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Month: December 2020

Night Stroll

My daughter Angela and I went on a night stroll in our neighborhood, Colonia Hipodromo. It’s a middle-class community next to the racetrack (now the Cholos soccer stadium) and near to the border. Even with the pandemic, most shops on the main drag are open and with lots of people. When I was very young I would visit this street to eat tacos with my father after a day at the races, the taco stand is still there since 1970. The small stand was the only commercial place in what was a residential street. As in many of the neighborhoods in Tijuana, the commercial zoning was not part of the planning. As time went by some houses became restaurants and shops others were demolished to build pharmacies and markets. Today there is a push for high-rise apartment buildings in the area however the community is against them. I have started using the Sony RX100 VII a great pocket size camera with 4k Video. 

Visits: 744

Drive by TJ

After five months at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, I returned to Tijuana to spend the holiday with the family. I like to drive around the city, see changes, and what is going up regarding residential towers. I suspect that many projects have slowed their construction schedule, while others could not begin due to the Covid19 crisis.

However, as I drive around, I can see new towers in the same “hot” zones near the city’s economic center and close to the US/MX port of entry. If you drive through the streets of Tijuana, you will see that the city has not slowed down. Vehicular traffic and pedestrians seem to be operating at pre-pandemic levels. Many restaurants and cafes are open for business, and especially the street food stalls seem to have not seized to operate during 2020.

With this reluctance of the population to stay home, as of December 2020, Tijuana has reported 2300 deaths due to Covid19 while San Diego county only reporting 1400. San Diego county surpasses Tijuana by 1 million residents and has an urban footprint almost three times large.  

Visits: 599

Prototyping the slow house

I have been giving it a thought to buy a 3d printer for my small office. The ideal situation would be to have the printer produce small components that we can use to build model houses based on a designed brick. Our work with  Fundacion Esperanza has relied on their 30-year system using a non-mortar self-locking block to build Tijuana houses.

The organization uses these types of blocks because the houses are built with volunteer non-skilled hands. This technique allows building a house with the local community’s combined participation and volunteers from across the United States and other parts of the world.

The blocks are produced in a block-machine operated by the families and supervised by the foundation’s technical staff. Later the blocks are transported to the construction site where the volunteers snap them together, and walls are completed when every other open cell is poured with concrete.

The 3d printed pieces can also be a didactical device to show the families and volunteers the building process. I am interested in two low-priced machines, one a filament printer ([Open Filament] da Vinci Jr Pro Wireless 3D) and the other that uses resin (EPAX E6 6″ Mono LCD Resin 3D Printer). We need to upgrade the construction process with new technology and materials that allow for a better structural and envrinmetal strategy.

Visits: 644

Locals Design the Border

What a Locally Designed Border Might Look Like

Local entrepreneurs, government officials, architects, artists and land use experts have floated many ideas over the past several decades that envision a very different border than the one we have – one that embraces the idea that the border is one community and one natural environment.

 I want to thank Maya Srikrishnan for this great piece on future visions of the border and for allowing me to contribute 3 ideas we are working on. One is the Solar River presented at UC San Diego’s Border Innovation Challenge that received the audience choice award.

Great intro with Larry Herzog
click here
Visits: 300