Cesar A. Lopez
firstname.lastname@example.org / 505-277-2903
- M.Arch, California College of the Arts, Architecture Division
- B.S. Architecture, Texas Tech University, College of Architecture, El Paso
- Typologies shaped by the U.S.-Mexico Border
- Politics of Representation
- Territory and Infrastructure
César A. Lopez is a first-generation Mexican-American architectural designer, researcher, and educator. He draws from his life in the Mexico-United States Border Region as critical knowledge to explore the entanglements between architecture, territory, and the politics that dictate them.
As an educator, César is a first-generation college graduate and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of New Mexico, School of Architecture + Planning (UNM SA+P). He teaches core and research-based design studios, visualization courses, and seminars on the politics of representation. In 2023, received the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) / American Institue of Architectural Students (AIAS) New Faculty Teaching Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
As a design researcher, César investigates territorial boundaries as filtering systems, not static barriers, to identify overlooked and emerging building typologies and the populations and environments they shape. His work has been presented at national and international symposiums and conferences and published in consequential journals such as ARQ 111 Degrowth, inForma, Bracket [Takes Action], and Pidgin. César is co-authoring a book with Jeffrey Nesbit titled Exclusions, Edges, and Ecologies: An Architecture… documenting the infrastructural and architectural typologies along political boundaries to identify the entanglement between architecture and power structures.
In 2023, César was awarded the Arnold W. Brunner/Frances Barker Tracy/Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize in Architecture by the American Academy in Rome. His fellowship project, Citizenry Actions, will draw the parallels between the early expansion of the Roman Empire and the evolution of the Mexico-United States border to investigate how each constructed a national identity and body. The intent is to uncover new contemporary devices that redistribute power and redirect the notion of citizenship from legal status to an emerging conscience.
Until 2022, César was the Associate at The Open Workshop, where he was a designer and the Representation Lead in several national and internationally recognized projects, such as New Investigations in Collective Form (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 2018), which was awarded the 2021 ACSA Faculty Design Award, Commoning Domestic Space (2021 Venice Architecture Biennale), and the Center Won’t Hold (2021 Chicago Architecture Biennale), which was awarded the 2023 ACSA Faculty Design Honorable Mention Award.
Before arriving at UNM SA+P, César taught at the Academy of Art University, California College of the Arts, and the University of California, Berkeley. César has professionally practiced architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture at nationally recognized San Francisco Bay Area offices, such as Surfacedesign Inc. and Min Design Co (formerly Min-Day). In 2018, he was the Resilient Design Fellow for the CCA Urban Works Agency / Resilient By Design Organization. César obtained his Master of Architecture at the California College of the Arts - Architecture Discipline and completed his B.S. in Architecture at Texas Tech University, College of Architecture in El Paso.
ARCH 202: Architectural Design II
ARCH 301: Architectural Design III
ARCH 401: Architectural Design V
ARCH 601: Masters Architecture Design I
ARCH 604: Masters Architecture Design IV
ARCH 1115: Introduction to Architectural Graphics
ARCH 323: Architecture and Context
ARCH 2112-512: Graduate Architectural Visualization
ARCH 462-662: Seminar, Representation as Action
ARCH 462-662: Seminar, The US-Mexico Border as…
Exclusions, Edges, and Ecologies: An Architecture…, César A. Lopez and Jeffrey S. Nesbit, New York City: ACTAR Publishers, Forthcoming.
“Bronzeville Action Coalition,” Neeraj Bhatia and César A. Lopez, in inForma Journal, no. 15: “Networks of Solidarity,” edited by Cruz Garcia. University of Puerto Rico, 2023.
“Productive Flooding: A Degrowth of the Mexico-United States Border,” in ARQ Magazine, no. 111: “Degrowth,” edited by Marcelo López-Dinardi. School of Architecture at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Ediciones ARQ, 140-149.
“Revealing the Dark Chamber of Precarity,” Neeraj Bhatia and César A. Lopez, in Pidgin Magazine, no. 29, edited by Jonah Scharff. Princeton University, 2021, 205-225.
“Borderlands: An Exploitation of the US-Mexico Political Geography,” in Bracket [Takes Action], edited by Neeraj Bhatia and Mason White. Applied Research + Design, 2020, 214-221.
“The US-Mexico Border River,” in Art Journal, vol. 79: “Object Lessons,” College of Art Association, 2020, 112-113.
“Data as Logistics,” Neeraj Bhatia and César A. Lopez, in Momentum Magazine, no. 3: “Framework,” 2019, 20-21.
Conference / Symposium Papers
“Dismantling Hidden Curriculums: A Case Study on México-United States Border Pedagogy and Subjects,” at Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture & European Association for Architectural Education (ACSA/EAAE), Annual Teachers Conference: “Educating the Metropolitan Architect,” 2023.
