development of this project exemplifies how architecture is also built from flows, relations, patterns and social dynamics.

Project: Rozana Montiel
Collaborators: Lucía Tinghi | Colectivo Chanti Ollin
Project Year: 2012