Natalia Solano-Meza is an associate professor in the University of Costa Rica. Natalia holds a Ph.D. in Theory and History of Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Porto.
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, tropical architecture, the narratives of climatic adaptation, agricultural landscapes and corporate architecture. Her works have been published in scholarly journals and books such as AREA (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina), Bitácora and Anales de Investigaciones Estéticas (UNAM, México), DEARQ (University of Los Andes, Colombia), Fabrications (Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand), ABE Journal, and Centro de Estudios Arnaldo Araújo (ESAP, Portugal)
ONGOING: She is currently leading an interdisciplinary research project funded by the University of Costa Rica, The United Fruit Company Spaces in the Caribbean Region of Costa Rica between 1890 and 1930: Railroad Infrastructure, Agricultural Enclaves and Architectural Forms. The project examines the architectural spaces produced by the activities of the United Fruit Company in the Costa Rican Caribbean, and develops a theoretical and methodological framework informed by decolonial thought, toxicity, pollution, and environmental degradation.
ROLES: Natalia coordinates the Academic Commission and the Curriculum Review Committee at the School of Architecture of the University of Costa Rica. Her work includes making course reviews, strategic planning, task organization, convening and hosting academic activities, networking on an international level and researching teaching methods.. 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 field of study within the University of Costa Rica. She teaches at School of Architecture, the Master in Architecture and the Master in Arts Programs. She loves swimming, running, labrador retrievers, coffee, avocados, and tortilla chips.
“Contaminated forms: agricultural landscapes, infrastructure, and spatial configuration in Costa Rican banana spaces.” Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, (forthcoming).
“Exhibir lo tropical: Imágenes en la VIII Bienal Internacional Estudiantil de Costa Rica,” Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas de la UNAM, (forthcoming). link to journal
“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)
“Persistent practices at the School of Architecture of the University of Costa Rica: progress, site analysis and histories.” in The Routledge Companion to Architectural Pedagogies of the Global South (forthcoming)