“Social Currency: Alternative Home Economics,” Gabriel Fries-Briggs and César A. Lopez, Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC): “The Research-Design Interface,” 2023.
“Emerging a New Border Conscience,” César A. Lopez and German Pallares-Avitia, at Crossroads: Uncovering the Histories of the Built Environment in the Americas and the Global South, at The University of Texas at Austin, 2023
“The Overlooked Sites of Citizenry Exclusion” at The Society of Architectural Historians-Great Britain (SAHGB): “Architectures of the Borderlands,” 2022.
“Actions to Reset Studio Culture,” César A. Lopez and Alaa Quraishi, at Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), 109th Annual Conference: “Expanded,” 2021.
“Leveraging the Rio Grande River,” César A. Lopez and Alaa Quraishi, at Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), 108th Annual Conference: “Open,” 2020.
“Hybridity as Core Studio,” Rebal Knayzeh and César A. Lopez, at TFYD Annual Conference: “Initiations: Practices in 1st Year Design in Architecture,” 2019.
Frontera-Nation, with Germán Pallares-Avitia, 2022-Present
Exclusions, Edges, and Ecologies, with Jeffrey S. Nesbit, 2021-Present
Public Domestic, w/ Gabriel Fries-Briggs, UNM, School of Architecture + Planning, 2022
House of Commons, w/ The Open Workshop, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2021
Bronzeville Action Coalition, w/ The Open Workshop, Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2021
Commoning Domestic Space, w/ The Open Workshop, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2021
LUNA, w/ The Open Workshop, Venice Architecture Biennale, Future Assembly, 2021
ReAssemblying the Archive, w/ The Open Workshop, Seoul Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism, 2019
New Investigations in Collective Form, w/ The Open Workshop, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 2018
Malleable Monuments II, w/ The Open Workshop, Storefrontlab, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2017
Malleable Monuments I, w/ The Open Workshop, Parsons Gallery, New York City, NY, USA, 2016
Depth of Fields House, w/ The Open Workshop, Lake Edersee, Germany, 2017-Present / In Construction
Environment as Politics, w/ The Open Workshop, Drawings Codes Exhibition,” San Francisco, CA, USA, 2017
Scaffoldia, w/ The Open Workshop, Our City: Oakland Arts Festival,” Oakland, CA, USA, 2016
Staging Sheppard, w/ The Open Workshop, Toronto, ON, CAN, 2015
Varna Public Library and National Archive, w/ The Open Workshop, Varna Bulgaria, 2015
Dredgescaping Toledo, w/ The Open Workshop, Toledo, OH, USA, 2014
Steam Stratum, w/ The Open Workshop, Leipaja, Latvia, 2014
Garden of Displaced Roots, w/ The Open Workshop, Jardins de Métis, QC, CAN, 2013
Rome Prize in Architecture, American Academy in Rome, 2023
Project: Citizenry Actions
New Faculty Teaching Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2023
Faculty Design Award (Honorable Mention), Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2023
Project: The Bronzeville Action Coalition, w/ Neeraj Bhatia
Faculty Design Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture “Expanded,” 2023
Project: New Investigation in Collective Form, w/ Neeraj Bhatia
AIA Certificate of Merit, American Institute of Architects, 2013
Thesis Prize, The California College of the Arts (CCA), Architecture Division, 2013
Winning Project, LA+Imagination: Islands Issue, 2016
Project: Dredgescaping Toledo, w/ The Open Workshop
Selected Project, OCO Prototyping Competition, 2016
Project: Scaffoldia, w/ The Open Workshop
Finalist, Middle City Passages Competition, 2016
Project: The Right of Way is the Right to the City, w/ The Open Workshop
Honorable Mention, Baltic Thermal Pool Park Competition, 2014
Project: Steam Stratum, w/ The Open Workshop
Finalist, AECOM Urban SOS Competition, 2012
Project: PORO-CITIES, w/ Aubrey Davidson and Nastaran Mousavi
2023 Internal SA+P Grant, UNM School of Architecture + Planning
Project: Citizenry Actions
2022 Faculty Research Grant, UNM, Research Allocation Committee, 2021
Project: Drafting Others, w/ Sara Aziz
2021 Internal SA+P Grant, UNM School of Architecture + Planning,
Project: Exclusions, Edges, and Ecologies
2021 WeR1 Faculty Success Grant, UNM Office of Vice President of Research
Project: The Center Won’t Hold - The Bronzesheets
2021 Faculty Development Grant, UNM, Center for Regional Studies
Project: Public Domestic, w/ Gabriel Fries-Briggs
2021 Faculty Research Grant, UNM, Research Allocation Committee, 2021
Project: Exclusions, Edges, and Ecologies (Research)
2020-21 Implementation Fellow, Student Experience Project, UNM, Center for Teaching & Learning