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 colonial/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.
“Contaminated forms: agricultural landscapes, infrastructure, and spatial configuration in Costa Rican banana spaces.” Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative.
“Railroads and banana enclaves in Costa Rica: corporate power and transnational architecture,” in Current Collective in Architectural History and Environment.
“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.
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.
KEY ACTIONS, TALKS, LECTURES
CATEDRA OFELIA SANOU-2023
CITIES, FREE TRADE ZONES AND TRANSNATIONAL CORPS
OFELIA SANOU: AN INTRODUCTION TO HER WORK
OFELIA SANOU:XXTH CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
The ROUTLEDGE Companion to Architectural Education in the Global South
DIGITAL AND NON-DIGITAL INITIATIVES:
ARCHIVES AND ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE
CALLS TO ACTION
OPEN LECTURES INITIATIVE
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