Studiohuerta, Borderlands (Mixed digital media), 2018.
Studiohuerta, Borderlands (Mixed digital media), 2018.

Borders, in their designation as elements of protection, can devolve into infrastructures of political insecurity, ecological foreclosure, and cultural estrangement. Their conception as safeguards can lead to mobilization as architectural weaponry, exacerbating conflict and precluding their potential as seams of productive bilateral collaboration. Yet despite their physical opposition, unique socioeconomic and cultural ecosystems often flourish along the margins of border cities, cultivated by the overlap of generations who select from both sides.

Borderlands imagines transnational boundaries as fluctuating swaths of cultural, economic, and ecological exchange. By conceiving borders as space rather than element, an array of shared infrastructures, programs and amenities can create international vestibules rather than barriers.

Along the border of Calexico, California and Mexicali, Mexico, a spatial band reaches beyond both sides of the international boundary. The thickened borderline provides flexibility for needs and structures to evolve, carving out a liminal space where equity and resources are interchanged. Centers for energy production, water treatment, specialized skills training, university satellite campuses, international refugee aid, and parklands are created and managed between United States and Mexican institutions and businesses, concentrating national capital for mutual conservation and development. More so than in most places, borders illuminate the exigencies of complex interdependence, throwing into stark relief the importance of common resources and questions of global citizenship.


Studiohuerta is a design and research firm led by Gabriel Huerta. Located in Brooklyn, New York and San Diego, California, the firm unites professionals from a diverse array of cultural and educational backgrounds. Studiohuerta has completed projects in the US and Mexico, including the Center for Postgraduate Studies in Mexicali, Mexico.