(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.
Join this interactive play that is a courtroom drama and the audience is the jury. Discussion and will follow.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Langston Clark, UTSA assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition will discuss exploring the historical context for the role of black athletes in contemporary social movements.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA African American Studies program invites speakers from the leading African American Fraternities and Sororities for a panel discussion of the history of each organization and to enlighten the audience about the community service, academic purpose, professionalism and ethical roots of each group.
Student Union, Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24), Main Campus
MuTe Fest is a celebration of original music and technology. Three days of concerts, sessions, and informative lectures will offer a unique experience of musical works created by fellow UTSA students and the chance to gain valuable knowledge about music technology.
Art Building, Music Tech Lab (Arts 3.01.30B), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries hosts Assistant Professor Ian Caine for his lecture, Architectural Postcards from Space, as part of the popular Pizza + Research series. Pizza will be served while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.304), Downtown Campus
The theme of this year’s symposium is Black & Brown Futures. The free event will give UTSA students and the community the opportunity to meet and hear national scholars talk about current research and academic trends relevant to the lives of African Americans in the United States.
Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
Registration is open now for this family-friendly and dog-friendly run that supports the UTSA Alumni Association scholarship fund.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Join the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching for the 14th Annual UTSA Storytelling Festival featuring Nancy Simpson, storyteller and keynote speaker. The event is free and open to the public.
Main Building, Ground Floor Lobby, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.