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Arquitectura Expandida

Arquitectura Expandida (AXP) is a design collective based in Bogota, Colombia that builds structures for communities that cannot afford to go through official channels for design and construction. Bogota, as elsewhere, has not always kept up with the pace of urbanization. This has given rise to large informal and semi-formal communities. These provide contemporary Bogota with the social and economic capital needed for the city to thrive while also facing problems of integration.

Founded in 2010, AXP invites communities to self-organize around neglected space. The process of obtaining building permits in Bogota can be prohibitively long and expensive. AXP works with the community to identify areas of neglect that could be improved by good design and collective effort. They then work with community organizations to navigate (or in some cases avoid) the civic bureaucracy.

AXP allies itself with local leaders and organizations, but avoids a central role, providing only the design and construction expertise for the execution of the projects.  The collective’s design philosophy also relies heavily on an embrace of sustainable, affordable and reclaimed materials.

Current members of Arquitectura Expandida are: Ana Lopez Ortego, Harold Guyaux, Randy Orjuela, Marina Tejedor, Felipe González.

We had an opportunity to have an extended conversation with Arquitectura Expandida on Social Design Insights. Listen to it in Episode 4 | Engaging Community, Engaging Practice.