Teddy Cruz MDes '97

Teddy Cruz is recognized internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana-San Diego border, advancing border immigrant neighborhoods as sites of cultural production, from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing and civic infrastructure. His investigation of this geography of conflict has inspired a practice and pedagogy that emerges from the particularities of this bicultural territory and the integration of theoretical research, pedagogy and design production. His practice and research convene knowledges from across the fields of architecture and urbanism, environmental and social practice, political theory and urban policy, visual arts and public culture, and mediate the interface between top down institutions (governments, universities, foundations) and bottom-up socio-economic, cultural and environmental intelligence embedded in communities.

Teddy Cruz was born in Guatemala City. He began studying architecture at Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala City and continued his studies at California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo (B.Arch, 1987) with a year of studies spent in Florence, Italy under Christiano Toraldo DiFrancia, founder of avant-garde group Superstudio. He completed his architectural education at Harvard University GSD (M.Des.S. 1997) and established his San Diego research-based architectural practice,estudio teddy cruz in 2000. From 1994 to 2000 he was founding director of the LA/LA Latin America / Los Angeles studio, an experimental workshop at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. From 2000-05, he was Associate Professor of Architecture at Woodbury University, where he began the Border Institute (BI) to further research on cross-border urban dynamics in the San Diego-Tijuana region. He is currently a Professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego, where he co-founded the Center for Urban Ecologies with urban curator Kyong Park in 2010; and co-founded the Blum Cross-Border Initiative with political theorist Fonna Forman in 2013. He is also presentlly a special advisor to the City of San Diego on Urban and Public Initiatives.

He has taught numerous design studios and seminars in universities in the US and abroad, including the GSD at Harvard University, the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, the Ecole Special D’Architecture in Paris, City College in New York City; the Metropolis program at the CCCB in Barcelona; the Public Interest Design program at Portland State University; the University of Anyang, South Korea, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and the Architectural Research program at Goldsmith’s in London. He has lectured widely at renowned cultural institutions including the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in Sydney, Australia and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, as well as such prestigious keynote lectures as the L’Enfant Lecture by the American Planning Association, the 2013 Istanbul Art Biennial and TED-Global in Edinburgh .