architect-lecturer-researcher

Natalia Solano-Meza is an associate professor teaching at the School of Architecture, the Master in Architecture, and the Master in Arts Programs of the University of Costa Rica.

RESEARCH: Her research explores the relationships between transnational architecture and global powers in postcolonial contexts.  She has written extensively about architectural education in the Global South, the Tropics, climatic adaptation, agricultural landscapes, imperialism and corporate architecture. Her works have been published in Argentina, Colombia, France, Mexico, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

ONGOING: The United Fruit Company Spaces in the Caribbean Region of Costa Rica between 1890 and 1930: Railroad Infrastructure, Agricultural Enclaves and Architectural Forms is an interdisciplinary project informed by notions of pollution, toxicity, and environmental degradation focused on the architecture produced by the United Fruit Company.

SERVICE ROLES: Natalia chairs the Teaching and Curriculum Review Committees at the School of Architecture of the University of Costa Rica. Her work includes strategic planning, reviewing course structure, hosting academic activities, and research in teaching methods for the design professions. Currently, the Committee is working on a complete transformation of the architecture course. Between 2019 to 2022, she was in charge of the Theories and Histories Section at the School. In 2021, she conducted and co-authored the creation of the Commemorative Chair Ofelia Sanou Alfaro, an effort to consolidate architectural histories as a field of study within the University of Costa Rica. She loves swimming, running, labrador retrievers (one in particular), coffee, avocados, and tortilla chips.


Forthcoming

“Contaminated forms: agricultural landscapes, infrastructure, and spatial configuration in Costa Rican banana spaces.” Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, (forthcoming).

“Railroads and banana enclaves in Costa Rica: corporate power and transnational architecture,” in Current Collective in Architectural History and Environment, (forthcoming).

“Arquitectura bananera, degradación ambiental, y violencia espacial en el Caribe costarricense.” in Lógicas de las violencias contemporáneas. Miradas interdisciplinarias, Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Costa Rica, (forthcoming).

RECENT ACTIONS

Ofelia Sanou Chair

Ofelia Sanou Commemorative Chair was created around the work of architect, historian and activist Ofelia Sanou Alfaro. Her contributions to architectural history, urban studies and built heritage constitute a starting point for our contemporary understanding of the built environment in Costa Rica.

PUBLICATIONS:
The ROUTLEDGE Companion to Architectural Education in the Global South
Pedagogic Practices at the University of Costa Rica, eds. Harriet Harriss, Ashraf M. Salama, & Ane Gonzalez Lara (2022). Cover image credits:
Mapping produced by
KoTA (Jana Cloete, Azraa Gabru, Sarah Harding, Jackson Chanje, Karabo Moumakwe, Thelma Ndebele, Gloria Pavita, Izak Potgieter), 2019.

ANALES IIE
Exhibir lo tropical: Imágenes en la VIII Bienal Internacional Estudiantil de Costa Rica. co-author Jose Picado García (2022)
CEAA Editions
Dramatic Architectures, Theatre and Performing Arts in Motion (2021)
ABE Journal
Aesthetics of Comfort: A Third Moment in Costa Rican Histories of Tropical Architecture (2020)
DEARQ
 Hopes and Failures of a Computer-School: The School of Architecture at the Universidad de Costa Rica 1971-1979 (2020)
BITACORA-UNAM
Narrativas del ambiente tropical y la consolidación de ciertos discursos disciplinares en la revista Habitar (Costa Rica, 1990-2012) (2019)
AREA-UBA
From Tropical Architecture to Teaching Methods. Notes on the role of Dr. Otto H. Koenigsberger in the development of the  Escuela de Arquitectura at the Universidad de Costa Rica (2018)
CHARRETTE-AAE
Against pedagogical colonization: The case of the School of Architecture at the University of Costa (2017)
FABRICATIONS-SAHANZ
Tropical Dissidence: The Creation of the School of Architecture of the University of Costa Rica at the Department of Development and Tropical Studies (2017)
LUNCH
The land of Abundance: Six possible points of convergence between territory and excess in San José Costa Rica (2014)
ACTIONS, TALKS, KEY LECTURES
MADC-2022
GRADUATION SEMINAR-2022
OPENING LECTURE-2021
CONVERSATIONS-2021
PODCAST
2020-
ARCHIVES AND ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE
2020-
CALLS TO ACTION
2020
OPEN LECTURES INITIATIVE
2020-
CITIES, FREE TRADE ZONES AND TRANSNATIONAL CORPS
OFELIA SANOU: AN INTRODUCTION TO HER WORK
OFELIA SANOU:XXTH CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
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