(April 29, 2013) -- The UTSA College of Architecture, the UTSA Mexico Center and the Instituto Cultural de México will host a presentation on the book "Ancient Origins of the Mexican Plaza: From Primordial Sea to Public Space" at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 30 in the auditorium of the Instituto, 600 Hemisfair Park. A book signing will follow.
The book's authors, Mexican architecture scholars Susan Kline Morehead and Logan Wagner, will give the talk with an introduction by Michael Guarino, an adjunct professor in the UTSA College of Architecture.
The Mexican plaza has been a defining feature of Mexican urban architecture and culture for 4,000 years. Ancient Mesoamericans conducted most of their communal life in outdoor public spaces, and today, the plaza is still the public living room in every Mexican neighborhood, town, and city -- the place where friends meet, news is shared, and personal and communal rituals and celebrations happen. The site of a community's most important architecture -- church, government buildings and marketplace -- the plaza is both a sacred and secular space and thus the very heart of the community.
The illustrated book traces the evolution of the Mexican plaza from Mesoamerican sacred space to modern public gathering place. The authors led teams of volunteers who measured and documented nearly 100 traditional Mexican town centers. The resulting plans reveal the layers of Mesoamerican and European history that underlie the contemporary plaza.
The authors describe how Mesoamericans designed their ceremonial centers as embodiments of creation myths -- the plaza as the primordial sea from which the earth emerged. They discuss how Europeans, even though they sought to eradicate native culture, actually preserved it as they overlaid the Mesoamerican sacred plaza with the Renaissance urban concept of an orthogonal grid with a central open space. The authors show how the plaza's historic, architectural, social and economic qualities can contribute to mainstream urban design and architecture today.
Co-author Logan Wagner grew up in Mexico and resides in Austin. He is an architect, author and teacher of architectural design, architectural history and vernacular building techniques. Wagner co-authored the Mexican architecture textbook "Contemporary Mexican Design and Architecture."
Co-author Susan Kline Morehead holds an M.A. in architectural history and theory from the University of Texas at Austin, and has spent nearly 30 years directing nonprofit arts organizations at the city, state and national levels. She resides in Austin, Texas, and regularly lectures on 16th-century Mexican architecture and iconography.
Co-author Hal Box was professor emeritus and former dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He was named dean emeritus before his passing in 2011. His 50 years' experience in teaching and practicing architecture included work on schools, churches, office and commercial buildings, dormitories, residences and urban design projects. He is the author of the architecture textbook "Think Like an Architect."
Parking for the event will be available on Cesar Chavez Boulevard. For more information, contact Nicole Chavez at 210-458-3121.
For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.
Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.
Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.
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