Alfonso Perez-Mendez, M.S.
Professor of Architecture
College of Design, Construction and Planning
2009 AwardeeAlfonso Perez-Mendez has established and continues to develop a strong research initiative focused on analytical research and publication of the relationship between post-World War II policy, economy, culture, and architecture in Latin America: US (Florida), Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Perez-Mendez has been travelling and teaching within these countries for over ten years and has published regularly on these issues in the US and Spain. His proposal to use strategically selected neighborhood fabrics in multiple countries to evaluate the influences of American post-World War II propaganda provides a sound methodology with wide-ranging implications for improved understanding and, perhaps, even improved interactions with our near neighbors.
Mexico and the Caribbean basin are an important part of the lineage of the School of Architecture’s Preservation Institute Caribbean which Perez-Mendez has carried forward, advancing the student travel initiative into a productive research laboratory. He has led the program in Mexico’s Tequila Valley for eleven years, teaching 25 students per year in core curriculum studio courses and research on urbanization in small towns around Guadalajara. This effort has engaged his students in research and preservation methodologies, while supporting a productive and robust research initiative.
Perez-Mendez has been conducting an ambitious research initiative dedicated to the collection of original documentation about Cuban Modernism of the 1950s. Neither Cuban residents nor Cuban-Americans have had the documentary basis to conduct solid research in this important moment of the history of Cuban architecture. He is also conducting an extensive oral history project with surviving architects of that era, resulting in uniquely valuable records.