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Family Across the Border

“Family Across the Border” looks at the way migration challenges our normative definitions of family and in what ways architecture can and must respond to these new realities. Looking specifically at the Mexican migrant community in New York, which predominantly comes from the state of Puebla in Mexico, this project operates on two sites––Sunset Park, New York and San Andres Azumiatla, Puebla. The proposal is not about restructuring the definition of a family, but about restructuring the architecture to fit these new definitions. In New York, the architecture becomes about how to change the way we design a traditional brownstone to meet the needs of new types of family and complex social relationships. In Puebla, the architecture is about rethinking the way in which the remittance house expands to welcome complex family dynamics that are born as a result of migrations. At the scale of the block, the proposal becomes not only about providing spaces of productivity and new sources of income, but about coming together and sharing responsibilities. It focuses on fostering community and familial/social ties, especially when blood families are separated by thousands and thousands of miles.